I do intermittent fasting on a fairly daily basis. I do a variety of different fasts to trick my body, but I did some research.
The infamous before and after photo of what it should look like.
Authors Note: Lets get started
. I am back on this fasting and doing research to support myself and my cravings. Once I get past the sugar cravings, I am fine. The articles that I found further support my initial thoughts about it, as I have been following a Dr. Fung and Dr. Mindy Pelz. There are a lot of videos out there, and I listen to quite a few of them to simply hear what different people are saying about intermittent fasting. I specifically listen to Doctor Jason Fung and Doctor Mindy Pelz. They are the only two people that I am listening to that are telling me what is going on with my body. This is something that I find more supportive then listening to someone telling me “I can do it”. When I am getting started with the intermittent fasting, it is exceedingly difficult, because now my body is trying to get rid of that sugar and switch to fat-burning mode. So, sit back and enjoy the information that I found in the scholarly articles by other doctors.
Different Doctors Find Nearly the same things going on with the body
There are so many different types of diets. Anna Orso writes about a woman there has lost 30 pounds through intermittent fasting this woman's name is Tish Johnson she sounds a bit like me, and it will be interesting to see why she started intermittent fasting in the first place. (Orso) So I cannot wait to dive into this paper to see what information scientists and doctors have found over the last few years.
Keywords: Intermittent Fasting, tested, prescribed, and proven
There are so many people now trying this intermittent fasting. I am looking at it as one of those many diets that are out there taking center stage in this time of diets. I have seen a Keto diet, where a person is losing weight by eating mostly protein and fats and no carbs. Or their carb restriction is extremely strict. Alice H. Lichtenstein is a professor of nutrition science and policy. She talks about the many craze nutrition inputs that come and goes. (Lichtenstein)
As I have seen so many professional doctors, scientists, and professors point out, we are no longer a rooting society. Meaning that we are no longer a “hunter/gatherer people” People used to have to hunt for their foods and could go for a couple of days without really consuming animal fat, and their bodies were adapted to finding the energy to function within their cells. (Lichtenstein)
Now, all we have to do as a society in America, just about worldwide, is going to the grocery store, or fast-food place, or a buffet and we have freezers and refrigerators that just make eating a convenience. Eating is no longer a need for humans, it is a habit. She proposes that” intermittent fasting regimes is to trick oneself into decreasing calorie intake. (Lichtenstein)
She also points out that intermittent fasting is also inconvenient at times and it collides with practical issues or social interactions. (Lichtenstein)
I can get around a couple of those things as I always skip breakfast, and I find if I eat lunch during the day, it basically slows me down, and so I chose to wait until I get home to have dinner. In essence, I am eating once a day anyway. This enables me to get more work finished because I don’t have to take the time to order my food, sit down to eat it, and then while it digests my body wants to sleep and I would be needing afternoon coffee. I have found that since intermittent fasting, I have more energy and, in the afternoon, I am no longer needing to sleep or have coffee.
There are a lot of benefits to intermittent fasting. You see, when you eat food, your body is doing some work. It takes the food you eat and turns it into energy, not right away I might add. All that food must be broken down and put in storage so that your body can utilize it later. (Brody) One of the benefits of letting your body be in “starvation mode” is that it must look for its energy from the cells instead of what was recently put inside of it. Usually, that energy is in the form of fat. If a person’s body is pulling from already stored fat cells, a person is more likely to lose weight. Brody then goes on to say that it takes 12-16 hours for the calories to be used in the liver before a metabolic shift can occur. (Brody)
Intermittent fasting was tested on rats. Doctors have found that rodents that were kept on an intermittent fasting schedule were better adapted when it came to the oxygen deprivation of the tissue of the brain. (Brody) Other animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting has a wide range of benefits when it comes to having different diseases or chronic disorders such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurodegenerative brain diseases (dementia, Alzheimer’s) It is also said to help reverse the effects of aging. (Brody) (Orso)
There is an indication in experiments that intermittent fasting reduces oxidative stress and helps to preserve learning and memory functions. (Collier) I have been genuinely concerned with this area as I am a survivor of a stroke. So, it is an especially important aspect to me that I can heal my myelination and synapses in my brain by intermittent fasting!! This is extremely exciting. My mother who has dementia is in a nursing home and I do not want to get so sick that I cannot walk. If I walk in her footsteps I will be.
When a person decides to make intermittent fasting a lifestyle, they have to remember that when the fast is over for the day or that period, it is not beneficial to eat carbs or junk food!!! (Collier) Intermittent fasting has benefits also to asthma patients. It causes the free radicals in your body to be lessened, there is also a lessening of inflammation and oxidative stress, and other quality of life indicators. (Collier) The body has an incredible ability to heal itself. We have been told that throughout the ages by different people, but I think we are ignorant of how. There is a difference between starvation and intermittent fasting. If the body is starved for a long period, over 24 hours it will go into a mode wherein we would have more clarity and energy to find a source of food and water. If the food and water were not found our body would slowly go into starvation mode, dehydration would certainly begin to kick in. When intermittent fasting, if you are doing it for 12 hours or more it is important to get your system hydrated. You must drink water. (Collier)
There was a doctor named Alan Cott of New York. He engaged with a Russian Doctor, Yuri Nicolayev of Moscow institute of Psychiatry. What he found is that when he treated his patients with intermittent fasting, their mind did sort of a reset and they were able to be healed without drugs. (Collier) He had great success with his patients with intermittent fasting. Patients volunteered for this, they fasted for 48 hours a metabolic shift would occur again after the 17-hour shift. This one reboots the brain essentially. The brain is capable of growing new pathways around the nerves. In a few days, all the symptoms disappear, including symptoms of schizophrenia. (Collier) This has my mind racing now. I did not realize that it has this benefit as well.
