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Is Fasting the New Health Trend? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is Fasting the New Health Trend? Here’s What You Need to Know

Ever quit on a diet? I have. The only way diets really work is if you stay on them forever… and that’s not happening.

I mean, we’re human. No one wants to diet forever — or just, ever. We have parties to attend, vacations to enjoy, holidays to celebrate, and other special occasions (cough, weekends) where we should be free to fully participate!

Diets are long-term, slow to produce results, restrictive, expensive, and usually kill your social life. You don’t party all the time, hopefully, so you shouldn’t diet all the time either.

Fasting is a Legit Health Hack

This dissatisfaction with the current health improvement options has opened the door for a weird trend that’s taking hold of the health/nutrition world: fasting, and it needs to be addressed.

Fasting comes in many different forms, as you have probably seen. There is the 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, the FMD, and maybe you have a crazy friend that just goes days without eating.

Your friend is likely doing these extended fasts because she saw a post on Reddit saying short fasts are great for weight loss, but to permanently change her body, she has to fast for at least 3 days.

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It’s true, lasting health improvements occur when your body enters the metabolic state known as ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat for energy after it has run out of sugar from the food you eat, which is the whole purpose of fat — to be stored energy.

The benefits associated with ketosis have caused it to become affectionately known as the “healing state.” Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of extended fasting.

Extended Fast Benefits

    Wow, that’s an impressive list. Who wouldn’t want all those benefits? And all you have to do is fast! Sigh.

    How many of your friends fast regularly? Probably none. Because fasting is hard.

    So we know that fasting essentially “hacks” your body to improve your health, but we can also agree that it sucks.

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    Luckily, there was a group of scientists who felt the same way, so they decided to hack fasting.

    Fasting is Hard — Here’s How To Hack Fasting

    That group of scientists I mentioned was led by a researcher at USC named Dr. Valter Longo, who has dedicated his career to fasting and longevity.

    He began his quest to make fasting doable by asking a simple question: “Is there a way to mimic the effects of prolonged fasting without actually fasting?”

    Turns out you can! And the method Dr. Longo developed to do so is fasting mimicking. It hacks fasting and makes it doable in the same way that fasting hacks your health and life.

    You essentially “fast” for 5 days by eating a set number of calories containing a finely tuned ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). Voila — fasting while eating!

    I was so impressed with the results after reading the original study that I decided to try it for myself. The results have changed my life forever.

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    I used to be classified as pre-diabetic according to my A1C (blood sugar) numbers. I have since lowered my A1C to normal as well as lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure, and, to be honest with you, I think I eat more sweets than ever (not that you should — it’s bad for you and I’m trying to stop).

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      Additionally, my dad and brother both used to be classified as pre-diabetic and have since used fasting to lower their numbers to normal.

      I have also taught many of our friends how to begin fasting and have witnessed their lives change for the better.

      We have seen people become more active by reducing inflammation, come off their blood sugar medicines, and some even reversing their diabetes.

      Needless to say, ten months later I’m still fasting mimicking for 5 days every month.

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      Here’s how you can do it too.

      How You Can Get Started with Fasting Mimicking

      When you fasting mimic, you get some food — it just has to fit the calorie and macronutrient breakdown as defined by the study. This is everything you need to follow to create your own FMD (fasting mimicking diet).

      • The 5-day protocol provides between 34% and 54% of normal caloric intake, depending on your normal diet.
      • Day 1 provides 1,090 calories
        • 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbohydrate
      • Days 2–5 provide 725 calories
        • 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate

      It takes a bit of research the first time to build a menu of foods that fit these parameters. There are tons of ideas all over the place that show you how use foods you prefer, whether that be fresh veggies and nuts or prepackaged on-the-go foods for a fast-paced lifestyle.

      Happy Fasting!

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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      Review Your Past Flow

      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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