Updated: Feb 17
To Eat or not to Eat...Should I Just Fast?
Weight loss, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and the chronic illnesses they cause
There is always a new fad, diet or treatment that is touted as the new “miracle”. A small amount of information gets out based upon limited studies and someone always makes the next wonder supplement or treatment. But the conditions continue. That leads to the next new and “best” diet, which is then marketed to the public.
In the end, we all know that by modifying our lifestyle, we can lose weight...and most of us know we can also slow down or stop the degenerative disorders that diminish our lives.
A couple of years ago, Keto became the new dietary buzzword.
Now, it is Intermittent Fasting.
So...What is Intermittent Fasting?
The concept behind intermittent fasting is that fasting is built in to our genetics, and when we fast, we start to burn fat, hence leading to weight loss.
Sounds simple, right?
Limit eating to 4-6 hours a day in the late afternoon or evening, consume less calories, and lose weight.
How many people actually can adhere to such a program in the long-term and what happens when the diet is stopped? Studies have shown that, like many other diets, fasting does lead to fat loss, but along with fat loss comes muscle loss and, ultimately, this leads to a slower metabolism as the body tries to preserve its muscle. Eventually, the fat loss ultimately slows and stops.
Adding exercise will maintain or increase muscle, but who wants to exercise if they are not eating and depleted nutritionally?
That doesn't mean it can't work, however.
New research indicates that we can customize fasting to the body’s daily chemical and hormonal rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm, under control of our central circadian clock (Exercise Sports Science Review 2020;48(1):4-10). Our inner clocks are sensitive to light and dark, sleep and awake cycles, and developed over thousands of years.
Modern life, though, provides 24 hour availability of food and generally less exercise, than it did for the lives of our ancient ancestors. Let's face it - our current conditions are not the conditions in which the clock developed in our ancient ancestors decades or centuries ago.
The reality is that our genes and the hormones they control are not designed for our modern day lifestyle...and this leads to an increasing risk of metabolic problems and, ultimately, diseases.
In my practice, we have found that intermittent fasting can work - but it's still based on science and assessing what makes you...well, you. We utilize the most recent and available scientific information to design lifestyle, health and wellness programs for our clients. For example, research indicates that exercise is a must in order to help "turn our genes on." As a result, we teach our clients how to time proper exercise and eating, no matter what type of diet one chooses.
If done properly (4 - 6 hours appears to be too little), intermittent fasting is actually quite effective for reducing all of these metabolic and lifestyle diseases. When done properly, intermittent fasting can actually help you to re-establish the Circadian Clock, lead to fat loss and muscle gains, both of which can be maintained for life.
If you are interested in learning more information about how to do intermittent fasting properly or you want to explore our other weight loss and wellness programs, please call Elite at (732)254-1003) or go to our website or Facebook page. In order to get future newsletters, and blogs, please follow us on Facebook.