Periodically I engage in email discussions with JC from jcdfitness.com via email. He recently alerted me to a post on a website for someone following a more “Conventional Wisdom” approach to diet and exercise. Based on his own graphs, the gentleman seems to be yo-yo’ing a bit with his weight loss. I wish him the best of luck.
However, he made a post about “eating little” and not losing weight that was rife with the typical small meals/ metabolic fire nonsense. Someone made note of intermittent fasting and how it produces results. This of course was met with all sorts of CW folklore about metabolic shutdown and gorging. Here was my response:At first I asked someone to define the time frame for what they consider to be a “fast.” This question was avoided. I followed up with this nifty thing called “peer reviewed studies:”
I’d like to point out that Uncoupling Protein 3 is significantly elevated 15 hours into a fast, upregulating fat burning potential . Also fatty acid oxidation is up over 50% at the 24 hour mark of a fast . So a person is at least increasing fat burning potential and possibly burning 50% more fat.
My other concern is that individuals view fasting as something only for short term weight loss (Master Cleanse for instance) or exclusively religious. It’s spoken of as if it’s unhealthy and fat isn’t lost. If what I referenced above doesn’t make one at least reconsider their position, there have been every other day fasting studies performed on non-obese individuals who lost fat consistently and without struggle while also increasing biomarkers of longevity . I note the longevity component because fasting has been associated with increased lifespan and health. In fact it’s the component that got left out of the fuss about the Mediterranean Diet: the individuals studied on the Island of Crete (the people the diet is based on) fast much of the year . It’s certainly not hurting their health if their longevity is any indicator .
Here’s my point: fasting metabolically prepares your body by increasing all of the hormones necessary to increase fat burning. Added to that, it creates a large energy deficit, so your body has no choice but to start burning fat for energy.
Fasting might not be for you, or for many people. However short term fasting (16 to 24 hours) is an option for people with the right temperament. I am concerned with people talking down on fasting when the scientific (and anecdotal) evidence suggest that it’s a viable option.
Simple, referenced, attempting to state my points cleanly…and falling totally of deaf ears. Not only does fasting stop our metabolism, but eating a big meal just piles on the fat. I often wonder how we’ve survived this long because if a person had an early dinner (say 6pm) and slept in late (say 8:30am) they’re not going to have breakfast until closer to 9am. A 15 HOUR FAST?! YOUR MUSCLES ARE GONE, YOU’VE LOST ALL FUNCTIONS IN YOUR INTERNAL ORGANS! YOU ARE STARVING TO DEATH! EAT YOUR CREAMED WHEAT YOU ARE WASTING AWAY! WHY ARE WE YELLING?!
We’re still animals, folks. Animals don’t get 3 square; hell my animals get fed once a day and they’re lean and strong. Nobody blinks at this notion for animals but for humans? We’re special so we don’t burn energy like other mammals of a similar weight. We defy the laws of physics.
Consider me amazed.