New Year, New Diet?
As the New Year rounds the corner and you start to plan your weight loss strategy, remember which program has worked for you in the past. Calorie restriction and a daily exercise program perhaps has worked before – but why, then, do you have to do it again?
The myth of the calorie has been debunked. Eating fewer calories and moving more may work temporarily, but eventually your weight plateaus and it comes back. We can all attest to the frustration of working so hard and getting the results we want, only to see the weight creep back up. Have you ever wondered at the advice that if you want to lose weight you should eat 5-6 times a day? How in the world does that make sense? And even more importantly, there is no evidence that this dietary approach leads to sustainable weight loss.
Should You Try Fasting?
Perhaps a better way to diet is to not diet at all, but to practice fasting.
Fasting, the practice of going without food, is an age-old approach to healing many conditions, including high blood pressure, autoimmune conditions, obesity, and diabetes. In fact, many who undergo a medically supervised fast for these conditions completely eliminate their need for medications. Fasting lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity, lowers cholesterol levels, decreases inflammation, increases fat-burning ability, and improves mental clarity, concentration, and memory. Regular fasting reverses the aging process and extends life in general.
When it comes to weight loss, fasting is incredibly quick and effective. A proven way to lose weight quickly and keep it off, this practice can contribute huge health gains in a short period of time.
How Does Fasting Work
Fasting works for weight loss by initiating fat burning. When you eat proteins and carbohydrates, your pancreas makes insulin. Insulin is needed to bring those nutrients to the cells to use as energy. The very presence of insulin blocks the ability of the body to burn fat. In other words, when you eat, you cannot burn fat. It is impossible.
The only way to burn stored fat is to deprive the body of any other source of energy. Once insulin levels fall low enough, usually 24-36 hours, you will start to convert fat into ketones for fuel. As long as you have fat to burn, you won’t starve. In fact, it is thought muscle wasting will not occur unless body fat falls below 4%, which is ridiculously low. Most of us are far, far from this body fat % – professional male athletes are typically around 8-10% body fat and women slightly higher than that.
Fasting, against popular belief and unlike calorie restriction, allows you to maintain your resting metabolism while still losing weight. Why? Because burning fat takes energy, making this perhaps the most effective weight loss strategy.
Goals of Fasting
There are many different ways to fast for weight loss depending on who you are (children and pregnant women should not fast), how much weight you have to lose (an extended fast may be quickest and most effective for those who have a lot of weight to lose while alternate day fasting can provide steady and continued weight loss), and your health status (if you are on medications, your fast should be supervised because your dose may need to be adjusted). Try something new this year and implement regular fasting into your health routine. You are likely to lose weight and keep it off and reap the many other benefits of fasting as well.
If you are interested in knowing if fasting is right for you and want to find out how to do it safely, feel free to leave a comment on my blog page, send me an email, or call me at 970-328-5678 to set up an appointment.