A Carnivore Diet May Be A Form Of Calorie Restriction
To members of the biohacking community, the carnivore diet surfaces frequently. The diets adherents eat nothing but animal protein, with some allowance for animal fat .
At face value, this may seem absurd, but it is growing in popularity among biohackers and high performers.1 The carnivore diet owes some of its popularity to public intellectual Jordan Peterson2 and his daughter Mikhaila Peterson. She has followed a carnivore diet almost one year and remains enthusiastic about the effects.3
The diet seems more frequently adopted by people with autoimmune diseases. There are currently no studies on how an all-meat diet might affect health, but Dr. Rhonda Patrick has hypothesized that it may have something to do with caloric restriction. See the clip below of Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Joe Rogan Show between 2:06-6:10 for a deeper explanation:
One of the greatest challenges with classic caloric restriction is the distraction of persistent hunger. The carnivore diet may overcome this hurdle. By eating only meat, satiety mechanisms prevent adherents from consuming excess calories. By consuming the same food, the monotony drives them to eat even fewer calories.
It is hard to argue with individuals struggling with autoimmune health problems who experience positive effects in their n = 1 experiment, but with no long-term studies and counter-evidence on the effects of longevity, it may be best to use the carnivore diet in case of emergency.
Ways To Use This Information For Better Health
Avoid Intermittent Fasting If You Are At Risk For An Eating Disorder
Intermittent fasting has a high association with bulimia nervosa, and as a result, individuals who are susceptible to an eating disorder should not undergo any diet associated with fasting. Risk factors for an eating disorder include having a family member with an eating disorder, perfectionism, impulsivity and mood instability.
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Youll Feel Different When You Start Eating All Day Long
Its inevitable that the time will come when youll have something food-related going on in the evening. Its fine to switch in and out of intermittent fasting, but it might take some practice to switch back and forth without over- or under-eating!
And when you start eating in the evening again after a period of intermittent fasting, it might make you feel different.
For me, whenever I ate at night after a time of intermittent fasting I felt heavy. It was like my evening meal was just sitting in my stomach. Sleep didnt come easily those nights. I knew I hadnt been overeating, but my digestion seemed like it wasnt quite used to dealing with food at night.
I think our digestion isnt really made for lots and lots of nighttime eating, and intermittent fasting really makes that obvious.
If youve been intermittent fasting for a while, it might be best to try not to have late night meals. Even if theres food available, you can say no! It might help you sleep better.
Learn from my mistakes and give your body a little transition time between periods of intermittent fasting. Try to keep your biggest meals earlier in the day, and dont eat late at night.
Feel free to comment below if you have any other questions about intermittent fasting Id love to help you out!
Intermittent Fasting Could Help You Prevent Or Manage Type 2 Diabetes
One big question that researchers are trying to answer about intermittent fasting is whether or not it helps with insulin sensitivity that is, whether or not intermittent fasting helps with the hormonal regulation of blood sugar levels. Preliminary research suggests that this might be the case.
In a 2014 review of existing studies published in Translational Research, the authors found that, across all studies they looked at, various forms of intermittent fasting were shown to reduce blood sugar by 3 to 6 percent, and reduce fasting insulin between 20 to 31 percent .
Essentially, this means that intermittent fasting could help control your blood sugar levels, which is important for both diabetes management and prevention. It also suggests that intermittent fasting makes you more insulin-sensitive. That’s a good thing, because it means that your body is able to keep your blood sugar steady after a meal, preventing big and unhealthy blood sugar swings.
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You Might Lose Weight
Many health experts, including personal trainer Jillian Michaels, say that intermittent fasting actually isnt that great for weight loss. Thats because youre not necessarily eating less or cutting back on calories. There are just longer gaps in your day when youre not eating at all.
That said, many people do lose weight because they consume fewer calories during those restricted food hours.
Eating for only eight hours a day also makes it less likely that youre having a big meal right before bedtime. Our metabolism goes down when we sleep and we burn fewer calories. Nighttime eating has been linked to both obesity and diabetes.
Intermittent fasting really does keep you from doing some really bad things, which is to eat a big meal before you go to bed, said Dr. John Morton, a bariatric surgeon with Yale Medicine. Big meals before bed are probably the worst thing you can do when it comes to weight loss, he added.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
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Induces Various Cellular Repair Processes
When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular waste removal process called autophagy .
This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.
Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease .
Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.
Will I Lose Weight
Most likely.64 If you have weight to lose, it is extremely likely that you will lose weight if you do not eat.
In theory, its possible to eat more after fasting, of course, cancelling out the weight lost. But studies generally show that most people tend to eat significantly less overall.65
I call intermittent fasting the ancient secret of weight loss because it might be one of the most powerful dietary interventions for weight loss, yet it has been mostly ignored by doctors and dietitians for a long time.66
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Why To Choose Intermittent Fasting
Humans have observed fasting for thousands of ages. When there was just no food available, it was sometimes done out of necessity. It was also done for religious reasons in other cases. Fasting is required by several religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism.
When humans and other animals are sick, they generally react quickly. Fasting is not unnatural, and our bodies are perfectly capable of going without food for long periods.
When we dont eat for a while, our bodies go through a variety of changes to allow us to survive during a famine. Hormones, genes, and critical cellular repair processes are all involved.
When we are in the fasting phase, our blood sugar and insulin levels might drop significantly, while our levels of human growth hormone skyrocket.
Many people use intermittent fasting to lose weight since it is a quick and easy technique to cut calories and burn fat. Others might use it so that it could improve their metabolic health, which can improve a variety of risk factors and health markers.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to help people live longer. It can lengthen longevity as effectively as calorie restriction in animals, according to studies.
