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Self Experimentation: Listen to your Body

November 14, 2012

By Wayne Atwell

experiment with fitness and healthOver the years I have read a lot about weight loss, exercise and gaining muscle. A lot of it has been good advice and a lot of it hasn’t been. How can you tell what is the best advice and what isn’t? Try it out and see. Until you experiment with your own body you will never know what works for you and what doesn’t. The big secret is that everyone is different and something that works for someone else might not work for you and something that works for you might not work for someone else. Ever since I started experimenting on myself I have seen much better fitness results.

Here are some of the recent experiments that I have conducted on myself and the results:

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a weight loss technique where you don’t eat anything or 16 to 48 hours. It has tons of benefits including fat loss, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced chance of cancer and increased human growth hormone. I have been doing intermittent fasting now for several months. I do a 16 hour fast 4 or 5 times a week and a longer 24 to 36 hour fast once every two weeks or so. Intermittent fasting has really helped me to loes weight and I also really like that I can sleep and extra 30 minutes longer in the morning now that I don’t eat breakfast most days.


For the past 10 days I have been eating a low carb and high fat diet. Your brain needs glucose from carbs for energy. By limiting your carb intake your body makes up for the lack of glucose by converting fat into ketones to fule your brain. This is called ketosis. Going into ketosis allows your body to go into an accelerated fat burn mode that helps you lose weight. In 10 days of being in ketosis I hav dropped about 7 pounds and feel great. It has helped reduce my apetite and allowed me to find delicious new recipes like ginger shrimp and avocado salad.

No Alcohol

I felt like alcohol was slowing down my progress in trying to reach 7% body fat, so I decided to give up alcohol for the first three weeks of November. I am now 12 days through No Alcohol November and still have not cheated. I feel pretty good and no longer find myself craving red wine. I have found it to be much easier to lose weight after cutting out drinking. After all, alcohol is not paleo.

Push Up Routine

A few weeks ago I tried an experimental push up routine to gain strength and muscle. I did alternating days of heavy and light push ups. After a week I was able to increase the size of my chest by an inch and significantly improve my bench press. I look forward to doing a more intense 2 week push up routine in a month or so to get even better results.

Pull Ups

I have started my own pull up routine that I expect will help me bulk up and significantly increase my strength and endurance. I am going to keep the specifics secret until I see how well it works.

Know Yourself

The key to speeding up your progress is knowing yourself and listening to your body. If you try ketosis and you are constantly hungry and grumpy and gain weight because you overeat nuts then ketosis is probably not for you. If you feel like you are going to die because you are so tired when you fast then fasting isn’t your thing. Don’t do something because someone else tells you to do it, instead if someone tells you to do something and it sounds intelligent then give it a try and see if it is right for you. We are all different and our bodies respond in different ways, so don’t expect the same results that someone else got just because you did the same thing.

  1. steffturner permalink

    good stuff Wayne.. I too love to tweek things and tune in to what my body is telling me.

  2. Stephane permalink

    Just FYI… With over a year of use… thousands of weighted pull ups/chins performed: Perfect PullupTM brand. Currently $99 at W*lm*rt. I was skeptical (packaging looks real cheezy), but it has held up very nicely. Note: it screws in the doorframe (but still allows door to open/close).

    • Ha ha, that is funny. I actually bought a perfect pull up brand bar to replace the trashy iron gym pull up bar before I saw this comment. I have logged several hundred pull ups on it and haven’t had any issues. You can tell it is much sturdier than the iron gym pull up bar.

  3. MorganDC permalink

    Hi Wayne– I followed your tips from a later post and have been in ketosis for the past three days. Question: Were you drinking at all during those 10 days when you lost the 7 lbs? Wine drinker here, and trying to limit it to two or three glasses no more than two days/week. Thanks!

    • It is possible to stay in ketosis while drinking but is much harder. I did not drink at all while I was in ketosis. If I were you then I would try to limit it to one glass of wine instead of two or three if you want to stay in ketosis. You may temporarily fall out of ketosis on the nights your drink but if you are low carb you should reenter ketosis fairly quickly after you stop drinking. Skipping breakfast the next day would help you get back into ketosis faster.

      • MorganDC permalink

        Thanks Wayne– I’ve just started CrossFit and that has definitely had me cutting back on the wine!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 48 Hours Without Food « Fitness Wayne
  2. No Heavy Weightlifting for a While « Fitness Wayne
  3. Experiment in the Kitchen « Fitness Wayne

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