Episode 86: Exploring Intermittent Fasting & Weight Loss


Ep 86: Intermittent Fasting Explored & Weight Loss

Today’s episode explores intermittent fasting.  This podcast is really designed for someone who has no idea what intermittent fasting is. So, before I get started let me state that like most people, I have thought of fasting as odd, or weird or even dangerous.  I had not learned about fasting in any of my formal educational setting. If I did, I must of blocked it out or rejected it.

Sure, I had heard of fasting for religious and or spiritual reasonings in that fasting was a way to heighten spirituality or honor God or something like that. But, I honestly do not recall learning about fasting in regards to health and longevity or possibly curing a disease. At least not in any formal academic setting.

In about 1978, I started to explore diets and food and what was the right way of eating for optimal athletic performance. I was in on the basketball and swim team in highschool and for some odd reason, I wanted to be healthy.

I remember reading about the Pritikin diet and I continued to read about food and how one should eat for optimum health, however reading and learning and knowing does not always get absorbed into action.

I do believe that I focused on eating more vegetables from all the reading and I tried to make better nutritional decisions, but when we are young we tend to believe on some level that we are invincible and this often made me think that eating cakes and cookies would somehow be offset by the broccoli and zucchini. And maybe there is some truth to that, but I do not recall learning or even reading any information that mentioned to abstain from food was a good thing. It was then that anorexia and other eating disorders were on a rise and fasting was not a “thing”. At least not to my knowledge. And back then, there was no internet or social media letting you know what was trending. And television was only 5 or so stations. Wow! That makes me sound old. 

So, what is intermittent fasting and how does it work? Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a schedule. It is designed to help people burn fat and regulate their insulin. I would like you to read The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung and The Obesity Code also by Dr.Jason Fung to hear his complete opinion on the subject, but for now I will give you a little bit of what Dr. Fung and others have been saying for awhile.

Apparently, the hormone insulin can make us fat even if the calories in are not that much. So, the idea is by not eating for 16, 18, 24, 36 and even 48 hours your body will start to burn fat instead of glucose. The way Dr. Fung explains it is that we have two storage systems one holds the food that you have eaten and the other holds your fat stores. If you want to burn your fat stores, you need to deplete your food stores.

And apparently, there are a lot of people sharing that they have had incredible success with intermittent fasting. In fact, Dr. Fung has been able to reverse type 2 diabetes with intermittent and traditional fasting. If I have peaked your interest but you are not sure you are reading to buy his books, then check him out on youtube. Also, check out everyone sharing their intermittent fasting stories, it is quite fascinating. What I have come to learn is that 36 hours once or twice or three times a week shows great fat burning results. What this means is that you would eat say dinner at 6pm on Monday and not eat again until lunch on noon on Wednesday. Of course you would drink lots of water and learn what is to be expected.What Dr. Fung says, is to use common sense, if you feel sick eat, if you feel hungry drink water or tea.

So, I must tell you that my training in Chinese Medicine says to eat to nourish the body and that going without eating is not good. But, I have been reading about fasting and intermittent fasting for about 2 or 3 years and it has me curious. Mostly because I have seen where people lose weight and gain it back over and over again and this style of eating may in deed be a reset if you will.

I am not sure that I can get on board with everything that Dr. Fung says, but I am curious. And I do not want to let my training prevent me from continued learning. If I have learned anything at all, one must explore that what one does not know.

The one thing that really peaked my interest few years ago, was how the body went into a healing machine on long term fasts. That made me really curious. Of course, during my research, I learning about deaths from long term fasting. I now understand why, they did not listen to their body and if a person does not have fat reserves, fasting can be very dangerous.  Most of these people who died were fasting into and more than 40 days.

So, like anything, before you try it, learn everything you can. Before you reject it, learn everything you can.  So, if fasting is so great how come it’s not all over the news? Well, for one how does someone make money selling to abstain from food? And then, how can we people open their minds to even consider it, when eating healthy food seems like the right answer. Right?

And perhaps it is, but if we go back and look at what we ate in the 50s, we were not eating better, but we had less obesity and less type 2 diabetes and less heart attacks and less or everything. So, what I want to encourage you to do, is explore this topic on your own. See what you think. You do not have to change your diet, you just change when you would eat and if you want to only try it once a week, that might be enough to lose those unwanted 10 pounds or it might be a way to take back your control over food.

That’s what I have for you today, I hope you check out

Dr. Jason Fung’s Books

Until next time, take care

My name is Robyne Hemingway and you are listening to Hemingway’s Heart