Intermittent Fasting: What is the big deal?
Certainly, intermittent fasting is all the buzz currently. We are hearing about it everywhere we turn. Dr. Oz and Mark Wahlberg are even arguing about it publicly! What should you believe? Personally, I would love to side with Mark Wahlberg as I’ve often imagined a relationship with him over the last two decades! All kidding aside, Dr. Oz has this one.
Why do I love Intermittent Fasting? I’ll tell you…..
Medically speaking, it just makes physiologic sense. With time, our insulin (which is required to utilize the carbohydrates we take in) becomes less effective. We are constantly asking it to work! Even when we eat very healthily. When it becomes much less effective, we call that diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, traditionally known as Juvenile Diabetes is unavoidable, however we are all at risk for type 2 diabetes which is a function of poor carbohydrate metabolism. This risk is regardless of our current weight. When you fast, you give your system a rest. We all need rest, right? When we don’t rest properly, we wear down. When we are not rested, most of us still do our jobs and meet our obligations, but we likely don’t do it with the attention we intended or at 100% efficiency. It is no different with the chemistry of our bodies. When we fast on a consistent basis, insulin resistance doesn’t occur as quickly. Consistent fasting increases the efficiency with which insulin works for us to metabolize our food to energy.
We have always been taught that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But science is evolving, and we now know this isn’t the case. The truth is that we ALL (independent of your body habitus) have plenty of energy stored in our bodies available for your mental and physical needs each morning. When you don’t introduce easily available energy in the form of calories, then your body goes to your reserves for it’s needs. This is when fat burning starts. Increase your weight loss goals by exercising during this fasting period. You will see results quickly!
How to do I do it correctly?
Intermittent fasting is actually extremely easy to incorporate! Every day you may have a different schedule. Simply pay attention to when you consume your last calorie of the day. For me, it is my last sip of wine every evening. Then simply add at least 12, or more impactfully 14 to 16 hours. This in when you may allow your next calorie consumption. Black coffee, herbal tea and water are allowed in this period. Make sure you plan for breakfast meetings etc. by ending your caloric intake sooner the night before. Remember that if you cheat even a small amount, you can derail the chemical process that is taking place in your body to utilize your stored fat for energy!
This is something I ask all of my patients to incorporate into their lives. It is absolutely easier than you think. Once you start paying attention to the clock, you will realize that you are almost doing it anyway! Just try to make it a full 12 and at best 14-16 hours. It is flexible and you don’t have to change your diet at all! I believe in slow changes that are practiced long term. This is a super easy first step!
Dr. Anne Morgan