The Benefits of Fasting When You Fast Correctly

Fasting is a form of weight loss and health we don't hear too much about. There's no money in it for the diet companies. The secret of the health benefits of fasting is coming out. Here are some benefits of fasting for health and weight loss....

Intermittent fasting suggests that changes in mealtimes, and not the meals, can be good for you. But what are the dos and don’ts of eating less frequently?

Intermittent fasting is championed by celebrities and CEOs alike for its weight loss and health benefits. While there is promising evidence that fasting can help our bodies repair and perhaps extend our lifespans, it might not be the best approach for losing weight, and dietitians urge caution before cutting out meals.

Intermittent fasting is a type of time-restricted diet in which fasters leave a long gap between their last meal of one day and first of the next, compressing their meals into a shorter period during the day. Typically, fasters try to leave a gap of 16 hours without food and eat during an eight-hour window. Intermittent fasting is not the only type of time-restricted diet. Others like the 5:2 diet (in which dieters eat a normal amount of food for five days before two days of eating only 25% of their usual calorie intake) focus more on the amount of food consumed, rather than the time between meals.

“Time-restricted feeding is used as a weight-loss tool, but it’s not my favorite approach,” says Rachel Clarkson, founder of London-based consultancy The DNA Dietitian. “You reduce calories but you don’t learn the essential behavior change around what you're putting into your body.”

Clarkson says that without learning what a healthy diet looks like people gain weight again when they stop fasting. “If it means you are feeling starved and restricted then the next day you might over-eat.

So, intermittent fasting might not be the right approach for people seeking weight loss, but there might be other reasons to change your eating patterns. Fasting is linked to a process called autophagy, which is attracting a lot of interest for its potential health benefits.

Autophagy is the process by which the body starts to recycle the structures inside its cells, including the nucleus, where DNA is stored, the mitochondria, which synthesize the chemical our cells use for energy, and lysosomes, which remove waste from our cells. In doing so, the cell can remove defunct structures, freeing up new raw materials from which new cellular structures can be built. Some of the new raw materials might be used to make cell-protective proteins that further extend the lifespan of cells.

There is interest in whether autophagy can increase the lifespan of whole organisms, though so far this has only been replicated in animals There is interest in whether autophagy can increase the lifespan of whole organisms, too – though so far this has only been replicated in animals, like 1mm-long nematode worms and mice, and not humans (inhibited autophagy has also been linked to early-onset aging). Until there are longitudinal studies of human intermittent fasters, it is too soon to say that it will extend our lifespans.

But, other animal studies have linked autophagy to improvements in immune system memory. The fact that autophagy is essential to maintain cell health has also generated interest in its role in cancer suppression. There might be more reasons than increasing lifespan to take interest in autophagy.

For most of us, autophagy occurs in our sleep, but it is also brought on by exercise and starvation. Could controlled fasting help to trigger it?

Unlike calorie-restrictive diets (which have also been linked to longevity), the purpose of intermittent fasting is to increase the amount of time between the last meal of one day and the first of the next. (In theory, an intermittent faster could eat the same amount of calories as normal, though in practice Clarkson says most people reduce their intake slightly.) This could help to promote autophagy, but to understand how we should look at what happens to us after we eat.

Eating even a small bite before bed extends the "fed state", meaning you may never achieve ketosis before your next meal (Credit: Getty Images) Eating even a small bite before bed extends the "fed state", meaning you may never achieve ketosis before your next meal (Credit: Getty Images)

“When you stop eating at 19:00 you will still be in the ‘fed state’ until 22:00 because you will still be digesting nutrients,” says Clarkson. “Any carbohydrates in your diet will give you a nice supply of glucose, our premium source of fuel, for a few hours.”

The fed state is when your body uses glucose in your blood as its source of energy. Once this energy source is used up, the body switches into a catabolic state – usually around three hours after eating. In this phase, glycogen stored in the liver and muscles is broken down into glucose. When we have depleted the glycogen stores, the body switches from glucose to ketones, which are made in the liver from fatty acids. It’s at this point, a stage called ketosis, that autophagy is triggered.

“We don’t know exactly when we shift from glucose to ketones,” says Clarkson. “It depends on so many things; genetics, health, lifestyle. How much glycogen you have will be based on how much you have eaten and how much energy you have burned.”

I would move away from intermittent fasting for fat loss, and if you want to adopt it think about the health benefits – Rachel Clarkson

Someone who has a high-carb diet might never move beyond the catabolic state as they will always have a reserve supply of glycogen. However, someone with a low-carb diet and who regularly exercises might move through it very quickly (the “keto diet”, in which you cut out almost all carbs to maintain low blood glucose levels and glycogen stores, works in the same way). “I would move away from intermittent fasting for fat loss, and if you want to adopt it think about the health benefits,” says Clarkson.

