What? I cannot eat for 16 hours?

scaredLet us talk about intermittent fasting.  One of the tools for longevity, weight loss and weight maintenance.

But it is NOT for everyone. And it isn’t ONE SIZE FITS ALL.

Most religions I know of, had periods of fasting. Even thousands of years ago they already knew that giving your digestive system a bit of a rest is beneficial for your well-being.

You see, we were not meant to be satiated ALL the time. Our digestive system is quite happy emptying its contents before sloshing new stuff on top……UNLESS you belong into the column below.

Therefore I shall address those people that should NOT consider intermittent fasting and then we move on. If you are in this column, don’t even think about fasting.  Promise?

  • People with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes
  • People who experience ‘sugar-crashes’ and get weak and shaky between meals
  • People who are stressed
  • Mothers that have recently given birth or breast feeding
  • Recuperating patients
  • The elderly
  • Children up to, say 17
  • Sports people, although some still do and especially body builders use this technique. I will explain.
  • People who have bad control over their eating habits. They tend to go crazy when they start eating again, and totally lose the plot eating way more than they should. Thus the fasting was a waste of time and even damaging to their health and their mental wellbeing [guilt etc.]
  • People who are on medication. We do not want you to spin out and have an accident!

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I regularly skip a breakfast.  Maybe twice a month, even though it’s my favourite meal of the day.

Why do I skip breakfast, and not another meal instead? Personally, for me it is the easiest one to skip. If I were to skip dinner, I would not be able to sleep. Skip lunch….that’s not enough hours ‘on the fast’.

And why am I leaving away a meal anyway?  It’s not just saving calories. I could do that in other ways.

After a light, balanced dinner I have a good night’s rest. Come breakfast time….I have a cup of warm water. This is excellent for ‘toilet habits’. It flushes out your tummy. I add some ginger, turmeric and cinnamon. You can add lemon too.  The water needs to be fairly warm though. I keep drinking green tea and a green juice [no fibre] until lunch, when I break my fast with a very light meal. Then a healthy raw snack and then a light dinner.  Fantastic cleanse day

By not having a meal for about 16 hours, we re-set our digestion. The pesky fat layering hormone responses have nothing to respond to.

Plus “During the fasting phase, many old cells die and stem cells turn on, which starts a regeneration process and gives rise to new, younger cells,” study author Valter Longo, PhD, recently explained. “It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not,” he said. And by the way…..he also mentioned “A plant-based diet is by far the best for longevity and disease prevention.”

I like that bit the best 🙂

Some people fast for up to 4 days under the supervision of medical staff in health clinics. That would not be my cup of tea. The once-in-a while 16 hours is ok with me.

However, there are other tricks to help your body be healthy and lose body fat more efficiently.

And that is by cleverly altering or cycling the calories levels. This type of regime prevents people from reaching a plateau where the excess weight simply does not get released for weeks. There are several systems you could try.

Here’s one: One day of slightly ‘overfeeding’ with highly nutritious healthy calories, followed by 2 days highly restricted eating, [500 calories] and 4 days of just the right amount of delicious, healthy balanced plant based eating.

Then here’s another option: the latest research shows that 2 weekly cycles are especially helpful: 2 weeks of low calorie and lower carb eating followed by 2 weeks of maintenance style eating. This type of eating has prevented many people from reaching a plateau and was found to help dieters sustain their new weight instead of putting it all back again.

Natural body builders [no drugs] often use cycling before a competition. After all, if their body does not look 100%, they do not win prices nor earn money. So they use every trick in the book to ensure they lose body fat and keep their muscle bulk.

They sometimes cycle calories and nutrients before a competition because it helps them to increase their metabolic rate and get totally shredded so they look even a little bit weird, in my opinion. But yes: they do immense lot of muscle work too. Because muscle mass ensures a high metabolic rate for fat burn.

How can you use this knowledge to your advantage?

Well, you could try the 2 week cycles or skip breakfast from time to time. However, after omitting breakfast, be careful not to eat twice as much at lunch.

Or you could relax your calories for one day, and then restrict them for two following days. Perhaps drink two protein shakes per day with some fibre, and just one nutritionally balanced meal per day for 2 days.

Something to think about….

If you have questions, please contact me.

Yours in Health & Skinny Jeans,

Nicki Kelly