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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Longevity

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According to Dr Mercola intermittent fasting can help you to lose weight and increase your longevity. However before embarking on any diet regime you need to be properly informed to ensure that you embark on a healthy regime that is going to improve your health and well-being. There are so many fad diets out there that can actually damage your health, so make it your priority to be well informed.

  • It's long been known that restricting calories in certain animals can increase their lifespan by as much as 50 percent, but more recent research suggests that sudden and intermittent calorie restriction appears to provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake

  • Mice that fasted for 16 hours a day stayed lean and healthy even when fed a high-calorie diet; their mouse counterparts that had access to food day and night became obese and showed blood sugar and liver problems despite eating the same number of calories

  • Three major mechanisms by which fasting benefits your body, as it extends lifespan and protects against disease, include increased insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial energy efficiency; reduced oxidative stress; and increased capacity to resist stress, disease and aging

Read more on Mercola.com

Some months ago Dr Michael Mosley, after researching the relative merits of intermittent fasting, put himself on a fast and produced a BBC documentary of the outcomes. Although Dr Mosley was a relatively slim man, after a batch of blood tests he discovered he had high blood sugar, high cholesterol and internal visceral fat above the norm. Dr Mosley found the more extreme method of fasting too difficult to sustain ( one cup a soup per day for 4 consecutive days) however the intermittent fasting 2 days per week ( with 5 normal eating days) seemed to attain the desired results. Over a nine week period of fasting 2 days and eating normally for 5 days Dr Mosley lost a total of 20 lbs. In addition his cholesterol and blood sugar levels had dropped as had his visceral fat. Needless to say he was feeling much healthier and had far more energy as a result.

Intermittent fasting requires that you abstain from food as long as possible on a given day and restrict your eating time in that day to a limited number of hours to enable you to prolong your normal overnight fast to up to 18 hours or more. For example if you ate your evening meal at 6pm on day 1, on day 2 you wouldn't have your first meal until at least 12 noon or possibly later. You would then restrict the calories for that day to around 200-300 . On day 3 you would eat normally. On day 4 you would eat normally and then day 5 would be the same as day 2 and you would then eat normally on days 6 and 7. It may seem fanciful to believe that you can lose weight on this regime, but having done it myself for 3 months I can testify that not only does it work but it is also relatively easy to do. My daughter has also been using this regime to lose weight after giving birth to her 4th child and she is also finding it easy to do (even with a part time job and 4 children under 7 years to look after) and she is consistently losing her weight and keeping it off. We have both found that we are less likely than expected to eat more on the no fast days, and on the contrary we were more inclined to eat sensibly and be more aware of what we were eating.

Dr Mercola believes that the real winning combination for health and fitness is intermittent fasting combined with high intensity interval training. He also adds

Another important benefit of high-intensity interval training is its ability to naturally increase your body's production of human growth hormone (HGH), also known as "the fitness hormone." HGH is a synergistic, foundational biochemical underpinning that promotes muscle and effectively burns excessive fat. It also plays an important part in promoting overall health and longevity. This is something you cannot get from conventional, aerobic endurance training.

Read more about intermittent fasting and high intensity interval training

Promoting the production of human growth hormone (HGH) slows down the aging process and it is thought that intermittent fasting as well as high intensity interval training will promote the growth of HGH

It is always wise to do your own research before embarking on any form of diet or exercise and if you have a medical condition you must always consult with your physician first.

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. I can certainly recommend it Michael – both of my sons have done it also and found they felt more alert and had more energy. 

  2. Awesome info! I love fasting and is so good for our health, you can actually feel it. If we could all fast then no heart problems would affect us that often! I hope people start fasting after reading this.

  3. Thanks Mary – yes I can certainly recommend it. The more people who take up this healthy habit the better

  4. Awesome info Janet! I believe this will be a great resource for people seeking to lose weight and want to use fasting as a tool to achieve this.

  5. Intermittent fasting isn't for me personally, but I've known many people throughout bodybuilding communities that love it.  Great informative post on inttermittent fasting.  

  6. Thanks Crystal. Interestingly I didn’t think it was for me either as I had tried fasting before and found it really hard, but the intermittent fasting was quite manageable especially doing the restricted calories on the 2 fasting days. I just had a wholesome soup for lunch and for my evening meal and as long as I went to bed reasonably early I was fine

  7. Ola! Yourhealthyoptions, Thanks you for your post, I am overweight and I want to fast until I'm a normal weight. My doctor says that cosmetic weight loss will not be able to get rid of the fat around my internal organs but if I fast and deprive myself of food, I can eventually destroy the fact that is covering my kidneys, liver and internal organs and can probably significantly decrease or eliminate my chances of getting cancer. Intermittent fasting has also been known to increase your lifespan by up to 20% longer. When I get back to a regular diet, I plan on cutting sugar and oil out of my diet. I figure if I do this, I can probably maintain a very thin figure… with no sugar or oil at all in my diet, I might even get down to a size 0. Thanks No comment sig

  8. Intermittant fasting seems to have a lot of the benefits of calorie restriction with regards to longevity but is a lot more doable.  I've had good results doing it two days a week and eating a generally healthy diet.  

  9. Hi Richard – I understand you being a skeptic, as there have been so many diets that haven’t been a long term solution for those with a weight problem. However I think that intermittent fasting offers a different view point. We know that insulin causes the body to store fat, we also know that eating food will cause a rise in insulin, especially if the meal contains any carbohydrates. By fasting we are actually moving the body away from fat storage into fat burning mode. 

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