Mini-Fasting Has Kept Me Strong And Lean Into My 50s

Seriously, it's a game-changer. This is all about cutting your daily caloric intake, while simultaneously optimizing your body's ability to burn fat. This can be done by way of a little daily caloric restriction.

At 52 years of age, I have around five per cent body fat. And I haven't done a lick of cardiovascular exercise since I gave up playing soccer in my late 20s due to a knee injury.

Seriously, the only exercise I do is some weight resistance training.

You want in on a little secret?

What if it promises to extend your lifespan and keep you looking and feeling your best well into old age?


What if all it involves is a small adjustment to your daily routine?


And there's no catch. It's even cardio-free. So there's no huffing and puffing or sweating involved.


Seriously, it's a game-changer.


OK, enough of the infomercial stuff. This is all about cutting your daily caloric intake, while simultaneously optimizing your body's ability to burn fat. This can be done by way of a little daily caloric restriction.


The payoff at the end of the day is that you still get to enjoy a hearty, fully-satisfying evening meal. That's the reward for not eating (or hardly eating) from daylight to sunset.


All you have to do is get into a daily routine of some "mini-fasting" (mostly done while you sleep) followed by a light lunch (or none at all) and a big protein-packed dinner.


I find this unorthodox routine is the best way to keep my metabolism operating in high gear. In other words, I simply skip breakfast and go as long as I comfortably can without re-fuelling.


Now it's not easy for everyone to skip breakfast. After all, we're culturally conditioned to eat before starting our work day. But this isn't biologically necessary for most of us. (However, if you have certain health issues, consult your physician before modifying your diet.)


So if you're not ravenous each morning, you can easily subdue any minor hunger pangs by drinking a large coffee (an appetite suppressant) and/or plenty of water (carbonated water works best).


Proof in the pudding


Fortunately, I've found some scientific validation for my long-held intuitive belief that skipping breakfast can be a good idea: Studies reveal that fasting for 16 hours can lower your body's insulin concentrations. In turn, this should discourage your body from producing and storing fat.


Personally, I believe that doing without food for as little as 14 hours a day also works well enough.


Mini-fasting this way also reduces your body's glycogen supply, which is a form of stored energy that is found in your in muscles and liver. It kicks in when all the glucose in your system (produced from digested carbohydrates) is used up as your primary energy source. So when your glycogen reserves also become depleted, you finally start to burn your body fat for energy.


When you eventually get around to eating at night, try to make your meals protein-dense. Also, feel free to eat as many starchy (but healthy) complex carbohydrates as you like. As for vegetables, eat plenty of them because they're a key part of a nutritious, well-balanced dinner.


Why calories count and meals don't


Science has now shown that you don't have to eat three main meals a day (or even half a dozen or so small ones, like many bodybuilders do) to efficiently burn calories.


All that matters is that your total cal