These three things in the title would define wellness to a great extend. In fact time restricted eating and intermittent fasting are both sides of the same coin.
In time restricted eating, one consumes all the food during a short period of time. Say it’s 12 hours or even better, eight or 6 hours. This is unlike the present habit of eating or snacking for about 15 hours in a day.
One researched example shows the significance. A group eating the same food/ calories during 15 hours and another group eating the same food and calories during a window of 10 hours showed significant differences. The group eating 15 hours were obese, and developed many diseases while the 10 hour group were healthy and fit.
Intermittent fasting also shows the same results and has been acclaimed as a tool towards a well managed wellness.
Now researchers are revealing the role of circadian habits. In fact the Nobel prize for physiology or medicine in 2017 was awarded to scientists for their study on circadian rhythms.
Listen to this TED talk by researcher Dr. Satchin Panda on Circadian Habits. Listen carefully, this has the potential to shape the future of wellness, diet, exercises, sleep, cancer and other diseases.
Intermittent Fasting, as we know, is the best wellness program. It can do many wonderful things and probably could prevent and reverse such deadly problems like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even Cancer. It can also help lose weight.
I lost about 8 kgs in the first few months of starting the fast about a year and a half back. Then it plateaued.
Though disappointed a bit at the stoppage of losing weight, the desire to look good and to wear a six pack kept me focused and be strict with fasting, supplemented with a fairly rigorous workout schedule.
In the process, I kept reading and listening to experts in the field. I also mentor a small group of intermittent fasters and share with them the research findings and personal experiences. We exchanged notes.
Adopting some the new techniques learned and staying sincerely on course with increased intensity, I could feel good results in the bathroom mirror. But there was a problem! I didn’t have a weighing machine in Bangalore where we stayed back for the past nearly 5 months due to the lockdown.
And I just got this machine through amazon and it’s another 3 and half kilos off for me, making it a total of about 12 kgs through intermittent fasting.
It’s also discipline! And when we talk about discipline, the best in class is military. So regimental best describes my totally repetitive, strict and rigid discipline when it comes to diet, exercises and wellness programs.
I do Intermittent Fasting 16 to 19 hours a day, 7 days a week and it’s strict water only fast.
My daily yoga lasting an hour and a half involves the same asanas, the same breathing and the same stretches.
My crunches, running and walking are at the same pace, same numbers and same periods of time every day.
People rightly alerts me on the need to have variations. True, but I will need a trainer to manage the resultant complexity.
The benefits will be better with variations. I can’t manage complexities and hence I am regimental.
Still I believe there are benefits. Certainly so. We usually ignore most benefits as usual. If we know what we would be without the regimen and discipline, the benefits are so huge.
I feel happy when I think how i would be; without fasting, workouts and a bit too much of show off!
I have 5 hours to eat in a day, and here’s my broadcast message to the Intermittent Fasting Group that I mentor.
Broadcast on Intermittent Fasting: I thought it might be a good idea to list my activities while on a strict intermittent fasting, to our group. Please give feedback, advices and any comments that you may have. My Intermittent fasting starts with a Keto dinner at 6 pm and lasts for about 19 hours till a good lunch at 1 pm. I have only water during this 19 hours, no black coffee, no green tea. Hopefully, autophagy is on work! The lunch is mostly carbs with rice, vegetables, meat etc followed by liberal helping of papaya and mango. I go for a few blocks of Amul dark chocolate. Snacks include good things like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and not so good things like savouries and few bakery items. I have coffee with milk and no sugar and occasional green tea during the 5 eating hours. The Keto dinner at 6 pm could be quinoa with vegetables and eggs in butter with meat topping, the same with barley rice instead of quinoa, cream of mushroom soup, mushroom omelette cooked in butter, avocado, soup etc. Now that I have stopped Diabetes medicines, I monitor blood sugar first in the morning, just before breaking fast with lunch, 2 hours after lunch and 2 hours after Keto dinner. The current readings could (I hope) lower HbA1c to six or even below that, in three months ( dream comes true)! I have observed the following complications:
Dawns Phenomenon Here sugar readings start low when fast begins and increases from 10, 12, 19 hours into fasting. Apparently this is harmless and Dr Jason Fung even terms it a good thing as the explanation is that lever releases stored glycogen anticipating energy requirements for physical activity while fasting.
Gilbert’s Syndrome Though harmless, this is a nuisance with possible side effects. The reason is limited gut action during fasting for liver to process excess bilirubin. That’s why papaya and mango find a prominent place in diet. Plus drinking lots of water.
Now on my workout schedule, it starts with yoga in the morning. It takes over one and a half hours and burns about 500 calories. The following are the items.
