what is the pros and cons of intermittent fasting
Is this a fad diet or a new way of eating? Intermittent fasting has taken the world by storm with many high profile celebrities like Terry Crews, Hugh Jackman, and Justin Theroux using this method for massive muscle gains and massive fat loss for men. For women, this offers a chance to preserve lean muscle and burn that annoying fat.
Now I know what you are thinking? This seems like it is too good to be true. I'm sure you have heard of umpteen different diets that have promised the same results from the Atkins Diet to Weight Watchers. The thing is this blows both those diets OUT OF THE WATER!!!
How do I know this besides being a medical professional? Well, I practice intermittent fasting as well.
But Dr. Bramwell, HOW DOES STARVING MYSELF HELP ME LEAN UP AND LOSE FAT?
Starvation vs Fasting
Fasting and starvation are not the same things. Starvation is a conscious decision to deplete your body of proper nutrients while doing it in an unhealthy fashion. For instance, famous model Sannie Pedersen commented on how she saw 16-year-old models almost kill themselves with a diet of water, light vegetables, and laxatives. There is no thought into eating properly!!!!
Your body needs essential nutrients from food so NEVER starve yourself.
Fasting, on the other hand,is a NATURAL thing that humans have done since the beginning of time. When we did not have Five Guys or Public, food was a lot harder to come by. So our bodies adjusted by being able to store energy and use it when there was little or no food available. The cavemen were not eating nearly as good as we are now.Fat is not is the enemy, in fact, it has helped us survive. The enemy is overeating!!!!
Fasting does require discipline but not a complete abandonment of the food you love. If you like to eat fries you are free to have some as long as it is not a staple of your meals. The staple of your diet should be whole foods rich in lean protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats while avoiding sugary foods/beverages, alcohol, fried foods, and fast food. This diet also ensures a drop in calories because you are fasting.
My Personal Fasting Plan
Cycle Fast- Alternate days of 12-16hr fasting with days of normal calorie consumption
Warrior Fast- Daily fasting for 18 hours
Meal Fasting- Only eating one large meal (1000-1500 calories) a day 3X a week with normal calorie consumption in between
The 6 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
1. You can Rapidly Lose Belly Fat if Done Correctly
How is this done?
The key is controlling insulin, I know you have heard of this but let me explain what it is.
It is hormone our pancreas makes that tells our body what to do with the sugar in our blood from foods.
Insulin does 2 things, 1) It tells our fat cells to make more fat cells instead of using them for energy 2) It tells our body to use sugar for energy instead of fat.
After 12 hours your blood sugar should be at a stable low level and so will insulin. Your body will be in a state of fat burning and using fat as the primary energy source using insulin opposite hormone glucagon.
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Preventing Diabetes
The type of diabetes people develop later in life is type 2 caused by insulin resistance.
Foods that rapidly increase blood glucose (sugar) are sugary drinks, fried foods, and other junk food. Eating these foods all days adds both calories and sugar to your diet.
Insulin rises just as quickly to use this sugar as an energy source and most of it will get stored as fat if you do not burn it through exercise.
3. Your Metabolism will be a Fat Burning Engine
The long periods of fasting will burn through your carbohydrates. When that is done, the only other options are fat and muscle.
Muscle is much too precious so fat is going to burn first.
Remember, you have to be able to NOT eat anything for at least 10-12 hours.
4. Reduces Inflammation throughout your Body
Inflammation is bad because it causes stress to your body and causes damage to cells. Things like high blood sugar, smoking, and being sick will cause your body to be in a state of inflammation. One of the bad side effects of inflammation is that your body will not be wanting to use fat as energy. Our blood sugar remains high and insulin is elevated in response.
This is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, on top of that the clean foods like whole grains and vegetables that you will be eating anti-inflammatory foods.
5. Weight Loss is from Fat than Muscle or Water
The problem with most fad diets is that people are encouraged by the initial weight loss only to be disappointed in the end. Have you ever had the situation where you started off so well with your weight loss only to hit that frustrating plateau?
What is lost in the beginning is mostly water weight. Then once that is gone, the fat is more stubborn to get rid of. That is why I stress the importance of sticking to your fast and keeping your cheat days at a minimum.
6. It can Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer in the Future
With less inflammation in the body, your risk of cancer goes down. Cancer is caused by the lifelong buildup of mutations caused by stress or like too much sunlight, radiation, and even inflammation. Reducing your inflammation is a great way to keep your self healthy 30 years from now.
Heart disease is one of the leading killers in the United States. A combination of poor diet, too much alcohol, and smoking will cause our blood vessels to harden, making our poor heart pump harder to get blood to the rest of our organs. Without inflammation, our blood vessels can maintain their elasticity in keeping our health working properly.
Bio: Christian Bramwell, MD uses his own weight loss story as teaching for people struggling with their own weight through blogging, teaching, and writing. His mission in life is to promote health and education, that is why he has chosen to be a family physician and found his own nonprofit Project RAK based on education and empowerment.