Archive for the Category Fasting

 
 

How Green Tea Helps Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that alternates eating hours with hours when you either do not eat or take small calories. This stresses what you eat instead of what you consume. Although it has recently become popular, intermittent fasting is not a new concept. People have practiced fasting throughout history for reasons of social, fitness, or survival.

Fasts will not last forever, and you can return to your normal food routine between fasting times – breaking down easily. Although, food choice, especially the drinks ( tea) choice is critical during and after fasting because some foods are better than others. In addition, some foods, drinks, and even supplements can interrupt your fast accidentally, and others have no impact.

This article is specially designed to address which drink is less likely to affect fasting, and green tea is one of them.

So let’s read it more in-depth about Green tea and its health benefits for fasting.

Fasting Green Tea

Were you aware that green tea is known as the most nutritious drink in the world after water? It’s true!

It is reported that catechins in green tea have been shown to help control weight healthily. And since green tea not only contains these amazing catechins, it also contains caffeine, these two components function together to improve strength and increase body energy.

The green tea catechins are also the source of important antioxidants that maintain the cell health and immunity of your body. And the most important point is a green tea that affects your ghrelin levels, so you certainly want to take a cup whenever you’re hungry during the fasting window.

Green Tea helps Fasting

Control hunger pangs

In the first few days or weeks of intermittent fasting, many people struggle with hunger pangs. This is because the body is used to having healthy food all day long. Although the intake of green tea may help relieve these issues as the body adapts to the fasting time.

It is found that catechins in green tea suppress ghrelin secretion — the hormone that signals hunger. Such green tea catechins include EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate, an antioxidant that is responsible for many benefits of green tea.

Helps in weight loss

It has been reported that drinking green tea can help promote weight loss and also lead to long term control of weight. Green tea is a calorie-free drink that makes it a better alternative for sodas and juices if you track your caloric intake.

In addition, tea catechins help to improve the loss of fat. Caffeine also acts to enhance energy and oxidation, helping you lose pounds more easily.

Calm and source of body energy

The green tea contains a synergistic combination of caffeine and l-theanine. Caffeine gives you a healthy energy boost to help you with the exhaustion many beginners experience faster.

This tea caffeine is different from what you would expect from coffee – mostly due to l-theanine. An amino acid, which fosters a relaxed and concentrated mind, l-theanine avoids the jolt, jitters, and eventual crash that you often feel with coffee.

Detox Aids

Drinking green tea with intermittent fasting enables the normal cycle of detoxification of the body called autophagy. The cycle is activated by a protein activation that allows the body to flush out harmed cells and facilitates the regeneration of new cells.

This process is important for the preservation of muscle mass and for preventing age-related diseases. Green Tea catechins promote autophagy during the fasting cycle, helping the body detox and regenerate cells.

Does a Green Tea Break a Fast?

It’s best to ease it when you’re ready to break your fast. By the end of your fast day, you may wish to add small sections of food that are easier to digest so that your digestive system is not overloaded.

Breaking your fast with foods that especially contain high amount of fats, sugar, or low calories can be hard for your body to digest and cause bloating and discomfort.

We can best understand it as Intermittent fasting is a nutritional technique that you pursue during the day or the week and follow some easting and fasting cycles.

During this process, your tissues experience autophagy, which is responsible for some powerful benefits of fasting (such as fat and weight loss).

So at the end of the fasting period, when your body is already undergoing this process, it is not the best approach to break your fast with no calorie green tea.

Sometime when you drink it at the time of breaking your fast, it will suppress your appetite as you adjust to this process by consuming green tea and some other zero-calorie beverages during your fasting window.

Best green tea for intermittent fasting

Matcha green tea

Matcha green tea contains a high amount of antioxidants and protective compounds for plants that are more than ordinary green tea and provide several health benefits. Many people will now use Matcha drinks for fasting.

However, Matcha does not suggest to break fast because the calorie content is low enough to be negligible, and thus the metabolism does not re-invigorate. Furthermore, the efficacy of all the benefits of intermittent fasting has been shown to be increased.

Thanks to the low levels of caffeine and the high concentration of theanine that helps provide a sustainable energy blow, Matcha is an excellent option during intermittent fasting. It effectively keeps the body and mind alert throughout the hungry hours.

Matcha Tea Fasting Benefits

Matcha tea is an excellent option and can help to provide the body with nutrients, even in fasting time. Nevertheless, in addition to all the proven health benefits (fighting diseases, increasing immunity, etc.), it also has more direct benefits for dietarians.

  • The biggest benefit is that it will help to stop hunger. This makes it popular with dietitians, not just for intermittent fasters.
  • This can also help to increase the metabolic rate and consume calories more rapidly, something everyone needs.
  • Matcha tea is all in all great for intermittent fasting!

How to boost Intermittent fasting results with Green Tea

Experts suggest drinking 3 to 4 cups of green tea a day to maximize the advantages of fasting for the best results.

Try to brew your tea cold for full effect. Cold-brewed tea has more antioxidants than warm tea. It’s because certain catechins and antioxidants can be burned by hot water. The cold brewing process involves steeping the tea leaves for a longer time in cold water. Usually, the leaves can steep for 8 to 12 hours in cool water.

 

Fasting Teas: What Ingredients Do These Fasting Supplements Contain?

Intermittent fasting is a term used to describe a condition where you ingest no food or caloric beverages for a period of some hours daily or 1-3 days/ week. Some diets suggest eating free the rest of the day or the rest of the week others suggest eating specific amounts of calories (1). 

Despite the numerous health benefits of intermittent fasting like increased resistance to diabetes, reduced inflammation, increased resistance of the heart and brain to stress, improved body weight composition and blood pressure, and others (2), there are some researchers claiming that intermittent fasting might cause dehydration, cravings or might weaken your immune system (3). 

The truth is much different to these last negative claims, because during intermittent fasting you are encouraged to drink fluids with no or very few calories. 

Can you drink tea while fasting?

The most important liquid that you can consume while fasting is a fasting tea, meaning a tea without sugar. You can not only drink something to hydrate yourself, but you can additionally provide some beneficial nutrients to your body.

Sometimes, there is nothing better than having a tea during intermittent fasting in the morning to wake you up, hydrate you and delay your breakfast to add a few more hours to an overnight fast.

Since tea does not break the fast, you can drink it at any time of the day, no matter if it is a fasting time or not.

Even in human studies about the health outcomes of intermittent fasting, participants are permitted to drink water, herbal teas, and black tea/coffee with no sugar (4).

There are plenty of teas in the market claiming that they are teas for fasting and some of them claim that have beneficial effects either on their own or in combination with other ingredients.