How to fast

“To fast you have to downregulate the feeling of hunger,” says Clarkson. Hunger is felt when ghrelin, a hormone released from our stomach, triggers the production of two other hormones, called NPY and AgRP, in the hypothalamus.

While these three hormones generate feelings of hunger, there are a multitude more that suppress it. Sometimes called the “satiety hormones”, one of the key ones is leptin which is released from fat cells to suppress the production of ghrelin – basically telling the body "there is fat here that you can burn".

Ghrelin is sometimes called the short-term hunger response because it is released when the stomach is empty and there is less pressure on the stomach wall. It can be overridden to a certain extent by drinking water. Leptin meanwhile works over the long term.

“Our hunger hormones are regulated by many things, genetics being one of them,” says Clarkson. “But thinking about the nerves that are attached to our stomach and digestive tract – if your stomach is not distended your body will think it is hungry.” She adds that staying hydrated can help with the early feelings of hunger until your body has adjusted. “The first couple of weeks will be tough, but you get used to it.”

For most people, ketosis occurs 12-24 hours after eating, so if you have your evening meal between 18:00 and 20:30, the fed state would end between 21:00 and 23:30 and ketosis and autophagy might occur by 06:00 to 08:30 the following morning. “But the majority of people are sitting down and opening a packet of something else after dinner,” says Clarkson. “Snacking or sugary drinks and beer extend the fed state for three hours. If you finish snacking at 21:30-22:00, the fed state is being taken to 01:00-03:00,” she says. This might mean ketosis never occurs before you next have a meal.

“If you can make the informed decision of eating the evening meal an hour earlier and not snacking, you may be getting into that ketosis state by morning, versus someone who is having the high-carb evening meal and snacking, waking up at 06:00 and never getting into that state,” she says. Clarkson suggests starting by eating earlier on a Sunday evening, or having breakfast an hour later and starting from there, building up from one or two days each week.

With a careful approach, intermittent fasting might help your body to perform its own repairs and recoveries. Autophagy appears to decline with age, so giving yourself a boost later in life might be useful. But be aware that it might not be the right strategy for weight loss, and there is no replacement for a balanced diet.

The Intermittant Fasting Programme

Article Source: William Park is a senior journalist at BBC Future and is @williamhpark on Twitter.

Final Entry - My Fasting Journal To Lose Weight and Improve My Health Maintenance Sunday 2 #Fasting #WeightLoss

I still believe fasting is not as popular as it should be because there's nothing the big diet compies can sell you. Therefore there are no commercials about fasting and large diet companies don't invest in research on fasting.

Continuing my fasting journal so you may decide if fasting is the right thing for you to lose weight and get healthier. The more I research fasting the more I see the benefits of fasting, not just in weight loss, but cleansing the body and having more energy.

Last Night Before I Begin My Second Sunday Fast Day for Maintenance and Weight Loss I Stepped on The Scale

I weighted 196lbs

I'm using an accurate digital scale.

This is the exact scale I'm using

Taylor Precision Products Digital Scales for Bodyweight Mixed Metal with Brushed Stainless Steel, 440 LB Capacity, Bathroom Scale, White Backlight Readout, Highly Accurate Digital Bathroom Scale

Click This Link Then Bookmark This Category Link Fasting Journal to Catch Up and Keep Reading and Follow Me on Twitter to Comment

This morning I weighed myself to begin my Second Sunday Fast Day for Maintenance and Weight Loss

I weighed 193.6. It looks like I had gained about 3lbs. I'll be drinking water only and coconut water .

Talk to you later,

Rick

12:00 PM on my Second Sunday Fast Day for Maintenance and Weight Loss

Got a little hungry so I drank some coconut water. Again this hunger is nothing. It always goes away within 5 minutes.

6:00 PM on my Second Sunday Fast Day for Maintenance and Weight Loss

I weigh 193.4lbs. Continuing with my fast because that's what I said I was going to do.

The next day after my Second Sunday Fast Day for Maintenance and Weight Loss

I weighed 190lbs. Let me be clear once again, I wasn't starving when I woke up. Everything was perfectly normal. I fixed my Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, Vanilla Bean- Vegan, Low Net Carbs, Non Dairy, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, No Sugar Added, Soy Free, Non-GMO, 2.03 Pound (Packaging May Vary)

Amazing Grass Greens Blend Superfood: Super Greens Powder with Spirulina, Chlorella, Beet Root Powder, Digestive Enzymes, Prebiotics & Probiotics, Original, 60 Servings (Packaging May Vary)

in my shaker bottle . See the day 2 entry for more information and tips on that. I grabbed 4 bottles of coconut water and went off to teach school.

