The first ten days on the way from an owl to an early bird: sleep, diet, diet and exercise

Daily routine, diet, diet and exercise are four key parameters of a healthy life. I experimented with each of them over the past three years, learning from my own experience and studying someone else's - observations, research, scientific data and personal experience of other people. Ten days ago, I decided to activate all four, changing overnight in my life how I sleep, how I eat and what kind of load I give myself.

Keeping track of one weight is not enough. At first, people on a diet can lose weight simply because water leaves the body. When measured day after day, even in the morning, the weight can vary back and forth even depending on the amount of water drunk before bedtime or during the night. Therefore, it is not body weight per se that matters, but its composition - the proportion of muscle and fat in the body. For this I use scales with a definition of body composition. Here's how the proportion of fat in my body has changed over the past 10+ days:

In absolute terms, fat mass decreased from 12 kg on July 28 to 9.8 kg on August 7.

The reason weight indicators are not so indicative is that muscles are denser than fat, therefore, with a healthy diet, diet and exercise, the weight can increase or remain stable even with the ongoing fat burning process, simply because muscle mass is growing in parallel. Therefore, when tracking changes in your body, first of all, you need to monitor the quality of these changes, and not their quantity. Special scales are the most convenient and accurate control option, but you can easily do with the usual weight and centimeter: if the waistline decreases, then there is fat burning, even if the arrow of the scales does not indicate this.

On the other hand, weight can decrease, but if the day, diet or exercise is not correct, this will happen due to the fact that a diet chosen by a person leads to burning of muscles instead of fat - one of the main nightmares of any crusader.

The proportion of muscle mass during fasting grows without any additional physical activity - if fat is burned, then the ratio of fat to muscle will change.

Sunday, July 28th. Day zero. Weight: 80.5 kg, fat - 15.1%, muscle - 44.8%.

Diet. My last supper: at about seven in the evening I made a broccoli salad with tuna (broccoli - 300 g, 81 rubles; tuna in my own juice —185 g, 75 rubles; dried basil - 10 g, 9 rubles; pitted olives - 115 g, 54 rubles, lemon juice - lemon, 23 rubles; sunflower oil - 50 ml, ~ 5 rubles - total ~ 247 rubles). After that, I turned on the timer, which starts the thirty-six-hour fasting, which was supposed to end at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 30 - and which I extended, as a result, by 90 hours, until Thursday, August 1.

Daily regime. Soon after, I went to bed; it was the first night of my new schedule: I decided to go to bed with the sunset or shortly after, but no later than half-past nine, so that by ten in the evening I would definitely sleep.

Monday, July 29th. A day later. Weight: 78.9 kg, fat - 14.5%, muscle - 45%.

Tuesday July 30th. Two days later. 78.8 kg, fat - 14.4%, muscle - 45%.

Wednesday, July 31. The third day. 77.7 kg; fat - 13.9%, muscle - 45.4%.

Thursday, August 1. Fourth day. 76.6 kg; fat - 13.6%, muscle - 45.5%.

Diet. On Thursday, the fasting ended, lasting, in the end, four days. This means that I ate for the first time since that last dinner on Sunday. For lunch, I made myself a steak: marble striploin beef (390 g, 399₽) and butter (100 g, 82.5% fat, 83 rubles) - only 482 rubles + salt.

At this transitional stage to a new regime of the day and diet was officially completed.

Friday, August 2. Five days later. 75.5 kg; fat - 13.3%, muscle - 45.6%. Filling question: what awaits a person who has not eaten for four days, drank only water, decaffeinated coffee and green tea, and then ate a four hundred gram steak with butter for lunch on the scales the next day? I think most people today would answer this question, that this person will gain weight, and, at the expense of the increased mass of fat - after all, the body will store the first meal after several days of hunger, processing it into fat, right? Not. For those who think in this way, it will be a big surprise that human digestion works in a completely different way. However, this did not come as a surprise to me, because I was already familiar with casting and have been practicing it since January. So, having measured the composition of my body the next morning after a fatty, in every sense, dinner, I was not at all surprised that the proportion of fat actually decreased, and the muscles increased.

Well-being. I woke up completely not hungry, and during the day the lack of food was much easier to tolerate than in the previous meal break. This, too, was not a surprise to me.

Despite the fact that my mother taught me all my childhood, “Eat with bread, otherwise you will not eat”, carbohydrates in the diet give only a short-term feeling of satiety, which after a few hours is replaced by the return of brutal hunger, while healthy foods are actually proteins . And meat with a side dish containing carbohydrates (porridge, for example) is a less satisfying dish than the same meat without a side dish: carbohydrates in porridge do not add satiety, but, on the contrary, subtract from the saturating effect of protein.

