Tag Archives: Fasting
Posted on 15. Aug, 2010 by admin.
Let’s face it, a lot of us have stubborn areas of fat that we just can’t seem to get rid of no matter what we do. Well, that is if you haven’t tried the two strategies that I’m about to talk about. Just a note before I move on, this is not your typical fitness article telling you to eat the right foods and move more. Those help but these two strategies are even more powerful because it works from the inside. You will see what I mean as I talk about how these strategies work.
The techniques I’m talking about will not be very new to you but I will go deeper into how they work. I’m talking about fasting and the elimination diet. If you have done them before, you may know that they really work to get rid of stubborn areas of fat but you may not have known how they work. Let’s talk about that now…
Fasting and Hormones
Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat (ESE), talks about the hormonal changes that happen in our bodies during a fast. I will discuss some of the main hormones in this post but if you’d like a detailed explanation for each of the hormones involved (and there are many other besides the ones I talk about here), I suggest you read his book.
The first and very important hormone in fasting or digestion in general is insulin. Our pancreas releasse insulin after we eat a meal and our body goes into fat storing mode. During fasting or times when we do not have food in our system, our insulin levels go down which means that we go into fat burning mode. Because we do not have any food to burn for energy during this time, our body burns our stored body fat for energy instead. This is the beauty of fasting – burning stored body fat!
Fasting has also been scientificially shown to increase insulin sensitivity. This can be especially beneficial to people who have diabetes in their family like I do. Diabetes happens when the insulin hormone is no longer responsive to the changes in your blood sugar. As a result, your body would not be able to lower glucose levels in your body. When you increase insulin sensitivity through fasting, your body will become more efficient at regulating your blood sugars which lowers your risk for diabetes. This is one of the major reasons I turned to fasting because both sides of my family are prone to diabetes.
The other major hormone involved during fasting is growth hormone. Growth hormone is popular among the rich and famous because of its fat burning and muscle building effects. Celebrities pay huge amounts of money to be injected with growth hormone. But, regular folks like us can harness the power of growth hormones through fasting. During fasts, our growth hormone levels go up which means our body burns even more fat in combination with the lack of insulin in our system. Plus, we build muscle which we all know is an active tissue which burns even more calories.
As you can see, all these hormonal responses favor fat burning and because the effects are happening at the hormonal level, the changes are even more powerful. In essence, we are making long term physiological changes each time we fast at the same time that we are reducing our calorie intake.
Eliminating Toxins and Allergens
You’ve heard me talk about the elimination diet before. If you need a refresher on that, read this series starting with this post: Starting the Elimination Diet.
For this particular diet, I eliminated wheat, dairy, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. These are the most common foods or food components that are toxic to our body or cause allergic reactions because they are so prevalent in our food supply. In general, we store toxins in our fat cells. If you’re familiar with the process of osmosis, liquids follow the direction where there’s more solutes or toxins. For example, when we have toxins in our fat cells, liquids follow the toxins causing us to store extra fluids in our fat cells. It just so happens that these toxins mainly reside in the fat cells under our belly button (that little pooch in our lower abs that we all hate…lol). So, once we free our bodies of toxins, the fluids follow and we eliminate stubborn areas of fat.
Not everyone is sensitive to all the foods listed above but you would not be able to tell what the culprit is if you do not completely eliminate it from your diet and introduce it back to see how it affects you. For instance, I eliminated peanuts or peanut butter from my diet for several days, after just one tablespoon of peanut butter, I felt bloated and gassy. I know it’s too much information but this is very important information you’d like to know about your body since food sensitivities can cause some serious problems in the long run besides difficulty losing weight. Once you find which foods you are particularly sensitive to and avoid them, you will find that you have less bulge in stubborn areas, prevent unwanted weight gain, and reduced digestive problems.
These two strategies have been particularly helpful to me and my clients and they are highly effective once you follow them routinely. From experience, I’ve also found that they are not very difficult to follow as long as you plan your days ahead. If you have any questions about any of the ideas discussed here, please do not hesitate to post them below.
Posted on 26. Jan, 2009 by admin.
I’m sure you’ve heard about fasting at some point in your life but it would usually involve some kind of religious belief. Personally, I only knew one person in my life who fasted for religious purposes – my former Moroccan co-worker. I used to think that she was doing damage to her body because I have heard that fasting slows down your metabolism, it makes you lose your muscle mass, etc. Another thing that reinforced this thinking into my head was her physique. While she looked healthy, she was very skinny and had very little muscle mass. Of course, this may be due to the fact that she didn’t go to the gym to lift weights and that she’s naturally skinny but, back then, I used to think that it was due to her fasting. The one odd thing that I remember then was – she just went about her day normally even though she hadn’t had a bite of food for several hours.