Here are the most common of the ingredients included in the fasting teas you can find in the market:

Green tea leaf extract

According to a meta-analysis of more than 100 studies, the administration of green tea beverages or extracts resulted in significant reductions in serum Triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol levels (5). Moreover, when researchers evaluated the effect of green tea on satiety, the participants reported that the consumption of green tea increases satiety and fullness (6).

In addition, green tea seems to be beneficial during a weight loss attempt. In a 2013 study, researchers investigated whether the consumption of green tea has any effect on the body weight and blood pressure (7). They concluded that consuming four cups of green tea led to a significant reduction in weight and systolic blood pressure, showing that a green tea during intermittent fasting can have a supplementary role during a weight loss attempt. 

Another important effect of green tea is that studies have shown that the major antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents of the green tea- catechins, ameliorate liver inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis.

Additionally, green tea extract suppresses oxidative stress (8). On top of that, it was only recently when researchers discovered the antiaging effect of green tea extract and its major bioactive component epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (9).

Animal studies have shown that EGCG increases lifespan in normal or oxidative stress conditions and green tea extract extends the average lifespan of mice with normal diet (9). Furthermore, green tea has been shown to possess cancer chemo-preventive activity. EGCG alone reduced lung metastases in mice with melanoma (10).

Accordingly, there is a more recent study reporting that green tea protects DNA damage and initiates repair mechanisms in various cancer models, thus it is considered as a traditional antioxidative free radical scavenger (11).

According to a human study, the green tea extract that is rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se.

This claim is an additional reason for the green tea extract to be used as a fasting tea for people who diet for weight loss (12). As you can imagine green tea is the king ingredient among the teas for fasting.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound mainly found in red wine, peanuts and red grapes. It is used in many teas for fasting.

Resveratrol possesses anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the activity of inflammatory enzymes. Additionally, resveratrol may also inhibit pro-inflammatory factors. Furthermore, resveratrol has been found to induce cell apoptosis.

Resveratrol also possesses anti-oxidant properties and induces antioxidant enzymes like glutathione peroxidase-1 and others. Moreover, resveratrol reduces the progress rate of atherosclerosis, hypertension, and other conditions.

Most US resveratrol teas for fasting, contain extracts of the root of Polygonum cuspidatum. There are also grape extracts and red wine extracts containing polyphenols like resveratrol available as dietary supplements (13).

Quercetin

Quercetin is a common flavanol (belongs to the class of flavonoids) found in many fruits and vegetables such as berries, cherries, apples, onions, broccoli, and capers. Quercetin accounts for almost 50% of flavanols intake.

Qurcetin is often among the ingredients of teas for fasting. There are studies demonstrating that quercetin can exert neuroprotection and antagonize oxidative stress when administered to humans and animals.

Specifically, in an animal study, oral quercetin supplementation was shown to protect rodents from oxidative stress and neurotoxicity. Additionally, quercetin also antagonized cognitive impairment induced by feeding mice a high- fat diet.

Another study has shown that quercetin ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease pathology and related cognitive deficits (14).

On top of the above findings, another study reported that quercetin and its derivative quercetin caprylate can rejuvenate senescent fibroblasts and increase their lifespan.

It is noticeable that quercetin has over 6 times the antioxidant capacity than vitamin C. The anti-inflammatory capacity of quercetin combined with the above- mentioned properties contribute to the antiaging effect of quercetin (9). 

Blueberry Extracts

Blueberries, containing large amounts of polyphenols, possess a greater antioxidant capacity compared to other vegetables and fruits. Blueberry extracts belong to the extracts that can be contained in an intermittent fasting tea.

It has been shown that the consumption of natural compounds in blueberries can retard age-related physiological and functional deficits.

Specifically, there is an animal study reporting that blueberries are effective in enhancing cognitive and motor behavior as well as attenuating cognitive declines in object recognition memory(15).

Moreover, blueberries contain high amounts of anthocyanins which are flavonoids also used as a natural food colorant. Blueberries anthocyanins are considered beneficial against diseases like diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases (16). 

Bromelain

Bromelain is a mixture of proteolytic enzymes and is abundant in several parts of the pineapple plant, including the fruit, stem, leaves, and peel.

However, it is mainly derived from the stem of the pineapple plant (17). Bromelain can be an ingredient of a fasting tea, as it does not break a fast.

According to a published article, bromelain can contribute to the therapy of inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Additionally, a review article (2010) concludes that bromelain possesses anti-cancer properties (18). 

Raspberry extracts

The red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) is a berry known as one of the highest whole food sources of dietary fiber. The number of nutrients and bioactive components that red raspberries provide, makes them very important for the promotion and prevention of human health. Specifically, they are rich in vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, magnesium, potassium, and calcium (19).

According to studies, raspberry extracts play a role in reducing the risk for metabolically related chronic diseases, like cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Plenty of intermittent fasting teas highlight the existence of raspberry extracts among their ingredients.

Nutmeg

Nutmeg is another ingredient widely used in fasting teas. It is commonly served in powder form or essential oil in the food industry worldwide. Its pericarp is used in food and beverage preparations like healthy fasting teas.

Studies have shown that nutmeg oil usually contains plenty of chemical components including linalool, terpineol and others. According to a 2016 study, nutmeg possesses anti-inflammatory activities and is a pain reliever (20).

Bottom line

The consumption of a fasting tea is helpful during your intermittent fasting attempt. It does not only hydrate you, but it can also provide plenty of nutrients. Therefore, it is important to choose the intermittent fasting tea that has the highest nutritional value without adding calories in your diet.

There are plenty of teas for fasting in the market. Most of them include 1-2 of the above- mentioned ingredients.

If you want the one that contains all the above-mentioned ingredients, then take your attention to Eat Stop Eat Fasting Tea. It’s only 10 calories per serving and can be the only supplement that you need during your intermittent fasting diet, boosting your immune system with precious nutrients.

 

References

1) Barnosky, A., Hoddy, K., Unterman, T. and Varady, K., 2014. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, 164(4), pp.302-311.

2) Mattson, M., Longo, V. and Harvie, M., 2017. Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Research Reviews, 39, pp.46-58.

3) Horne, B., Muhlestein, J. and Anderson, J., 2015. Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(2), pp.464-470.

4) Templeman, I., Thompson, D., Gonzalez, J., Walhin, J., Reeves, S., Rogers, P., Brunstrom, J., Karagounis, L., Tsintzas, K. and Betts, J., 2018. Intermittent fasting, energy balance and associated health outcomes in adults: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 19(1).

5) Zheng, X., Xu, Y., Li, S., Liu, X., Hui, R. and Huang, X., 2011. Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94(2), pp.601-610.

6) Josic, J., Olsson, A., Wickeberg, J., Lindstedt, S. and Hlebowicz, J., 2010. Does green tea affect postprandial glucose, insulin and satiety in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal, 9(1).

