The Scientific Benefits Of Fasting
Science can now explain why low calorie diets are more healthy and intermittent fasting (eating every 16hrs) can lead to longevity.
A simple way to do this is to not eat 4 hrs after waking up, but rehydrate with lots of water as soon as you get up, and not eat 4hrs before you go to bed. As most people sleep on average 8 hrs, this will give your 16 hr fast. This is the routine I like to do as it is easiest to manage and I find has the most immediate results that you will feel on a daily basis.
Why 3 Meals A Day With Snacks Became The Norm:
The normal 3 meal a day eating pattern with snacks and desserts came from the 9-5 work routine that was instilled in cultures around the world with the dawn of the industrial revolution. However it is completely unnatural to eat when you are told to eat. Native cultures before the European settlers arrived actually ate a much less rigid routine, choosing rather to eat when they were actually hungry, and this was considered ‘uncivilised’ and was eventually educated out of the cultures.
Many of my older relatives who are still alive into old age, 90+ tend to stick to the hindu ritual of fasting on a weekly basis, similar to the 5:2 diet. Even then during the day they would hardly eat much and usually only one main meal a day. I used to think they were crazy and backwards, but now it all makes perfect sense.
Have A Break Have A KitKat
One of the things I looked forward to was my kitkats as a child. In fact the amount of snacks I ate between meals as a child still freaks me out. I would have KitKats, crisps, cans of coke and at least 100 fizzy cola bottles a day religiously in between meals when at school. I almost always felt tired and sleepy, not just because I found school exceptionally boring, I had bad acne, constant chest infections. Quite frankly my diet sucked and I was eating way too much, mostly out of boredom. Those unhealthy snacks changed hands for ‘healthier’ snacks when I finally realized how bad all those sweets were for my health. But I still ate a lot of snacks and now I ate lots of small meals throughout the day. Why?
Who Came Up With Eat Little & Often?
In 2004-8 when I worked as a pharmacist, I repeatedly heard that eating little and often is healthiest and also best for weight loss. This could not be more wrong has been since debunked many times. But who actually came up with this extremely unscientific and unnatural idea? Well if you think about it, who benefits from us eating more? All the big brands who make all those lovely snacks, cereals and fizzy drinks. All those big corporations who sell masses of cheap low cost food and ready meals. Even the government who claims tax on every bit of food we buy.
Why would a profit driven economy want us to eat less when such enormous profits are made out of us eating more and more and more, till we get so sick we need medical care and drugs to prop up our lifestyle of extreme consumerism.
I used to argue with dieticians about things like sugar being the real cause of heart disease, when they were adamant it was fat, which has now been proven completely wrong. It was the dieticians who share their mostly ‘funded by big corps’ education in the mainstream media with facts that quite frankly are false and have the effect of making people eat more of the wrong things, things that are inherently more profitable to those who fund their education. My advice is don’t pay too much attention to anyone who has an official education like ‘dietician’ as their mind and souls have been bought.
These are the same people who say such preposterous things like Carrie:
Carrie Ruxton, who is now on the board of Food Standards Scotland, co-wrote a study sponsored by industry group the UK Sugar Bureau in 2010 which found no proven association between sugar intake and obesity.
She states separately on her website: “When I correlated sugar consumption with obesity levels, there didn’t appear to be any relationship.”
We also allow companies like Coca-Cola to sponsor FIFA, the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup without so much as questioning the ethics behind such a decision.
Super Human’s Don’t Eat Much
After hanging out with my friend Wim Hof, the superhuman ice man, and finding out that he only eats one major meal a day after 6pm, it made me want to try it myself and see if there was any scientific evidence for its benefits.
I now religiously do intermittent fasting as I found the benefits were immediate and obvious. I have more energy, feel lighter and my mood is elevated as a result. I no longer have bloating and have lost weight around my waist too. Having been a past sufferer of ulcerative colitis, constipation is a recurrent problem. This has now gone too.
You may find it a little uncomfortable if you are used to eating several times a day and breakfast may be something very difficult to give up. However your body soon adapts and after a week or so it should become a normal habit without any major hunger pangs. Drinking water when you wake up and if you are feeling hungry usually solves that issue too.
I am not looking to get bulked up like Arnold. I just want optimum energy, clarity, strength, health and happiness.
For that I like a simple routine that easy to manage and follow.
Here is my daily routine:
Simple rules – No food for 16hrs (11am – 7pm eating window)
- 3-4 glasses of water after I wake up around 7-8am
- No solid food till 11-12am. I may drink tea or coffee. Will have my probiotic drink around 9ish. See the recipe here. Do my gym/sauna routine.
- Around 11 or 12 depending on when I wake up I have my Alpha Omega smoothie: See this post for the recipe.
- No food, only drinks like coffee, green tea and water till around 6pm.
- 6pm Main meal (try to keep this healthy with lots of fresh veg as core to every meal but not too concerned about watching everything I eat, except avoiding gluten and anything made in a factory as much as possible) Then no food, only drinks (only alcohol I consume is red wine and the odd pint of guinness down the pub.)
Now I can’t wait to see and experience the longer term benefits listed in this infographic:
What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Eat For 16 Hours
- Stabilizes insulin levels
– prevents and reverses diabetes.
In a 2005 study Danish researchers showed that intermittent fasting quickly increases insulin-mediated glucose uptake rates. Eight healthy men in their mid-20’s fasted 20 hours every other day for 15 days. At the end of the trial, their insulin had become more efficient at managing blood sugar.
- Gives you more energy
– get more done, have more fun!
- Dramatically reduce risk of chronic diseases & obesity.
– Say goodbye to dangerous belly fat forever!
- Stops sugar cravings & hunger pangs
– fastest way to lose weight safely.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2011 found that intermittent fasting was as effective as continuous calorie restriction for improving weight loss, insulin sensitivity and other metabolic disease risk markers., and slightly better for reducing insulin resistance.
- Boosts growth hormone naturally
– plays an important part in health, fitness & slowing the aging process.
Research presented at the 2011 annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans4 showed that fasting triggered a 1,300 percent rise of human growth hormone (HGH) in women, and an astounding 2,000 percent in men.
- Lowers triglycerides & prevents Alzheimer’s
– possibly cut your future medical bills.
- Reduces free radical cell damage
– look and feel younger for longer.
- Better brain health
– sharper mind, less risk of disease.
A study shows that if you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.
About the Author: The Renegade Pharmacist
( Reprinted from The Renegade Pharmacist )
Topics: Diet, Fasting (Sawm), Health, Islam And Science