FASTING… A Fad?
…How about Intermittent Fasting?
I have a few questions to think about…
Which is more important?
What you eat? Or
When you eat?
Should you snack all day long?
Eat several meals?
Is there a snack that will help you lose weight?
Should we exercise more, and eat less—to lose weight?
Obesity rates have tripled since 1970.
In 1970 in our country, it was typical to eat 3 meals a day with no snacks…
…Today, we typically eat 3 meals a day and snack all day.
19 states have adult obesity rates above 35%.
(According to the Trust for America’s Health (tfah.org)
⅔ of 40-50-year olds are overweight. Half are obese.
Is any of this normal?
And is it just our weight that’s being affected??
And…Can it be fixed??
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., it absolutely CAN be REVERSED for the ones who make the effort to reverse it. With Fasting and Eating properly.
Do you know that most patients prefer to take medication or surgery…
Instead of changing their lifestyle?
I’ve thought a lot about that. I believe it boils down to a couple of reasons, either one or both.
There is a LOT of misinformation “out there”, as I’m sure you know.
Intermittent Fasting is one of the most powerful alternatives to pharmaceuticals, according to Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and Functional Therapist.
So is Intermittent Fasting something novel, and new? It’s been around (and helping people) since Biblical times.
Our bodies are adapted to eat less often than we eat.
Long years past, we ate regular meals, and we had good metabolism.
We ate lots of protein and good healthy fat.
We grew our own vegetables.
We spent time in the kitchen, making nutritious meals.
Quick-fix meals became available.
Busy families quit eating as much nutritious food.
We began to eat “on the go”, or squeezed between activities.
We now had more convenience… but had lost a lot of nutrition.
The Type of Food. Did that change?
A good protein-rich meal became heavy on carbohydrates. Lots of cereals, sugared drinks, sugared yogurt. And so much processed food.
We changed our fuel.
(Did you know that Insulin is a beautiful, useful hormone? Processed food causes that beautiful hormone to get out of balance. That’s when it becomes “Insulin Resistant”.)
(We’re talking about cells, and we’re talking about glucose (sugar).
Glucose is the fuel for our body to have energy to do the things we want to do.
The key to unlock the doors to that fuel is that beautiful hormone, Insulin.
When we eat a lot of processed or sugary foods, our body gets so much sugar at once, the key is trying to unlock all the doors at once. The cells get over-tired and don’t want to let anymore sugar in. So the cells “resist” the key (insulin).
When the cells resist, the sugar can’t get inside, so the sugar starts to build up in the bloodstream instead. It makes you tired. Long-term, this leads to health problems.
And then our body wants more of that stuff, so we can get more glucose to make more fuel—so we can have some energy! When that happens:
We struggle with weight
We get “hangry”
We have low energy
Our body becomes inflamed
We get oxidative stress.
What if we ate less, got rid of all the processed food, ate healthy colorful vegetables and fruit, lots of green leafy vegetables, good quality protein, good quality fat, and added to that, walking, running playing, exercising…helping out that “insulin key”—making our cells happy again!
Well, according to Cynthia Thurlow, NP and Functional Therapist, when we eat like that, and change up our lifestyle a bit, our body changes from using glucose (sugar) for fuel, to burning fat for fuel.
When our bodies burn fat, it switches from burning stored glycogen to stored fat.
Most people see improvement in themselves within a short time—even a few days, but Cynthia Thurlow advises to allow 30 days to see how your body reacts.
So we burn up fat stores for energy!
Cynthia Thurlow says that intermittent fasting is the “Silver Bullet” for health.
What are the details?
Dr. Hyman says EVERYONE can and should fast for at least 12 hours a day.
Typically Intermittent Fasting is from 12-16 hours. That leaves from 8 to 12 hours to eat. You can start with 12 hours of fasting, and increase it, if or when you want.
