“What’s all this about Intermittent Fasting” I hear you ask. OK, probably about time I explained myself…after all the website is named after it. I’ll do a quick introduction with the basics and then hand over to Dr. Michael Vanderschelden (aka Dr. Mike) who breaks it down way better than I can.
(Video at the bottom of the page)
ONE. The idea of breakfast being the most important meal of the day was and still is just a clever advertising campaign by the breakfast cereals industry in order to…you guessed it, sell breakfast cereals.
TWO. The theory that lots of small meals throughout the day speeds up your metabolism is just that…a theory, with no research whatsoever to backup this now ubiquitous claim. In fact as you’ll learn below all the actual research now says the complete opposite!
Boost your metabolism and turn your body into a fat burning machine
OK, so now we’ve got the lies out of the way we can look at some facts; It takes 6-8 hours for your body to metabolise its glycogen and blood glucose stores. So obviously if you’re eating every 3-5 hours your body is constantly being fuelled by these energy sources.
“Why is this a problem?” – Well it’s a problem because your body will only use fat as an energy source as a very last resort. It will always choose glycogen and blood glucose first so if you’re constantly supplying it with these sugars (especially in the form of heavily processed carbohydrates) it will never get to use your fat stores as an energy source.
Put simply: When you eat every 3-5 hours you can’t burn fat. Your body will only be using your blood sugar and glycogen.
What do most people do for 8 hours each night?…yep, that’s right – sleep. So when you wake up in the morning your body is in prime fat burning mode – that is, it’s using your fat stores as its energy source. And then what do most of us go and do?…you guessed it, have breakfast…doh!
In essence, Intermittent Fasting is skipping that first meal in the morning and drinking only water, herbal or black tea, black coffee or some version of Bulletproof Coffee and not eating anything until around lunchtime then eating all your meals & calories for the day in that 8 hour period before fasting again at about 8pm. So a 16 hour period where you are fasting followed by an 8 hour period to do all your eating in – per 24 hours. There are other variants such as the 5:2 Plan or the Alternate Day Plan but for most people the 8/16 IF Plan is the easiest to stick to long term. I do a roughly 7/17 IF Monday through Friday then live it up at the weekends…French Toast and milky coffees anyone? ? ?
Next Level Workouts
Exercising when you’re in this fasting period, that is while your body is in full Fat Burning Mode will give you some amazing results. Anything from a brisk 20 minute walk to a full on hours work out at the gym and everything in between, your results will be maximised, your mind will be clearer and you will feel great. For some people it can take a couple of weeks for you to get used to this new lifestyle. You might feel a bit light-headed or tired in the beginning. My advice is to stick it out for a couple of weeks and if you still don’t feel like it’s working out for you, then maybe try a different approach. Eating breakfast and lunch but skipping your evening meal can work for some people. Either way, experiment and try and find something that works well for you, that fits in with work, home life etc…the results are 100% worth this initial effort. Once you get into the habit of daily fasting it becomes like second nature…that’s because this is how your body has evolved to work at its best over millions of years! It really is a no-brainer.
“Clean and detox the body, making it a finely tuned machine” – Dr. Mike
Some facts pulled from the video at the bottom of this page:
Basic Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Normalise insulin sensitivity
- Boost mitochondrial energy efficiency
- Increase growth hormone production*
- Lower inflammation
- Lower triglyceride levels
- Shed unwanted fat
- Eliminate sugar cravings
- Reduce oxidative stress
- Increase anti-aging longevity
- Increase brain function**
- Lower blood pressure
*Human Growth Hormone
- Healing, Growth, Repair
- Muscle Growth
- Fat Loss
HGH is released into the body while we sleep because Insulin and HGH are indirectly related – when there is insulin in the body you cannot release HGH. Insulin is released into the body after you’ve eaten a meal, it pushes the blood sugar into the cells of the body.
No meal > no blood sugar > no insulin = HGH release
When you’re in a fasted state and your body is using it’s fat stores as energy, those fat stores release ketones and guess what?…your brain loves Ketones! It actually much prefers them as an energy source to blood glucose. When your brain is using ketones as it’s energy source instead of blood glucose it will increase memory, learning, concentration as well as protect itself from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
The best part – you can achieve all these results and it’s easier than you’d think.
Here’s the video (I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions or stories in the comments section below)