***Disclaimer: I understand that there are many interpretations and definitions of fitness.  In this article, I am using the term “fitness” to refer specifically to the behaviors and practices associated with aesthetics (muscle mass, low bodyfat).

You’re thrilled. You’re excited – ecstatic, even. After months of grueling work, you finally fit into your skinny jeans. You can look down and actually see your toes. You ran your first half marathon! You’ve been diligent about getting plenty of rest, keeping junk food to a minimum, and working out several times a week. You feel light on your feet and your coworkers can’t stop commenting on how great you look nowadays. You’re beaming with pride and you’re practically walking on clouds now that you’ve reached your goal.

So you go out and celebrate with a martini. Then two. You order a giant platter of cheesy nachos as an appetizer, followed by a plate of taquitos. After that, you make a beeline for the nearest frozen yogurt shop and go to town on the sugary toppings. You fall into a drunken stupor and pass out on your bed with sauce stains dribbling down your shirt.

Ahh, so what? you say. That’s one night of celebration. No harm, no foul. Except… you wake up the next morning and you find yourself reaching for the pastries before your mind can figure out what you’re doing. Bummer. The day is shot; might as well go all out the rest of the day, right?

Soon enough, your gym membership is gathering dust and your jeans become progressively tighter (again!) by the day. You’re upset, but you’re also in denial. You’ve worked way too hard to get in shape – how could anything possibly move you away from that sweet spot?

Read More →

The regular readers of you know that I’ve been an intermittent faster for the past couple of months now (click here for a primer). There are many things that are great about it. I decided to give it a whirl some time ago and decided that I liked it, so I stuck with it. Just last week, however, I woke up in the morning and said to myself, “I would really like some bacon right now.” And so with a side of eggs (over easy!) and a bowl of oatmeal with berries, I very merrily consumed my very first real breakfast of the year 2012.

It wasn’t entirely on a whim, however. Ever since I started interning at Cressey Performance, I’ve had to make the adjustment from being a sedentary, full-time student sitting on my butt for most of the day to standing on my feet for the better part of 10 hours. Talk about a boost in NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Unsurprisingly, my body was in for a shock and I found myself fatigued during the first week. I felt… depleted. All the time. It probably didn’t help that my first calories weren’t consumed until 3p.m. after a 10:30a.m. training session (and yes, BCAAs were consumed before, during, and after.

So I made the logical decision that I would try the whole eat-breakfast deal again. Perhaps, if I was lucky, Breakfast and I could once again become fond friends. Maybe rekindle our long lost companionship?

Read More →