28 March 2020

Intermittent fasting

The Johns Hopkins Medicine website has a concise article about the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting diets, he says, fall generally into two categories: daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6–8 hours per day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days each week.

An array of animal and some human studies have shown that alternating between times of fasting and eating supports cellular health, probably by triggering an age-old adaptation to periods of food scarcity called metabolic switching. Such a switch occurs when cells use up their stores of rapidly accessible, sugar-based fuel, and begin converting fat into energy in a slower metabolic process.

Mattson says studies have shown that this switch improves blood sugar regulation, increases resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation for various periods of time. Because most Americans eat three meals plus snacks each day, they do not experience the switch, or the suggested benefits.

In the article, Mattson notes that four studies in both animals and people found intermittent fasting also decreased blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates.
I have had substantial success using 18-hour daily fasts to lose weight; I followed that regimen for two months starting at New Years', until finally switching to a standard diet incorporating nighttime comfort food for the coronavirus armageddon.  It was amazing to me to realize how much my "hunger" manifested itself psychologically ("time to go eat") rather than with physical symptoms.

Read up on it, and consult your physician (but don't bother her right now - she's probably exhausted trying to make order out of chaos).

1 comment:

  1. Since 2015, I've fasted every Monday. Eat dinner around 5pm on Sunday, don't eat again till 7am on Tuesday. Makes me feel great, otherwise I wouldn't still be doing it. Much, much easier than trying to restrict eating the rest of the week, because I just don't think about food for an entire day. I actually look forward to all the extra time I have on Mondays. You don't realize how long it takes to cook, eat and clean up until you take a day off. I have a husband, but he's on his own for food that day.


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