I’m always telling you that you don’t need to restrict calories to lose weight and manage your metabolic health. But when it comes to fasting, that’s another story entirely.
We’ve discussed here before just how beneficial intermittent fasting (IF) can be against inflammation and weight gain, fatty liver, heart disease and diabetes—even the flu (which I discussed in the October 2014 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives [“Flu-proof your immune system in just 3 days”]. Not yet a subscriber? All it takes is one click.)
The beauty of IF is that there’s more than one way to do it. For example, you can limit your daily meals to specific eating windows—say, between noon and six, like I do. Or you can use the 5:2 approach, where any two days in a single week are your fasting days.
You can even try alternate-day fasting (ADF)—a method that varies slightly from the usual IF protocol. But according to one new study, it’s every bit as powerful.
Shrink your BMI and your belly
Again, don’t confuse ADF with calorie restriction. Because it has nothing to do with counting calories… and everything to do with timing.
ADF, as the name would suggest, essentially means fasting every other day. (In modified forms, fasting might simply mean eating fewer than 500 calories.) On non-fasting days, you may eat without restrictions.
Sound simple? That’s because it is.
But it also works: As part of this recent study, researchers recruited 30 subjects, all of whom had been following ADF for at least six months. They compared these subjects to 60 healthy controls—half of whom were randomly assigned to ADF for four weeks, and half of whom ate whatever they wanted.
In this instance, subjects following ADF—both the long-termers and the new recruits—would alternate between 36 hours of fasting and 12 hours of eating whatever they wanted.
Ultimately, body mass index (BMI) among the new fasters dropped by more than a point… accompanied by a 14.5 percent reduction in belly fat. Total weight loss was about seven pounds within four weeks—a result that, according to the lead study author, probably wouldn’t be achieved with shorter fasting periods.
Why? Because apart from weight loss—which is great, but for me, not even the most important outcome—ADF subjects’ metabolic profiles also shifted for the better.
Mother Nature knows best
The ADF subjects showed significant drops in a wide range of markers linked to heart risk and aging: inflammation, blood pressure, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and short-chain fatty acids.
And more importantly, fasting achieved these metabolic benefits without any adverse effects. But of course, the safety of IF has always been a given, as far as I’m concerned. After all, you won’t find a better way to mimic how our hunting and gathering ancestors ate.
When you think about it, our bodies are meant to go through frequent periods of hunger, punctuated with periods of food “excess.” Because in nature, it truly is feast or famine.
Despite the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging people to eat small meals throughout the day, starvation actually serves an important restorative purpose to our bodies. For one thing, it triggers autophagy, which is the process by which your cells “clean up” damaged organelles and proteins.
This turbocharges your cells’ metabolic function within just 36 hours. And it’s an anti-aging benefit you’ll never achieve through textbook “dieting.”
Ultimately, fasting isn’t a fad diet—it simply harnesses your body’s own natural rhythms to boost longevity and prevent disease. And if you ask me, it’s about time mainstream nutrition “experts” got the memo.
P.S. Clearly, repairing your metabolic health is important. That’s why I developed my Metabolic Repair Protocol. This online learning tool outlines a step-by-step approach to re-programing your body to work the way it’s supposed to—naturally. To learn more, or to enroll today, simply click here now!
“Alternate-Day Fasting in Short Term Safe, Has Metabolic Benefits.” Medscape Medical News, 08/27/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/917306)