Monday, December 31, 2018

12 Simple Steps of Intermittent Fasting

You could burn fat all day long with intermittent fasting

Burn baby burn
I think we overcomplicate things a bit. What is fasting? 

It's just not eating or drinking any calories. 

What is Intermittent fasting? It's just fasting at irregular times. 

That's it, it doesn't cost anything and it's liberating not to have to worry about your next meal. 

Just to state the obvious, Fasting is beneficial in numerous ways, it's not a new concept, it's been done since biblical times and as Dr. Jason Fung likes to say, Fasting is the one thing that Jesus, Allah and Buddha all agreed upon.

Fasting can get you into ketosis within 24 hours.

1. The most important thing to understand is that it's really not that hard. I honestly didn't think I could do it until I did it. The more I did it and the longer I did it, the easier it got. Our bodies are remarkable in their ability to adapt and adjust. Here is a Case Report of a 27-year-old male that Fasted for 382 days! During an extended fast, metabolic markers, including butyrates, carnitines, branched-chain amino acids and stored lipids (fat) are upregulated for energy substitution. 

Your liver can actually make glucose (gluconeogenesis) on its own without any carbohydrates, it produces just enough glucose to maintain optimum health while you are fasting. That's why your blood sugar doesn't crash when you fast.

2. Hunger is your friend, not your enemy. Understanding hunger is also key. Hunger is controlled by the hormone Ghrelin and it doesn't really signal your body needs anything. It certainly doesn't mean you need to eat. Ghrelin works with our circadian rhythms, in other words, it kicks in based on when you've eaten in the past. So if you've always eaten breakfast at 7:00 AM, then right around 7:00 AM each day you will get hungry. 

So, if you just fight through the time that you get hungry, then the hunger will go away. Hunger doesn't go up in a straight line and get worse and worse the longer you Fast, it goes up and down based off when you've eaten in the past. So after a time, it goes away altogether.

3. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. That was a myth that got started in the late 1960s by the food industry to sell breakfast cereal to kids. Remember the Kellogg's Frosted Flakes "Tony the Tiger" commercials during Saturday morning cartoons? A breakfast with 3/4 cup of Frosted Fakes has 26 grams of simple carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein and zero fats. Now throw in 1 cup of skim milk and you add another 12 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar and still zero fat. That's 38 grams of carbohydrates and 23 grams of sugar in one sitting! Now put this in perspective, carbohydrates are not a necessary macronutrient and fat is. 

In other words, you can live without carbohydrates, but cannot live without ingesting fats. To think this is a healthy breakfast for anyone, especially growing children is utterly absurd. If you simply skip breakfast altogether, you are extending your Fast and allowing your body to begin burning fat as energy.

But I digress, back to Fasting: 

4. What is the advantage of fasting and why do it? It has numerous benefits and more than I can cover in one single blog post, so stay tuned for more to come on this subject. But the main benefit of fasting is the power it has to lower insulin in your body. Insulin is the master "storage hormone." When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts the carbohydrates to glucose. We can only handle about a teaspoon of glucose in the blood at one time, so the pancreas comes to the rescue and produces Insulin. I've read that insulin is like a key that opens up your cells to allow glucose to go inside. 

So insulin allows glucose to enter your cells to be used as energy. But, here's the problem, our body has limitations and our cells can only handle so much glucose, so after our cells get full of glucose, they start rejecting it. Then insulin comes in again and puts some of the glucose into our fat cells to store as fat and that's how we get fat.

5. Over time, in a high glucose/insulin environment, our insulin receptors get resistant to the insulin and we become type 2 diabetic. Type 2 diabetes is a form of insulin toxicity. After being bombarded with constant, repeated amounts of insulin over the years, the insulin receptors in the cells start refusing to open up to allow the glucose to enter. Most of the excess glucose is then stored as fat, but over time the fat cells even become insulin resistant. 

At that point, the glucose starts to build up and become toxic to the body. Glucose toxicity can damage nearly every cell in the body including heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract and gums, and teeth. Glucose toxicity and insulin resistance have even been linked to dementia, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease.

6. Fasting breaks that chain. Without food, the blood sugar stays low and the pancreas doesn't need to produce insulin. Like I said earlier, Insulin is the storage hormone. With insulin present in the body, the cells are in a storing mode and will not release fatty acids into the blood to be used as energy. In the absence of insulin though, the cells readily release fatty acids into the blood which your liver converts to ketones. 