It may also help protect against diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimers disease, and others, according to some research. Others choose intermittent fasting because it is more convenient.
This Is Your Body On Intermittent Fasting
Its no surprise that intermittent fasting is one of the most popular types of eating plans. You dont need to measure out food or buy any prepackaged shakes. There are no required weigh-ins or calorie counting. All you really have to do is not eat during certain hours. Its pretty simple.
There are different ways to go about it, of course. Most people do the 16:8 diet, in which you fast for 16 hours and then eat within an eight-hour window. Theres also the 5:2 diet, where you drastically cut back on calories just two days a week, and there are 24-hour fasts, where you dont eat anything one day each month.
Regardless of the method, significantly restricting when you eat can throw your body for a loop and cause a handful of odd side effects. Intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone.
Its important to know what to expect before you jump into any new eating habit. Heres what happens to you mentally, physically and emotionally when youre fasting intermittently.
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Should You Do Intermittent Fasting And The Keto Diet
We have a crazy extensive guide on the Keto Diet in case youre not familiar with it, so here it is in a nutshell:
This process is called ketosis, and there are two ways for a body to enter ketosis:
- Eating in a way that induces ketosis .
- FastingHey, thats what youre reading about right now!
We actually have an amazing success story here on Nerd Fitness, Larry, who followed our strategies, went Keto and start intermittent fasting. He ended up losing weight, getting stronger, AND overcame the challenges of rheumatoid arthritis !
Heres how the fasting portion of it works:
As your body enters a fast period when there are no sources of glucose energy readily available, the liver begins the process of breaking down fat into ketones.
Fasting itself can trigger ketosis.
Fasting for a period of time before kicking off a Keto-friendly eating plan COULD speed your transition into the metabolic state of ketosis, and fasting intermittently while in ketosis could help you maintain that state.
I personally love fasting for the simplicity: I skip breakfast every day and train in a fasted state. Its one less decision I have to make, its one less opportunity to make a bad food choice, and it helps me reach my goals.
WHY KETO + IF WORKS = eating Keto can be really challenging. And every time you eat, its an opportunity to do it wrong and accidentally eat foods that knock you out of ketosis.
Youre also tempted to overeat.
Your value may vary!
You need to decide what works for you.
Alternate Day Fasting : 2 Method
Some people fast on alternate days to improve blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight loss. A person on the 5:2 method eats 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days each week.
Some alternate-day fasting regimens add in a third day of fasting each week. For the rest of the week, a person eats only the number of calories they burn during the day. Over time, this creates a calorie deficit that allows the person to lose weight.
Resources on the Eat Stop Eat, Warrior, and Leangains fasting methods are available to purchase online.
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May Be Beneficial For Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the worlds biggest killer .
Its known that various health markers are associated with either an increased or decreased risk of heart disease.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including:
- blood sugar levels
The effects of fasting on heart health need to be studied more in-depth in humans before recommendations can be made.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
Before You Try Intermittent Fasting
If you want to give intermittent fasting a try, make sure to discuss it with your doctor first, says Dr. Rimm. Skipping meals and severely limiting calories can be dangerous for people with certain conditions, such as diabetes. Some people who take medications for blood pressure or heart disease also may be more prone to imbalances of sodium, potassium, and other minerals during longer-than-normal periods of fasting.
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What Can I Expect From My First Few Fasts
Friday 4th April 2014
The idea of fasting can sound daunting, and your first few fasts will probably be the hardest.
But the good news is that it quickly gets easier. After the first few fasts you learn that hunger is only a fleeting feeling and can soon be quelled with a drink of water, tea or coffee. Our community tell us that they soon find hunger pangs just a mild inconvenience. Once you have got used to it, most fasts will be quite easy and something you may well look forward to.
Our bodies are well-designed to cope without food, whatever your mother might have told you!
No one knows for sure why some people have no problems starting fasting, while others find their first fasts difficult. It may be because of a phenomenon called metabolic inflexibility, which means that the body has become used to having a constant supply of sugar and carbohydrate from our food so that it does not need to access its fat stores. Your body gets out of practice at turning your fat stores into energy. As a result you struggle the first few times you fast, and feel bad. Among low carbohydrate dieters the same effect is called low carb flu.
The kinds of problems you might experience during your first fasts are:
Fortunately, we have some tips and tricks that can help reduce or eliminate these problems.
Intermittent Fasting Tips Tricksand Warnings
As you would before starting any new diet, speak with your healthcare provider for guidance. They can help you decide whether IF is the right plan for you, and give you a heads up about potential pitfalls and health hazards. Let your HCP know if youre on medications, as well, since IF can mess with them.
If you go ahead and try IF, experts recommend starting slowly and working your way up to longer periods without food. Some people may experience side effects like headaches, lightheadedness or mood changes at first, but fans claim they should disappear as you get used to it.
Remember to stay hydrated during your fast, Dr. Ergin says, since people who eliminate meals may neglect drinking water, as well. That can lead to dehydration and kidney problems, especially in patients already having baseline kidney problems.
Also, keep in mind you should follow a nutritious eating plan for times you arent fasting. Emphasize wholesome foods like produce, lean protein, legumes, whole grains and good-for-you fats. Try to avoid binging on junk food when a fasting period ends. When you overeat, you are actually harming yourself more than youre helping yourself, Dr. Ergin says.
Be aware: Though IF is likely safe for most of us in the short term, ditching meals and drastically slashing calorie intake can be harmful to some, including:
- Growing children and adolescents
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Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem: