Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Get Healthy - Don't Eat

Not enough detail in this study to make too much of it, but the facts resonate with my observations of the effect of fasting, as well as with other studies I've seen (e.g. Muslims show better lipid profiles post Ramadan).  The bit at the end about HGH levels isn't something I'd seen before - but it's very interesting. 

So, while I think fasting for up to 16 hours is something folks will benefit from if they are already on a "good diet" - lots of good quality fats, adequate protein, and with enough vegetables/nuts/seeds - it's not something to mess with until then.  Before playing with IF, get used to eating meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch and no sugar/wheat.  Once there, and with stable blood sugar and progress towards your health goals, stretch other time interval until your first meal of the day. 

Two cautions - first, make sure as always that your "breakfast" includes a good helping - MINIMUM of 20g - of real protein; something that had a face and a mother.  That applies to your first meal whether or not it follows a normal fast (sleeping) or an extended fast. 

Second, don't try to go from last meal of the day until noon - just push breakfast back an hour.  If that goes well, try and move breakfast back another hour in the next day or two.  Keep up that pattern until you are reaching a 14-16 hour daily fast.  In general, men can tolerate a 16 hour fast, women 14 - after that, the body will be running short of available amino acids, and you may feel hungry even if your energy needs are well supplied through body fat. 

Does it feel good?  Does it help you reach your health and body composition goals?  If so, keep it up.  However, I recommend you pick one or two days to eat breakfast - perhaps on the weekends. 

Whether fasting in this way works by HGH manipulation, by resetting leptin, or by some other mechanism - or it just works because you tend to eat less when you focus on eating only within an 8 hour window - I don't know.  I do know that it has been a powerful tool for me for the last year, and I can see no downside as yet.

I plan to try 24 hour fasting, and have known folks who have fasted for much longer periods and felt it was very good for them - even athletes.  My only comment on that is "don't try this at home."  Find a mentor to help with the longer fasts as the potential is there for metabolic injury.

No comments:

Post a Comment