Have you ever heard of intermittent fasting? If by any chance you know nothing about it, here’s a tiny info. Intermittent fasting is not eating anything for a specified period, and most people go for 16 hours with an 8-hour break to eat their meals. Skipping breakfast is a common routine in this method, and lunch is actually the first meal of the day. Others stay away from food for 12-18 hours.
The benefits of intermittent fasting
There are not many human studies on Intermittent Fasting, but it is definitely a new phenomenon. The whole thing started in 1900, and Edward Hooker Dewey was the first to introduce it. The American physician wrote the book “The No-Breakfast Plan and Fasting Cure.”
The book is actually based on a human experiment. It suggests that the lack of hunger (appetite) means Nature is trying to digest existing reserves and optimize its function while preventing diseases. In other words, Nature needs enough time to do its job, and that’s where fasting steps in.
The physician had terrible headaches and digestive problems. One day, he decided to skip his breakfast. He felt good for the first time in his life, and that’s how he got the idea for his book.
Intermittent fasting is specific
It is true that Intermittent Fasting helps you cut down your calorie intake, but it’s lot more than that. The main focus of this method is to give the body enough time to eliminate the waste and heal. It is more like a lifestyle habit that provides short-term dietary goals.
Doctor loses 125 pounds in 18 months
Dr. Kevin Gendreau had to witness his sister’s struggle with ovarian cancer. The disease consumed her, and this was the wake up call for the Massachusetts doctor.
Gendreau was 300 pounds. It stated in college and he struggled with stress-eating. His father died of melanoma, and his unhealthy eating habits were still there.
“My poor sister, Rachel, she had no choice with her health,” said Gendreau. “I was choosing to be unhealthy.”
Gendreau knew that his health problems were caused by his unhealthy lifestyle. He struggled with depression, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. This was Gendreau’s life in August 2016. So, he decided to cut out processed carbs and calories. He was eating 1,700 calories. What was the final result? A 40-pound weight loss.
“Ninety percent of my weight loss… is from diet.”
Gendreau fixed his diet, and ate more of the following foods:
- Black coffee
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Raw nuts
“When you have a history of binge eating and emotional eating, you have all faith in your ability to control your emotions and hunger,” he added. “I had no idea I was as mentally strong as I actually am.”
But, Gendreau could not make progress. He was stuck at 225 pounds. His sister died in June 2017, and he decided to try the intermittent fasting (16:8 diet). Eating your meals within eight hours is not easy, but he had to take care of his sister’s kids, and that was his motivation. The intermittent fasting helped him melt another 60 pounds.
“I am shocked it works. There is always a new diet but this is very medically sound, which is why I loved it.”
Gendreau lost 125-pound weight loss within a year and a half. He followed three simple rules:
- Fat pants and pictures are the best reminder
Gendreau kept his old clothes and pictures to remind himself of his progress.
- The reason
Gendreau lost his father and sister, and that was his motivation. It worked for him.
- Spoil the taste buds
Gendreau eats a handful of raw nuts or carrots and an apple. He can only have a salad or a drink with that. This helps him save money and keep his body working on “healthy fuel.”
Types of fasting
Juices cleanse the body and promote healthy weight loss. There is no strict rule on how often you can do this. You can go for fruits or veggies for 1-10 days or even longer. This is a common method for those who eat too much over the holidays.
Cayenne, lemon, and Aloe Vera are common “tools” in this one. You are helping your body get rid of toxins and waste.
Alternate Day Fast (ADF)
It decreases the digestive load, and is also similar to the calorie restricted regimen.
You can only eat for eight hours throughout the day. stay away from food in the remaining 16 hours.
You can eat almost anything, but experts suggest eating organic foods. Start your eating window earlier in the day, because your blood sugar control and metabolism are higher after you wake up. In this way you will burn more calories.
Scientists will have to conduct more research on this topic. Most of the existing studies are based on mice, rats and fruit flies. However, that’s a promising finding.
Improved cognitive function
Intermittent Fasting boosts the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This protein assists the production of new brain cells and protects existing cells from premature death. There were cases of impaired learning, depression and Alzheimer’s where subjects lacked BDNF.
A 2014 study released in the Journal of Neuroinflammation confirmed that a 30-day Intermittent Fasting regimen can prevent the reduction of BDNF and suppress brain inflammation.
IF is nothing like crash diets. You will lose visceral fat and not just muscle or water.
IF may help in preventing Type 2 diabetes. An article published in the Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine showed that IF is as efficient as calorie restrictive diets when it comes to assisting visceral fat loss and insulin resistance. The only difference is that IF is easier to adhere to.
Better cardiovascular health
IF diet helps the body resist brain and heart damage after heart disease or stroke.
It is worth trying!
Here are some of the results of the preliminary studies:
- Increased cognitive function
- Weight loss/maintenance
- Diabetes prevention
- Cardiovascular strength
Give your body a chance to heal and improve its function. Intermittent fasting can be of great help for all of you.