What if I told you that a new drug company has patented and gained FDA approval for a drug that could slow aging, reverse diabetes and obesity, enhance mental functions, prevent cancer…and costs nothing with no side effects. Interested?
Intermittent Fasting and Fasting does all that and more. Have you tried it?
People in Western societies eat too much and too often. I can remember in the 1980s when the “low-fat” craze started, we were told to eat six meals a day, mostly carbs! We were told, “don’t skip breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!” I would agree it is, for children and teenagers, but not full-grown adults.
Our ancestors inadvertently practiced Intermittent fasting due to undependable food supplies. Nature adapted to these fasts by telling the body: “get lean, and fast, and smart, or you are going to die.” Our genetics are set-up for us to due intermittent fasting and fasting, it’s in our DNA.
By eating 3-6 meals a day, we are flooding our bodies with glucose and insulin. We first develop insulin resistance, then we go into pre-diabetes, then we hit full-blown diabetes. If you played your sound system at 120 decibels constantly, then you would eventually go deaf. If you eat too much too often, then your cells become “deaf” or resistant to the effects of insulin.
Health Benefits of Fasting and Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting and fasting are being studied at top universities and research centers around the world. It has been used for thousands of years around the world, and we are finally figuring out how beneficial it is.
Intermittent fasting lowers blood glucose, reduces insulin resistance, and Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), levels which are considered cancer risk factors. Dr. Jason Fung has written The Diabetes Code, The Obesity Code, The Guide to Fasting, and most recently, The Cancer Code. In every single book, he correlates the disease to high glucose and high IGF-1.
Another study in 2015 found out, reducing total caloric consumption, and fasting longer hours during the night, decreased insulin resistance and inflammation associated with breast cancer risk. Inflammation is part of the immune response of the body. When the body recognizes damaged cells, pathogens, infections, wounds. this triggers inflammation. It is an attempt to remove harmful stimuli and start healing. High blood glucose and high insulin, both increase inflammation in the body.
Fasting has been shown to help with Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, and other auto-immune disorders. It makes sense, lower inflammation and you improve an auto-immune disorder which is caused by inflammation in the first place.
Fasting has shown great promise with early-onset Alzheimers. Alzheimer’s is now being called “Type 3 Diabetes” because of it’s connection to the level of glucose and insulin in the body. Intermittent fasting and fasting have been shown to increase cognitive function in all ages as well.
A review of the literature found that those who went through intermittent fasting for 3-24 weeks lost 3-8% of their starting body weight. This is a huge amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time. Plus, the same study also found out they lost 4-7% of their waist circumference. This means a lot of that weight loss came from losing belly fat surrounding internal organs, your greatest risk factor for the disease.
Fasting and Intermittent fasting help your body to detoxify. There is a process called “autophagy”, this happens when you are in a fasting state. The body goes into your cells and acts as a garbage man and recycler, cleaning up the garbage and recycling the proteins to make new mitochondria (the battery of your body.) This lowers inflammation, lowers your blood glucose, and lowers your risk for cancer caused by damaged DNA.
How to Start
If you have never fasted before, I would recommend starting with Intermittent fasting. The easiest way is to do “windows” of time such as eating between 10 am and 6 pm, that would be a 16 hour “fast.” You can create your own window of eating for your lifestyle and work schedule. I would not do this more than three days per week.
Another popular schedule is to eat one day, stop eating (or highly restrict the calories to 500) the next day. This is generally called the eat-stop-eat method. Some others eat normally during the week, fast for two days on the weekend, which is called 5:2 diet. Jimmy Kemmel lost 25 pounds on 5:2 diet.
500-calorie fasting is another way to fast. This type of intermittent fasting is done for 2 or 3 days in a week. It is similar to the 24-hour fasting in that normal eating goes on for most of the days of the week and the reduced-calorie eating happens for a few days a week. Dr. Valter Longo has done much research on this way of eating for longevity and has written a book called The Longevity Diet which follows something called “The Fasting Mimicking Diet” which has you eating 500 calories a day for so many days a month, a fascinating read!
Finally, we have a full 24 hour fast. If you have never done one, I suggest you start with the “dinner-to-dinner” time frame. Your last meal is at 6 pm and your next meal is the next day at 6 pm. That meal should be very light, soup and salad or a stir-fry, to gradually add back in food. This can be done once a week or once a month. If you have weight to lose, this would be great to do once a week. You are only consuming purified water and detox teas during this fast. It’s not as hard as you think!
- The Health Benefits of Fasting, Quillin, Patrick, PhD, June 27, 2018,https://gettinghealthier.com/health-benefits-of-fasting/
- Zauner C, Schneeweiss B, Kranz A, Madl C, Ratheiser K, Kramer L, Roth E, Schneider B, Lenz K. Resting energy expenditure in short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6):1511-5. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/71.6.1511. PMID: 10837292.
- Mansell PI, Macdonald IA. The effect of starvation on insulin-induced glucose disposal and thermogenesis in humans. Metabolism. 1990 May;39(5):502-10. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(90)90009-2. PMID: 2186256.
- Intermittent Fasting for Beginners, Quillan, Patrick PhD, November 10, 2019, https://gettinghealthier.com/intermittent-fasting-for-beginners/