Fool Your Body So It Thinks It’s Not Eating

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

December 9, 2020

Did you ever think about the word “breakfast?”

It actually makes sense.  Every day, when you eat your first meal, you are “breaking” your overnight “fast.”

Most people choose to have this meal in the morning. But some people — like myself — actually wait for much later in the day before they eat.

I’m practicing a form of intermittent fasting called time-restricted eating.  It’s a really easy way to give my body some major health benefits simply by limiting the number of hours I eat every day.

It’s not hard to try for yourself.  You can still eat just as much food as you would normally, but you just wait for a specific eating window of around 7 or 8 hours to consume your meals.

In Fact, I’m Doing It Right Now! 

As I’m writing this, it’s late morning and I haven’t yet eaten anything.  I just enjoyed my morning cup of organic green tea so I could get a healthy dose of l-theanine for a healthy brain.

Then, I went about my morning routine, did some mindful breathing, and started work at my desk with no problem.  I love eating this way because all morning I feel bright and alert.  I can think more clearly and I have lots of energy to get things done.

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In about an hour, around noon, I’ll eat my first meal.  This evening, I’ll enjoy a second meal before 7pm.  That will give me a solid three hours for my food to digest before it’s time for bed.

Do you see how easy this can be?

Fasting doesn’t need to be a big scary thing.  With this current schedule, you can eat for about 7 to 8 hours of every day.  Then, you’ll fast the other 16-17 hours drinking just clear liquids.

The health benefits for this style of eating are impressive.  It allows your body to enter a state called gluconeogenesis.  This way, the fat on your body is used as an energy source instead of the glucose from the food you eat.  It’s like you’re switching a metabolic switch in your body.

You are able to burn fat while preserving muscle mass and improving your overall body composition.  Fasting also helps your body to perform better, fight off disease, and even age more slowly! [1]

But there’s another emerging trend that gives similar results AND lets you eat all day…

Can You Fast and Have Your Food Too?

Usually, when I talk to people about fasting, they balk at the idea of going long stretches of time without eating.

Well, if that includes you, you might enjoy this other eating plan called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD.) It’s usually a 5-day plan where you let your body mimic a fasting state by eating particular foods and calorie amounts.

There are some variations where you go two days on and two days off.  Or three days on and five days off.  Really, there’s a whole culture growing up around this fasting mimicking.

Essentially, people have found a way to eat food all day long.  But the types of food you eat make your body feel like it’s in a fasted state. The FMD is low in calories, sugars, and protein but high in unsaturated fats. It’s eaten 5 days in a row each week for several cycles.

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The FMD was created by my friend, Valter Longo, from The Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California.  He’s a very well respected researcher in his field.

Back in 2018, TIME magazine even nominated him to be among the 50 most influential people in health. [2]

A great deal of research has been done to look at this type of eating pattern…

For instance, a study of 100 people compared results of eating a Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) against people eating normally.  After three months, people who had eaten the FMD had reduced body weight, trunk and total body fat.

They also enjoyed a lowered blood pressure and better insulin levels.  Overall, the 5-day FMD was safe and effective for people to improve markers for aging and age-related disease.[3]

Then, researchers started looking into ways it could benefit cancer patients.  They found that the FMD can help patients who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer.[4]

Other conditions can be helped as well.  Mouse studies found that the FMD can reprogram pancreatic cells to reverse diabetes for Type 1 and Type 2 cases.[5]

A 4-day FMD helps reduce inflammation in the intestines and encourages growth of good gut bacteria.  This improves your microbiome and can help patients who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases.[6]

Then, researchers found benefits for both fasting and the FMD to reverse autoimmune disorders.[7] Finally, FMD is safe, feasible, and potentially effective for treatment against multiple sclerosis.[8]

With all of these results, you’re probably wondering how to get started with the FMD.  Well, it’s actually a program you’d need to purchase from Dr. Longo’s brand.

But There’s an Even Easier Way to Get These Same Benefits… 

Instead of “mimicking” fasting, just try the fasting itself.

Instead of having your breakfast right after you wake up, sip on a hot beverage like green tea or black coffee.  Then, eat your first meal around 11am or noon and wrap up your dinner by 7pm.

This way, you’ve given yourself an 8-hour eating window.  You’ll feel more alert and energized throughout the day.

Best of all, your body will enjoy some incredible benefits like cell rejuvenation, a healthier gut, less heart aging, a less fatty liver and increased fat burning. [9]

Sources:

[1] Anton, Stephen D et al. “Flipping the Metabolic Switch: Understanding and Applying the Health Benefits of Fasting.” Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.) vol. 26,2 (2018): 254-268. doi:10.1002/oby.22065, Available Online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783752/

[2] https://prolonfast.com/pages/fasting-mimicking-diet

[3] Wei, Min, et al. “Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.” Science translational medicine 9.377 (2017): eaai8700.

[4] Caffa, Irene, et al. “Fasting-mimicking diet and hormone therapy induce breast cancer regression.” Nature 583.7817 (2020): 620-624.

[5] Cheng, Chia-Wei, et al. “Fasting-mimicking diet promotes Ngn3-driven β-cell regeneration to reverse diabetes.” Cell 168.5 (2017): 775-788.

[6] Rangan, Priya, et al. “Fasting-mimicking diet modulates microbiota and promotes intestinal regeneration to reduce inflammatory bowel disease pathology.” Cell reports 26.10 (2019): 2704-2719.

[7] Choi, In Young, Changhan Lee, and Valter D. Longo. “Nutrition and fasting mimicking diets in the prevention and treatment of autoimmune diseases and immunosenescence.” Molecular and cellular endocrinology 455 (2017): 4-12.

[8] Choi, In Young, et al. “A diet mimicking fasting promotes regeneration and reduces autoimmunity and multiple sclerosis symptoms.” Cell reports 15.10 (2016): 2136-2146.

[9]  Chaix, Amandine et al. “Time-Restricted Eating to Prevent and Manage Chronic Metabolic Diseases.” Annual review of nutrition vol. 39 (2019): 291-315. doi:10.1146/annurev-nutr-082018-124320, Available Online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6703924/

 

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