Twenty-four hours is a long time for fasting, but I made it. I fasted last week for 24 hours for the first time and I couldn’t believe I could actually do it. I decided to do it after talking to a physician and his wife who are fasting now one day a week. He explained all the physiology that goes on in your body when you fast and I definitely have a little work I need to do so I thought I would give it a try. Let’s just say this, by 2:30 in the afternoon, I felt like I was starving and I wanted to be done. But I kept going and drinking lots of water and I even exercised that night after work and I was happy when 24 hours was over.
Fasting is not a new idea. It has been done for religious practices and other reasons throughout the years, but in the present day there is research that the health benefits with fasting are worth taking another look at for losing weight. Dr. Michael Mosley’s book “The Fast Diet” and Dr. Carolyn Apovian’s book, “The Overnight Diet” are receiving a lot of attention with the idea that when you fast it jumps starts your ability to lose weight.
“There is one advantage that the intermittent fasting appears to have over a standard (calorie restricted) diet: studies suggest that when you do intermittent fasting you lose almost exclusively fat according to researchers, Dr. Krista Varaday and Dr. Michelle Hoffman”. They found that with a standard diet you lose about 75 % fat and 25 % lean muscle and with the fasting regime you lose between 85-100% fat. On Mosleys’ plan he allows men to have 600 calories a day on their fasting days and women 500 calories. On his program they actually fast 2 non-consecutive days a week and the weight lose is quite significant. According to Mosley this type of fasting is being studied to help ward off the likelihood of cancer, dementia and Type II diabetes.
Dr. Carolyn Apovian appeared on the Dr. Oz show with her “Overnight Diet”. She has a once a week fast, in which she allows you to drink protein smoothies (she feels the best protein is Whey and casein mix) and then the other 6 days of the week you follow-up with a low calorie, protein rich diet of regular foods. According to her and Dr. Oz, we all lose 1% of our muscle mass per year and muscle is what keeps are metabolism revved up, so that is why it gets harder and harder to lose weight as we get older. With her program you can eat fruits, vegetables and protein and she feels says it burns fat and not muscle and it increases your metabolism so it helps you decrease your overall weight. She believes her diet decreases your risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes and cancer and increases your longevity.
In the fast that I did I did not eat any calories at all. It is a true fast and it is a way for your body on a cellular level to be stressed and then it mobilizes all of your fat stores to metabolize for needed energy. In many ways this is exactly what we do in physical therapy with our patients everyday that have a tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or a muscle strain. We want the body to heal the tissue that is damaged so we rally the tissue on a cellular level to evoke a change. That’s how you make new tissue.
You stress it and it then responds with new blood supply and resulting new growth. Our other tissue is no different. If we never stress the system, whether it is our cardio-vascular system or our musculoskeletal system how can it change. So change it up. If the way you have been eating or exercising isn’t working for you don’t be afraid to see your MD and ask for the help you need with a new plan. Every body is different and every system needs to be challenged to move to the next level. Don’t be afraid to step forward this spring to a new you. Get moving, we are rooting for you, because your health matters to us.
Author Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy. She specializes in women’s health, lymphedema and breast cancer care. She has over 30+ years of experience practicing. If you have questions, reach out to here via Lake City PT’s Facebook.