What do we have in common?
Everywhere in the world people have been locked down or out of work and many have been putting on weight. I put n 10 kilograms from one year ago but now I am back to the weight I was previously. To do this you need to monitor your weight to notice if it is creeping up and do something about it. Over the years, I've tried all kinds of things. Vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, Keto, IF, WARRIOR, and OMAD. Here are the results.
Have you tried an extended fast before? As you may already know, the intermittent fasting trend is sweeping the globe almost as fast as COVID 19. Intermittent fasting was developed as a way for people to lose weight. It works on almost any kind of diet, because what it does is it unlocks the doors of fat cells so that that fat can be used to power all the body's cells. Normally when three meals a day are eaten, those fat cells can not be accessed because the blood stream still has nutrients in it and the body accesses those first. The minimum requirement for IF is 16 hours no eating and 8 hours eating. 16+8=24. Some people do a warrior style IF which is 20/4. Others do an OMAD style, ONE MEAL A DAY, which is roughly 23/1. They all result in the same thing although the longer the fasting period, the more fat is consumed.
Another method used in conjunction with IF is the Keto style of eating. In the Keto diet, carbohydrates are avoided or reduced to an absolute minimum. There are many substitutes out there for the standard carbs that many people crave and so in effect, there diet never really changes except that they can't just go out and but low carb muffins at Tim Horton's. You have to bake your own at home.
The carbs we have normally been eating in excess every year since 1955 enter our blood stream as GLUCOSE. This raises our blood sugar and spikes our insulin levels. Insulin's job is to get that glucose out of the blood to lower the sugar level. Very little can be stored in the muscles and liver. The rest has to go into fat cells and gets locked there. The carbs are found in everyday foods like flour, bread, potatoes, carrots, bananas, mangoes, grapes, alcohol, cereals, rice, pasta, etc. A glycemic chart will show you how slowly or fast each food will raise your blood sugar levels.
The second problem with carbs is addiction. People get addicted to carbs just like they do to alcohol, or drugs. Carbs cause the release of feel good hormones like dopamine. One study even goes so far as to suggest a common link drawn between eating, psychosis and mid-brain dopaminergic reward, logically, suggests that psychosis may be improved, by modifying carbohydrate consumption.
Carbohydrate Reward and Psychosis: An Explanation For Neuroleptic Induced Weight Gain and Path to Improved Mental Health?Simon Thornley,1,* Bruce Russell,2 and Rob Kydd3
Our blood has a normal baseline level for insulin. When you eat carbs the blood sugar spikes and as a result, the insulin spikes to counteract it, kind of in a way that looks like a stock going vertical followed by the inevitable crash. This crash of both blood sugar and insulin goes down below the baseline level and causes and intense hunger and this the process starts all over again. By beginning a Keto diet, you avoid this spike and crash and the "hangry" behaviours and mood swings that go with these highs and lows. What you also do is get you body fat adapted, which means it automatically looks for fat as a fuel and not glucose.
One final way of fasting is extended fasts.I just completed a 21 day fast. Last fall I did a 10 day fast and on day 6, I bicycled 140 kilometres on only coffee and water. When people hear that they think it impossible due to lack of energy. You have energy. It is coming from consuming fat cells, no nutrition in the blood stream. Extended fasts can be used for a couple of reasons. I am a pilot and need to keep my weight, my blood sugar, and my blood pressure in normal regions for obvious reasons, otherwise I won't be able to get a medical to fly. An extended fast will lower my wt, my blood pressure and my blood sugar in a short period of time. In this recent fast my weight went from 97 kilograms to 86.9 kg and blood pressure on day one went from 156/101 and 73 heart rate to 124/78 and heart rate 60 this morning. I check every morning when I get up.
But this is not the biggest gain that can be achieved from an extended fast. AUTOPHAGY. This is the replacement of cells in our body. It is going on constantly but at a very slow rate. When we don't eat anything for a minimum of 48 hours it really begins to ramp up and after that point is when we begin to see the benefits. Broken down to simple terms, Autophagy does two things. It dissolves and distributes nutrition from cells which are foreign to the body and don't belong, like cancer and it dissolves and distributes cells which are not needed, like sagging skin or neuro-tangles in the brain, which lead to dementia. So to prevent these two disasters from taking hold, do an extended fast twice a year. You don't need to go 21 days like I did unless you have a definite problem already occurring.
But isn't it difficult? The longer you go without food, the less you want it because hunger is caused by the release of Ghrelin by the brain. The Ghrelin goes to your stomach to prepare for the incoming food that it knows is coming. It knows from memory of when you ate in the last 4 days. This part of your brain can only remember about 4 days so if you don't eat for 4 days no more Ghrelin will go to your stomach and your hunger will cease to exist. The rest is mental. Just do something, anything at all to keep you away from the fridge. Ride a bike, motorcycle, go for a long walk, swim, take pictures, plan a train trip to rural China or Vietnam.
Have you tried an extended fast? If so what were your results? Let us know below so others can benefit.
Martin Sinclair Edmonton Alberta Hainan China