7) Mousavi, A., Vafa, M., Neyestani, T., Khamseh, M., & Hoseini, F. (2013). The effects of green tea consumption on metabolic and anthropometric indices in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 18(12), 1080–1086.

8) Casas-Grajales, S., 2015. Antioxidants in liver health. World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 6(3), p.59.

9) Si, H. and Liu, D., 2014. Dietary antiaging phytochemicals and mechanisms associated with prolonged survival. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 25(6), pp.581-591.

10) Liu, J., Chen, S., Lin, C., Tsai, S. and Liang, Y., 2001. Inhibition of melanoma growth and metastasis by combination with (?)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate and dacarbazine in mice. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 83(4), pp.631-642.

11) George, V., Dellaire, G. and Rupasinghe, H., 2017. Plant flavonoids in cancer chemoprevention: role in genome stability. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 45, pp.1-14.

12) Dulloo, A., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., Chantre, P. and Vandermander, J., 1999. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(6), pp.1040-1045.

13) Linus Pauling Institute. 2015. Resveratrol. [online] Available at: <https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/resveratrol> [Accessed 24 July 2020].

14) Costa, L., Garrick, J., Roquè, P. and Pellacani, C., 2016. Mechanisms of Neuroprotection by Quercetin: Counteracting Oxidative Stress and More. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016, pp.1-10.

15) Peng, C., Wang, X., Chen, J., Jiao, R., Wang, L., Li, Y., Zuo, Y., Liu, Y., Lei, L., Ma, K., Huang, Y. and Chen, Z., 2014. Biology of Ageing and Role of Dietary Antioxidants. BioMed Research International, 2014, pp.1-13.

16) Routray, W. and Orsat, V., 2011. Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins: Factors Affecting Biosynthesis and Properties. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 10(6), pp.303-320.

17) Hale, L., Greer, P., Trinh, C. and James, C., 2005. Proteinase activity and stability of natural bromelain preparations. International Immunopharmacology, 5(4), pp.783-793.

18) Chobotova, K., Vernallis, A. and Majid, F., 2010. Bromelain’s activity and potential as an anti-cancer agent: Current evidence and perspectives. Cancer Letters, 290(2), pp.148-156.

19) Burton-Freeman, B., Sandhu, A. and Edirisinghe, I., 2016. Red Raspberries and Their Bioactive Polyphenols: Cardiometabolic and Neuronal Health Links. Advances in Nutrition, 7(1), pp.44-65.

20) Zhang, W., Tao, S., Li, T., Li, Y., Li, X., Tang, H., Cong, R., Ma, F. and Wan, C., 2016. Nutmeg oil alleviates chronic inflammatory pain through inhibition of COX-2 expression and substance P release in vivo. Food & Nutrition Research, 60(1), p.30849.

 

Eat Stop Eat Fasting Tea With High Polyphenols is on Sale Now!

 

UPDATE:

Eat Stop Eat fasting tea is temporarily out of stock because we have difficulties with its production due to COVID-19. Visit Eat Stop Eat shop to see what products are currently available for purchase.


 

Let’s cut right to the chase… I’ve developed a unique tea to support your intermittent fasting, and it’s amazing.

Fasting tea is a collection of high “polyphenol” ingredients designed to help accelerate all the positive benefits of intermittent fasting…

From curbing hunger to blocking the synthesis of new fat, and even possibly killing existing fat cells, polyphenols are pretty awesome.

They really do everything — from improving the health of your mitochondria, to helping with inflammation and insulin sensitivity — polyphenols have a wide array or really great health benefits, and that’s why I chose them as the core of my fasting tea.

And I sought out all the best, highest quality, natural sources of polyphenols. You can see the full list of polyphenol sources on this page. The result is a blend of high potency, great tasting, not too sweet polyphenols in a delicious drink.

Now, if you’re looking for a “magic bullet,” or a 5,000% boost in your metabolism, then fasting tea isn’t for you, but if you’re happy to enjoy the gradual benefits that can improve your health and your body composition, as well as reducing inflammation, neutralizing free radicals and free radical formation, then fasting tea is for you.

And if you’re wondering “But Brad, couldn’t I just make this myself?” the answer is yes, yes you could. You’ll see all the ingredients at the link below. However, I’ve done all the work to make this easy, tasty and well… easy.

[[ To be 100% honest with you, I made this tea for me. It’s the formula I wanted for me, so you can rest assured that it’s really, really good stuff. ]]

Also, I know I called it “fasting tea,” but it’s something I take every day, fasting or not.

Finally, I know you are probably skeptical, you probably see supplements all the time, but I really want you to give this one a try. And today you can get over 35% OFF on your first bottle…

You special discount page here ==> Fasting Tea Special Deal

I really think you’re going to love Fasting Tea!

Should Women Fast?

It IS TRUE that many women have had problems when they added fasting into their diet and nutrition plan. But, the question becomes, was the problem the fasting?

It should come as no surprise that there are obvious gender differences in how the human body works. From the way genders look to their unique metabolisms, men and women do have very different physiologies.

In fact, there are entire books dedicated to the topic (my favorite being “Gender Differences in Metabolism” by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky).

In short, aside from the obvious physical differences in muscle mass and body fat levels, women also differ from men due to women having their own set of unique metabolic and physiologic needs that relate to their child-bearing physiology, and this fact simply can not be ignored when discussing diet and weight loss.

A woman’s ovarian function is particularly sensitive to energy balance and energy flux, which can be explained easily by saying a woman’s body is constantly monitoring the energy available since the energy needs for pregnancy are high.

If the energy needed to support pregnancy is not available, or is perceived to be at risk of becoming unavailable, then the body takes steps to lessen the chance of pregnancy.

In fact, “available energy” is monitored in three distinct ways:

1)    Energy Status – The amount of stored energy within a woman’s body. This is most often thought of as body fat or body fat percentage.
 
2)    Energy Balance – The balance between calories in and calories out. Basically whether or not a woman is actively losing weight.
 
3)    Energy Flux – The RATE of calories in and the RATE of calories out. A woman may not be losing weight, but her calorie intake and output are extremely low, or both extremely high.

As an example, a woman with very low levels of body fat (15-20%) may be at higher risk for metabolic changes due to her low amount of available energy, since the amount of energy stored in her body fat may not be enough to support a full pregnancy.

A woman undergoing prolonged severe dieting may be at higher risk for metabolic changes because of the large discrepancy between calories in and calories out, despite still having higher than average levels of body fat.

And finally, a woman who is not losing weight — or is calorie balanced — but the flux is extremely high (athletes who eat and burn 3,000+ calories in a given day) could be at risk of metabolic changes because of the high flux of calories, even though she is in calorie balance and has normal levels of body fat.