Saturday, August 3rd. Six days later. 75.1 kg; fat - 13.2%, muscle - 45.7%.

Diet. Saturday was again the day of steak - this time I decided to have a fast two days. Guess how much a half-kilogram piece of Striploin marbled beef costs? 456₽. No, not for what is in the photo. In the photo, less than half - 500g are two such steaks. + $ 78 per piece of butter to cook = 5 $ $ per lunch. What do you usually buy when you want to eat for a comparable amount? This is a good reason to think about what people eat when they have the opportunity to eat a healthy piece of meat, and how it affects their condition.

Well-being. When in the morning I went to the store on a bicycle for my lunch, I noticed that my coordination of movements improved significantly - in other words, I rode a little more dashing than usual, while confidently controlling the situation. Which of the four changes this week - sleep mode, diet, diet, exercise - influenced this? I think that sleep and exercises - and I think so, because, in addition to progress in the style of a bicycle train, I also noticed some positive changes in the work of my memory.

Cleverness. Over the past six months, I probably began to notice that my level of English has slightly deteriorated: it would seem, as practice, that my knowledge of any language should only improve - but I had difficulty remembering the right words in the process of constructing the sentence in which I intended them use. Nothing dramatic - the rest of the words that I remember were still enough for me to rebuild on the go and describe what I wanted to say. One of those words that regularly “fell out” of my head was hypocrisy — a word as a word, it had never been a problem for me before — but, having forgotten it a couple of times in the middle of formulating a thought, I simply avoided it, replacing it with some other designs - but this week it suddenly came back to me, just as I was trying to pick it up. This is not the only, but the most striking example for me; the general impression is that memory really began to work a little better. What is the connection with the bike ride here? It's all about the hippocampus.

The hippocampus is responsible for spatial, short-term and long-term memory - in that order. In Wikipedia, by the way, spatial memory is pushed to the end of the sentence: plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, and in spatial memory that enables navigation . This can be understood from the point of view of a modern person - long-term and short-term memory is more important to him than the ability to navigate in space - applications will help. But why did living things need memory in the first place? They did not have addresses or furniture arranged around the apartment - nor the apartments themselves. All that they had was their environment, in which carrots and sticks were waiting for them, and natural selection left those who could more successfully avoid the first and find the second - and for this, living organisms needed to develop the ability to navigate in space - that is, , remember in which direction you should move the claws and in which not to avoid danger and get a reward. So navigating the body in the environment, starting with how to rearrange the legs so as not to get entangled in them and not to fall and where to pull your arms to reach the desired fruit, is a function of the hippocampus, and short-term and long-term memory are the ways of its implementation.

Physical exercises, therefore, are a natural way to train memory, because they require the execution and memorization of more complex combinations of movements than a person usually performs in everyday life (otherwise he would not need these exercises), and squatting is one of the best exercises for training, not requiring special adaptations, because it implies stabilization of the whole body just to be able to sit and stand, while maintaining balance.

Sunday, August 4th. One week later. 75.1 kg; fat - 13.1%, muscle - 45.8%. The dynamics are the same: despite eating a half-kilogram steak the same day with the same piece of butter, the next morning my weight did not change, and the proportion of fat in the body decreased again, albeit only by 0.1%. This means that over the past day I have become 75 grams less fat, and 75 grams more muscle.

Daily regime. The whole week I went to bed shortly after sunset, but it took me half an hour to several hours to fall asleep, so in order to restart my circadian rhythm, I decided to add a cold shower to my squats and push-ups during the day. I took my first voluntary cold shower, not related to the lack of hot water, with sunset, half an hour before going to bed.

Monday, August 5th. The eighth day. 75.3 kg; fat - 13.2%, muscle - 45.7%.

Diet. The first day of this fast - nothing but water and salt. In the morning I brewed a cup of instant decaffeinated coffee and green tea, and did not touch them anymore. During the day he drank only filtered water and ate a few pinches of salt. As far as I understand, the process of assimilation of salt by the body does not affect the liver and, accordingly, does not violate fast. At the same time, salt aka sodium chloride aka sodium chloride is a chemical necessary for the body, a few pinches of which should be present in the daily diet of a person, regardless of food intake.

Tuesday, August 6th. Nine days later. 74.6 kg; fat - 13%, muscle - 45.8%.

Load. He started the morning with thirty squats. Over the previous eight days, I reached thirty squats per set only once. The clearly growing muscle endurance is itself enough effective positive reinforcement to continue, but the sharp cooling that began these days in Moscow added an additional incentive: I began to squat dumbly to keep warm, and in the morning to gain courage in front of a cold shower in a cold apartment.

During the day, squats and push-ups bends from a standing position, reaching for the toes. With several attempts, I managed to reach the floor with my fingers fully straight.

