Protein Sparing Intermittent Fasting (PSIF)
What PSIF is
PSIF is a short term intermittent fasting (IF) modification (in its most extreme form done every-other-day) which when combined with Spinal Flow Five (SF5) took my fitness and leanness to a better level. And not just for a day, but a level I have since maintained with “normal” IF most everyday since. I’ll still use PSIF, singly as needed, as a ‘clean up’ after a large social gathering but for the most part I think of PSIF as the best short term way to hit your goal weight fast, within the framework of IF. After which you can maintain your preferred level with IF. A better man might never need PSIF, but that man isn’t me. So this diet works for people who still like to cut loose in a Dionysian sort of way, and still look Apollonian come Monday, a yin to balance the yang, and a way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Almost all the things I research and test out, I do with a view on the applicability for others, so besides getting “ripped” and compensating for a great weekend, I think PSIF is ideal for those looking to get their dieting over with, reach their ideal weight as quick as they can so they can stop worrying about it. All while minimizing the chance of freaking out in such a way as to undo all your hard work. In my experience there hasn’t been a freak out, that a single PSIF could not fix, so freak out or not, PSIF has you covered.
Also when I refer to IF, I’m generally referring to the “time restricted feeding variety” with an eating window of 5 hours or less. With SF5 I usually eat just one meal, within an hour. I think the 8/16 (eight hour window, and 16 hours of fasting per day) is good if you are working out longer and harder, or your foods are long on roughage and short on calories, but with SF5 it’s probably too slack. For those of you who think you are fasting with a longer 10 or 12 hour window (honestly I’ve heard this), I laugh. And for anyone who finds this talk about IF, eating and fasting windows confusing, here’s my blog about types of IF and definitions.
There are a lot of IFers who exercise hard with weights who look awesome. I love weights, lifting them is very effective, and resistance levels can be modified to work for virtually everyone, and the bulk of the wisdoms I apply to the physical aspects of Spinal Flow I learned in the weight room. In short weights have been very good to me, but not everyone has time for, or access to, a gym. My original challenge with Spinal Flow was to see if I could create a home spine rehabilitation program that rivaled my gym based physical therapy routine using free weights and weight machines. It took about a year research and testing, but Spinal Flow worked out really well accomplishing more of my goals than I thought possible. However, my weights routine was not just spine rehab, but also total body training that built muscle. I wanted to Spinal Flow Yoga to do the same, and not just a little bit. I wanted Spinal Flow so effective that I wanted to do it myself, not just in testing but from now on. That took another year, and counting, and it isn’t at all what I expected, culminating in SF5. The original Spinal Flow took about an hour. I certainly didn’t expect Spinal Flow to continue to work, and actually work better, when I reduced it to just four or five minutes-per-per day, in what became SF5. That literally happened by accident, and happened to work SO MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED, where the speed, convenience and effectiveness won me over, and I think it’s a solid two years since I worked out in a gym.
The Spinal Flow Yoga sequences are described elsewhere, and not the subject of this page, but I wanted to set the context in which for which PSIF was developed. I wanted a diet that was effective, simple and worked even if you are exercising only four or five minutes per day. Above all I wanted a diet that doesn’t end when you reach your goal, but rather evolves smoothly into a lifestyle where you live your goal, rather than bouncing off of it. Working on PSIF and SF5 together I got them synergistic. SF5 building, or at least maintaining muscle and metabolism, while PSIF burned fat at a rate that for me averaged well over a half pound per day. All while continuing to increase my performance, strengthen and stabilize the spine, as for which Spinal Flow was originally intended. What makes PSIF special is not only does it burn fat, it’s designed to spare muscle loss, literally what “protein sparing” in the name means, so you fast yourself muscular rather than just skinny. The latter of which did happen when I tried some of my longer fasts in my IF adventure of the past 4 years. See pics. I’m putting the short description of how I do PSIF in the membership locker. How to do it, is in fact very simple, while the long answers explaining theory I’ll keep freely available in a separate FAQ.
I was going to put the Q & A here, but it’s currently over 10 pages, and I have a long way to go on it. By separating the two, I’ll be able to get the how to of PSIF available sooner for anyone who wants to try. If anyone has questions or comments feel free to put them in the the comments section at the bottom of the page, answers for which I may add to the FAQ. Also freely available is my first blog on “regular” intermittent fasting, written when I first started fasting, about 80% of which I still endorse. Additional thoughts on the other 20% I have changed my mind on, I’ll add in the FAQ.
How PSIF is Done
In PSIF when dropping weight I alternated every other night between a low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, high-protein meal, that for me adds up to 739 calories, constituting Night-1 or the PSIF night. I alternated the PSIF night with Night-2 the Feast night where I eat the same high protein meal, plus a high carb meal of most anything I wanted. Looking back at my notes my high carb meal was anywhere from 1200 to 1800 calories in addition to the 739. Thus total calories on my feast night when I was dropping was between 1974 and 2600.
Night-1 or PSIF night, usually at 5-6 pm (I was fasting all day = 0 calories)
- Whey Protein Shake Calories = 465, Protein = 52 grams, made with:
- 400 ml milk (measured in this blender) = 250 cal, 13 grams
- Two level scoops of Gold Standard Whey Protein, 53 grams of power = 215 cal, and 39 grams protein
- 5 gram scoop of creatine monohydrate, calories = 0
- One generic multi-vitamin: Calories = 0
- A can (4.375 oz) of Seasons Brand Sardines in water 170 cal, 22 grams protein
- One shot (49 ml) of tequila: 113 calories Total Calories for PSIF night = 748, Total Protein 74 grams
Night-2 or Feast night, usually at 5-6 pm (still fasting all day = 0 calories)
- Protein shake, sardines, multi-vitamin, creatine, and a shot of tequila (exactly as above).
- A high carb, satisfying, and filling main meal, my main meal usually consisted of:Spaghetti and soup, (surprisingly the best) 2-3 pounds of Baked French Fries (second place)Pizza (distant third place)Whatever I wanted if I ate out or at a friends house.
Alternate between Day 1 and Day 2 diets as consistently as you can until you weigh 2 pounds less than your goal weight, expecting to gain back about 2 pounds as you carb up after your final PSIF night. Then lessen or eliminate the PSIF nights as your scale allows, eating one “regular” meal a day from now till kingdom come. Continue to watch your diet closely for the first 6 weeks after achieving goal weight as your it seems to take about 6 weeks for your metabolism to adjust to the new weight, and going from feasting every other night to feasting every night might mean you need to feast with a little more control. Your scale is your best friend here, and probably your only friend that won’t lie to you to make you feel better. Still weigh yourself upon awakening every day, forever, so you can feel really good about what you and so you can keep small adjustments in your diet from becoming big ones. Also to prevent going too far with the fasting. Ideal weight is an anchor preventing anorexia as well as obesity. SF5 will continue to help here as well, because if you stop making progress, and start losing performance, it’s probably because something is out of balance.