Update on Fall Strategies For Nutrition and Fitness

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Well fall is almost over, so I thought I provide an update on my Fall Strategies For Nutrition and Fitness post. This was the post that outlined how I would tweak my food and exercise under my seasonal approach strategy.

Pike Market by INeedCoffee / CoffeeHero

Here is a summary of the strategies.

  1. Increase Sleep Now that the days are shorter I am sleeping on average an extra 20-30 minutes each night. A study just came out that shows a longer sleep will access more fat than a shorter shorter sleep cycle. Youll also have a much stronger immune system.
  2. Removal of Most Sugars During the summer, I will eat the occasional dessert such as ice cream. Once fall started, I dropped the modern sugars. During the fall, I will eat seasonal fruit such as apples. Dark chocolate (73%+) is always OK.
  3. Intermittent Fasting Im back doing the Intermittent Fasting. A few days a week I will do 16 hour fasts. It feels so much more natural to do in the cooler weather than in the heat of summer.
  4. Cold Weather Exposure This has been covered in other posts, but exposing your skin to cooler temperatures will force positive adaptations. The primary one being getting leaner. This is my 3rd season where I will go without jackets or even long sleeve shirts until the temperature drop into the 30s.
  5. Shorter More Intense Workouts This is the season where repair starts and carbohydrate levels drop. Save the longer fuel intensive workouts for the spring and summer. Focus on brief high intensity exercises, such as weightlifting (low-rep, higher weight). Maybe some Tabatas or sprints. Keep it brief. I see too many runners and cyclists that get sick and injured during this season. Their body desperately wants more sleep and rest, but they push it.

#1 Sleep – I put up black out curtains in my bedroom. The room is so dark now that during the first week, I actually walked into the wall twice. I have successfully increased my sleep by about 20-30 minutes each night (average). I never got sick once. Came close, but fought it off with extra sleep.

#2 Removal of Most Sugars – My last ice cream was on Labor Day. I have really cut back on sugar from summer levels. Not that summer was high, but now I am lower.

#3 Intermittent Fasting – Once the days got shorter, it became super easy to resume IF. On an average week, I am doing three 16 hour Intermittent Fasts. Some are a little shorter, some longer.

#4 Cold Weather Exposure – Wore short-sleeve shirts down to the mid 30s. I’ve only put on an extra layer during the 3 day snow storm or a rain jacket when the rain is heavier than drizzle. This is my 3rd winter doing this and the adaptations have carried over.

#5 Short More Intense Workouts – I was a little slow starting these, due to my injury. I have have returned to some slow motion weight training and am learning how to generate high intensity at that level.

So I slept more, ate fewer carbs, exposed my skin to cold temperatures and I exercised less. The result was just as I expected, I got leaner. I didn’t succumb to holiday foods, alcohol and I turned the lights off and went to bed at a decent hour. Although I could have done a better job with exercise, I consider this fall to be a success.

We are days away from winter and I will soon post my strategies for that season. If you take your cues from your hormones and not your fellow man, winter is the season where you should expect the greatest amount of fat loss. At least that is the theory I am going to test.