Basics of Intermittent Fasting

“A normal metabolism is more than capable of handling long intervals between feedings.” If you need snacks to regulate blood sugar, “it means your metabolism is already in moderate disarray.”

Shanahan MD, Catherine (2011-04-22). Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food. Big Box Books. Kindle Edition.

 

Another “diet” movement that I find interesting is intermittent fasting, which, initially turned me off to the concept because I really like to eat!  After much prompting from a “trusted source” (AKA good friend), I Googled it.  I settled on an author and researcher James Clear’s experience with intermittent fasting.[i]  Why? He and I are kindred spirits; he studies and writes about all the stuff I love: behavioral psychology, habit formation, and performance improvement.

He says that “intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesn’t change what you eat, it changes when you eat.”  That resonates with me and the Reset.  He had me when he then wrote, “With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat.”   But wait, there’s more: “Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of ‘simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.’”  Music to my ears!

He then goes on to explain the scientific difference between starvation and the “fed state,” which is the foundation for the Reset.  “Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.”  Again, he points out how the body responds to sugar and its relationship with fat storage.  He goes on to explain that letting your body fully digest the food allows your body to then burn fat because the insulin levels are low since there is no food coming into the body to be processed.

Success lies in giving your body at least a full 12-16 hour cycle of no food, which is contrary to the “craving to eat” feeling that repetitive and easy simple carb laden meals will emotionally pull you toward eating again.  You are allowing your body to eat or use its fat stores and detox.  He determined that a normal eating schedule does not allow your body to enter into this fat burning stage because not enough time has passed for your body to dip into its reserves.  You consume the same amount of food, but in a shorter window of time of your choosing; “You do not need to eat all the time.”  Tying it all together, he concludes that diets fail not because of food choices, but because of behavior, which the Reset’s Basic 3 principles take out of the equation!

Just for fun, I decided to limit the time that I eat food during the day (and later at night), shortening my feeding time to 8 hours, like he suggested.  I did not change what I ate, just when.  Since this new information “trial” came while I was just using one of the Basic 3 (probiotics), I had plateaued with my weight loss.  If I had done this trial with the addition of the bone broth Basic, I know I wouldn’t have even contemplated eating prior to lunchtime, since brothing leaves me very satisfied for a long spans of time.  In fact, an analysis of how often someone will eat if applying all three of the Basics at the same time will essentially put your body on the same time schedule as intermittent fasting.

Honestly, I did have to push myself past the 10 am mark in the morning, but that was because I emotionally wanted to eat the breakfast that my kids were making right in front of me and enjoying (behavioral pull toward carbs, I know…but they just got a new waffle maker! Bad timing…).  I continued to drink my probiotics and even made fermented pickles, which are my favorite (recipe included)!  For me, the probiotics really decrease and almost eliminate my desire to eat sugar, which is huge for me, and so I tend to eat way less food because of it since my gut is overflowing with good bacteria.

By the end of the first week, adding intermittent fasting into my Basic 3 actually boosted me over my weight plateau!  And, I’ve kept with the concept of only eating for a smaller period of time because I haven’t felt like eating outside of those parameters; looking at my waistline, I can tell you that at that time, I still had stores of fat for my body to burn through after each “fed state.”  Therefore, I mention James and his excellent explanation of intermittent fasting at the end of the section of food plans and diets because it definitely supports the basics of the Reset and is yet another great way to use food to lose weight, not exercise.

[i] http://jamesclear.com/the-beginners-guide-to-intermittent-fasting

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