Ketones can be used by the body for energy. That's when you are to be considered to be in ketosis. When you enter into ketosis, your hunger lowers substantially and you actually feel energized. You start burning your stored fat and let's face it, that's what most people want.

Fasting for autophagy
7. The secret to successful fasting is becoming Fat Adapted or Keto-Adapted. It makes it easy to Fast because your body can efficiently use your own stored fat as energy.

8. Another false myth out there is that fasting slows down your metabolism. It doesn't, in fact, after approximately 12 hours of fasting we see about a 20 ng/ml increase in growth hormone and after 24 hours we are seeing a 70ng/ml increase in growth hormone. 

Growth hormone preserves muscle mass and increases fat mobilization. As we get older our growth hormone output slows down significantly. Fasting has also shown to strengthen our immune system and detoxify the liver.

OK, I'm convinced, how do I get started?

9. The easiest way to begin fasting is to do a modified "Fat-Fast" before you start. This will speed up the fat adaptation process and will make your body efficient at burning fat. What is a fat-fast? If you've already read this far, you've probably heard of bulletproof coffee. Basically, it's coffee mixed with butter, coconut oil and/or MCT oil, a little heavy whipping cream and maybe cocoa powder or a little vanilla extract. Really you can put whatever you like in it to suit your taste. I add a scoop of collagen peptides also to give me a little protein. Mix it up in a blender or froth it with an inversion mixer. I know it sounds weird, but it's really quite delicious. That's your entire breakfast and it will give you plenty of energy to hold you over until lunch. 

Here is a good video on how to make Bulletproof coffee.

Drink a bulletproof coffee in place of breakfast and don't eat or drink anything else. If you don't like coffee then becomes more difficult, but you could mix it in hot tea or just take a spoonful of MCT oil, coconut oil or avocado oil. The idea is pure healthy fat and no carbohydrates. You can do that for a week or two or as long as you are still meeting your goals. When you want to start burning more fat then you can take the next step. Try to eat clean and focus on eating healthy fats. Cooking with and ingesting bad fats like refined seed oils from corn, peanut, soy, safflower, and cottonseed oils is what is called Dirty Keto. Lazy Keto raises inflammation in the body.

fasting lowers insulin

Now let's get into true fasting.

10. The easiest way to get started is simply by skipping breakfast. When you sleep you don't eat, so let's say for example, that you eat dinner at 6:00 PM the night before and skip breakfast and you don't eat lunch until noon, then that's an 18 hour fast. That's a pretty good start and the low insulin will really jump start the fat burning process. It's really much easier than you think. You can still have black coffee or green tea in the morning but nothing with calories. If it has calories it will break your fast. You do that for a few weeks and you'll totally forget about breakfast. It's nice to have one less thing to worry about before work.

11. Now you can build off of that foundation. You can skip breakfast and then start skipping lunch too. Do that once or twice a week at first and then when that gets easy you can just eat one meal a day (OMAD). If you eat dinner that evening between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM in that scenario, you will have completed a 22 hour fast. So that would be considered OMAD with a 22:2 ratio. Fast for 22 hours and then you have a 2-hour eating window. Of course, you can adjust your eating window to meet your individual schedule. During the eating window, you can eat very well as long as you continue eating Ketogenic with a goal of no more than 20-30 grams of total carbohydrates. Intermittent means you just vary your routine. I will eat OMAD (22:2) on most days during the week and then on weekends usually eat 2 or 3 delicious low carb meals from my keto diet food plan.

Fasting Made Easy (Video)

12. If you really want to get the full benefits of autophagy, you could even extend your fast to 48 or 72 hours. The amount of time you need to fast to induce autophagy isn't clear at this point, but it is usually referenced in the 48-72 hour time frame. Autophagy stands for "self-eating” and is a detox process your body uses to clean out damaged cells and regenerate new ones. Studies with mice show that autophagy extends lifespan. Autophagy has many anti-aging benefits. It recycles the waste inside the cells and creates new “building materials” that aid in repair and regeneration. For those suffering from loose skin after weight loss, autophagy will help "eat" the loose skin and regenerate new skin cells. It has also shown to greatly strengthen the immune system.

Fasting can also help you break through a keto plateau.

*This information is not meant as medical advice. Please consult a physician before changing your diet.

Robert N. Bryant

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