Lower Caloric Intake Does not Mean Starvation
CALORIC RESTRICTION HAS MANY HEALTH BENEFITS
I have recently finished the book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” and it was one of those that I just could not put down. I LOVE the science behind fasting. Like many of you – I lead a very busy, very active lifestyle and intermittent fasting has improved my mental and physical stamina. Intermittent fasting for me means that I eat between 11 am and 6 pm and give my body the other 17 hours in the day to work its magic without having to be digesting food. This is not a one sized fits all approach!
There have been multiple studies conducted since the 1930’s which show that a calorie restricted diet holds immense anti-aging and health benefits. In 1930, a well known physician at Cornell University found that rats who followed a calorie restricted diet doubled their life span. When humans follow a calorie restricted diet, we have found that glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL fell quickly to optimal levels. A more recent 20 year study with monkeys showed that the calorie restricted diet group had a very low incidence of cancer, diabetes and heart disease over the control group. In later years, it has been found that the animals in the calorie restricted groups did live longer even post study.
Today, we think of fasting and assume it is days without food (that has shown great health benefits without harming metabolism in the long run). However, fasting can also simply be a length of time without food. It could begin by skipping one meal per day. Fasting is not starving. Starving is when you have no choice and you do not know when food will come again. Fasting is a choice for your health and if you feel horrible … you eat something. It is certainly not about struggling.
Personally, fasting frightened me and was something I had closed my mind to until a decade ago. I love research and the research with intermittent and longer fasting periods is really intriguing. So, I started gently with the intermittent fasting period of 9 hours eating 15 hours fasting and then did 8 hours eating and 14 hours fasting and here I am now at 7 hours eating and 17 hours fasting. With my active lifestyle of daily high intensity workouts, 2 kids, a busy practice and running my own business – I rarely stop. It took a few weeks or to acclimate to intermittent fasting, but I surely feel clear headed, full of energy, lighter and I love that I do not load my body with food for entertainment and eat mindlessly. Feels great! My body composition was already really good and not my reason for this change in my diet. My body composition has remained the same with 1 lb less of fat!
Again, this is not about starvation … this is about improving your health. It is simply all relative. Today, we … eat. too. much. Today, we have a very caloric dense diet of mostly processed food that is cheap, available, addictive and tasty. It’s easy to see how people fall into the trap of poor eating habits. Our patients on our HCG Diet protocol are following a very low calorie diet; however, with the use of pharmaceutical grade HCG fat stores are being turned over for caloric fuel and therefore there is no true deprivation.
The Calorie Dense Diet of Today
When we overeat as most Americans tend to do today, we flood our bodies with glucose, insulin, homocysteine, fat, cholesterol and many other inflammatory markets. This consistent attack on our bodies can eventually lead to the chronic disease states that we are all too familiar with … cancer, diabetes, heart disease, alzheimers, painful inflammatory problems, stroke, etc. As you can see, overeating will increase the risk of degenerative disease and accelerate the aging process.
We will never hear about the benefits of fasting in a main stream way. Why? Well, the food industry and the drug industry would not promote anything that decreased the consumption of their goods! Instead, you will hear about meal, snack, meal, snack, meal and yet another snack! In 1970, they say people ate 3 x daily and snacking was not common and neither was type 2 diabetes. In 2003, snacking was shown to be a habit of most people and type 2 diabetes an epidemic. I personally feel that the amount of our food consumption in our country is partly responsible for the many diseases we have today.
Controlling our Caloric Intake
Taking charge of our food intake can dramatically impact the health of our bodies and the aging process. The truth is that our genes function better! The clever marketing of the food industry might make you think otherwise … however, lowering our caloric intake is part of a science based diet for health and longevity.