Why fast

Since we started intermittent fasting, my brother’s waistline went from 38 to 32 inches. My sister who started much later had her waistline reduced from 33 to 30 inches. I who have been on it the longest and who have now gone OMAD or One Meal A Day has my waistline shrank from 33 to 28 inches. So needless to say intermittent fasting (or as others call it time-restricted eating) worked for us.

Is fasting okay for everybody?

Women who are pregnant and those who are menstruating are discouraged from fasting. Although there is no proof yet that fasting could be bad for them while they are having their period it is considered prudent to err on the side of caution since women’s bodies behave differently at these times.

Caution should also be taken if you are taking a high dosage of insulin and or other medication for controlling blood sugar. As you might get hypoglycemia or a sudden sharp drop in your blood sugar and this is dangerous. In this case, take it slow. Increase your fasting hours by 30 minutes a week and take a blood sugar count every day to know if your sugar is lower than expected. If this happens you might lessen the dosage of your medication. Do ask your doctor for more detailed advice.

There was also the case in the US where a young woman needed a steady supply of sugar in her system otherwise she experiences extreme muscle pains and fatigue. But her case was one in every three million.

So what is stopping people not having these conditions from regulated fasting?

Fear. They are afraid that it is unhealthy. But we fast every day so that is why the first meal is called breakfast. We fast for 12 hours for our panel tests. Islam and the Catholic church require certain fasting from their faithful. Christ fasted and so did Buddha and Gandhi. What intermittent fasting does is merely increasing the time you are not eating and not restricting what you eat. And you do it gradually, reducing your feeding time by the hour every day if you can handle it. If not you can reduce your feeding window every week or even every month. I am now in OMAD but it took me a year to get here. So time-restricted eating is not starving yourself to death.

Routine and rituals. Old habits and beliefs are hard to break. We have been brainwashed by the civilization that we need to eat three times a day. This practice, coupled with the hyped up Standard American Diet, is what made the world obese. It takes our body 12 hours after our last food intake to complete it’s digesting and cleaning up of our system. So every time we eat again we interrupt the body from doing the job it started. And what it can not burn will end as fats. It is in the 13th hour after it has burned what we ate that it starts burning our reserved fats for fuel. Then in the 17th hour, our body will start doing stem cell regrowth and repair our damaged tissues. If we keep on eating our body can not do its other functions.

Sugar addiction. Sugar whose composites are found in all carbohydrates is what makes us want to eat more even if we are already full. And remember that the Filipino meal is carbohydrate heavy. Here is a paragraph from Johanna Stass article in “How It Works” magazine on how sugar is addictive:

“When we eat sugar, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the hormones that boost your mood, which then stimulate the nucleus accumbens – the area of the brain associated with reward. This is a similar process that leads to drug addiction, which is why we get those sugar cravings. Regular sugar consumption can also inhibit dopamine transporters, which can lead to you needing to eat even more sugar to get the same pleasure reward as before. In addition, fructose, which is used to sweeten many foods and drinks, doesn’t suppress hunger hormones like glucose does, meaning your body is unable to tell when you’ve eaten enough.”

With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to count your carbohydrate intakes. This is because you are giving your body a chance to burn them completely. Then when you give it the extra time to burn your fat deposits you will slim down at no extra cost and not even moving a muscle. All you need to do is to give it a try.

Klicko Orange aka Gerard Pareja is a tech blogger and is into photography. He considers himself a story teller who spins lores in both poetry and fiction and in Cebuano and English. He has been a columnist for various city wide publications, was a teacher in many of Cebu's Universities. currently practicing OMAD or One Meal A day.

Gerard Pareja

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