Fasting To Lose WeightBy Jared DiCarmine On September 1, 2011 Under Nutrition For Fat Loss
Fasting to lose weight is one of the hottest and one of the most controversial topics out in the fitness and fat loss world to date. There are many reasons for this which we will explain in a second. But first I wanted to share with you my own experiences with intermittent fasting and weight loss because I feel it is the upmost importance for someone to actually be doing the very thing they are writing about instead of acting like they know what they are doing and never experiencing it firsthand.
My experience with fasting is recent. For a few weeks, I only practiced intermittent fasting specifically, while also throwing in pure fast days where I did not consume any sort of food. Some days I only consumed protein shakes because I was scared my muscles were going to shrivel up haha. I know, crazy thinking but it’s true.
That is because of old “bro science” that has been passed down from on gym goer to another without any real scientific evidence to back up.
You see, the truth is protein synthesis is higher than normal if you are a highly trained individual, however, your muscle mass will not waste away from one 24 hour period of fasting. But, if you are a drugged athlete or bodybuilder, this is a totally different story. But we are not talking about them, so forget about that topic.
However, my experience with fasting was quite positive to be honest. I felt a lot cleaner with more energy and did not get bloated, gassy, or that bogged down feeling that some people tend to get when they eat too much food, eat throughout the day, or consume large quantities of carbohydrates. And the great thing about it was I was able to lose sometimes up to ¾ to a pound of fat in just one day of fasting since I was doing some form of cardiovascular exercise during the day when I fasted.
I feel that is extremely paramount for you if you want to fast and lose weight. You should do some form of slow, regular, boring cardiovascular exercise to burn up some extra body fat in the process. In order to do this, you must be exercising at a relatively moderate to slow pace with your heart rate at 65% or lower of your max heart rate. To get this number, just take 220 minus your age then multiply that number by 65% or lower and you get your age predicted heart rate to mostly burn body fat for fuel.
This number is not perfect however and is dependent on several factors such as how good of shape you are in, if you are on any medications, your weight, muscle mass, etc…
But it’s a good place to start.
Now some other great positives that I experienced with intermittent fasting for weight loss was an increase in insulin sensitivity, which is ideally what you want when trying to stay lean and build muscle. The more insulin sensitive you are, the more anabolic you will be and the better your chances of your body utilizing carbohydrates efficiently as opposed to storing them as body fat.
This is what happens when you are very insulin resistant. And this goes hand in hand with the intermittent fasting approach where you can eat after a 16 hour fast. This is great because I was able to eat 3 large meals in a space of 8 hours thus keeping me full and feeling like I wasn’t dieting. This kept cravings at bay and stabilized blood sugar levels.
That is the thing that I do not like about eating 6 times a day. In fact, there is research coming out that is showing people becoming insulin resistant and having fasting blood glucose levels close to high normal from eating this way. And these people are lean individuals who consume low levels of processed carbohydrates and constantly workout. This is interesting stuff since this is a common theme that everyone should be eating small meals throughout the day. But in reality it could be doing more harm to you than good.
Another thing that I like a lot about fasting and intermittent fasting is that I don’t have to worry about cooking and preparing all of these meals for the entire day. In fact, it became quite annoying, boring and troublesome to worry about when and how I was going to get my fifth meal or whatever it was for the day. This took up a lot of time and mental resources that I could do without.
Ever since switching to a fasting approach, I feel much more motivated and mentally energetic. This is odd and something that I’m not sure how to explain.
Another great benefit that I haven’t seen many people touch on, which they should is the digestive relaxation that you give your body from following a 24 hour fasting period. 95% of your immune system starts in your gut. Not many people know that. By constantly bombarding your digestive system with food that is probably not good for you such as gluten, you are making it work over time. That is why you might be gassy and bloated. This is not normal. A 24 hour fast gives your body a much needed rest.
And think about it, back in the day of the cavemen, they never ate constantly though out the day, everyday like we humans do today. Cavemen gorged on whatever they could and as much as they could until they were stuffed. They then went on periods of famine and feasting. This is normal and much more in touch with what are genes are used to.
Another cool thing that I just recently read about fasting is the increase in growth hormone output. Something to think about for ya since many people realize that growth hormone is sort of like the youth hormone. That’s why you see a lot of elderly and older individuals injecting themselves with the stuff to reverse the signs of aging.
All in all, fasting to lose weight is a lot easier than people make it out to be. It’s quite effective for the everyday person like you to be able to lose fat at a rapid pace and not have to worry about food or anything of that nature. I quite like it and love the energetic effects from fasting. I think you would too. Just realize that you will get hungry throughout the day.
You jus have to fight through it and get over the hump. Your body gets used to eating at certain times of the day. This is its circadian rhythm. But it can be changed so give fasting a try to lose weight. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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