The word “trend” can have a negative connotation, as so many trends come and go, and so many people follow them blindly. However, there are some persistent trends that develop because they truly bring value – and health benefits.
Intermittent fasting and Keto Diet are the most highly effective diet trends out there.
Really, we should call the current enthusiasm for these diets a re-discovery: people have been enjoying the health benefits of fasting for centuries, because it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. In earlier eras, when sustenance was harder to come by, those who could withstand extended periods of time without eating were the ones who survived to have children.
Some patients have concerns that intermittent fasting will be too difficult for them– but it doesn’t have to be. Studies confirm that different people require different approaches. At Genesis Health our diet plans are reasonable, effective, and sustainable – especially when combined with a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Even if you’re not usually too keen on the trends and hoopla of Hollywood, there’s good reason to jump on the intermittent fasting-keto diet bandwagon. The two diets work synergistically to not only accelerate weight loss, but to improve your health in many ways.
Fasting can be extraordinary medicine – if you practice it under the guidance and supervision of an experienced weight loss practitioner with a track record. A practitioner like Dr. Cabrera.
If your mother always told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you may now have scientific backing to argue. It turns out skipping breakfast might actually not be such a bad thing – it may be considered fasting just long enough to give your body a break from digestion so it can reset and function more effectively.
If you never took to the craze of calorie counting, you’ll find this approach much more reasonable and less time-consuming. Fasting drains your body of its glucose reserves – your main energy source from food – allowing your insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough to burn off fat.
Just changing the timing of meals, by eating earlier in the day and extending the overnight fast, significantly benefits metabolism even in people who don’t lose a single pound.
Intermittent fasting studies done at the University of Alabama demonstrated that fasting enabled obese men with prediabetes to stop gaining weight. After five weeks, those who ate only between 7 am and 3 pm dramatically lowered insulin levels, improved insulin sensitivity, and significantly lowered blood pressure. The best part? Their appetite decreased – they no longer felt like they were starving all the time!
What appears at first as just another way to fit into your favorite jeans actually can provide you with many more health benefits, like:
Fasting has been shown to bolster stress resistance and combat inflammation on the cellular level. But every life stage, body type, and metabolic rate requires a slightly different approach.
It may take some trial and error before you and Dr. Cabrera assess your state of health and determine which of these protocols can best optimize your health:
5:2 protocol: you restrict calorie intake 2 days a week while allowing normal eating the other 5
alternate-day fasting: recently there has been a lot of promising research on diets that impose fasting every other day and eating a balanced diet every other day; benefits of fasting for a day have been documented over many eras across the planet
circadian rhythm fasting: you restrict your meal consumption to an 8 to 10-hour window of daytime hours and give your body time to digest during nighttime hours
Which approach is optimal and sustainable for you? That’s what Dr. Cabrera and his team will help you determine, along with prescribing other synergistic lifestyle choices that will help you both lose weight and prevent diabetes.
It may be easier if you start off with just one day a week for a month or two, as you can expect to feel hungry and irritable for the first few weeks. Some of our patients have gotten headaches, but by the end of the first month we’ve found that almost everyone has adapted and is symptom-free.
Fasting on a high-carb diet, however, can cause unstable blood sugar, cravings, mood swings, and low energy. That’s why Genesis Health Institute nutritionists often combine it with the Keto Diet.
When you fast safely and effectively you undergo a metabolic switch: your liver’s glucose energy supply gets depleted, so your cells have to start using fat and creating ketones to use as fuel instead. This induces a state of ketosis – when the level of ketone bodies in your blood is raised, typically beginning at 0.5mM.
The Keto Diet promotes fasting to induce ketosis at an accelerated pace.
This switch from one energy supply to another is a form of mild challenge to your body that compares to exercise. Just as running or lifting weights stresses your body in beneficial ways, the stress imposed by fasting forces your body into similarly beneficial adaptations.
Ketosis spares some ketones for your brain and muscles, while also saving protein breakdown to make glucose. Early in the Keto Diet, muscle cells use both ketones and fatty acids for energy. But once fully keto-adapted, your muscles begin to use fatty acid as their primary fuel.
This transition can take weeks or months, depending on your age, genetics, general health, exercise regimen and other environmental factors, and can provide these health benefits:
How long does it take to experience these benefits? The short answer: it varies from person to person. That’s why it’s crucial to measure ketone blood levels accurately and track your food intake to make sure you’re getting enough balanced nutrition.
Dr. Cabrera and his team can track your macronutrient intake and tweak your diet to achieve ketosis – safely and effectively. Tracking diet (inputs) and measuring ketones levels (outputs) delivers the best shot at optimizing your custom Keto Diet plan and achieving your goals.
A ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and exercise can all work symbiotically to encourage a state of ketosis – and a healthier you. Remember: these endogenous methods take time, as well as expert tweaking by a seasoned nutritionist.