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Archive for the tag “Dr. Jason Fung”

Thinking About Eating Before A Workout? Think Again

An interesting article in the New York Times about the potential benefits of fasting before exercising. I know a lot of bodybuilders and athletes play with timing their meals and workouts. And scientists like Jeff Volek have studied ketogenic diets and athletic performance. Well a new study looks at us regular folks and how when we eat may play a role in lowering insulin levels.

Gee, I wonder where I heard that before?

Anyway, it’s nice that science is starting to put to the test the “benefits” of fasting.

My Fasting Challenge: Days 4-7

no-food-or-wine

During days 4-7 of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge I experience some subtle changes in my mental and menopausal symptoms. Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net, KENO64 and Simon Howden.

Sorry for the delay in posting on the final days of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge, but I had a sick doggie and husband that needed some attention. Plus while going through the last 4 days of my fast, I thought they were uneventful. The intense hunger I felt on Day 3 was gone. Once in a great while my stomach might grumble a bit, but a sip of water took care of it (Day 3 I was obsessed with food thoughts).

I even stopped opening up the fridge.

But my little notes to myself indicate there was a lot more going on than I realized at the time. Physically, my menopause symptoms were gone. I could easily get 8 hours of sleep each night. The hot flashes and chills disappeared. My anxiety dropped through the floor. Mentally I was crisp.

Worrying that my fast would cause more stress on my body (thus raising cortisol levels and stress me out further) was unfounded. Yes, I lost weight not eating for 7 days, but that really was side benefit.

Below is the highlights of days 4-7 of my fast. Read more…

7-Day Fasting Challenge: Day 1

fork-plate

So far just one little hiccup on the first day of my 7-Day Fasting Challenge. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and aopsan.

My last meal was 5:00 pm dinner on New Year’s Eve at a local steakhouse. That means I’m not eating again until 5:00 pm Saturday, January 7. As I’ve written before, the primary goal for the fast is to help my body shed wonky cells before they go rogue on me. Its just one little tool I have to prevent my cancer from coming back.

However, if the fast knocks me into ketosis (fat burning mode), I’m not gonna complain.

First Weigh In Of 2017
The morning of January 1 I decided to hit the scale, something I haven’t done since my surgery (6 months + 2 days ago). I gave myself time off from the scale since I was juggling with a few things:

  1. Endometrial (uterine) cancer discovered during fertility treatments
  2. Surgery to remove it
  3. Recovery from a radical hysterectomy
  4. Surgically induced menopause
  5. Radiation therapy
  6. A leaky bladder thanks to the radiation

The last thing I needed to do was step on a scale. Read more…

Healing My Body With A Week Long Fast

empty-plate

I’m kicking off the new year with a 7-Day Fasting Challenge as a way to heal my body. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhoto.net and phasinphoto.

I’m ringing in the New Year with a week-long fast. Crazy? Not really. I’m a believer in fasting and it’s many benefits like: lipolysis, boosting mental capacity, reducing insulin resistance, and resetting your set weight point.

Intermittent fasting helped me rediscover what it feels like to be satiated by stablizing the hormone leptin (the hormone signals the brain that you’re full).

However, the big driver behind this 7-day fast is autophagy – the cellular cleansing process. According to Dr. Jason Fung, autophagy is the “body’s mechanism of getting rid of all the broken down old cell machinery (organelles, proteins and cell membranes).”

Now all cells in our body are programmed to die after a certain number of divisions. That’s apoptosis. Autophagy takes place at the sub-cellular level. Basically only parts of a cell need to be purged and replaced. Dr. Fung compares this to replacing car parts rather than the whole care.

Fasting not only stimulates autophagy (clearing out the bad), but it increases growth hormone so our body can produce new cell parts. Double bonus! Read more…

Plateau From Hell: Battling My Body’s Set Weight Point

weekly weigh in april 30

Not the progress I was expecting this week. I’m up a pound. Time to rethink my tactics.

Bleh! I was expecting a loss this week and instead I’m up a pound. What’s really frustrating is I’ve been bouncing between 182-185 pounds for a year. One. Freaking. Year.

Rethinking Tactics
I recently finished reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung. Regular readers know I love Dr. Fung’s blog and his online lectures. A review of his book is coming soon (hint, you should read it!), but right now I’m looking at shaking up my intermittent fasting tactics for one simple reason — changing my body’s set weight point.

It’s believed that our bodies have a set weight point. When a healthy person’s weight goes above or below that set weight, the body compensates — slowing or raising metabolism, increasing hunger or satiety hormones — and works to get back to that person’s set weight point. Read more…

Is Fasting The New “Diet” Fad?

smokey joe burger 2

I keep meals pretty simple and normal in size when breaking a fast.

“There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten” – Marie Antoinette

Well the New York Times’ Well blog has a nice piece on the growing trend in fasting that you should take a look at. However, unlike other  fly by night “diets” on the market, fasting isn’t a fad. It’s been around for ages. Heck most religions include some form of fasting.

Some of the benefits of fasting include:

  • Lowers insulin levels, moving your body into fat burning mode
  • Increases growth hormone for muscle building
  • Repairs your cells and helps eliminates damaged cells that can turn cancerous
  • Lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance
  • Weight loss

There’s also very promising research on fasting and cancer treatment and possibly prevention.

Of course, the longer you fast, the more your body benefits.

I started intermittent fasting after reading Dr. Jason Fung’s blog series. Rarely do I eat 3 meals a day anymore. Typically I fast for 18 hours before eating my first meal (7:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m). For Lent I attempted a daily 24-hour fast and I did a pretty good job. I’m still going through a learning curve as I work up towards a 48 and 72-hour fast. The longest I’ve gone is 28 hours. Not too shabby.

My goal is to progress towards a 7-day fast twice a year. Seven days? How is that possible. Well the longest fast was 382 days and it was successful (and under medical supervision).

I can’t urge you strongly enough to read Dr. Fung’s series on fasting. While you may think fasting may not be your cup of tea, you’ll learn that it is one of the most healthy and ancient healing tools humans use…and it’s free!

 

December Challenge – 24 Hour Fasting

fasting drinks

Water and bone broth are at the ready during today’s 24-hour fast.

After Thanksgiving I took a hard look at my intermittent fasting (IF) schedule. I’ve gotten into the habit of doing a 14-hour fast about 3 times a week. Maybe fasting 5 days a week might help break this plateau? So I started re-reading Dr. Jason Fung’s blog posts on fasting. Sure enough I stumbled upon an important data point that could help me break my stall.

Resetting My Body’s Set Weight
We all have a Body Set Weight (BSW) – a weight your body is comfortable with. During my last physical, my doctor cautioned me that if I wanted to lose more weight I could, but my BSW might be at 185 lbs.

If I was at my BSW and dipped below it, my body compensates by increasing it’s output of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Basically you dip below your BSW your body increases hunger and desire to eat. Your body wants to get back to its set weight.

I have to admit at the time of my physical I thought there was no way 185 was my BSW. I could still see the fat around my belly, thighs and arms. Look, I don’t expect to be super model thin. But I set my sights on 150 lbs. and that’s what I wanted to get to.

Well 8 months later and weighing 185 lbs., I’m starting to believe. Read more…

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