So a woman who wants to lose weight must be aware that her unique situation will affect how her body responds to any particular weight loss or exercise program. And this includes fasting.

A woman’s current body fat level, her exercise program, and her degree of dieting are all risk factors.

Sadly, this is well-known physiology.  Physiologic and metabolic disturbances like the female athlete triad have been studied for years.

So people who are saying that fasting CAUSES issues with women’s hormones, without looking at the other possible factors either don’t understand this physiology, or are ignoring it. Both are equally concerning.

Either way, fasting itself I don’t see as the issue, but something that exasperates any one of these three issues.

Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Diabetes?

Intermittent Fasting has become VERY popular in the main stream media over the last 6 months.

These things happen in cycles, the last time being around 2013.

In 2013, when Intermittent Fasting was a big topic in the news, we had all sorts of crazy stories about the ‘miracles’ of IF.

Then, as a result, we had the backlash, with clickbait articles about the dangers of IF, including IF not being good for women.

So now, Fasting is Big Again, so please be aware, the negative information will be coming again…

As an example, lets talk about the recent reports that fasting now causes Diabetes.

This comes from absolutely reckless and irresponsible reporting, using information gleaned from a poster presentation at a conference, not a published or reviewed study.

The study in question was also performed on Wistar Rats and they didn’t actually measure whether or not the rats had become diabetic. Importantly there as also no mention of a control group.

[[ As a note, please keep in mind my conflicts of interest are obvious, so I’m trying to report the facts as best I can, but keep in mind, I can’t help but have biases in this regard ]]

As we’ve discussed earlier, longer fasts (48 plus hours) can cause temporary and transient insulin resistance in humans, as it takes some time to switch from ‘fat burning’ to ‘glucose burning’ when your blood is high in free fatty acids.

The important point from these findings is that the insulin resistance induced by 48 hours of fasting is not associated with changes in three diabetes linked genes – Calpain 3, calpaan 10 and DARP, suggesting that it is mediated by increased blood FFA and NOT a change in insulin signalling / handling.

Finally, please do not let a single presentation on rats alter your reality.  We should always be diligent, questioning what we think we know, but we should be just as cautious with bad news as we are with overly good news.

But at the same time, it is our duty to point out fake truths, otherwise they become reality .

Stay even keel on this – Fasting is a tool we use. It’s not magic, you don’t get to gorge on pizza and burgers just because you fast. However, from the human research, at this time it seems very unlikely that fasting will cause diabetes.

 

Read also – Should men treat diabetes differently than women?

 

 

 

Can You Drink Alcohol During a Fast?

I assure you I’d love the answer to be yes. As a person who practices intermittent fasting once or twice a week, I can tell you that there have been days were I’ve considered breaking a fast solely for a nice pint of Guinness.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I will think of every excuse in the book outlining why I should be able to have a drink.

Usually I go with the ‘”because it’s good for you” argument. Then my brain hits me with the counterargument of, “Better than fasting?”

Darn brain always trumps me.

But what actually happens when you do consume alcohol in the fasted state? Is it detrimental to the fat loss we expect from intermittent fasting?

Let’s explore.

To start a review of alcohol and fasting we need to know two basic things: what happens when we ingest alcohol, and where does it go after we ingest it?

After drinking alcohol, it is readily absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. About 20% of the absorption of alcohol takes place by passive diffusion through the stomach wall with the rest absorbed through the duodenum and the walls of the small intestine [Norberg A, 2003].

Once the alcohol has been absorbed it is slowly eliminated. This occurs primarily through metabolism, basically it is burned as a fuel. A super small amount of alcohol gets excreted unchanged in the breath (0.7%), sweat (0.1%), and urine (0.3%) [Holford NH, 1997].

Here’s another fun fact: according to Wikipedia (who’s never wrong), the average human digestive system produces approximately 3 grams of ethanol per day (a little less than a third of a beer)… completely irrelevant to an article on intermittent fasting and alcohol, but interesting nonetheless.

However as I said, the point of this isn’t a complete review of the health benefits and metabolism alcohol.

Truthfully, this article came about because of a study titled “Effect of Moderate White Wine Consumption on Serum IgA and Plasma Insulin under fasting conditions”.

In this trial, 5 non-alcoholic men were asked to fast for 6 hours then consume 40 grams of alcohol in the form of medium dry white wine over a 3-hour period.

(To give you an idea, that’s just a little under three “super-sized” (9 oz.) glasses of wine.)

It turns out that this amount of alcohol intake did not raise insulin levels above the fasting levels (stayed below 10 uU/ml)[Kokavec A, 2006]. Pretty cool. Even cooler is that this finding is in line with several other studies. Turns out, alcohol even at these levels doesn’t have much influence on insulin levels [Hawkins R, 1972].

Now, since most people relate insulin levels to fat loss or fat storage, I understand why you might be thinking “HOLY CRAP, PILON JUST SAID I CAN HAVE 3 GLASSES OF WINE DURING MY FAST!!!”

Not so fast.

If you’ve read Eat Stop Eat (and I hope you have) then you know there’s more to fat burning than just insulin. We also have to look at growth hormone (GH).

Luckily, research on acute intake of alcohol and its impact on growth hormone has been conducted. Unfortunately the results are… well… equivocal.

In a trial completed in 1971, 11 healthy men were fed roughly 80 grams of alcohol after an overnight fast. This is the equivalent of drinking a little more than a bottle of wine or about 8 beers.

Following the ingestion of the alcohol, growth hormone levels rose well above normal levels. Within 3 hours after consuming the alcohol their blood free fatty acids (FFA) levels began to fall below normal fasting levels. Interestingly, blood glucose levels remained constant during the 3 hours of measurement [Bellet S, 1971].

This study is a little tricky, since that is a fairly high dose of alcohol. In all honesty, I’d hope that nobody is wondering if they can drink an entire bottle of wine during their fast.

In fact, it could be suggested that the increase in GH was a stress response from the fact that these gentlemen were more than likely intoxicated from this amount of wine, which was consumed fairly quickly, and in the morning.

Regardless, it would seem that with an increase in GH and a decrease in insulin we just might be able to get away with having a couple drinks during our fasts (YES!). Remember from Eat Stop Eat, the key markers of a fasted state are elevated GH and decreased Insulin.

However, it is also well known that both the acute and chronic intake of alcohol alters normal sleep patterns. Typically suppressing rapid eye movement and increasing slow wave sleep, with the magnitude of these changes being directly related to blood alcohol levels [Yules RB, 1966]. I find this to be interesting because it is also well known that nighttime growth hormone secretion is related to the appearance of slow wave sleep.

So we look to another study that examined the effects of a pre-bed drink in 5 adult males. In this trial fasted men consumed 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight of alcohol prior to sleep (For a 170 pound guy this is about 60ish grams of alcohol, that is about 6 beers or 4 nine-ounce glasses of wine (these are BIG glasses).

As expected blood alcohol levels rose and then returned to baseline levels between 4-6 hours later. But the interesting thing is what happened to their sleep patterns.

REM sleep was decreased, slow wave increased. Not only was sleep perturbed (science talk for messed-up) but the alcohol intake significantly decreased the GH peak associated with slow wave sleep by an almost 70% reduction.

This is a pretty significant alteration in GH levels. It’s also more consistent with other studies finding even moderate acute doses of alcohol can block or blunt various GH responses in the body [Prinz PN, 1980].

So insulin stays low, but GH seems to be blunted unless the intake of alcohol is on the extreme side.

Interesting, but both insulin and GH are what we call “surrogate endpoints” we’re really concerned with what is happening to them as much as we are our true endpoint: fat burning.

Luckily, there’s a study to address this issue.

In study published in 1999, eight healthy men were asked to drink 24 grams of alcohol after a 12-hour fast. Right away I can say this study is a bit more applicable to our situation since this amount of alcohol is what is found in roughly 2 beers, 2 normal glasses of wine, or two 1.5 ounce shots of hard liquor… a much more realistic intake for a casual drinker than trying to drink 6-8 beers during a fast.

In this study, after ingestion of alcohol lipolysis (fat being released from your body fat stores) and fat oxidation (fat being burned as a fuel) plummeted, representing a ~70% decrease in fat burning. Carbohydrate oxidation did not change, but total energy expenditure increased (their metabolic rate went up)[Siler SQ, 1999].

To summarize: a rather normal dose of alcohol caused a decrease in fat burning, no change in carbohydrate burning, and a slight increase in overall calorie burning in men who were in the fasted state.

So the question remains. If metabolic rate increases, glucose oxidation stayed the same, and fat burning decreased… what the heck were they burning?

Turns out the answer is the alcohol… sort of.

The alcohol we consume gets converted into something called acetaldehyde and then into acetate. We can handle acetate, but if we drink too much too quickly, the enzymes responsible for this conversion can’t keep up and the acetaldehyde begins to spill over and can lead to damage and toxic effects. So it makes sense that as much as 77% of the alcohol you ingest becomes blood acetate and that we are well equipped to dispose of this acetate [Manzo-Avalos S, 2010].

The primary fate of circulating acetate is oxidation. In other words it gets burned as a fuel, eventually being metabolized to CO2 in heart, skeletal muscle, and even brain cells. Yes, even your brain is able to switch over and use acetate as a fuel if it’s present in your blood stream.

The rough translation of this is: if acetate it present in your blood it will get used in priority over fat or carbohydrate and protein.

In fact, blood acetate is such a priority that it’s mere presence can decrease lipolysis by ~50%, even when you are in the fasted state [Crouse JR, 1968]

And this is what happens when you drink during your fast. It’s not that you will gain more fat (unless you are drinking excessively), but you will stop releasing body fat, stop burning body fat, and burn acetate instead. This occurs without any change in insulin levels.

So sadly, it seems the answer is that you cannot drink during your fasts without diminishing your fat burning abilities. Luckily, with Eat Stop Eat-style fasts you only fast once or twice a week. Leaving 5 or 6 days were you can have a drink you choose. Heck, I even recommend easy diet hacks that use alcohol as a way to lose weight.

 

NOTE: I find it odd that ALL of this research was conducted on men. We know that amount of ethanol metabolized by the stomach differs by sex [Frezza M, 1990], but I see no reason why this would exclude women from the “no drinking during a fast” rule.

How Many Calories on Your Fasting Day

A question I often get asked is how much should you eat on your fasting days, and my answer is  always, you should act as if the fast never happened.

In an absolute Ideal world, if your target calorie intake is 2,400 calories, and you are doing a 24 hour  fast between Sunday and Monday, then your calorie total for Sunday and Monday should combine to be 2,400 calories.

However, I’m a realist and I know that this often does not happen. So as a general rule of thumb,  the calorie intake for the two days that bookend your fast will roughly fall somewhere around your normal daily calorie intake times 1.3 to 1.5.

As an example, if your daily goal calorie intake is 2,400 then your two fast days (in this example, Sunday and Monday) should add up to somewhere between 3,000 and 3,600 calories – or roughly 1,500 – 1,800 calories per day.

Do your best to keep this as simple as possible, and remember that completing a fast is not an excuse to overeat.

The Leangains Method of Intermittent Fasting: Basics, Research & Comparison

martin-berkhan

The Leangains style of intermittent fasting (aka 16/8 fasting method) was created by Martin Berkhan as a way for bodybuilders to build lean muscle mass without unnecessary weight gain from fat. Traditionally, bodybuilders “bulk” during their training period; they build muscle underneath fat. In the weeks leading up to a competition, bodybuilders then “cut” to get rid of excess fat.

Berkhan mapped out the Leangains as a way of showing bodybuilders how to consistently build lean muscle mass—without fat—so that cutting before a competition could be avoided altogether. The Leangains diet has since been used by a variety of fitness enthusiasts looking to trim down and tone up at the same time.

 

The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting

While Berkhan pioneered the specifics of the Leangains style of intermittent fasting, periodic fasting for health is not a new concept. Fasting forces the body to use fat as fuel instead of glucose. This shift converts fat into ketones; ketones burn more efficiently than glucose which results in more consistent energy levels and fat burn.

A study at Harvard University found that alternate-day fasting among mice, “protected mice from strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and consistently extended their life spans by 30 percent.” So not only are there weight loss benefits to intermittent fasting; there are long term health benefits as well.

 

The Leangains Research

Contrary to other fat loss methods, the Leangains method is not based on hypothetical or personal opinions, but it is based in scientific research. A number of studies conducted in order to investigate the effects of intermittent fasting and some of them included the Leangains protocol of 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of feeding.

One of the most recent published studies and easily to access for free, was conducted by Moro and her colleagues and investigated the effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding on metabolic factors, body composition, strength and other markers in resistance-trained males.

The study of Moro and her colleagues compared two groups of resistance trained athletes, the one group used the time-restricted feeding while the other group was on a normal diet. The first group (time-restricted feeding) consumed their calories in an 8-h period of time every day, divided into 3 meals: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The remaining time of the day was the fasting period. The second group (normal diet) consumed their energy needs divided into 3 meals: 8 a.m., 1 p.m., and 8 p.m. Both groups consumed the same amount of calories and % of macronutrients. In addition, they used a standardized resistance training program. Subjects were tested, before and after the 8 weeks of the program, to compare the results between the 2 groups.