That's My Lunch!

There was no need to fix a bigger lunch just because I was fasting the day before.

One Word of Caution

Don't go scarfing down a bunch of food because you know you're not going to eat the next day. I had to stop myself from doing just that.

Signing off

Rick

If you'd like to support my efforts in providing you with this and other fitness information you may purchase from my Amazon affiliate links above. It costs you nothing extra and makes me a few dollars so I can keep this website running.

My Fasting Journal To Lose Weight and Improve My Health Maintenance Sunday 1

You can't just fast 4 days then go back to your normal lifestyle. This is my first Sunday fasting maintenance day. Continuing my fasting journal so you may decide if fasting is the right thing for you to lose weight and get healthier. The more I research fasting the more I see the benefits of fasting, not just in weight loss, but cleansing the body and having more energy.

Last Night I Stepped on The Scale

I weighed 195lbs with my sweats on. Kind of chilly here in Honolulu right now. This morning when I stepped on the scale I weighed 193lbs wearing my sweats. I started my fasting journal and journey at 198lbs. That means I kept a minimum of 3lbs off. More importantly, I got a bunch of toxic garbage out of my system. I still feel better now than before I fasted for 4 days

Click This Link Then Bookmark This Category Link Fasting Journal to Catch Up and Keep Reading and Follow Me on Twitter to Comment

Don't Go Crazy The Night Before

It was tempting to stuff food in my mouth knowing I won't be eating the next day. I think that's a normal survival trait.

A few things I learned during my 4 day fast

I learned a little hunger is nothing. Just ignore it and it will go away. It will not get bigger except possibly in your mind.

I don't have to eat just because I'm a little hungry. This sounds like I'm repeating myself but it's two different lessons.

Don't eat due to an event. By this I mean getting home from teaching school or in home tutoring. or even waking up in the morning. I don't believe breakfast is the most important meal of the dal. I believe the most important meal of the day is the one you eat when your body needs the nutrition.

My mind is in charge of my body. I completed my 4 day fast because that's what I said I was going to do, period. Most of the videos I listened to suggested starting with a 12 hour fast or even just skipping a meal.

My maintenance plan

Starting when I wake up I drink water only. To keep up my electrolytes I'll also be drinking coconut water .

If you'd like to support my efforts in providing you with this and other fitness information you may purchase from my Amazon affiliate links. It costs you nothing extra and makes me a few dollars so I can keep this website running.

That's it for now

Talk to you soon

Rick

1:25 PM on my first water fasting Sunday to lose weight and improve my health

It's raining real hard here in Honolulu. I even heard thunder which is unusual.

For the heck of it, I stepped on the scale and was 2lbs lighter despite all the water I've been drinking. I stopped my reflex to go get something to eat when I got hungry. I drank some coconut water instead of eating.

I'm thinking people don't fast regularly because they don't see it on television. After all, there's very little to sell someone if you suggest fasting. Speaking of which I did find a resource on fasting I want to share with you.

This link is about Intermittent Fasting

Talk to you later

Rick

This is Interesting 4:30 PM on my first water fasting Sunday to lose weight and improve my health

If you've ever wondered how much water and human waste weighs, I had to use the restroom. For the purposes of this discussion, you'll need to know number 2.

So I stepped on the scale before using the restroom. I weighed 190.0lbs. I had to get a good scale for my first video doctor appointment after I got out of the hospital. Thus the .0 since it's a digital scale.

This is the exact scale I'm using

Taylor Precision Products Digital Scales for Bodyweight Mixed Metal with Brushed Stainless Steel, 440 LB Capacity, Bathroom Scale, White Backlight Readout, Highly Accurate Digital Bathroom Scale

After I finished using the restroom I got on the scale again 189.0lbs! I lost one pound going to the restroom. This gives you an idea why people lose weight quickly when they do a cleanse or start a weight loss program. All that waste in their intestines is heavy!

The Next Morning of My First Sunday Maintenance Water Fast Day

I stepped on the scale and weighed 185lbs. Still wearing sweat pants it was cold this morning.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my Sunday fasting

Aloha,

Rick

Click This Link Then Bookmark This Category Link Fasting Journal to Catch Up and Keep Reading and Follow Me on Twitter to Comment