If you eat dinner at 7 pm, just don't eat again until 7 am. And black coffee or tea (or water) won’t break your fast, so you can have drink those in the morning while you’re still fasting.
If you want to fast longer, up to 16 hours, and you begin to feel hungry, you can add (Grassfed) butter and MCT (or coconut) oil to your coffee which will keep you from getting hungry, and it won’t break your fast.
Then, eat a good, nutritious meal at the end of your fast. Just make sure you have good quality protein and fat in your meal, along with other healthy food.
(If you need help with figuring out food, just message me and I can help)
If your life has been especially hard for a few days, or even one really hard, long day, or not much sleep…if your body needs food, by all means, feed it. (Good quality protein, good quality fat, and colorful vegetables and/or fruit.)
If you want to fast 5 days a week, and not fast the other two, that’s what is suggested by Dave Asprey, of Bulletproof Coffee fame, and that’s exactly what he does. Just make sure that on the two days you eat more carbs, you eat complex healthy carbohydrates, and only good quality food. No sugar. No processed food.
There are many ways to fast; this article today deals specifically with Intermittent Fasting. And again, Listen to your Body.
There are people who should not Intermittently Fast:
Brittle diabetics with blood sugar difficult to control
Frail or aged
Chronic heart issues
Disordered relationship with food (bolemic, anorexic).
(Info from Cynthia Thurlow)
As Always, I do not recommend any specific diets, supplements or anything specific for you to do or not do. But if you are feeling forgetful, struggling with focus or concentration, or worried about your brain health (or these other health issues we’ve discussed), according to many functional medicine doctors, these are things that can easily go away by making changes in your lifestyle and eating.
It might give your body a chance…to get rid of inflammation and oxidative stress. It might be the difference in choosing if you wanted your body to create disease, or to get rid of it.
At the same time, as always, Lean into what your body is trying to tell you. It’s ok to adjust…It’s GOOD to adjust. It’s not good to be rigid. Your body is the best doctor you will find. We just need to get used to listening for its signals to us.
If you consider entering the Intermittent Fasting world, if you feel changing to the 12-hour fast is too big of a jump all at once but still want to work toward a change, here are some steps you might take to dip your toes into it:
You can dramatically Change your Life.
By taking advantage of the things that work well…according to Cynthia Thurlow, it is our “Silver Bullet” for our health.
You can Re-Build your Life.
You can Step into your Purpose.
One Step at a Time.
Side Note: Intermittent Fasting is Simple. But the changes will be like any changes we make—they could feel hard to do. Let yourself feel the challenge; take courage; take a step forward for your life — if not Intermittent Fasting, then some healthy changes in your eating, and in the movement of your body. These aren’t the only things that are important, but they are a great start!
(By the way, doctors are good! We need them; they save lives. But we truly can do so much for our health by lifestyle changes.)
Thank you for reading; I hope this has been helpful and good information for you. If I can help you learn more, or give you more details, or if I can help you to know more about the food, or help you on your journey, please feel free to message me.
To your Good Health, and Peaceful, Calm Life…
I am listing names of some of the main people I referenced from, for this article. The ones with * have written books about the value of eating healthy fats to fuel our bodies.
Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM.org)
*Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., (drhyman.com)
*Dr. Joseph Mercola, Osteopathic Physician (Mercola.com)
*Dave Asprey, Bulletproof.com (The Bulletproof Diet)
*Dr. David Jockers, Dr of Natural Medicine, Functional Nutritionist, Chiropractor (drjockers.com)
Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D., FACN (Fellow of American College of Nutrition) (drperlmutter.com)
Cynthia Thurlow, Nurse Practitioner and Functional Therapist (cynthiathurlow.com)
The contents of this article are based upon my own life experiences, in addition to the study of the above doctors and professionals. I am the author of this article, putting the thoughts together. This information is not intended to replace a relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from research and experience of my own. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your own research, and in partnership with a qualified functional medicine doctor.
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