All diets work and all diets fail. Sooner or later, even with the low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat, Keto diet that we recommend, weight loss will level off and then, despite no changes on your part, the weight will slowly begin to reappear! That reality is maddening!
The explanation is complicated but the solution is not. Intermittent fasting is the solution. Insulin is the enemy! The more insulin produced by your body, the more fat is made and stored on your body. Eating carbohydrates cause the highest levels of insulin to be produced. Proteins cause much less insulin to be produced, and fats cause no insulin to be produced. This is why the low-carb diet works. When you minimize your carbohydrate intake you can reduce the insulin you produce by up to 50%! LESS INSULIN=LESS FAT STORED ON YOUR BODY! This will cause real weight loss. When the weight loss levels off, as it will, fasting (eating NOTHING) will reduce your insulin production to ZERO, down 100%, and the weight loss will continue!
Fasting has been a part of human culture for thousands of years. Many modern religions still incorporate fasting in their celebrations. First we feast, then we fast! This concept is foreign to many Americans but, is in fact, the missing component in any successful diet. NOT EATING, fasting, is NOT STARVATION. This is planned, timed and optional. It can be short, intermediate or long term and can be stopped at any time. FASTING involves eating no foods. Sugar free fluids are NOT RESTRICTED and include water, coffee, tea and several cups of broth during a typical day. DO NOT STOP THE FLUIDS as doing so could cause dehydration which can make you very sick, very fast.
Intermittent fasting periods of 24 or 36 hours can be very effective in losing serious weight. Initially, however, a gentle and also effective introduction to intermittent fasting is very easy and looks like this:
- Eat 2 meals/day….NO SNACKING!
- Both meals must be eaten within a 6 or 8-hour window. Then, for the next 16-18 hours you fast. Nothing but approved fluids. Most patients choose to eliminate breakfast and enjoy their first meal at lunch (noon). Then, have supper before 6 or 8PM. No snacking!
- Eat the approved low-carb, medium-protein and high fat diet at all meals.
- The longer you practice this 16:8 or 18:6 daily fast, the easier it gets. Longer fasting periods can then be considered, with initial supervision.
Diabetics must monitor their blood sugars frequently while fasting and, if on medication, will require close supervision from their doctor.
TOP 9 FASTING TIPS
From Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Complete Guide To Fasting
(Recommendation: Buy this book and master the art of fasting!)
- Drink water: Start each morning with a full eight-ounce glass of water. It will help you start your day hydrated and set the tone for drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Stay busy: It’ll keep your mind off food. Try fasting on a busy workday. You may be too busy to remember to be hungry.
- Drink coffee: Coffee is a mild appetite suppressant. There’s also some evidence that green tea may suppress appetite. Black tea and homemade bone broth may also help control appetite. Herbal teas are caffeine-free!
- Ride the waves: Hunger comes in waves; it is not constant. When it hits, slowly drink a glass of water or hot coffee or broth. Often by the time you’ve finished, your hunger will have passed.
- Don’t tell people you are fasting: Most people will try to discourage you simply because they don’t understand the benefits of fasting. A close-knit support group of people who are also fasting is often beneficial, but telling everybody you know is not a good idea.
- Give yourself one month: It takes time for your body to get used to fasting. The first few times you fast will be difficult, so be prepared. Don’t be discouraged. It gets easier.
- Follow a nutritious diet on non-fasting days. Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to eat whatever you like. During non-fasting days, stick to a nutritious diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Following a low-carb diet that’s high in healthy fats can also help your body stay in fat-burning mode and make fasting easier.
- Don’t binge: After your fast, pretend it never happened. Eat normally, and nutritiously, as if you had never fasted.
- Fit fasting into you own life: This is the most important tip and it has the greatest impact on whether you stick to your fasting regimen. Do not change your life to fit your fasting schedule, change your fasting schedule to fit your life! Don’t limit yourself socially because you’re fasting. There will be times during which it’s impossible to fast, such as vacations, holidays and weddings. Do not try to force fasting into these celebrations. These occasions are times to relax and enjoy. Afterwards, you can simply increase your fasting to compensate. Or, just resume your regular fasting schedule. Adjust your fasting schedule to what makes sense for your lifestyle. Fasting is no different than any other skill in life: practice and support are essential to performing it well.