So what about intermittent fasting...
As a wellness coach, I can’t tell you how many times I get asked about intermittent fasting and whether it is safe. I understand why someone would ask that because most of us were taught to make sure you always eat to avoid low blood sugar, dizziness, fainting or getting gassy. And to be honest, that was also my belief until I started researching the topic.
Here is what I have learned based on published research and experiments that have been done.
First, let’s define intermittent fasting, it involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days a week, every other day, or even daily. According to Dr. Michael Mosley, a British author was featured in the documentary, Eat, Fast, and Live Longer, fasting has been part of many spiritual practices for decades and has several health benefits. Keep reading to learn more.
Based on Dr. Mosley’s research and experiment, he notes that eating too frequently may be may be the cause of many diseases. This is because frequent eating does not allow the body to perform its natural repair and rejuvenation processing. Fasting is very much like the eating habits of our ancestors, who did not have access to grocery stores or food as we do today. Therefore, they had periods of feast and famine.
Improves cardiovascular functioning
Lowers cancer risk
Helps us to live longer
Normalizes insulin sensitivity
Normalizes hormone that controls hunger
Helps to reset your body to use FAT as its primary fuel instead of SUGAR.
The body primary source of energy is derived from sugar. A big problem with consuming large amount of sugar as is in our western diets, is that it promotes insulin resistance, which is a primary driver of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Research shows that when the body adapts to using FAT instead of sugar as its primary fuel, the risk of chronic disease is reduced.
Helps with weight loss because it promotes human growth hormone (HGH) production, a fat-burning hormone. Based on research, fasting can raise HGH by as much as 1,300 percent in women, and 2,000 percent in men,2which plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process.
Lowers triglyceride (type of fat found in the blood) levels and improve other indicators of disease
Decreases the amount of cell damage.
Promotes brain health by stimulating the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons.
How does intermittent fasting work?
There are different intermittent fasting schedules, I am going to share a couple of different schedules.
The "5:2" intermittent fasting plan used by Dr. Mosely’s in his book, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting:
Eating normally for five days a week, and fast for two
On fasting days, cut your food down to one-fourth of your normal daily calories, or about 600 calories for men and about 500 for women,
Drinking plenty of water and tea.
Alternate-day fast used by Dr. Krista Varady in her book, The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off:
One day off, one day on where you consume about 500 calories on fasting days and can eat whatever you want on non-fasting days
According to Dr. Varady, this fasting schedule is easier to follow and more sustainable than other fasting plans because of its alternating schedule and then eat whatever you want on non-fasting days
In a study with participants, Dr. Varady found that participants ate their low-calorie fasting day meal either for lunch or dinner. Splitting the 500-calorie meal up into multiple smaller meals throughout the day was not as successful as eating just one meal, once a day because people are more inclined to want more, so they cheat rate
Good weight loss results
The downside to this plan is that it requires you to go to bed with an empty stomach every other day, which can be difficult at first for most people
Why not challenge yourself with one of two options today! My preference is the alternate-day fasting, although I sometimes fast for half day five days a week, which is quite sustainable for me.