Great News: Intermittent Fasting Now Becoming a Mainstream Recommendation
September 01, 2015 | 2,053 views
There is no doubt that intermittent fasting, which I have been advocating for many years now, is one of the most powerful interventions to help shift your body to fat-burning mode – a mechanism of action that essentially helps you maintain a healthy weight. Now, this unique eating approach is starting to catch on, and is being widely recommended by many health and fitness experts.
Intermittent Fasting Is Applauded by Other Health Professionals
Dr. Michael Mosley, author of The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secrets of Intermittent Fasting, has claimed to have lost 19 pounds in two months after following this approach. He suggests that the best way to lose weight is to eat regularly for five days a week, and then fast for two. On fasting days, he advises cutting food intake to about one-fourth of your normal daily calories, or at least 500 for women and 600 for men.
Dr. Mosley, in a BBC interview, also pointed out the importance of doing high-intensity interval training – another health and fitness strategy that I have been steadfastly recommending since the mid-2000s – in conjunction with fasting. He claims that being sedentary is more detrimental to your health than lack of formal exercise, and also advises getting up every 15 to 20 minutes to avoid the hazards of prolonged sitting.
Another book that delves into the benefits of intermittent fasting is The 8-Hour Diet, co-authored by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore. Discussing another version of intermittent fasting, the book claims that by combatting the 24-hour eating culture and consuming food only during an 8-hour period, people can effectively lose weight.
While Zinczenko and Moore only recommend an eight-hour window, I believe that you can restrict it even further, down to six, four, or even two hours.
Scheduled Eating: The Secret to Overall Health and Longevity
I have personally experimented with different types of scheduled eating in my life for the past several years, and now I restrict my eating to a six- to seven-hour window per day. I believe this type of lifestyle is a simple strategy that can help you live a longer and healthier life. It not only eliminates your cravings for snacks, particularly sweets, but it also helps melt pounds away.
Modern research also found that fasting intermittently can help:
- Normalize your ghrelin levels, also called "the hunger hormone"
- Normalize your insulin and leptin sensitivity. Insulin resistance is a primary factor for nearly all chronic diseases
- Lower your triglyceride levels
- Promote production of human growth hormone (HGH), which is crucial not only for health and fitness, but also for slowing the aging process
- Reduce inflammation and free radical damage
Studies also found that scheduled eating can have a profound effect on your risk for coronary disease. A study published in June 2012 found that people who fasted regularly have a 58 percent lower risk of heart ailments than those who never fasted. Fasting regularly was also associated with overall lower body mass index (BMI) and lower glucose levels.
Even more amazing: fasting intermittently can also promote brain health and protect against dementia. It boosts the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which allows brain stem cells to convert to new neurons, triggers chemicals that promote neural health, and protects brain cells from changes that have been associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Interested? Try Intermittent Fasting Today
I hope that these new books and studies can encourage you to give this new lifestyle a try. Here’s a useful tip: skip breakfast, eat lunch and dinner, and stop eating at least three hours before you sleep. This will give you an 8-hour time frame every day.
Remember, though, that what you eat in between fasting periods also matters. Make sure you get enough healthy protein and exchange carbs and sugars for healthy fats like eggs, butter, coconuts and coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, and nuts.
For more about updated intermittent fasting recommendations, read my article: "Intermittent Fasting Finally Becoming Mainstream Health Recommendation."