According to the results of the study, the fat mass of the time-restricted feeding group decreased significantly (−16.4 versus a reduction of  −2.8 % in the normal diet group). An increase, similar between the 2 groups was observed on Leg press maximal strength. Insulin and blood glucose levels decreased significantly only in the group of males on the time-restricted feeding.

In addition, triglycerides levels decreased only in the time-restricted feeding group. The hormone adiponectine which is related to increased energy expenditure also was higher only in the time-restricted group. However, anabolic hormone levels, such as testosterone were lower after the time-restricted feeding, while in the normal diet group no change was observed.

So the scientific research shows that time-restricted feeding maintains muscle mass, reduces body fat levels and inflammation markers. The mechanism of greater fat loss in time-restricted feeding group compared to the normal diet group seems to be due to the different time of meal distribution. Despite the fact that this study was conducted in resistance trained males, the observation that insulin and blood glucose levels decreased significantly indicates that time-restricted feeding like leangains method could also improve health markers related to patients such as diabetics and obese patients.

Although there is a great number of studies conducted in order to battle obesity and diabetes, very few managed to provide a really effective and useful tool. The leangains method seems to be a promising natural alternative and future studies are expected to strengthen current scientific findings.

 

The Leangains Method Explained

Berkhan’s Leangains style of intermittent fasting was designed for people who want the benefits of intermittent fasting without compromising their fitness and/or strength training. Whereas other methods of intermittent fasting focus more on the fasting cycle and less on the specifics of what an individual is eating, Leangains emphasises proper pre and post workout nutrition. Berkan also goes in depth to explain calorie cycling, macronutrients and meal times.

Here is a basic breakdown of the Leangains protocol:

There is a 16 hour window for fasting each day. The majority of this time is taken up during sleep. For women this is a 14 hour window as women’s bodies and metabolisms differ from men’s.

There is an 8 hour window for feeding each day. During this time three meals are usually eaten. For women this is a 10 hour window.

Protein intake remains high on all days. On workout days, it is more important to get carbs before fat. On rest days, fat intake tends to be higher. These variables change depending on the gender, age, body fat, activity levels and the goals of an individual.

Workout days start with a medium-sized meal of meat, veggies and fruit. Training is meant to happen within three hours of this first meal. A larger meal can be had post workout.

Rest days involve a lower calorie intake. Carb consumption should be restricted whereas meat and fibrous veggies make up the bulk of the calories eaten on rest days. The first meal of the day is the largest consisting of roughly 40% of the daily calorie intake.

The last meal of the day should involve a slow digesting protein. This maintains a feeling of fullness and ensures that your body has enough amino acids until the next meal to prevent muscle atrophy.

Whole and unprocessed food should be eaten whenever possible. Avoid processed or liquid foods.

 

Pros and Cons of the Leangains Diet

Like any diet protocol, there are pros and cons to the Leangains plan. As Berkhan designed the Leangains for bodybuilders, it is meant to be used in conjunction with very specific macronutrients and meal times.

Pros

The Leangains is an effective way to build lean muscle without having to put on fat. It is also an effective way to lose weight and keep it off.

Unlike other intermittent fasting protocols, Leangains involves eating every day; there are no 24 hour fasting periods. This supports a rigorous training schedule.

Leangains has slightly different protocols for men and women which allows it to be sustained and deliver results for both genders.

Cons

As Leangains was designed for bodybuilders, the best results will be seen if the full protocol is followed. This involves taking the right supplements at the right time in relation to workouts as well as very specific meal times and macronutrients.

All the variables involved in executing the Leangains diet mean that it can take time to figure out the specifics of what works for each individual.

 

Leangains vs. Eat Stop Eat

The Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting is much more simple than Leangains. In the Eat Stop Eat protocol, there are one or two 24 hour fasting periods within a week. These fasts can be done at any point during the week to suit the needs and the schedule of the individual. Just like the Leangains plan, these 24 hour fasting periods force the body to start burning fat at a higher rate.

The Eat Stop Eat plan does not specify the types of foods that need to be consumed. However, there is an emphasis on whole and unprocessed foods along with plenty of lean protein and leafy green vegetables.

Unlike Leangains, Eat Stop Eat requires no special macronutrients or a strict meal schedule. Meals can be eaten at regular times on non-fasting days and no special supplements need to be taken. In this way, it is much easier to start the Eat Stop Eat method. While Leangains was designed specifically to support bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts during training, Eat Stop Eat was designed to be used by everyone.

It is an easy lifestyle change that can be started right away without any planning or a complete diet overhaul. Leangains is a good option when trying to maintain a rigorous workout schedule while Eat Stop Eat is well suited for sedentary to moderately active people looking to reduce their body fat percentage.

If you want to learn more on how Eat Stop Eat style of intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and improve your health, please CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

References

1) Berkhan, Martin. “Sure-Fire Fat Loss.” Intermittent Fasting Diet for Fat Loss, Muscle Gain and Health. June 27, 2008. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://www.leangains.com/2008/06/sure-fire-fat-loss.html.

2) O’Connor, Anahad. “Fasting Diets Are Gaining Acceptance.” The New York Times. March 7, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/07/intermittent-fasting-diets-are-gaining-acceptance/?_r=0.

3) J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 13;14(1):290. Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males. Moro T, Tinsley G, Bianco A, Marcolin G, Pacelli QF, Battaglia G, Palma A, Gentil P, Neri M, Paoli A.

4) Nutr Res. 2016 Jun;36(6):603-11. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.02.005. Epub 2016 Feb 20. Time-restricted feeding reduces adiposity in mice fed a high-fat diet.
Sundaram S, Yan L.

5) Adipocyte. 2015 Apr 20;4(4):319-24. doi: 10.1080/21623945.2015.1025184. The effects of time-restricted feeding on lipid metabolism and adiposity. Chaix A, Zarrinpar A.

 

Intermediate Fasting For Weight Loss and Health: Top 8 Benefits

Intermediate fasting is a popular dietary concept that can provide important benefits for your long-term weight loss and health. Here are the top eight science-based benefits of intermediate fasting:

FREQUENCY

Benefit One

Intermediate Fasting is the Easiest Way to Restrict Calories

Do you want to incinerate your fat blubber and lose a ton of weight? No matter what it always comes down to how many calories you are taking into your body.

Intermediate fasting is the easiest nutrition tool that allows you to stay within your target calories (without endless hunger pangs) and even gives you some elbowroom to make mistakes.

Did you eat a little bit too much at the company party? It’s okay. Just pull back a little on your calories in your next meal. Did you have a full on birthday party with cakes, alcohol, chips and all sorts of tasty treats? IT’S also OKAY. Just take a 24-hour fast the following day.

In fact, some people use a strategic fast day to take advantage of the fat burning goodness cheating on your diet does for your body. They have caloric “wiggle room” within thier day to make up for any “extra” calories they may have taken in.

