Intermittent Fasting Basics
So many “diets” come and go so is this just another Fad? It is not. Along the ever popular Paleo Diet (lifestyle) this just makes good sense. Intermittent fasting is more how we ate as we evolved over thousands of years, a similar concept behind “paleo” eating. Primitive people did not have refrigerators and constant availability of food so they ate when they found it or it was presented to them. Then due lack of a constant supply they fasted for long periods between meals. And of course sugar in general were not available on any regular basis.
So fast forward to now, sugar is cheap and everywhere and ruining our bodies. Yes sugar, glucose is the basic fuel that our bodies burn and it likes it. It likes it so much that basic drives are totally focused on finding and consuming sugar. Sugar has corrupted our metabolisms and its over consumption is the root cause for 147 known diseases. Most sugar born illnesses start with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is one of the biggest reasons you cannot lose weight and will eventually end up being Type II Diabetic. It is a metabolic condition which most industrialized people over 40 have. One of the best ways to get over this sugar disease is intermittent fasting.
So what is this eating style?
The main premise is to keep insulin spikes down and infrequent. Insulin is your body’s hormone that deals with glucose and your metabolism. It does many different things in addition to glucose regulation but that is not the focus of this article. Intermittent fasting is going back to eating 2 or 3 meals per day, sensible moderate meals. Your main fasting window is over night while you sleep and then delaying breakfast for a few more hours.
Let’s say you fall asleep around 11 pm and you wake up at 7 am and you did not snack after dinner which you ate at 7 pm the night before. You did not eat (fasted) for 12 hours. Now you delay break-fast for a few more hours and eat at 11 am you’ve fasted for 16 hours! A great natural “good” fat, protein and complex carb meal should be your first meal no starch for your first meal. Then 4 or 5 hours later have your next meal, this one can have some starch or simple carbs with a high fat and protein base as part of it for your mid day burn. If you make these meals “large” 800 to 1,500 calories each you could be done eating for the day after just two meals. But for most of us that like to eat not eating after 5 pm is tough so add a third meal around 7 pm and DO NOT EAT AFTER 8 PM.
Starting at 3 meals a day trying to work down to 2 meals per day keeping total calories the same over 2 or 3 months and see what happens. Your calories don’t really change though you just divide them up more. Total calories are not the crucial part of this eating style and depend on a few factors like age, activity level, heritage and sex. The key factor of this eating style is consuming high fat meals to sustain you over the fast. Fat burns slower than carbs therefore not spiking your insulin levels. Over time this eating style improves your insulin resistance and can return you back to normal insulin production and response.
Eating a Paleo or Ketogenic style works great with intermittent fasting. But the Mediterranean eating style is considered the “best” for health and longevity according to recent long term studies with the Paleo style close behind it. So choose whichever style appeals to you, one that you can keep up for life! Intermittent fasting is just the how to eat the foods that your eating style encompasses.
Dr. Demetrios Kydonieus, Chiropractic Nutritionist
Professional consultations and customized guided health restoration programs using Nutrition Response Testing and Functional Medicine may be what you need if you are fighting a “disease” or non-responsive weight issue. Contact Dr. Kydonieus now. 434-481-2012.