Benefits of Fasting | Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss & Health

intermittent fasting growth hormone

Tony the Tiger tells us “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”, and Tony wouldn’t ever lie… would he?

This myth about breakfast is commonly and unquestionably accepted as a fact. “If you want to lose weight and be healthy, eat a big breakfast”. You see, the problem is this. Most of us are rushed, our mornings are chaotic, and we just simply don’t have time to cook up bacon and eggs every morning. So instead we grab the box of frosted flakes or run to the café down the street to grab a muffin or croissant. We take shortcuts and go with what’s quick and easy. Fueling our day with garbage.

Sorry Tony, but I’m about to rain on your breakfast parade with science. Science shows that skipping breakfast can optimize human performance, improve mental and physical health, maximize muscle retention and increase fat loss.

Intermittent Fasting vs Starvation Mode

Another common myth is that by not eating breakfast (intermittent fasting) your body will go into starvation mode, slowing down your metabolic rate and decrease energy levels. This is completely not true. In fact, it’s the opposite. When your in a fasted state your body becomes pumped full of norepinephrine – a hormone that gives you energy and focus.

Let’s look at this from an evolutionary standpoint. Hunters or cavemen would sometimes go days without food. If their energy levels dropped and their bodies started to shut down, they simply wouldn’t ever eat again and ultimately die. Your body isn’t that stupid. Instead it switches energy sources and says, “ok, I don’t have any more sugar, I can’t burn sugar, I’ve run out of glycogen”. It then switches to burn fat and pumps you up with norepinephrine – giving you more energy so you can now go out and kill that woolly mammoth to survive.

Benefits of Fasting

Weight Loss

Fasting works on both ends of the metabolic or “energy burning” equation. It increases your metabolic rate which burns more fuel and by compressing the window for eating it typically restricts the amount of fuel you put into your body. Studies have shown weight loss ranging from 3-8% and a waist circumference reduction of 4-7% over periods ranging between 3-24 weeks.

 

Health & Longevity

Besides losing weight, when your not eating your body takes the opportunity to jump start the cellular repair process, removing waste material from your cells. Think of this like an oil change for your car, extending its life. Fasting also reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, the two leading causes of disease.

 

Boost Growth Hormone Levelsintermittent fasting growth hormone

Studies have shown less muscle loss from fasting than other forms of long term caloric restriction. Plus, fasting will send your growth hormone (HGH) levels through the roof. Growth hormone increases our peak performance by helping the body repair, recover and rebuild muscle.

 

How To Start Intermittent Fasting

So, first things first. Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but rather a diet pattern. It generally means you focus on consuming all of your calories within an 8-12 hour window, leaving the remaining 12-16 hours of the day calorie free. I like to set my eating window between 12 and 8pm, but you can play around and customize it to fit your schedule. Personally the 12-8pm eating window works best for me because I do most of my work in the morning. This way I’m left full of energy and the work helps to keep my mind off the hunger – so I don’t end up chewing off my fingers…

 

Breaking Your Fast

During your fasting period you cannot consume anything that contains calories. Nothing with fats, carbs or protein. These will break your fast, taking you out of your fasted state.

So what exactly can you consume? What’s safe to have and what will break your fast? Let’s take a look…

Safe to have while fasting

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Coffee (Black)
  • Carbonated beverages (No sugar)
  • Stevia
  • Herbal Tea without fruit

Drink lots of fluids, especially hot fluids help a lot to fight off hunger. Stay hydrated.

No-Go’s, these will break your fast

  • Herbal Tea’s with fruit (Fructose from the fruit will break your fast)
  • MCT Oil/ powder
  • Coconut oil
  • Creamers of any kind
  • All fats
  • Bone broth
  • Amino Acids (Spike Leucine)
  • Erythritol
  • Exogenous ketones
  • Protein powder
  • CBD Oil while fasting

Boosting Benefits

Ok here’s the deal. I know your not just looking to start fasting… your looking for the short cut, the secret to accelerate your results… Am I right?

What if I told you there’s a way to boost the benefits of your fast, a way to take your fasting game to the next level and turn it up to 11? I’m sure just like me, you don’t screw around, so here it is, my secrets to boosting your fast.

Secret #1

Consume caffeinated beverages like green tea or black coffee. The caffeine allows your body to release more fatty acids from your stored fat into the blood stream to be burnt as energy. Enhancing fat burning.

Secret #2

Consume lots of electrolytes and minerals. Carbohydrates store electrolytes and minerals and when you fast you tend to dump a lot of carbohydrates. This can result in blood sugar issues making you tired. You’ll think your tired because your hungry and have to eat, but that’s not the case. Usually your just mineral depleted. Keltic, Himalayan or Mexican sea salts are great for supplying your body with the trace minerals and electrolytes it needs.

Citations:

science shows that: Abellán, P Gómez-, et al. “Timing of Food Intake Predicts Weight Loss Effectiveness.” International Journal of Obesity, vol. 37, 29 Jan. 2013, pp. 604–611.

in a fasted state your body:Ben Greenfield and Jason Fung, directors. The Complete Guide to Fasting: How To Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting Read More at: Https://Bengreenfieldfitness.com/Podcast/Fat-Loss-Podcasts/the-Complete-Guide-to-Fasting-How-to-Heal-Your-Body through Intermittent Alternate-Day and Extended Fasting. bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/fat-loss-podcasts/the-complete-guide-to-fasting-how-to-heal-your-body-through-intermittent-alternate-day-and-extended-fasting/.

full of norepinephrine: Christian Zauner et al., “Resting Energy Expenditure in Short-Term Starvation Is Increased as a Result of an Increase in Serum Norepinephrine,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71, no.6 (2000): 1511-1515.

reduction of 4-7%: A.R. Barnosky et al., “Intermittent Fasting vs Daily Calorie Restriction for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: A Review of Human Findings,” Transl Res 164, no.4 (2014): 302-311, doi:10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013.

shown less muscle loss from fasting: Mark L. Hartman et al., “Augmented Growth Hormone (GH) Secretory Burst Frequency and Amplitude Mediate Enhanced GH Secretion during a Two-Day Fast in Normal Men,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism74, no. 4 (1992): 757-765, doi: 10:1210/jcem.74.4.1548337.

metabolic rate which: Sutton, Elizabeth F, et al. “Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress Even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes.” Cell Metabolism, 10 May 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.010, www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(18)30253-5. Volume 27, Issue 6

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