Intermittent Fasting: An Ancient Adaptation Adapted to Modern Times
Intermittent fasting has become one of the most popular health and fitness trends because so many of us have lost sight of not only what to eat but when to eat it! Intermittent fasting is not a weight loss diet although it may help people lose weight. It is instead an eating pattern that alternates between periods of food abstinence and eating. Intermittent fasting focuses on when foods are eaten not on WHAT foods are eaten although that should be part of the plan. Its health benefits are maximized if combined with a superior, grain-free diet of fresh, whole vegetables, fish, and poultry that avoids sugar and alcohol. Evolutionary adaptation to seasonal periods of food scarcity left us able to function without food for extended periods of time. Indeed, intermittent fasting is more natural than eating 3 or more times per day. Intermittent fasting methodologies split the day or week into eating and fasting periods. Participants should eat nothing at all while fasting although some programs may allow eating 20% to 40% of normal consumption. Minimal calorie ‚fasts‚ may be necessary for neophytes experiencing difficulty adjusting to intermittent fasts. Replacing food with a few glasses a day of Vibrant Health's Vibrant Cleanse with or without Green Vibrance added to water will provide ample micronutrition from minimal calories. The benefits of intermittent fasting may even be enhanced.
Common Fasting methods
The 16/8 method restricts the daily eating period to 8 hours. The best schedule allows eating from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and fasting from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. This reduces stress on the digestive tract and is associated with healthful weight and appetite control. Alternate Day Fasting: Fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week. The 5:2 diet permits eating only 500‚600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week while eating normally the other 5 days. All intermittent fasting (IF) methods should reduce one's calorie intake. They may also improve the chances to live a long life. Animal studies confirm that calorie restriction extends lifespan. This benefit is possible as long as the faster does not overcompensate for the periods of abstinence by eating too much food when it is again allowed.
Cellular and hormonal effects
1.) Hormone levels adjust to release stored body fat for metabolism.
2.) Cells initiate important repair processes.
3.) The expression of certain genes is changed.
The effects of Intermittent FastingHuman Growth Hormone (HGH) increases in blood serum during fasting. Significant elevations are seen over the first full day of fasting until a 5-fold increase occurs by the end of day two. Higher levels of HGH aid fat loss and increase lean muscle mass.
Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and Alternate Day FastingStimulates weight loss and loss of belly fat. Lowers insulin and cellular stress and may help extend lifespan. Reduces insulin resistance possibly lowering blood sugar by 3% to 6% and fasting insulin levels by 20‚31%, helping protect against type 2 diabetes. Reduces inflammation witnessed as decreases of markers of inflammation involved in chronic diseases. May reduce Asthma symptoms, improve pulmonary function, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in overweight adults with moderate asthma. Supports heart health by reducing ‚bad‚ LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammation, blood sugar, fasting insulin, and insulin resistance risk factors for heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. Cancer protection: Studies in mice and rats suggest that IF may have chemopreventive effects and improve survival among cancer patients.
Putting it all togetherAdaptive cellular responses in fasting: reduces oxidative damage and inflammation, optimizes energy metabolism, and bolsters cellular protection. Chronic fasting extends longevity and protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration in lower species. In humans, it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis while reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Fasting has the potential to delay aging and to help prevent and (adjunctively) treat diseases.
Precautions to Take When Starting a Fasting Routine
Intermittent fasting protocols are not suitable for: Children, pregnant or lactating women, or those planning to become pregnant. It may adversely affect glucose tolerance in non-obese women but not in non-obese men.
Resources: Hartman ML1, Veldhuis JD, Johnson ML, Lee MM, Alberti KG, Samojlik E, Thorner MO., Augmented growth hormone (GH) secretory burst frequency and amplitude mediate enhanced GH secretion during a two-day fast in normal men.J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1992 Apr;74(4):757-65.