Well-being. Woke up without a feeling of hunger. Tea, coffee and several bags of St. John's wort grass, which I wanted to drink when the tea is over, have been standing in the cabinet for 24 hours. The same goes for ice in the freezer (thank God!) - now I just drink cold filtered water without it. Considering the experience of last week, I can say that, it seems, the second day of fast is the hardest. The first day with a low-carb protein (meat) diet is generally not very difficult - if you do without carbohydrates the day before, for example, eating chicken breast without buckwheat in Teremka (I used to love this snack, considering it an extremely healthy choice), then hunger for the next morning will be much weaker than if I ate the same breast with a side dish. Real tin begins on the second day of fast. However, ghrelin changes tactics: if last week, at the beginning of my four-day fast on his second day, on Tuesday, I was overwhelmed with thoughts about food and the images of shop windows with my favorite ice cream persistently climbed into my head:

- this time, ghrelin, responding to the stubbornness of the enemy in my face (more precisely, the frontal lobe of my brain aka prefrontal cortex giving orders) began to act more cunningly, using not only stupid thirst against me, but also adding a bit of rationalization: “Kamon “You’re fasting already the second day, when you go to the boutiques, it will take just two days from lunch - this is quite decent.” Despite the decision to have dinner no later than eight hours before sunset, these thoughts reached me until about four in the afternoon, until I got rid of them, finally switching to another activity: adding and publishing, finally, the article “ Why is it so hard to choose , what kind of movie to watch (and neural networks will not solve this problem) ”- and the next four hours, thoughts about food did not bother me at all.

On the third day, the ghrelin, sort of, surrenders. So it was last Wednesday, and it repeats today. I woke up - and he was sleeping, and now I feel that I can easily spend another day without lunch. However, “the city is falling asleep - the mafia is waking up”: it’s my turn to deliver a sudden blow to the ghrelin - today I have a steak day according to plan. I have no goal at all to starve myself as a yogi or to build a life in antiphase with a ghrelin: my task is to switch to a conscious diet, in which I will eat when I consider it necessary, and the urges of ghrelin will become completely irrelevant.

Diet. Tuesday was steak day again. The fast, begun on Saturday, lasted three days. In the nine days that have passed since my "last supper" last Sunday, this was my third meal. A pound of ribeye steak on a kitchen scale and on a plate (box of matches for scale). Butter for 78 rubles + meat for 749 rubles - the cost of my lunch was 827 rubles + salt. This is a little more expensive than a lunch to a dump, say, at Burger King, for example, with the only difference being that after lunch in fast food I would be terribly hungry in the evening, while after a low-carb protein lunch I was full until the next day

Sleep. After nine days, which I stubbornly went to bed with sunset and two days of a cold shower, my circadian rhythm seems to be starting to change: for example, for the first time in these one and a half weeks, I sat down to work and write this article right in the morning. Although, if you think about it, I have been working right in the morning for the first time in ... my whole life? As much as I remember, including school, vivacity, energy and a desire to work, I always woke up very much in the afternoon, when it was already dark. In the mornings, as far as I can remember, I worked before that only if I have not yet gone to bed.

Wednesday, August 7 (today). The tenth day. 75.3 kg; fat - 13%, muscle - 45.8%.

Load. From the second approach I brought the number of squats to forty at a time. After that, I immediately sat down to finish writing this article.

Sleep. Judging by the last days, the duration of sleep shifted to nine o’clock: I fell asleep at eleven o'clock, and I got up shortly before eight in the morning. The day before, along with a cold shower before bedtime, I tried a new technique for falling asleep. There are improvements, if the result is fixed - I will tell in more detail. After the squats, I took a cold shower again - each time I can stand under it a little longer.

Well-being. Shortly after I woke up, a little cramp cramped my legs - the second in a week (last time it was also after waking up), but weaker, and passed when I stretched my leg a little - not the back, where the calf muscle, but pulled a little toes.

Of course, I will continue my observations, but if I really manage to reconfigure my biological clock and remake myself from an owl to a lark in just two weeks, then this will be a huge success.

I’ll write about the next eleven days on August 18.

This should not be thoughtlessly repeated at home. The nine days described are only the tip of the iceberg, the underwater part of which is several years of work and experiments, during which I digested a huge amount of information on the topic and tested many hypotheses from my own experience. The experience described in this article is not suitable for women, because, for evolutionary reasons, differences in female and male physiology (namely physiology, not psychology, i.e. this applies to transgender people too) imply significant differences in optimal diet, diet and types of physical activity. The only exception to this list is sleep. The rules of sleep are universal for all people of any age, gender and gender. Anyone who cares about the quality of sleep and the resulting quality of life can follow my experience hereinafter.

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