Benefit Two

Intermediate Fasting helps to control your appetite

It’s well known that hunger isn’t only driven by physical needs but cognitive factors and social factors as weel. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself eating when you think you’re hungry, but it’s not when your body really needs food. In fact, your body has a tremendous capacity to store food and energy and work efficiently, and we can negatively affect that process by stuffing ourselves with food when it’s not needed or wanted.

You see, the way you eat has been and always will be controlled by you and your environment.

An example:

Most people have been told that eating breakfast first thing in the morning will “help burn fat” so what do we end up doing?

We eat first thing in the morning. What you may start noticing after a couple weeks of doing this is that you start to get hungry in the morning. You’ve trained your body to be hungry at that time.

Another example:

We are also told by everyone from coaches to doctors to eat frequent meals a day to “stoke our metabolic fire.”

Seeking to comply, we end up eating every 2 to 3 hours each day; however, this is definitely not beneficial. There is no “metabolic fire.” There is no additional benefit to frequent eating.

And, while you can lose weight eating that way, there’s a pretty big downside to that kind of nutrition style: you are training your body to be hungry.

You see, if you eat every 2-3 hours, then—within just a few weeks—you’ll start to get hungry every 2-3 hours.

It has everything to do with a hormone called Ghrelin—also known as, “the Hunger Hormone.” Ghrelin is a hormone that precedes, predicts your mealtimes, induces hunger and is also secreted just by looking at your food before you eat it.

Ghrelin is produced in the hypothalamus, kidney and pituitary gland, but most of it is synthesized in and released by the stomach.

Your ghrelin secretion schedule largely follows your eating schedule, and it’s a fast responder, so even after a few days of going a new meal schedule your body will start to adapt to the eating changes.

Every time Ghrelin is secreted in your body it creates a hunger response.

The more times you delay your hunger response the more you train your body to handle the hunger inducing effects of Ghrelin.

This is nutritional freedom: You have the ability to re-train your body on exactly when to become hungry and when to be fully satisfied by consciously delaying your hunger response.

Nearly everyone who experiences Intermediate Fasting discovers the same thing: That when you fast you actually have more appetite control than in any other eating or diet style.

Benefit Three

Intermediate Fasting Makes You More Productive

A lot of the trepidation that comes with approaching Intermediate Fasting is the myth that Intermediate Fasting will decrease your energy leaving you without enough brain power to go through the day.

Research shows that the exact opposite happens. As stated before, we train our bodies and minds in certain ways to adapt to our current eating styles. It really has nothing to do with what is happening to your brain but more about your natural response to what you think is happening to your brain.

One study found that healthy young adults who ate as little as 300 calories over a two day period experienced no decrease in brain tests and cognitive performance (including vigilance, choice reaction time, learning, memory and reasoning), activity, sleep and mood.

Other research has found that long term calorie restriction may improve memory in older populations.

The research is great and the foundation of any reason to make a change. But scientists can’t always quantify behavioral tendencies, and eating is a behavior that controls and influences how you spend your time during the day.

What most people don’t realize is that their lives are tied around food. There is no way to avoid it. With the old guard of “eating 5 meals a day” we have people who are frightened if they miss a meal or skip breakfast because “their metabolisms would slow down.”

This kind of thinking, along with a constant food advertisements, are what’s keeping us in a hungry state day in and day out. When you follow an Intermediate Fasting diet, you’ll find that you are no longer tied to the idea of having to eat all the time.

What you’ll find is that your best and most productive days are when you are in a fasted state because you don’t have to think about what to eat or how to cook it.

Benefit Four

Intermediate Fasting Reduces Your Glucose/Sugar Levels

When trying to lose weight and burn fat, lowering your blood sugar is important to avoid pre-diabetes, diabetes, insulin resistance and most importantly becoming overweight.

The norm in the fitness community is that by eating 5 to 6 frequent meals a day you would regulate your blood sugar levels. This has proven to do the exact opposite.

Another reason why Intermediate Fasting works extremely well is because during a fast your blood sugar levels slowly lowers itself.

By fasting you could decrease your sugar input by anywhere from 15 to 30%. Thus this improves your ability to burn fat and improve your insulin sensitivity.

Benefit Five

Intermediate Fasting Improves Fat Oxidation

Fat oxidization is a term used mostly in sports medicine. It refers to your body’s ability to use stored fats to produce energy—a process that normally happens during exercise.

When using Intermediate Fasting you are increasing your body’s ability to use your stored fat as energy. This means that when you are burning calories more of those calories will come directly from fat.

This phenomenon was first identified in research conducted on women who fast for Ramadan. The researchers found that all the women who participated in the study increased their fat oxidation levels after periods of religious fasting.

When you fast you give your body no other choice but to use your excess fat as energy.

Benefit Six

Intermediate Fasting Eliminates Waste From The Body and Lower Inflammation

Perhaps the most important yet most overlooked benefit of Intermediate Fasting is its effect on reducing inflammation and waste from the body.

Short term fasting actually helps you eliminate waste in your body and can speed up the healing process by lowering your inflammation levels.

Metabolic inflammation is the inappropriate activation of your immune system, which can disrupt many of your body’s systems and can have severe effects on weight retention and weight gain. And this is important because nearly half of Americans have metabolic inflammation…without even knowing it.

An up-regulated inflammation system causes the release of even more cytokines, which activate a hormone-like compound called c-Jun Terminal Kinase (JNK) that can cause the cells to take in less blood sugar for energy. So more glucose remains in the blood and the cycle spirals onward: inefficient insulin function, inefficient carbohydrate conversion, increased glucose levels in the blood, increased fat production.

The April 2007 issue of Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism includes an article on the positive changes in inflammatory markers brought about by the Intermediate Fasting Muslims undergo during Ramadan.

As the authors put it in the introduction:

Intermediate Fasting over a certain period of time is a feature of great religions all over the world and it is well known that nutritional habits, sleeping patterns and meal frequency have profound effects on maintaining human health.

It’s proven that Intermediate Fasting drastically improves your immune system and reduces your inflammation in the total body. This has a direct effect on keeping your body in an efficient fat burning environment.

Benefit Seven

Intermediate Fasting Helps Unleash the Power of Growth Hormone

While we preach that in order for you to lose weight you must take in fewer calories than you are burning, that’s only half the story.

In order to burn off your fat and keep it that way is to manage your hormones in a way that can benefit you best.

The biggest benefit you give to yourself when adopting an Intermediate Fasting lifestyle is the ability to stimulate your fat burning hormones in an optimal environment.

There are a couple hormones your body relies on to burn fat, increase metabolism and build muscle.

Let’s start with the most important one:

Growth Hormone

Growth hormone (GH) is a protein-based peptide hormone that is produced by your pituitary gland. It stimulates growth cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals.

