Happy, Happy, Happy 2020 Everyone! It’s been some time since I’ve shared my views on the World of Nutrition and Wellness (last year to be exact (-: ), so I just wanted to chime in a bit on a wellness subject that was “All the rave” in 2019 and will be at the forefront of the wellness agenda in 2020. …No, it’s not the “Plant Based Diet” rave (though this too is at the forefront of nutrition and I will address it at a later time). No, it’s the “feel good fad – Intermittent Fasting” that has everyone on a Healing High these days.
So, as it’s name suggest, I.F. (for short) is a method of fasting in short periods of times like 8, 12, 16, 24,… hours at a time in order to give the body a break from the digestion process (called a post-absorptive state). This break is said to assist in weight loss (or management) by producing a chemical reaction that releases something called Ketones into the blood stream. I know (???), right?! What the heck are ketones and why would I want them in my bloodstream, you say? You don’t really, but in the case of I.F., these ketones are the replacement for the low levels of sugar or glocose that the body normally uses for energy. Normally when you eat, your pancreas releases insulin(glucose) into the bloodstream in order to help regulate the digestive process. Once your body has gone through digesting, your insulin levels drop. This usually happens 8-12 hours after your last meal (most people don’t stop eating for this long which is why there may be so many weight gaining issues). If you continue not eating after that time then insulin continues to decrease and the body’s reaction is to compensate for this by causing the liver to create a substance called ketones. Ketones are the acidic byproduct of fat that show up once the stored fat is burned(a state called Ketosis). So there you have it (hahaha).
Anyways, before I get in over my head about the Intermittent Fasting process, what is happening is that this process is causing the body to use stored fats for energy instead of sugars (insulin). In this way, your body’s fat reserve is use and not stored. Now, the key to the weight loss is that by not continuously eating or not adding more calories into your next meal, your body burns more fat without taking on more and storing it. Got it? Good now let’s talk about the pros and cons of this type of weight management. Is this a good way to loss or manage your weight? Well, some think so because part of the hype is that this process will aide in longevity meaning that you may live longer by using this process. It also claims to reduce inflammation, helps brain function and improves skin appearance. While these are all good health benefits, I can’t help but to wonder how all of this is occurring. Now I’ve been one to fast on several levels over the years, and I tried this for some time (up to 30-hours). What I can tell you is that if you can maintain the fasting part and not give into cravings when you are allowed to eat, then this might be a good approach to your weight management regime. Keep in mind that you will have to make healthier food choices each time that you do consume foods. I think that this would be a good way to introduce new foods and reboot or reprogram your body into better eating habits.
There are a few cons to this type of fasting. It is noted that this would not be good for diabetics since they are already dealing with insulin issues, and of coarse pregnant women should not try to manage their weight while pregnant (defeats the whole pregnancy process in giving nutritional sustenance to an unborn fetus). If you are not disciplined enough, you might wind up gaining more weight than you are trying to loose if you think that you are depriving yourself of food during your down times. One way to use this process to combat the programming surrounding foods is to first make a meal plan. Take a look a the time-frame that you think will work for you (1-week, 2-weeks at a time maybe). Choose the foods that you want to eat during this time so that you won’t get caught up in making food choices on the spot. Thinking ahead can help you stay committed to the process. Get good, positive information to support your decision and surround yourself with positive people who also eat in a healthy way.
There are various ways to approach this process in terms of time. The most popular are the 16:8 approach where you fast 16-hours then eat in an 8-hour window then repeat. The 5:2 method which allow you to eat normally 5-days then restrict your calorie intake to 500-600 calories on two non consecutive days. Then there’s the Alternating Fasting then Eating plan which just means that you eat one day and fast the next. Finally, there’s the Warrior Diet where you fast during the day then eat a large (healthy) meal in the evening (in essence, I think that this one is similar to the 16:8 because once you eat, bed time is just around the corner and most people will sleep for 8-hours then you will get up and not eat for the next 16-hours). As you can see, there are may junctions to the Intermittent Fasting Rave. I want to chime in again here and say that while a lot of people have been seeing success with the intermittent fasting approach, some of the key things to keep in mind are 1) What types of foods do you normally eat? 2) Are those foods healthy and nutritious? 3) Are you willing to change the kinds of foods that you currently eat? 4) Can you follow this type of program safely with or without a coach? I ask these questions because some people eat healthy but OVEREAT while others eat unhealthy processed foods. Both lead to weight gain. The key is to analysis what or why your particular weight issue is happening. This will better assist YOU in choosing the method or regiment best suited for you and your bodies needs. Ultimately you want to find a way to maintain a productive and progressive healthy eating regiment that is centered around nourishing the body in order to maintain a true wellness state of existence. So, finally, in closing, take the time to educate yourself and your loved ones about EATING FOR NOURISHMENT and not just for taste. Develop good sound eating habits and boundaries and get to know your own habits. Mainly, LOVE YOURSELF through any challenges you may experience. In wellness, ~Welcome to the Realm of You-Nique’ Enter-Natural
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