It sounds outrageous to fast, because we as South Africans have been raised with custom to eat three good meals per day with a good portion of “mieliepap”in the morning; “to take you through the day”.
Surprisingly then that more and more recent studies see fasting as an important part of the solution for obesity, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
I practiced intermitting fasting over the last 6 months and can be a witness of the outstanding results. The scientific reasoning is that fasting decrease the level of insulin in your body, take away hunger and force your body to break down your own fat stores for energy.
Fasting also increases your levels of ketones and as discussed earlier lead to weight loss and robust health and exceptional athletic performance.
For the sake of completeness I repeat the contents of an article that I summarized in a previous blog.
In this article by Michael Ku et al, a 4 month case study is presented with therapeutic fasting as a potential effective treatment for type 2 diabetes.
Published in the Journal of insulin resistance 15 December 2017.
Abstract from article:
Lifestyle therapy is an integral part of type 2 diabetes (T2D) management, but there remains no consensus on an optimal diet. The objective of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic fasting as a treatment for T2D. This case follows a male T2D patient treated at the Intensive Dietary Management Clinic in Scarborough, Ontario, over a 4-month period. The patient’s initial fasting regimen consisted of a 24-h fast, three times a week. Over the course of treatment, the patient gradually extended his fasting period, eventually fasting for 42 h, two to three times a week. By the end of treatment, the patient’s weight was reduced by 17.8% and his waist circumference was reduced by 11.0%. In addition, the patient’s glycated haemoglobin levels decreased from 7.7% to 7.2%, and he was able to completely discontinue his insulin treatment, despite over a decade of insulin usage. The patient did not find it difficult to adhere to the fasting schedule and did not experience any hypoglycaemic episodes or other significant adverse effects. These observations suggest that therapeutic fasting may be a viable treatment option for T2D patients.
Intermittent fasting sounds like hard work, but is very simple and relative easy to adhere to. My experience is that as soon as you are over 12-14 hours of fasting, the low insulin levels that kicks in, is taking away your hunger completely. The second thing that happens is that you develop a functional ketosis, that generate a low grade nausea, that helps to maintain the fasting. Some people experience that the hair in their neck raise. All of this is very exciting and take your mind completely away from the fact that you are fasting.
If you have Diabetes type 2, the fact that you know that you are busy curing your diabetes and insulin resistance, help you to get a feeling of accomplishment, in contrast to the feeling of hopelessness and unhappiness with your obesity and diabetes.