There are so many different religions that include themselves in intermittent fasting. In the bible, Jesus fasted immediately after his baptism. Oddly enough his fasting time was 40 days and 40 nights, but in the 48 hours, he was relieved of his hunger. In other words, he did not feel the hunger any longer. He was cleaning his body from the inside. Re-booting so to speak. (Collier)
There are different types of intermittent fasting. There is a Complete Alternate Day Fasting in which a person alternates their fasting days. They have no energy-containing foods or beverages for one whole day, which is 24 hours. (Patterson) The next day they eat at will. I cannot account for the types of meals they eat, that is an entirely different discussion.
There is a Modified Fasting Regimen. This fast allows for 20-25% of energy needs on scheduled fasting days. This is the basis for the popular 5:2 diet which involves server energy restriction for 2 non-consecutive days a week and eating at will the other 5. This one I thought about doing, but mainly I am fasting every day until 5 PM. (Patterson)
There is one called Time-Restricted Feeding. This allows individuals to consume at will energy intake in certain windows. Some people will only give themselves a four-hour window in the day, or a five-hour window, or a six-hour window. They then can consume their amount of calorie intake for 24 hours.
Then there is religious fasting. The most well-known one I can relate to because I am Muslim in Ramadan. This is a fast that we do for 30 days. In my opinion, it is different from intermittent fasting because with intermittent fasting an individual decides what time they are going to eat, and they can have water throughout the fasting process. Ramadan is somewhat different. We are required to get up before sunrise and we make sure we drink our water for the day. We usually have a big spread of breakfast out every morning. This will be hard-boiled eggs, croissants, dates, figs, fruit, pancakes, cheese, and sometimes chicken or turkey sausages. Then when we hear the call for prayer, we are not permitted to put one more thing in our mouth. I always had a difficult time with Ramadan and that is why I did not want to start intermittent fasting because I was so scared that I would have a sluggish feeling. When in Ramadan, I get so tired by 3 pm all I want to do is sleep. Usually, when I get home, I start dinner, and since Ramadan is on cycle with the moon rotations the time that we can break our fast differs. In the summer we fast 17 hours, so when we break the fast it is so good to finally eat. We cannot breakfast until sundown. Every single year Ramadan is two weeks earlier. I started my Ramadan fasting 7 years ago. When I started, it was very rough because it was a 17 hour fast. I did not realize until now it was because we ate breakfast!! So, this Ramadan I am going to do things differently. I will get up before sunup and I will drink my last bit of water, but I will not eat. It will be so much easier to get to sundown and just eat the regular time that I have gotten used too now. I like it like this, I feel so much energy. Throughout the year also so many Muslim women and men fast 2 days a week. Monday and Thursday. It is the 5:2 fasting regime all over again. Like I said, if you go without breakfast, it is so much easier. Other religious fasts are held by the Latter-Day Saints. They routinely abstain from food or drink every Sunday. (Patterson)
With all the research and information available, it makes it confusing if you do not stick to any one discipline. I have my disagreements with the difference of metabolic hour difference because I can feel when my body does the shift from burning sugar to burning fat. As I write this paper, I have been fasting since Five O’clock last night, I think I hit the fat-burning mode around 1 pm and I am just letting it go until I eat again. It is now 2:53 Pm and I do not plan on eating until 7 pm. I do not do this every day. I have decided to do it steadily every day for 8 weeks to see where I am and where my body decides that it needs a metabolic boost. I will eventually fast for a 48 hour fast to reboot my system but before I do this, I know that I have to power upon the correct nutrition for my body to prepare myself for such a long fast. Like I said before, I had a stroke, could this be a way of healing my brain circuits relating to memory loss or sleeping? I am not thinking about weight loss currently, I am thinking of the other benefits. What is the next development that I will implement in my nutritional intake? Only time will tell. Until then, I am enjoying my journey, what I am getting out and it, and spreading the love to whoever will listen.
Brody, J. E. (2020). The benefits of intermittent fasting: Personal health.
Collier, R. (2013). Intermittent fasting: The science of going without: CMAJ. Canadian Medical Association. Journal, 185(9), E363-4. Retrieved from https://kean.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.kean.idm.oclc.org/docview/1413335192?accountid=1180
Orso, A. (2018, Oct 03). INTERMITTENT FASTING is this season's 'it' diet: Time-restricted fasting diet doesn't restrict what you eat, but the time you eat at, making it one of the many diets under the intermittent fasting umbrella. Toronto Star Retrieved from https://kean.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.kean.idm.oclc.org/docview/2124785757?accountid=11809
Paterson, E. T. (2000). The fasting cure: Fasting and starvation are not synonymous. in fact, proper fasting may cure otherwise incurable conditions [therapeutic fasting]. Medical Post, 36(7), 38. Retrieved from https://kean.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.kean.idm.oclc.org/docview/228730738?accountid=11809
Tinsley, G. M., & La Bounty, P., M. (2015). Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutrition Reviews, 73(10), 661. Retrieved from https://kean.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.kean.idm.oclc.org/docview/1718383288?accountid=11809
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Primpo (author) from Howell, New Jersey on September 29, 2020:
Thank you Brian I was hoping you would..
Brian McCann on September 29, 2020:
Great Article, very informative! Love Dr. Jason Fung!!