GH is research-proven to be the main fat-burning, anti-aging and muscle building-hormone your body produces—and therefore, it’s pretty obvious that the more growth hormone you can have, the better off you’ll be.

It’s proven that when you fast you increase growth hormone, which leads to increased fat loss and also slows down the aging process. In fact, research indicates that you can boost Growth Hormone production by up to 6 times more than average with short term fasting.

But if that’s not enough incentive, here are three more reasons why you (guys and gals alike) want more GH in your system.

Growth Hormone incinerates your fat and denies fat cells from ever forming human growth.

Hormone binds to cells that have receptors for it. It just so happens that fat cells have human growth hormone receptors, and growth hormone stimulates them to break down triglycerides and suppresses their ability to take up and accumulate circulating lipids.

What this means is that growth hormone denies the production of fat cells to occur in your body.

And as an added bonus you also experience a metabolic jolt as a result of the fewer fat cells being produced. Consider it a 1-2 punch that makes you leaner—and keeps you that way.

Growth hormone helps build muscle .

This is done through Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). This is a hormone that is secreted from the liver and other tissues in response to growth hormone. IFG-1 is a very powerful anabolic.

The more IGF-1 you have circulating in your body, the better your chances of building some fat burning muscle; by increasing your human growth hormone, GH research says you will also up your IGF-1 and the muscles start to build.

Growth Hormone makes you look younger.

As if increasing fat burning and muscle building wasn’t enough, GH also improves your aging.

In 1990, ground breaking evidence and research on Human Growth Hormone by Daniel Rudman, M.D. shook the medical world (Published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine) with the announcement that 12 men, aged 61 to 81 had received human growth hormone treatment and had reversed up to the equivalent of 20 years of aging in only six months with human growth hormone injections.

Benefit Eight

Intermediate Fasting Helps You Never Feel Hungry Again

Another important hormone in the fat loss/muscle gain equation is something called Ghrelin As you’ve probably experienced before, the hardest part about “dieting” is the associated hunger, mood swings, and general irritability. Whether directly or indirectly, all of these undesirable traits are impacts by ghrelin.

We mentioned ghrelin earlier on and if you forgot here’s a reminder: Every time Ghrelin is secreted in your body it creates a hunger response. The more times you delay your hunger response you train your body to handle the hunger inducing effects of Ghrelin.

What you didn’t know is that increased production of Ghrelin means you increase more growth hormone in your body as well. Higher levels of circulating ghrelin have corresponded with increased release of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

The more you are able to delay your hunger response and incorporate periods of Intermediate Fasting into your lifestyle the more growth hormone and ghrelin we’ll have pumping in our bodies.

 

Intermittent Fasting during Addiction Recovery

The buzz in the health and fitness world, is undoubtedly intermittent fasting. Those seeking a lean, powerful physique may feel demotivated after trying time and time again at losing unwanted weight, only to fall short of their goals, or to embark upon a cycle of yoyo weight loss and gain.

Intermittent fasting puts an end to pointless dieting, by kickstarting your body into obtaining energy from its fat reserves during the fasting period. One of the most attractive aspects of the Eat Stop Eat method is that you don’t need to deprive yourselves of the foods you love, or feel hungry while you count calories obsessively.

Intermittent fasting allows you to enjoy a wide variety of foods intermittently. Magazines, television, social media networks are all touting the benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss, yet little has been said about the many benefits it can confer upon those who are in the process of recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. This diet can be the ideal choice for those who are facing one of the toughest challenges in their lives, for the following reasons:

Intermittent fasting is easy: Patients in drug or alcohol recovery (inpatients and outpatients alike) often find that all of a sudden, there are too many rules to follow. Most obtain some sort of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on understanding the relationship between how people think, feel and behave, and finding alternative outlets for emotions such as stress and fear.

In addition to trying out new behavioral strategies, addicts are also encouraged to stick to a busy schedule of activities – yoga, meditation and other alternative therapies are highly recommended because of their proven stress-busting qualities. Within this busy line-up of activities, it is vital that those in recovery follow a diet that is not too restrictive; one that does not place so much stress upon them that it acts as a trigger for relapse or anxiety.

Because intermittent fasting does not involve weighing food, counting calories or forbidding foods, it fits in well with the lifestyle of someone who may sometimes feel like they are ‘trying to fit too much into just one day.

Weight loss: It is not uncommon for those who stop using drugs, to battle with their weight. If in the past, they used drugs to evade uncomfortable feelings like stress, food becomes the logical new means of escape. Intermittent fasting prevents dangerous habits like bingeing, by emphasizing the importance of fasting during specific times during the day/night.

Gherlin levels, also referred to as ‘the hunger hormone’, are increased, resulting in less overeating Recovering addicts can enjoy a big boost in their self-confidence as they begin actually losing weight instead of packing on the pounds. To promote significant weight loss, combine intermittent fasting with high intensity exercise.

Don’t worry about feeling tired; on the contrary, free of sugary cravings and the ups and downs that sugar brings, you will probably feel energized enough to tackle the most challenging workout about.

Insulin sensitivity increases: The use of specific drugs (antipsychotic drugs in particular) can predispose people to weight gain as well as raise one’s risk of developing Type II diabetes. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, increases insulin sensitivity and boost the efficiency of mitochondrial energy, thereby slowing down the processes of ageing and disease.

Oxidative stress is diminished: Those in recovery have probably placed their body under great stress for many years before obtaining help, exposing their body to free radical damage at alarming rates. Intermittent fasting has been found to decrease oxidative stress, protecting our proteins, lipids and nucleic acids from damage. Additional health benefits include a drop in triglyceride levels and a lower chance of heart disease.

Cravings are ended: Although outpatients in recovery have already faced their most powerful cravings for their drug of choice, if they adopt a high-sugar, high-salt diet, they can find that they are now facing cravings for refined foods which are almost as powerful. Through intermittent fasting, the body’s control centers for appetite (as well as its hormones) begin functioning at an optimal level, so that it becomes much easier to make excellent dietary choices.

Intermittent fasting has many more benefits for those in recovery; the new, expanded edition of Eat Stop Eat can be the welcome start you need to start savouring  a new, healthy lifestyle that will bring you to the very top of your game.

Further reading:

http://www.mercola.com/infographics/intermittent-fasting.htm

http://www.rehabs.com/pro-talk-articles/on-alcohol-alcohol-use-disorders-and-weight-gain/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/expert-answers/fasting-diet/faq-20058334

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1834

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/10/interested-fasting-health-get-facts-first/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-intermittent-fasting-might-help-you-live-longer-healthier-life/

http://curaromana.com/blog/weight-loss-cura-romana-2/cura-romana-2/2013/07/16/fasting-whats-the-buzz-part-one/

This article is written by our contributor Helen Lane