3. Meditation ( for third eye)
4. Diaphragm breathing
5. Tree position on both legs
6. Suryanamaskar, 12 sets, 12 positions on either legs making a total of 288 positions.
7. Sarvangasana for 10 minutes
8. Matsyasana for 5 minutes And another 30 stretching and breathing exercises including a few breaks with savasanas. I do stationery swimming actions and abdominal crunches only occasionally now. I do indoor running for about an hour on the terrace burning about 500 calories. That’s total about 1000 calories burned on workout against the crazy 1700 when I was doing everything. Sleep total meets the target 7 hours. Of course, there were occasional injuries, especially with land swimming. Six Packs are still on outline and hopefully will get firmed up when gym and pool are opened. But following the guidances from wellness experts (videos shared here) belly fat has receded considerably which is a major wellness goal and key thing in reversing diabetes. I hope these detailing will help those who are on Intermittent Fasting.
I am mentoring a group of over 70 wellness enthusiasts on Intermittent Fasting. Some of them asked for my own experiences on the program and here’s what i have shared with the group.
Broadcast on Intermittent Fasting: I am attempting a guide to follow here, based on personal experience and learning: Some of the purported health benefits of intermittent fasting include:
Weight and body fat loss
Increased fat burning
Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
Possibly reversal of type 2 diabetes
Possibly improved mental clarity and concentration
Possibly increased energy
Possibly increased growth hormone, at least in the short term
Possibly an improved blood cholesterol profile
Possible lowering of blood pressure
Possibly longer life
Possibly activation of cellular cleansing by stimulating autophagy
Possibly reduction of inflammation
Achieving autophagy stage has benefits including:
prevention and even reversal of Alzheimer’s
Prevention and even reversal of Parkinson’s disease
Prevention and even reversal of cancer
Anti- aging Personal Experience: I have been practising intermittent fasting since January 19, 2019 with very little exceptions. I am on a 16.8 schedule which is in practice has been 17.7. I can confirm:
Better frame of mind
Happiness in looking at self in mirror Additionally I have seen positive effects on diabetes. I have reduced medication ( metformin) to a fourth of the original dose. And when I tried avoiding certain food and worked on reducing belly fat, the readings were normal even without medication. The enhanced energy is a sure benefit and it helped me to get into crazy amounts of physical activity. My recommendations: (Those who are on any kind of medication, please consult doctor before trying these. And those with diabetes, in addition to doctor’s advice, please monitor blood sugar, say three times a day, like I do).
Follow the 16.8 schedule and try if you can do a OMD (one meal a day) once a week. 17.7 or 18.6 are better as autophagy starts from there.
Eat sensibly during the eating window. If more weight loss is desired, follow a Keto diet.
Avoid sugar as far as possible. Fructose is much more dangerous than glucose. Sadly fruits and vegetables have fructose. So have them in moderation. Added sugar in processed foods may be avoided. Chances of them using HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is high as it’s cheaper and gives food longer life and taste. HFCS is bad.
Exercise regularly. Moderate workout is good. Also so HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is beneficial, if you can do it. As a guide; moderate, medium and high workouts are where the heart rate is less than 60% , 60-90% and 90% of your maximum heart rate for workout. Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. As such the maximum heart rate for a 40 year old is 220-40=180.
Try and learn workout and diet program to reduce belly fat.
It’s difficult to suggest an ideal food menu. But avoid processed foods as far as possible. Then try and reduce carbohydrates. Include some amount of protein. And try and include maximum of good fat. Bring in nuts, avocado etc into menu. If you follow a Keto diet program, you get a solution here
Fasting window is for fasting. Ideally have only water. You can have black coffee or green tea in desperate situations. The benefits of fasting will make clean fasting a welcome habit. Good luck and stay healthy.
For information 16.8 schedule means 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating window
Anyone interested in joining the group and receive updates, please let me know.
I have been following Intermittent Fasting, religiously since the 19th of January 2019 and I have benefited immensely from the program.
But I used the eating window of 8 hours or less to deliberately enjoy the food I liked best like the unique ‘Kunju’s Jamroll’.
Now, a mini veteran in the wellness world, I take a review of events. And intermittent fasting is the best I have done with numerous benefits.
But I take medicine for a slightly higher blood sugar to get it under control. Is that alright or should I take a re-look!
Dr. Jason Fung’s book ‘the Diabetes Code’ is an eye opener. One can reverse type 2 diabetes completely without medicine and medicine can be very bad for health.
Intermittent Fasting helped me to reduce the medicine by a fourth. Then I tried some of the recommendations of Dr. Fung, and yes I can get normal readings without medicine, by way of adjusting diet, some exercise and intermittent fasting.
That’s why it’s not only ‘when you eat’, but also ‘what you eat’ that matters.
This is true for other good things like losing weight, getting rid of belly fat and boosting immunity etc.
I also learned that ‘sugar is poison’ and ‘fructose is cyanide’.
This is my message today to our intermittent fasting group.
