Health-conscious readers have probably heard the phrase, but what exactly is intermittent fasting? How is it done? How often? Does it matter what time of day is spent fasting? Do men and women have different results?
Lastly and most importantly: Does it really help people lose weight and keep it off?
Dr. Ethan Kellum, orthopedic surgeon, regenerative medicine and functional medical specialist says yes, if the recommendations he has made on the subject are followed correctly by healthy people. As always, consult your doctor prior to beginning any weight loss regimen.
Dr. Kellum discusses this and other health and wellness-related topics in videos on his Facebook page.
Dr. Kellum says “Whether we call it ‘intermittent fasting’ or ‘time-restricted eating,’ this practice can help increase energy levels and help us lose weight, if you are open to making some changes in your life.”
Will Intermittent Fasting Boost Your Metabolism?
One of the basics of weight loss is keeping your body healthy and your systems regulated as you make changes in diet and activity. If you feel yourself slowing down with low energy and weight gain, consider intermittent fasting to help reverse these trends.
To Eat or Not to Eat: That is the Question for Intermittent Fasting
Have you heard about those diet treatments-pills, powders, liquids-that are supposed to help you “jump start your metabolism?” The real way to do this is with behavioral changes in terms of when and how you eat. “The important thing to understand (about intermittent fasting) is how and why it works,” says Dr. Kellum.
The most important question to ask yourself, according to Dr. Kellum, is this: In which part of the day (morning, afternoon, late night) do I eat? And within what period (number of hours) do I eat? Dr. Kellum says restricting the range of hours that you eat during a typical day is important.
Limiting your ‘eating period’ to eight hours per day, and making that eight-hour period happen during the morning and afternoon will help you to significantly bump your metabolism up and increase your energy level by letting your hormones do their job.
Dr. Kellum adds, “Limiting the period of time we eat to about eight hours will also help us to maintain a healthy metabolism as well as decrease the risk of diabetes and obesity.”
Intermittent Fasting and Your Frenemy Insulin
When discussing metabolism, we must talk about the ever-enigmatic insulin. This metabolic peptide hormone is extremely important to the metabolism of the human body, but imbalances can result in serious health complications for those who do not produce enough of it (Type 1 diabetes), and to those whose eating habits change how it works in their systems (Type 2 diabetes).
Insulin is secreted from the pancreas and helps to move sugars from the blood stream into the cells of the muscles, fat and liver. It helps these cells absorb glucose from the blood, giving them energy.
Insulin also affects other metabolic processes, such as the breakdown of fat or protein. And when we eat often, poorly and late at night, we are signaling the insulin that is secreted to store those food calories as fat.
The more times that eating triggers insulin, the more fat that gets stored in the cells. This is the basis of the idea that those of us who are trying to lose weight, or just maintain healthy weight, should restrict the period of time within which we eat.
How to Lose Weight and Gain Energy
Dr. Kellum’s time-restricted eating plan:
- Start the day eating early
- Recommended eating period: 7 am to 3 pm (8.0 hours)
- These two things will decrease insulin levels, and increase metabolism
Dr. Kellum’s recommendations for time-restricted eating also include:
- Consume mostly unprocessed foods
- Choose lean proteins such as tofu, chicken and fish
- Use good fats such as avocado and olive oil
- Eat lots of veggies
- Get a little exercise every day
He adds, “Everyone knows losing weight and keeping it off always includes a little exercise. The great thing about intermittent fasting is, you’re creating a condition where your own metabolism does some of the work for you!”
After several weeks, there will be other benefits:
- Lower blood sugar
- Decreased inflammation
- Increased energy levels
- Less joint pain
Check out Dr. Ethan Kellum’s Facebook Page for a variety of health and wellness videos on topics ranging from stress relief to the power of Zinc.