Fasting is nothing new. In fact, we have been doing just that for hundreds of years. And, if you want to go back even farther to caveman times, when we were hunter gatherers, they were many a winter when food was scarce, causing imposed rationing and starvation. The people who made it through these lean times we able to better store energy as fat.
For additional information, read this link: https://diabetictreatmentalternatives.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/why-am-i-fat/
And this worked well until the agricultural revolution came along. Then, with proper food storage there was an abundance of food year round. But the genes didn’t forget. And still tried to store food in the form of fat in the body. After all, it was only doing what it was designed to do.
Fast forward to the late 1700’s. when a physician named John Rollo developed a mostly meat diet (reduced carbohydrates) to treat what is now known as type 2 diabetes. Then, in the 1800’s, several doctors started using starvation therapy on their diabetic patients with some success. That is where many of the diets and fads come from today.
When insulin was discovered, and then more and more treatment drugs became available, it was much easier to eat what you wanted and take a shot or a few pills to counteract the meal. Modern medicine forgot about the earlier research. After all, better living through chemistry, right? Some believe that large grain companies, the American Medical Assn., and the American Diabetes Assn. conspired to create and promote easily and cheaply made products that were mostly carbohydrates and just exactly what the body needed to store fat for those long, lean winters. Moreover, it was publicly avowed that carbs were the “perfect” food and everyone needed them to grow and develop correctly. What they didn’t tell us was that those carbs activated pleasure receptors in our brains that were as strong as heroin and cocaine use. No wonder we were set up to fail and that is why it is so hard to get away from carbs and the way they make us feel.
As the years and the decades fled past, whole populations became morbidly obese, with heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes at epidemic proportions. And yet, all the body was doing was what nature had evolved it to do. Store that food for the cold long winter when food was scarce.
Not only those factors played a part, but some began to question and research carbs. As I said earlier, it was found that our brains are so wired that eating carbs actually cause us to crave more carbs, exactly like a drug addiction.
No wonder we are in so much trouble today as a society. Not only does the stuff we eat make us want more, those we have come to believe and hold in high esteem are telling us that this is “good” for us to do, our genes are designed to do what they have been programmed to do and save that fat for a rainy day. No wonder so many people have failed at maintaining their health, their weight, and their diet.
Those of us with diabetes, have developed insulin resistance, either through the inability to produce it (type 1) or not being able to produce enough to handle those high carb meals (type 2). Prolonged bad eating habits and fat storage has made many of us unable to live without insulin and medicines.
Not only the type of food, but the quantity also. Our satiation point (when we feel full) does not happen quick enough when eating to stop us from overeating every meal. Then all we want to do is crawl in a corner and hibernate. Again, nature’s way of making sure we pack on the pounds when the food is available.
So what can we do? It seems that the cards are stacked against us and we are doomed to failure.
We must begin the arduous task of fighting back. We have to find what works for us and outsmart our body and our genetic heritage. We must not take for granted that any group or organization is out for our best interest in the suggestions about food, health, and nutrition. In short, we must become our best advocate for our own health. I know this sounds like a daunting task, but it can be done. Your motivation is to be able to take your life and your health back. Substantial motivation indeed.
OK, before we get into the nuts and bolts, some cautions. Make sure you work with your doctor when doing anything suggested here. He may grumble a little at first, but when he realizes you are serious about controlling your health one of two things will happen: He will either agree with you and offer his help or adamantly refuse and you will need to find another doctor. Stick to your guns. You are not only doing this for yourself, you are helping to turn the tide for others. We are the pioneers in our own care. Someday, people will look back on all the changes that are occurring right now and say that this was when we started taking back our health. So, not only are you fighting for yourself, your friends and family, you are fighting for future generations that are to come.
The following are things that I have found to help me. Each one of you need to learn what works and what doesn’t work for you. Hope you have good luck with these. They are not in any particular order. Find what works for you!
Evening meals: One of the worst things we can do is eat late into the evening or right before bed. This gives the body an opportunity to convert most of that food into fat. Many say that you should not eat past 6-7pm to avoid this happening.
Pyramiding Meals: It is said that one should eat like a King for breakfast, a Prince for lunch, and a Pauper at Supper. That is a fancy way of eating your biggest meals early in the day and the lightest in the evening. This way you are ingesting the most calories when you are most active.
Fasting: There are many, many different ways to fast. And the one we are specifically targeting here is the intermittent fast. Here is a very good link to learn about the different types you can do:
My experience with fasting has taught me some very important facts about how I lose or gain weight and what are the best fasts for me.
The above chart is a 7 day fast. As you can see on the hunger scale to the left that my hunger peaked about 24 hours in and then started down, making the fast much easier the last 4 days. How much weight did I lose? You would think a lot, but it wasn’t that much.
Our bodies are designed (remember our caveman genes) to slow down our metabolism if we stop eating. It becomes very sparing in burning calories. In fact, if you are not careful it will actually start dissolving muscle and burning it with some fat. The less lean muscle we have the slower our metabolism needs to work. It is a survival mechanism of the body. So a 7 day fast can actually do more harm than good. Now, let’s look at the next chart.
This intermittent fast is a 2-1-2-1-1 fast. I call it the twenty-one-two-eleven fast. For the first 2 days you fast just on liquids. This keeps your hunger level as high as possible. By the end of the second day the hunger level has fallen almost completely off. Day 3 you eat just protein and fat only. This resets the metabolism and the start of day 4 you go back to the liquid fast through day 5, again peaking the hunger factor and starting back down to the sixth day. On day 6 you reset again with protein and fat. This brings you to the free day. Some will call it a cheat day. The solid food you ate on day 6 will quell some of your hunger on day 7 so you don’t completely pigout. After day 7 the cycle repeats.
The important thing here is that you are keeping your metabolism going. You also can tailor a exercise and strength training program (more about that later) to take advantage of the cycle. More cardio on Days 1,2 and 4,5. Strength train on Day 3 and 6 or 7. This allows your body to burn more calories when doing the liquid fast and then build lean muscle when eating the protein and fat.
I am excited to put this into practice. I will write more when I feel the need. Hope this works for you as well as I know it will work for me!