For anyone who has been yo-yo dieting, is struggling with stubborn weight, insulin resistance or AI issues, who has tried everything and nothing has worked. This could just be your answer.
When we eat carbohydrate or protein, our bodies produce insulin which acts as an escort to get the energy from our food into our cells. BUT insulin also tells our body to store any excess energy as fat. When we are not eating (eg overnight) our insulin levels fall and that tells our body to use up the energy it has stored – either as glycogen in the muscles and liver, or as body fat. Our bodies are designed to store energy whenever we can (irritatingly they are super-efficient at this) and then to burn those stores when food is not available. This is how we stay alive while we are sleeping and how our ancestors survived from kill to kill.
Intermittent Fasting is an easy way to make our biology work for us, without cutting calories. In addition to forcing your body to switch to burning fat as a source of energy instead of depending on the constant flow of glucose, there are multiple other benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Here they are as summarised by Dr Mercola.
Intermittent Fasting as been shown to:
- Promote cellular regeneration. Intermittent fasting promotes cell regeneration by triggering autophagy, which is a natural process needed to renew damaged cells. It helps inhibit cancerous growths and chronic disease development.
- Normalise insulin and leptin sensitivity. Insulin and leptin resistance is one of the principal factors for numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes. Intermittent fasting shifts your body’s dependence on glucose, which then stops its constant craving for sugar, thus normalizing insulin and leptin sensitivity.
- Assist in weight loss and may lead to better body processes because fat is a much more efficient fuel.
- Minimise cravings and hunger pangs. While fasting may feel like you’re starving your body, this can actually help you avoid cravings and hunger pangs by resetting your body’s glucose dependence.
- Boost cognitive function. Intermittent fasting improves cognitive function by providing the brain with fat instead of glucose. Studies show that intermittent fasting helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease because of the boost in brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF), a protein that is both neuroprotective and brain-stimulating.
What works best for me is simply to skip breakfast (which no more important than any other, especially if you usually eat cereal and toast!). So I stop eating at 8.00 in the evening, and then don’t eat again until 12.00 the next day – a 16 hour fast, which means I only eat in an 8 hour window.
If you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, or hypo or hyper glycaemic, pregnant or breast feeding, talk to a health professional before exploring intermittent fasting.