We are starting at the prospect of having to live with the Coronavirus lurking in around us! Some predictions such as ‘no international travel for 2 years, no holiday for a year, huge job loses etc’ may well be rumours, I hope. There are so many things impacting personal life. Health, perhaps is the only happiness. We need to at least preserve it, knowing that gyms, swimming pools, play grounds and even walking tracks are going to be very restricted. Months long lockdown have taught us new skills. Some of which we can further them with some imagination and efforts. The dance for TikTok video may be modified to learning some of the fast paced Bollywood/ Tamil dances. A good way for aerobic workout. You will be a star at dance parties when all these get over. The cooking skills acquired could be fine tuned for healthy food with focus on fresh and plant based as far as possible. And very importantly, do yoga. If you are new, do at least Pranayama (three times) and breathing exercises. Also do a 20 minute meditation. If interested I can send videos showing how to do Pranayama and breathing and on assisted meditation. For us Intermittent fasters, we should not let go the benefits we have been enjoying. Perhaps this is not the time to experiment new things. Let’s be careful not to try anything extreme if it’s new. Weight loss is a big target to many of us. I have read that those obese are more vulnerable to viruses. Two of the weight reduction methods are diet and intermittent fasting, both supplemented with some physical activity. We have chosen the Intermittent fasting route and if we add the diet program of sensible eating during eating window, the results could accelerate. This could be low carb, medium protein and high natural fat (preferably plant based protein and fat). I would recommend watching the Netflix program ‘Game Changers’. On Intermittent Fasting, let’s try and make it clean fasting for 16 hours. Those who can may extend to 17 or 18 hours. That’s when autophagy and benefits such as cellular repair take place. However, let’s not rush into 24 hour fasting etc now, if new to it. We have seen so many expert commentaries that IF would boost immunity. One of them gave a simple example that our immune system will not be overworked fighting food based bacteria when we fast, as there’s no food intake. And the rested fighters will be more effective to combat viruses. Last item for discussion today is diabetic and IF. I am a beneficiary of lower glucose readings and reduction in medicine intake to half, as a result of IF. A recent discussion with a medical director was an eye opener. There are two high level dangers for diabetic in doing prolonged fasting. Hypoglycaemia and Ketoacidosis. I would suggest, those of us on diabetic meditation ( tablets only) please send me a message and I will share more on the discussion with the good doctor. If there’s anyone taking insulin, please contact your doctor and discuss fasting. Intermittent Fasting is being promoted as perhaps the best for controlling diabetes. If so, we should not be denying the opportunity to the affected people. But with sufficient precautions and checks that the doctor friend alluded to.
I am mentoring a small group of intermittent fasters and I am attaching my today’s communication to the group.
The reason I am writing on it here, is because of the studies on Intermittent Fasting which boost immune systems which would be a defence against the virus.
Though Corona Virus is new for any detailed research, the limited animal (rat) trials and expert analysis point out to the prospect that intermittent fasting helps people to become bad hosts to the virus.
This is all the more important now, that the lockdown restrictions are likely to be relaxed to save economies. Intermittent Fasting could be an additional tool to social distancing and washing hands.
Please take time to read our group message and the valuable video attached here. I am also attaching the previous video to the group. Dr. Nick Zyrowski and Dr. Mindy Pelz are renowned experts and it’s worthwhile to subscribe to their YouTube videos.
If anyone wants to join our broadcast group (individual privacy is taken care of with broadcast group and I as group mentor only have a global view), please send a whatsapp to my whatsapp number +91 9400056031.
My Broadcast on Intermittent Fasting: Hello everyone, it’s lockdown time for most of us. The temptation to go lax on fasting is high. But hold on! There has always been evidence that intermittent fasting boosts immune system and accelerate T-cell production. Though new, there are animal trials and expert simulations on the impact of IF on corona virus. And it’s all pointing out to the benefits. The lockdown is likely to ease as governments are to consider economy also. And then it’s more important to defeat the lurking virus threat through the good practices like social distancing, washing hands etc. Dr. Mindy Pelz in the video here and Dr. Nick Zyrowski in the earlier video are firmly advocating Intermittent fasting to become bad hosts for the terrible virus. Dr. Mindy suggests three fasting types. 1. 13-15 hours 2. 17 hours plus and 3. Dinner to dinner or one meal a day. If you want a recommendation I would suggest 17 to 18 hours. And my own plan is as follows: Do a 13 hour fast on one day in a week. I call it ‘no fast day’. Do 17-18 hours fast five days in a week. And do a 24 hour fast once in a week. I have to convert one of my 17 hour fast to 24 hour one now. I hope it’s not inappropriate to point out that poorer countries are less affected by the virus spread. If so, a reason could be that by eating less and less frequently, they have acquired the immunity. So people, take this seriously and get more focused on IF. If you’ve slowed down or stopped IF, please please get seriously back. And watch/ listen to this video very carefully.