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973741 tn?1342346373

Intermittent Fasting

I listened to a pod cast that discussed various things including a way to lose weight and control weight.  The doctor was highly complimentary to the practice of intermittent fasting.  They talked about weight control but also that various disorders such as diabetes were reduced.  The theory for the diabetes effect is that it gives the pancreas a rest.  The suggestion was to have 12 hours a day that you do not eat (minimum . . . for some people, they go to 16 hours a day).  Thoughts?
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Fasting is an ancient way to attempt to stay healthy.  It is not a weight loss tool.  Although you can obviously lose weight by not eating, you also lose nutrients that way.  Fasting is a spiritual and cleansing technique, but those who do it historically would typically do it when not doing much of anything else -- it was a rest.  If you're still doing all the things you usually do, you'll just lose nutrients that you need to do those things, especially if you're athletically active or work in a job that requires a lot of physical exertion.  But if you have a life that allows for it, then fasting does provide a nice respite for your digestive system, allows it to clean itself out, and provides a nice spiritual time.  I do know someone who fasted one day a week to maintain her weight, but eating a good diet all the time does the same thing.  One day off won't alter your metabolism any more than one day of binging will.  But there is a reason every religion has fast days -- it can make life better and in that way can make you more likely to maintain the discipline necessary to maintain a healthy diet and to learn how this is usually done.  
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973741 tn?1342346373
I hear what you are saying paxiled but this is more simple than that.  Example, I stopped eating or drinking anything but water at 8 last night and then didn't have anything until after 8 the next morning.  12 hours, no food or calories.  I've known people and I'm sure you have too that say they stop eating at a certain time of night.  And then don't start again until the next day.  That's really what this is about rather than the fasting we normally think of when people mention that.  The intermittent part.  This doctor was talking about how this rests the body/pancreas and that there are studies that prove it helps with things like diabetes. And that people do lose weight and control their weight.  This doc said that when they look at healthy people and their habits, this is what most naturally do.  12 hours is the minimum but that this doctor for those who are obese or who have issues such as diabetes, they try to get the hours even longer up to 16.  And the reality is, you are likely to consume less calories during that shorter eating window of the day.  

Where this comes into play for me is a long time habit of wanting something to eat later in the evening.  :>)  I've learned to have healthy snacks.  But I had been given a tip to have a cup of tea instead and did that for a while.  And overall, have gotten away from needing that little something at night.  

Anyway, it was interesting to hear it presented in the way the doctor did.  I'm going to try to stick to the 8 to 8 thing.  I'll see if it has any effect.  

But agree with the spiritual aspect and history of fasting.  In my religion we use fasting as reflection, for example.  
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Yeah, this is a different thing -- this isn't fasting, it's the old wisdom of not eating anything after dinner or too close to bedtime.  For those who are lucky enough to have 8 hours of sleep, well, that's 8 hours at least of fasting every day, and probably more due to the time it takes to prepare for bed and to prepare for breakfast.  This isn't fasting, it's eating discipline.
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973741 tn?1342346373
I think the reason they call it -- intermittent-- fasting is that the doctor prescribes it for specific periods of time and it can be as long as 16 hours.  They do that for those who have issues with things like diabetes that I mentioned to give the pancreas a rest and they see improvement in those people with the condition.  Weight loss is an aside.  I would use it more of the 12 hour time frame.  But yes, I have heard many people in life say they don't eat after say 7 pm at night.  Skinny people.  LOL  I grew up with a mom who believed calories didn't count if people didn't see you consume them (with a whole cheesecake missing in the morning).  So, I can be a late night snacker.   AND, when I wake up after long periods of not eating, I have that common problem of being nauseated.  Blood sugar drops and this is a normal response.  I eat to get rid of that.  My son has the same thing, so that's the downside.  You do have to take care of yourself on the other side of it so you feel good.  

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting concept for health and I guess it has ongoing studies to support medical reasons for doing it.  
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I eat for two people -- the healthy me and the guy who grew up in a family where food was sacred.
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