For those of us who set New Year’s resolutions to shed extra pounds, be healthier, feel great, and have more energy I bring good news!
Now there is a painless way to shed those pounds. I say ‘painless’ because the procedure taps into the basics of how our bodies were designed.
Your body is designed to reveal its maladies with outward symptoms and when those symptoms are addressed, to heal itself!
For example, diabetes is manifestation of a departure from our body’s design.
The cost of health care and associated issues with its current state is making choosing to be as healthy as possible is a concern that is front and center in my mind. From speaking with others, it’s important to them too.
Researchers in nutrition, physiology, etc. have uncovered many vital insights on this topic over the years that will empower us to live a life without having to make major compromises to remain in peak health.
If that is your goal, keep reading.
It’s well established being even just a “little overweight” puts us at risk for a vast array of diseases. Being overweight affects the cardiovascular, immune, bone, sleep, and metabolic systems. Even doctors aren’t immune to battling health issues, so I join my readers in the effort to prevent any one of these risks and reverse evidence of disease onset.
On the subject of ‘risk’, let’s be clear about what this means.
Risk factors are behaviors or conditions that increase our chance of developing a disease. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease are also often risk factors for other chronic diseases. Many risk factors are related. For example, if someone is not physically active, that person is more likely to become overweight and more likely to develop high blood pressure.
The following are common risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease:
- Tobacco Use
- Physical Inactivity
- Poor Diet
- High Blood Pressure
Physical inactivity generates the greatest risks to being overweight. So let’s get moving! Activities as simple as taking the stairs, standing from a sedentary job hourly and walking about, dancing, heavy house or yard work help us in meeting our activity goals.
Like many of you, I have tried a variety of tactics to maintain a healthy weight over the years. The new information I’ve found has sold me on what I consider the easiest and most effective way to shed pounds and become healthier.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is a weight management tool that is gaining traction among dieters and researchers for its benefits beyond just weight loss. Science is telling us that in addition to helping us shed pounds, IF provides us several other benefits.
- Improves our insulin/leptin sensitivity
- Helps our body burn fat for fuel more effectively
- Increases our capacity to resist stress, disease, and aging
Why does Intermittent Fasting work?
A main reason so many of us struggle with our weight (aside from eating processed foods that have been grossly altered from their natural state) is we’re in continuous feast mode. We rarely ever go without a meal.
An article published recently in Cell Metabolism explained this pattern keeps the body relying on glucose for energy. In contrast, restricting the amount of time we feast puts the body into fat burn mode.
Don’t worry; fasting doesn’t refer to not eating or starving oneself. It means restricting your eating to a window of time to 8 to12 hours a day, and not eating outside that time.
Example Fasting Plans
Fast for 14 (women) to 16 (men) hours each day, and then “feed” for the remaining six to eight hours. During the fasting period, you consume zero calories, though black coffee, calorie-free sweeteners, diet soda, and sugar-free gum are permitted.
Most fasters will find it easiest to fast through the night and into the morning, breaking the fast roughly six hours after waking up. This schedule is adaptable to any person’s lifestyle. The most important part is to maintain a consistent feeding window.
This plan uses the 5:2 Plan popularized by Dr. Michael Mosley. Here you eat normally for 5 days, then cut your calories in half for two “down” days. This accelerates fat burn. It’s recommended to consider a meal replacement shake on your down days for the first two weeks of this eating plan. Click to learn more about this plan.
This plan is the easiest in my opinion, and don’t we all love easy!
Eat very little one day, and eat normal the next. On the low-calorie aka “down” days, you should aim to consume 400 to 500 calories. On feeding days, your calorie intake should be between 2,000 and 2,500 calories.
This method is all about weight loss. If that’s your main goal, this is the plan to take a closer look at. On average, those who cut calories by 20 to 35 percent see a loss of about two and a half pounds per week. Just avoid bingeing on the “feeding” days. The best way to stay on track is planning your meals ahead of time as often as possible.
You can find more IF plans at http://dailyburn.com/life/health/intermittent-fasting-methods/
Of course, fasting — regardless of the method — isn’t for everyone. If you have any medical conditions, special dietary requirements, or chronic diseases, it’s smart to consult a doctor before giving intermittent fasting a shot. It takes our bodies time to adjust, and some require more than others.
5 Healthful Tips for Starting Your First Fast
If you do decide to give fasting a try, keep these general tips in mind:
Drink plenty of water – Staying well hydrated will make the fasting periods much easier to get through.
Fast overnight – Throw yourself a bone and aim to fast through the night, so that you’re (hopefully) sleeping during at least eight of those hours.
Rewire your thought process – Instead thinking of your fast as a period of deprivation, consider it as simply taking a break from eating. Fasting can also break up the cycle of worrying about what you need to eat next and when. Adopting this mindset will allow you to follow a fasting plan long-term.
Overcommit – It may seem counterintuitive, but the best plan is to start when you’re busy — not on a day when you’ll be sitting on the couch wanting to snack.
Get some exercise – Pairing intermittent fasting with consistent exercise will help you get better results. It doesn’t have to be hardcore or crazy, but try to do high-intensity interval exercises to get the most out of your effort.
Intermittent Fasting is a Therapeutic Intervention
If you’re hesitant to try fasting for fear you’ll be ravenously hungry all the time, you’ll be pleased to know that intermittent fasting will virtually eliminate hunger and sugar cravings.
During the “fasted state”, your body is more likely to pull from the fat stored in your body, rather than the glucose in your blood stream or glycogen in your muscles/liver when your body doesn’t have a recently consumed meal to use as energy.
This also applies to working out in a “fasted” state. You’re essentially priming your body for muscle growth and fat loss with intermittent fasting combined with exercise. In fact, the growth hormone level is increased during fasted states and after a period of fasting.
Intermittent fasting can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently. For many different physiological reasons, fasting can help promote weight loss and muscle building when done properly.
Be encouraged and just call to join the “club” of those participating in this method of tweaking our metabolism – permanently!
If you struggle with the word “fast” and worry you will feel deprived, that you will have to suffer to lose weight, or that it’s just too hard, call our office. You may find relief in tactics like our EFT sessions, which can literally take your cravings away!