Fasting

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We have learned from our Weight Loss and Diabetes pages, that increased blood sugar and the subsequent elevated insulin levels that result, lead to weight gain, and worsening insulin resistance.  Therefore, a significant key to keeping diabetes and weight managed, is to prevent unnecessary elevation in blood glucose and insulin levels.  One practice that causes these increases is eating frequently.  We have often told to “eat several small meals per day” to “keep our metabolism going.”  This is extremely bad advice.  Not to mention that no studies prove this to be true.  For those with diabetes, it is also claimed that we need these frequent meals to “keep our blood sugar up.”  Well, that is exactly what it does…keeps blood sugar up.  But the question is, “do we want our blood sugar up?  No!  We want it normal and stable.

Our body has two “states” in regards to food intake: a “fed” state (when we have recently eaten), and a “fasted” state (when we have not eaten in some time, such as when sleeping).  When we spend too much time in the “fed” state, insulin levels stay elevated for too long. Spending more time in the “fasted” state can lead to reduced insulin levels, and, thereby promote weight loss and blood sugar control.

To achieve this, eat 2 or 3 meals per day, no closer than 4-5 hours apart to allow yourself to return to a “fasted” state between meals (in other words, eat at regular meal times, no snacks in between).  Avoid eating within 2 hours of bedtime to allow for a sufficient evening fast. (This is why breakfast has it’s name…the meal that “breaks our fast.”)  Those with a significant amount of weight to lose, or those with severe insulin resistance, may choose to spend even more time in the fasted state, by doing “intermittent fasting.”

Images courtesy of Dr. Theodore Naiman (www.burnfatnotsugar.com)

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting.  Some choose to do this daily by doing all of their eating within a small window, say 6 or 8 hours, and then fasting for the remainder of the day.  Some choose to have fast days throughout the week, eating on their regular schedule 5 days per week, and fasting or restricting calories two days per week.  Still others choose to do longer total fasts.  Your fasting regimen will depend on the amount of weight you may have to lose or the severity of insulin resistance you may have to overcome.  I recommend that if you do extended fasts that you fully educate yourself on fasting first and/or do it under the supervision of a healthcare professional experienced in the use of therapeutic fasting. I would not recommend fasting for those who have a history of eating disorders.

Enjoy this informative video by Dr. Jason Fung on the use of Therapeutic Fasting.

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Here are some excellent resources for fasting.

Dr. Theodore Naiman, Burn Fat Not Sugar – “Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

Bob Briggs, Butter Makes Your Pants Fall Off – “Fasting”  HERE

Tim Rice “Talking Fast, Intermittently Fast” HERE

Authority Nutrition – “What is Intermittent Fasting?”  HERE

Authority Nutrition – “Intermittent Fasting 101  HERE

Authority Nutrition – “Six Popular Ways to do Intermittent Fasting  HERE

Authority Nutrition – “Evidence Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

Authority Nutrition – “How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight”  HERE

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt – “Lose Weight Using Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt – “Intermittent Fasting FAQ  HERE

Muscle For Real – The Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting  HERE

Dr. Joseph Mercola – “Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

Dr. Joseph Mercola – “Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

Dr. Joseph Mercola – “How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Longer”  HERE

Dr. Joseph Mercola – “Intermittent Fasting – The Key to a Health Weight”  HERE

Dr. Joseph Mercola – “Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting”  HERE

 

Intermittent Fasting

Intensive Dietary Management – Fasting Series

“Fasting –  A History – Part 1”  HERE

“Fasting Physiology – Part 2”  HERE

“Fasting and Growth Hormone Physiology – Part 3”  HERE

“Fasting and Lipolysis – Part 4”  HERE

“Fasting Myths – Part 5”  HERE

“Fasting Regiments – Part 6”  HERE

“Longer Fasting Regimens – Part 7”  HERE

“The Ancient Secret of Weight Loss – Part 8”  HERE

“Caloric Reduction vs Fasting – Part 9”  HERE

“Woman and Fasting – Part 10”  HERE

“Feasts and Fasts – The Cycle of Life – Part 11”  HERE

“Practical Fasting Tips – Part 12”  HERE

“More Practical Fasting Tips – Part 13”  HERE

“The Fasting Advantage – Part 14”  HERE

“Fasting and Muscle Mass – Part 15”  HERE

“Fasting Lowers Cholesterol – Part 16”  HERE

“Fasting and Hunger – Part 17”  HERE

“Cephalic Phase Response and Hunger – Part 18”  HERE

“Circadian Rhythms – Part 19”  HERE

“Refeeding Syndromes – Part 20”  HERE

“Obesity – Solving the Two Compartment Problem – Part 21”  HERE

“Biggest Loser Diet – Part 22”  HERE

“Fasting and Exercise – Part 23”  HERE

“Fasting and Brain Function – Part 24”  HERE

“Fasting and Autophagy – Part 25”  HERE

“Power: Fasting vs Low Carb – Part 26”  HERE