Intermittent fasting: benefits, contraindications and tips for beginners
- Hunger causes cell rejuvenation
- Hungry? Drink a glass of warm water before going to bed.
- Harm caused by overeating: see a special video from WELPS
We’ve been hearing more and more lately that it’s mostly overeating that causes us to get sick and grow old, and that the tried-and-true maxim “cold, hunger, rest” has been unjustly forgotten. Currently, there is a wide range of levers to check overeating: diets, water fasting, dry fasting, fresh juice detox: the list is long. WELPS will tell you about an approach that will both reboot and rejuvenate the body and become a permanent lifestyle choice. This is not a diet or some temporary solution, but a proven working method that will keep you from falling off the nutrition wagon.
This method of not growing old by eating less was first suggested and made popular in the US
It was Dr. Peter Attia, an American specialist in health optimization, who was one of the first experts that developed and employed the system of intermittent fasting. He researches the topic of longevity, consulting others and experimenting on himself. Peter blames overeating for being one of the main reasons for aging. Why is that?
"The stomach needs its rest. A digestive system that is working non-stop, deteriorates at a higher rate. Hunger, on the other hand, promotes cell renewal. This is due to the process called autophagy, which is triggered only by stress. And the biggest stress for the human body is hunger."
Excessive consumption of animal protein leads to the acidification of the body, which is one of the main causes of aging. Intermittent fasting limits the interval when one can eat. It is believed that calorie control is not necessary as the body will introduce it by itself. The benefit lies in the change of cycles: anabolic (accumulation or creation of cells and structures usually takes place in the period of rest) and catabolic (phenomenon opposite to anabolism, in other words, cell destruction).
For three years, Peter has adhered to the six-hour pattern, normally eating from 11AM to 5PM, without calorie restriction. He feels and receives a daily confirmation of the benefits of this approach both for himself and for hundreds of his patients.
Overeating – how do we harm ourselves?
How much do we pay for each muffin we eat? Why can indulging in our favorite food cause us harm? Popular blogger Sergey Malozemov explains all in an exclusive WELPS video.
You will see the result in just a month
If we apply ourselves, then, as experts assure, in just a month you will have:
- become more energetic, and the period of night sleep will have naturally decreased by 1 to 1.5 hours.
- effortlessly lost weight without having to diet. Well… you’d be better off cutting fast food altogether! Most Dr. Attia’s patients would lose 2-5 kilos a month, depending on body-related specifics.
- felt that your bowel movement has become regular, if any indigestion did occur in the past.
- increased endurance and effectiveness during workout.
- eliminated skin issues: most patients say good bye and good riddance to acne and skin pigmentation.
There are various patterns of intermittent fasting, but the essence is the same: the day is divided into two periods. In one interval, you can eat whatever you want. During the other you are allowed only beverages. Peter Attia argues that you should drink only water while other specialists permit black coffee and green tea. The choice is yours, however, be advised that coffee and green tea, despite their zero calorie content, activate renal function and disrupt circadian rhythm.
Intermittent fasting patterns
This pattern calls for 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours for eating. For instance, you can eat between 10AM and 6PM, consuming three or four meals in this period. The rest of the time it is limited to just drinking water. If you have a habit of eating immediately or almost immediately upon waking up, then you should start the day with a glass of warm water with lemon, and have a real breakfast at 10AM.
Patterns that are also possible: 18/6, 20/4
This is a radical pattern, comprising a 24-hour fasting window between meals. If, for example, you have breakfast at 11AM, then the next meal is going to be at 11AM the next day, exactly one 24-hour period afterwards. Unlike the other schemes, it should not be tried by beginners and even then not resorted to more often than once or twice a week.
This pattern is based on days, not hours. It was developed by Michael Mosley, author of The Fast Diet. The method allows you to eat whatever you want for 5 days. For 2 days you are to abstain from eating as much as possible. This does not necessarily mean a hunger strike, but you cannot consume more than 500 kcal a day. You can try this scheme after a year on the 16/8 or 18/6 pattern. If one’s organism is not physically and psychologically prepared, it will do more harm than good.
Peter Attia’s three simple rules for beginners
Introduce the pattern gradually. If you narrow the food intake window to 6-8 hours overnight, then in a few days you will break down for sure. Begin by having breakfast later and having dinner at least 30-40 minutes earlier. Have the main meal of the day coincide with the peak of your daily activity.
Watch your water-drinking regimen. If you are hungry, drink a glass of warm water. Feelings of hunger and thirst are much alike and people often confuse them. Determining if you drink enough is easy: normal urination should take place at least every 1.5-2 hours.
Try to eat healthy food, keeping the right balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Despite the fact that this approach does not pose nutritional restrictions, you still need to apply it with some common sense. You have to know that the lack of fatty acids can cause a desire to eat sweet, spicy or smoked food and the absence or lack of complex carbs is often perceived as a drop in strength and energy.
Too sudden a start. In order to avoid this most common mistake, that can easily lead to relapse, assess your eating pattern objectively. For example, if you are used to having breakfast at 8AM and dinner at 9PM, you should not immediately narrow the window to six hours: in your case, the stomach has been trained for thirteen hours of activity. So give it an opportunity to readjust by reducing the window by an hour or two for five days, thus gradually bringing the interval to the desired length.
Late dinner resulting from late breakfast. Man is a diurnal animal. It is believed that we should not eat after sunset. For intermittent fasting, a relatively early breakfast and an early dinner are preferred. For example, if you use the 6/18 pattern, then the best option for your hormones and digestion would be eating from 12AM to 6PM. If you choose the 3PM-9PM period, for example, then the benefits can be significantly less.
Inadequate water-drinking regimen. If you stop eating, you mustn’t stop drinking! Water activates metabolism, removing toxins and helping to cope with hunger. Once you have started the pattern, keep a bottle of water at hand. Even if there is no feeling of thirst, drink a couple of sips every 15-20 minutes. This will improve well-being and help avoid dehydration. Water consumption varies from person to person, so just find your own comfortable routine.
Starting intermittent fasting when you are sick. When the body is weakened, it needs first to be fully restored, as additional stress in the form of fasting can delay recovery. Therefore, it is best to start reducing the food intake window when at the peak of one’s physical strength.
Consuming sweet high-calorie drinks when you are hungry. Juices, smoothies and soda should be excluded: they cause the blood sugar to swing from low to high and back again, affecting not only the mood, but also the process of fat accumulation. Remember: your best friend is water. If it is difficult to go off coffee, then drink it black without sugar during the first week of fasting. Green tea or chicory are also suitable as an invigorating substitute.
What you need to know
Dr. Attia pointed out the following contraindications to intermittent fasting:
If you are younger than 18. A growing organism differs significantly from an adult one. Stress brought on by hunger can be extremely harmful to the actively dividing cells. Peter is very cautious in his statements about the benefits of fasting for overweight adolescents, as research data here are currently insufficient;
Medical contraindications and certain physiological features. Among the most common are the so-called Phrygian cap in gallbladder and diabetes. Remember that fasting for longer than 24 hours should be practiced under the supervision of a specialist and without contraindications.