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Practical benefits of fasting

Practical benefits of fasting

Simplicity

Low carb diets (low carbohydrate, high fat diets) are not always easy for people to understand. Many foods contain hidden sugars in the ingredient list. People may not always understand the differences between carbohydrates, fats and proteins. To make it even more complex, carbohydrates differ in their fattening potential. What about the concept of net carbohydrates? What about resistant starch? It can be difficult enough for a well-educated person to follow a strict low carb diet. Not only that, but there is all this conflicting advice floating around on the internet and in the media.

I often advise people to follow a low carb diet when I find food diaries full of whole wheat bread and pasta plates. Many people honestly didn’t understand the diet at all. I spent a lot of time trying to change their diet, but many people just couldn’t implement the changes. In addition, their diet had not changed significantly in 40 years and they had major problems with it.

The low-fat diet has been indoctrinated in people over the last 40 years, so they had a hard time incorporating lots of healthy, natural fats into their diets. A completely different approach, like fasting, was much easier for people to understand.

Fasting itself is so simple that it can be explained in two sentences. Do not eat anything, do not drink drinks containing sugar or sweeteners. Drink water, tea, coffee or bone broth. That’s it. Even with this simple method, it can take hours to understand the subtleties.

The most obvious advantage of this method is simplicity. The simpler, the more effective!

Cheap

While I might prefer that patients eat organic beef from local livestock and avoid white bread and processed foods, the truth is that these foods often cost ten times as much. Some people simply can’t afford to eat that well. How come fresh cherries cost €7.90 a kilo and a whole loaf of bread costs only €1.99? If you buy pasta and white bread, it’s much easier to feed a family on a budget. However, this does not mean that they should be condemned to a life with type 2 diabetes. Fasting is free. Actually, it’s not simply free, but it actually saves money because you don’t have to buy food. Nothing beats free except saving money, of course. Who can’t use a few extra bucks in their pocket while losing weight and living healthier at the same time? It’s like you’re getting paid to lose weight!

Convenience

It’s great to eat a homemade meal prepared from scratch, but there are many people who just don’t have the time or the desire to cook. The number of meals eaten out has increased significantly over the past few decades. While there are many who are trying to support the Slow Food movement, it is clear that modern society is resisting the message.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking just as much as the next-door neighbor. But it just takes a lot of time. Between work, writing, and ventures with my kids, there’s not a lot of time left over.

Asking people to indulge in home cooking, as noble as it may be, is not a winning strategy for some. Fasting, however, is the opposite. You save time because you don’t spend time buying, preparing, cooking, and cleaning up food. It is a way to simplify your life. I often skip breakfast in the morning. Great time saved! I often skip lunch too. Great time saved! When time is money…

Where many diets complicate your life (eat this but not that and only a little of the other), fasting simplifies it. Save time and save money at the same time? It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Deception

Is it practical to advise people to never eat ice cream again? Not to eat it for a lifetime? Forever is a long time and celebrations always take place.

You can’t eat dessert every day, but fasting gives some the opportunity to enjoy that dessert occasionally, because when you feast, you can balance the scale by fasting.

“Deception days” are important because for some people they can help improve adherence to resolutions for the other days. While others may do better with an all-or-nothing approach, fasting can help balance out “deception days” for those who are struggling forever. The most important aspect of fasting is to incorporate it into your life. Please note that we do not recommend a “binge” followed by a “punishment” fast. Instead, we believe that some people will do better with an occasional reward that they can balance with a short fast.

Life is intermittent. There are good days and bad days. There are days to celebrate and days to fear. That’s the way life is. Not everyone, but some people can also benefit from having their diets be intermittent.

Note that “deception days” are NOT recommended if one is addicted to sugar or other foods, just as “deception days” are not recommended for alcoholics.  Some people benefit more from the all-or-nothing approach.

Power

Losing weight is hard. Everyone knows that. The most important question in any dietary intervention is: Will it work? Dieting with less food and more calorie reduction sounds like it should work, but does it actually work? For most people, the answer is no!

Certain diets work tremendously for some people, but for others they fail completely. Sometimes diets work for a period of time and then seem to falter.

Fasting is almost universally effective because it is the fastest and most efficient way to lower insulin. It also contains almost unlimited power. What I mean. Some diets only have one power setting. If you follow the Mediterranean diet but don’t lose weight, what then? How will you be able to live more Mediterranean? There is only one power setting and it either works or it doesn’t.

Not so with fasting. You can fast for 10 hours or 10 days (although we don’t routinely recommend longer fasts, and if you do decide to fast longer, please make sure it’s under a doctor’s supervision).

In the end, you need to ask yourself this question. If you don’t eat for 1 week, do you think you will lose weight? Even a child understands that you need to lose weight. It is almost inevitable.

Fasting vs. low carb – which is stronger?

There are only two questions left. First, is it unhealthy? On the contrary, there are significant potential health benefits. Second, can you do it? If you never try it, you will never know. I think almost anyone can do it.

Flexibility

Fasting can be done at any time and in any place. If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason, just stop. It is completely reversible within minutes. Consider bariatric surgery (stomach stapling). These surgeries are done to allow people to fast for long periods of time. And they tend to work, at least in the short term. However, these surgeries have significant potential complications, almost all of which are irreversible.

There is no set duration. You can fast for 16 hours or 16 days. There is no set schedule. You can fast a lot this week and not at all next week. It can change with your life plan. You can fast for any reason or for no reason.

Furthermore, why should we assume that someone cannot fast for 1 week or 1 month without ever trying?

To add to any diet

Here’s the biggest advantage of all: Fasting can be added to any diet. That’s because fasting is not something they do, it’s something you don’t do. It’s subtraction rather than addition.

You don’t eat meat?

You don’t eat wheat?

You have a nut allergy?

You don’t have time?

You don’t have money?

You are on the road all the time?

You like to cook?

You are 80 years old?

You have problems chewing or swallowing?

You can still fast!

It is so easy. Save money. Save time. Flexible. Powerful. Available anytime, anywhere. What could be better than that?

Who should NOT fast?

You should not fast intermittently if you are

  • Are underweight (BMI <18.5) or have an eating disorder such as anorexia,
  • Are pregnant – you need extra nutrients for your baby,
  • Are breastfeeding – you need extra nutrients for your child,
  • Are a teenager under 18 years old – you need extra nutrients to grow.

Under these conditions, you can probably fast, but may need medical supervision,

  • If you have diabetes mellitus – type 1 or type 2,
  • If you are taking prescription medications,
  • If you have gout or high uric acid,
  • If you suffer from serious medical conditions such as liver, kidney or heart disease.

Disclaimers: While intermittent fasting has many proven benefits, it is still controversial. One potential danger involves medications, especially for diabetes, where doses need to be adjusted frequently. Discuss medication changes and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor.

Full Disclaimer: This guide is for adults with health conditions, including obesity, who may benefit from intermittent fasting.

Learn more about our Buchinger therapeutic fasting therapy with group therapy. More at the link: https://www.rgnetic.com/therapeutisches-fasten

Source Dr. Jason Fung

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