HOUSTON – In recent months, you’ve probably heard of fasting. It’s been praised as a very effective way to lose weight and even improve health. But is it just a fad? Is it safe? And does it really work?
Krystal Hammett, certified nutritionist with Alternative Wellness Solutions, explained all you need to know about fasting and the different methods to do fast.
WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH FASTING? DOES IT REALLY WORK?
Fasting has been practiced since the beginning of time. It is most widely practiced across many religions as well as in medicine. Hippocrates, our father of modern medicine recommended fasting as early as 400bc to heal patients from a variety of sickness’ and diseases.
So, when you think about it, when you have a high fever, have the flu or even a stomach bug, do you feel like eating? No. your body naturally encourages fasting for healing.
So now, in the 21st century, as functional medicine and natural healing is becoming more popular, the benefits of fasting are being rediscovered and are now more widely practiced modern day to improve our health in a big way.
And we are not just talking about a fad here, fasting had been clinically proven time and time again to improve some big health issues.
BENEFITS OF FASTING
Studies show that fasting can:
• Improve insulin sensitivity and manage blood sugar.
• Reverse heart disease including corroded arteries, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides.
• Lower inflammation to prevent pain and chronic diseases.
• Enhance cognition & protect from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
• Achieve weight loss, manage metabolism and balance hormones.
• Reverse fatty liver and improve detoxification.
Many of these health benefits are a result of something called autophagy.
Autophagy literally means “to eat thyself,” so, when we are in an advanced fasting state, we reach a point where our body actually begins to eat or destroy and recycle old cells as we regenerate new healthy and vibrant stem cells.
When dead or damaged cells are not able to be swept out, they accumulate in the body and are essentially stored as toxins. When we don’t give our bodies a break from eating, we do not allow ourselves to “shut down for repairs”. Think about our ancestors who didn’t have convenience stores of fast food. They had times of feast and famine.
POPULAR FASTING OPTIONS:
Eating in a restricted window of time such as 8 hours of eating and 16 hours of fasting.
If you’re wondering if you should you change your diet throughout the day to accommodate? The answer is YES!
You should always choose clean whole foods such as fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy fats.
What you are re-feeding your body may be even more important than the actual fast.
We truly are what we eat, if we are generating these new stem cells through autophagy and feeding these new cells junk, that is what our body becomes, and we negate all the benefits of fasting.
THE 5:2 DIET
24-36 hour fasting twice a week or twice a month. i.e. fasting after dinner until dinner the next day or from dinner on Sunday to breakfast on Tuesday.
In the fasting window only water, black coffee and herbal tea may be consumed. 0 calories.
MULTIPLE DAY WATER FASTING
Usually lasts from 5-7 days and only water may be consumed.
PROLON MIMICKING FASTING DIET
This special diet mocks a true 5-day water fast while still allowing you to consume 1100-800 calories daily and still achieve the benefits of a true 5-day water fast.
WHO SHOULD DO IT?
Really, everyone except for children, pregnant and breastfeeding woman and the very elderly. Also, those with advanced stage chronic diseases or low blood sugar should only fast under the care of their physician.
Remember: Our bodies were designed to fast.
To see Hammett’s complete interview, watch the video above.