Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss
Is it possible to eat a normal diet for five days a week and become slimmer and healthier as a result?
Fasting – Your Body’s “Reset Button”
Frequent eating, one of the hallmarks of our western lifestyle, inhibits your body from performing its repair and rejuvenation operations.
Intermittent fasting on the other hand, causes your body to beef up your immune system by getting rid of damaged white blood cells and replacing them with new ones, shifting stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal.
Throughout history people have used fasting as part of their spiritual practices. Our hunter gatherer relatives who lived off the land and cycled through periods of feast and famine, did not have access to grocery stores or food day and night. However by fasting intermittently we can mimic the eating habits of our ancestors, and take advantage of what this type of schedule has to offer.
Today modern research reveals that this type of cycle provides a number of incredible health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, better metabolic function, and reduced cancer risk.
The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
- Fasting is good for your heart, brain and waistline.
- Normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity, boosting mitochondrial energy efficiency. Insulin/leptin resistance, is a primary driver of chronic disease—from heart disease to type 2 diabetes to cancer.
- Intermittent fasting helps retrain your body to use fat as its primary fuel. Fasting also normalizes ghrelin levels, known as “the hunger hormone.” Another benefit of intermittent fasting is that it helps eliminate sugar cravings.
- Research has shown that fasting can raise HGH levels considerably. HGH plays an important part in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process. It’s also a fat-burning hormone, which helps explain why fasting is so conducive to weight loss.
- Lowers triglyceride levels and improves other bio-markers of disease.
- Reduces oxidative damage to cellular proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids associated with aging and disease.
- Fasting boosts the production of a protein called (BDNF), simulating the release of new brain cells and triggering numerous other chemicals that protect you from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
As a general rule, intermittent fasting involves cutting calories in whole or in part, either a couple of days per week, every other day, or even daily. On a fast day, you can spread your total of 500/600 calories throughout the day, or you might choose to enjoy them all at an evening meal.
On non-fasting days remember to eat normally, enjoy treats in moderation, but avoid bingeing. Also steer clear of juices, lattes, alcohol, sodas, and smoothies typically containing a tremendous amount of calories and sugar but won’t satisfy your appetite. The important thing is to try and stick with a routine that works best for you, and that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.
I am so convinced of the health benefits of intermittent fasting (as I do it myself) that I want to recommend a book by Dr. Michael Mosley. Dr. Mosley trained as a physician before joining the BBC as an award-winning science journalist, producer, and television personality.
Here’s what some are saying about this book-
“The most popular diet this century.” — Daily Telegraph “The diet that has made even the skeptics sit up and listen.” – Sainsbury’s Magazine “The biggest diet revolution since the Atkins” -Daily Mail “The only diet you’ll ever need” -Mail on Sunday “The diet that works” -Radio Times “The year’s most talked about weight-loss trend” -Daily Express “Intermittent fasting is ideal for those of us who can just about manage to be good, but lack the long-distance rigor of saints” -Allison Pearson “The scientific evidence that Intermittent Fasting can have numerous health benefits is strong” -Professor Mark Mattson, National Institute on Aging “A modern phenomenon…it sometimes seems as if every other person you meet is following the Fast Diet” -The Guardian
PS: I hope you enjoyed this article. Join the conversation and let me know what you think of Intermittent Fasting – share your experiences below!
To your fasting health,