Ever heard of intermittent fasting? It is a tool, not a diet. It does not tell you what to eat; it is a pattern of eating and not eating. It is not about cutting calories; it is just changing when you eat and when you don’t eat.
Why would you practice this anyway? Because it is one, if not “the” most important factors in weight loss. It triggers two main hormones in your body.
- Growth hormone (GH) which is anti-ageing, and the most powerful fat burning hormone. GH is the hormone which stimulates growth in animal or plant cells. There are six fat burning hormones and growth hormone is the most powerful of all. It protect your muscles, build lean body mass and lose actual fat.
- Insulin hormone is also very powerful even though it almost works counter to the goal of losing weight. It actually will help you store fat. In the presence of insulin you cannot lose weight. It’s such a dominating hormone it will block growth hormone. It is the hormone that makes you fat and give you gut or belly. If someone has a fat gut, all it show is that they have too much insulin.
Intermittent fasting as a tool or technique can really heal insulin resistance. The pancreas is pumping out way too much insulin than you need. What happens is, when you have too much insulin the cell start blocking it and then your body doesn’t get the return communication. Dr Eric Berg gives an analogy that it is like talking to your child and they have ear plugs on. You are going to increase your volume because a person is ignoring you, but they’ll not hear you. There is no two-way communication. So if the pancreas doesn’t have the feedback that the insulin is connecting, it sends more insulin through the channel. So you have a situation where, you have resistance of insulin. It is not working. That is you have low insulin in the cell, but then you have high amounts of insulin in other places which is very destructive, causes pre-diabetes and creates lots of problems.
So when it comes to intermittent fasting you start where you are at and then gradually transition over times. There are different levels of intermittent fasting from no intermittent fasting to some serious fat burning.
So let us start with five meals a day or six meals a day e.g. breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and snack. The principal of intermittent fasting hormonally is that every time you eat you spike insulin. Many of us thought that only when you eat carbohydrates is when you spike insulin. That’s not the case. Eating in general will increase insulin regardless of what you eat even a snack, even if it is healthy. So we have a situation where this person is spiking insulin all day long. Our bodies are not designed to eat and graze all day long.
The goal is to switch to 3 meals a day and no snacks. The secret to go from one meal to next without being hungry, involves eating more fat.
To take the fasting to the next level and burn even more fat, Dr Berg suggests a pattern of 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours window of eating (16:8).
Example If you wake up in the morning and you are not hungry, well, don’t eat. Wait until you’re hungry. The ideal situation is to go 4 hours from when you wake up, before you eat the first meal. Say you get up at 6 am, you wait until 10 am before you get your breakfast. So that means that your last meal is going to be at 6 pm later that day. That is eight-hour 3 meals eating window.
Note: The real power of intermittent fasting, is through the night and in the morning. During that period, you have uninterrupted and major fat burning.
To take it further to the next level of serious fat burning, you need to adjust two meals. This is where you have a 20 hours fasting window and 4 hours of eating (20:4). Say you wake up at 6 am, wait until say 12 noon to have the first meal. Then take the next meal four hours later. Here you have a 4 hours eating window and 20 hours of serious fat burning.
Combine exercise particularly high intense interval training with intermittent fasting and the results will be awesome.
The gradual transition from one pattern of eating to the next takes time and dedication to the process. This transition from five meals to three meals could take you three weeks, but three meals to two meals could take a month or two or even three months before you get to this point or even longer.
This information, I learnt from Dr Eric Berg. He is a chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods.
Below Dr Eric Berg talking about acceptable liquids with intermittent fasting