Hi everyone!

First post in the Health and Fitness Channel and I wanted to hear your thoughts and opinions on something I've been doing for the past three years or so. This is a long, kind of boring post, and I don't expect a lot of responses, but if you're interested in this kind of thing, I'd love to hear some feedback. I guess what I'm looking for is, someone who knows their stuff about nutrition and the body, and tell me whether this all makes sense, whether it's been done before, and where can I find more info on refining some of the things I discovered.

So I ran cross country and track in high school and anyone who's done these sports knows about interval workouts. For those who don't know it's basically concerned with increasing your cardiovascular fitness, I believe, specifically, your VO2 max and recovery rate (not entirely sure?). In simpler terms, it's run your ass off for a certain distance, walk/rest for a certain distance, then repeat.

As far as fitness is concerned, I pretty much believe that some of the abstract elements of this work/rest cycle is the best way to get better at anything. Push yourself hard and then give yourself plenty of rest. Certain aspects of this training theory intrigued me and I decided to apply it to something a little different: an individual's metabolism.

A part of what drove me to do this is the fact that I'm lactose intolerant. I hated it because I love milk and ice cream. Actually, now, that I've gone through this experiment already, I can drink milk and eat ice cream as much as I want. But my goals and rationale extended far beyond this as well.

I don't want to turn this into a teal deer post, so I'll be as succinct as I can about what I've been doing.

My goal during the past three years was to comprehensively strengthen my body's metabolism by applying the principles used in interval workouts in a four-phase cycle. I want to emphasize though that I'm NOT trying to boost my metabolic rate - I'm trying to strengthen my metabolism's ability to handle different eating conditions.

But before I go into it, please understand that though it may seem dangerous and unhealthy, my golden rule that I follow is to listen to my body . If I don't feel like I can take it anymore, I don't push myself any further than I think is necessary. I trust my body and listen to it always. And in the end, it produced some great results.

I'm also an INFP so the terms I use are very loose and intuitive. I hope it all makes sense for those interested. I don't have any professional background or training in nutrition. This is stuff I learned from people I've talked to and articles I've read written by people who seem to know what they're talking about.

So here's how I did it...

1. Stress Phase
- Minimal eating during the day - just enough to keep you from not being hungry.
- At dinner, overload on either protein and carbohydrates, but never both at the same meal. Alternate between proteins and carbohydrates with each cycle. So for the first stress phase, for anywhere from 4 to 10 nights, I'd eat about 2lbs of pork or chicken each meal with some hummus. Then, in the next cycle, I would eat just carbs during the stress phase. About as much pasta and bread as I could handle. Also, in order to add to the stress, I did not engage in any exercise as that would increase the rate of metabolism. I wanted to make it as difficult on my digestive system as possible without doing serious damage to it.
- I'm also lactose-intolerant and wanted to get rid of the intolerance, so I'd also drink a lot of milk both during the day and especially during dinner. Made me gassy, but whatever.
- Do this until you feel like you can't take it anymore and then switch to...

2. Rest Phase
- Basically eat regularly, maybe about 3 to 5 small meals a day. Balanced protein-carb-fat at each meal.
- Minimal amount of milk.

3. "Fasting" Phase
- Basically eat minimally for an extended period of time. Just enough to make you not feel hungry.
- Do this until you feel like you can't take it anymore and then switch to...

4. Rest Phase [again]

So as you can see, this mimicks certain elements of the interval workout principle. Stress on the body, then rest, stress on body, and rest.

As far as the results are concerned, I can confidently say I am no longer lactose intolerant. I've noticed that though my metabolic rate changes with whether or not I'm working out, the thoroughness with which my body handles the food it's digesting has improved dramatically. My colon health is solid as it's able to process a lot of the food I ingest completely, and have not felt the need to engage in any colon cleansing ritual that I used to experiment with in the past.

I'm also working on refining some details on an experiment for a strength training regimen that I hope to start once I get some stable income and am able to buy as much food as I'll need. I'm curious to see how the preparation I've done with my metabolism will affect muscle growth and strength.

I know I've left out a lot of details and it seems i'm making a lot of loose and irrational conclusions, but everything I've learned is very specific to my own body. I know my own body very well, and I'm almost certain that other people's bodies probably don't work the same way. But I thought I'd share and maybe this will help you in some way that I can't foresee.

Thanks for reading!