Fast forward to seven years later, I came upon this report called, Eat Stop Eat (ESE), about intermittent fasting. Except this time the author, Brad Pilon, was talking about fasting with regards to weight loss. To be honest, I was intrigued about what he had to say. At that time, I was getting tired of looking at my belly fat – I was 130 pounds and yet had a 32-inch waist line! I was frustrated and yet not too desperate to believe every diet fad I encounter. So, I went to the Eat Stop Eat’s web site and read all the testimonials. When I still wasn’t sold, I went to look more information in weight loss forums and found real people getting results with ESE. So, after a few days of indecision, I finally bought it.
I was amazed at what I read. While fasting could be a very difficult topic to explain to people, Brad explained it in a format that is easy to understand without using scientific words which can confuse or intimidate the reader. Brad also had a reference page for all the scientific literature that he used to support his ideas. Because I work in the Biotechnology Industry (basically science and research), I had access to scientific journals and read most of the articles that Brad read. Of course, I also wanted to make sure that his sources were legitimate before I even try anything. I can tell you all the benefits of fasting but Brad can explain it way better than I do. If you’re like me and you’re curious about the fasting lifestyle, check out Brad’s report by clicking here.
While I can’t explain you the scientific side of ESE, I can tell you about my experience:
Once I was sure about the validity of fasting, I tried it. I did it for one day. I was expecting to be irritable, moody, weak and even faint! None of these happen. In fact, I was actually surprised how easy it was. After I have been doing it for 2 weeks, I weighed myself. Back then, I was 130 lbs. My weight went down to 124 lbs, I lost 2% body fat, and I lost 1-inch off my waist. I wished I weighed myself sooner than 2 weeks because I’m sure I would have seen results within the first week.
Before I found out about intermittent fasting with ESE, I had to eat 1,000 calories a day and spend an hour and a half at the gym for 6 months before I can even lose 3 lbs. This type of lifestyle is just not realistic for me. It was way too hard to eat 1,000 calories per day especially when I work out and love food too much. With ESE, I saw the weight drop week by week. The best part? I had more time to do other, more important things on my fast days because I didn’t have to worry about bringing and eating lunch. Fasting also gave me the freedom to eat the foods that I love and not feel guilty about eating them.
After 7 weeks of fasting with ESE, I dropped 9.4 lbs, 4.4% body fat, and 3 inches off my waist! Currently, I am wearing size 5 jeans comfortably without any bulge hanging over my belt. It’s amazing to see that the pounds and the fat starts to drop after each fast. The difference is noticeable and even my husband can not take his eyes off my almost flat abs and I am not even done with my weight loss journey.
There are many other things that I like about fasting with ESE. One of these is that I was able to keep my muscle mass. Yes, all of it! To add to that, I was also encouraged to perform more strength training exercises (or weight lifting) in order to tone my body. As we’ve all heard before, muscles work harder than fat so more muscle would mean that we’re also spending more energy (or calories) even at rest. I know that some people, especially women, might be afraid to gain some muscles because they’re afraid to be “too big.” If you watch my video on my About page, you can see that this is not the case. Instead, I got that lean look that a lot of women want.
With regards to metabolism, my results speak for themselves. If I were to have lowered my metabolism due to fasting then, I woudn’t have lost 9.4 lbs in 7 weeks right?! Enough said on that topic. If you want more scientific evidence regarding this topic, Rusty Moore who is the creator of Fitness Black Book, click here.
Another thing that I love about ESE is the fact that my great results motivated to eat even healthier foods. Because I was seeing the pounds drop, I wanted to speed up the process even more by eating more fruits and vegetables. Of course, I will still have cookies, brownies, ice cream, pizza etc. but I eat them less often now. The choice is yours – ESE just gives you the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s face it – Fat loss is difficult because there are so many culprits in society that contribute to accumulating body fat. I’m sure you have heard some of these culprits but let me list some of them for you:
- Deep fried fast foods – chicken, french fries
- Desserts – donuts, cookies, brownies, ice cream
- Lack of Physical Activity
- Big food portions
- Lack of nutritional knowledge in general
- Confusing information about nutrition
Eat Stop Eat simplifies all these choices by limiting your intake of all these foods or not having to be an expert on nutrition and this is all done through the simple act of fasting. It is simply the easiest, healthiest lifestyle I have ever adapted in my adult life.