Step two in weight loss: Take a break
If you missed our last article, Step one in weight loss: Ditch the sugar, read it [here].
The next step is to take a break:
With our hectic, modern lifestyles and the overabundance of food everywhere, we are constantly eating and as a result also often overeating.
Wake up, breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, afternoon coffee and cake, dinner, TV snack, pre-bed snack and maybe even late-night raids on the fridge …
Each time we eat, we rise or spike our blood sugar levels with an associated rise or spike in insulin levels. Modern humans typically eat during 12-16 hours a day and let the body regenerate only when they are asleep during 6-8 hours daily. We however did not evolve that way. Our ancestors hunted and gathered during the day, ate around midday when they had hunted or gathered food and again before the lights went out (sunset). So humans evolved with a feeding window of roughly 8 hours and a resting window of about 16 hours. That is how our body was programmed over thousands of generations and therefore works best that way.
During this resting time, the body can perform very important maintenance and house cleaning functions while it is not having to digest and metabolize food. During such resting (fasting) periods the body enters into a Catabolic (breaking down) state, breaking down waste and toxins through many well-researched processes. Once the body has fasted for 12 hours or more a process called Autophagy accelerates which cleans out waste such as miss folded proteins inside individual cells within our body.
While we are eating the body is in the Anabolic (building) state, hard at work building all the molecules the body needs for life and growing muscle or fat tissue. During this state, the body has no time to clean house, regenerate and get rid of toxins many of which contribute to an array of modern lifestyle diseases, overweight and obesity.
So your second step in weight loss is to adapt your eating habits to reflect an 8-hour feeding window and a 16-hour fasting window, as often as possible. This is referred to as “eight sixteen intermittent fasting”.
It’s actually not so difficult. Just skip breakfast. You can drink Coffee or Tea in the morning, as much as you want. If you do feel hungry in the beginning, two healthy tricks can help. Have a shot of Apple Cider- or Coconut Blossom- Vinegar when you get hungry. It will instantly reduce your hunger without breaking your fast with a wealth of other health benefits. Alternately or in combination you can soak some Psyllium Husks in a glass of water for 5 minutes and then drink them. They make you feel full and are very beneficial for your gut microbiome, paired with several additional health benefits. These are also non-caloric and will likewise not break your fast.
If you have lunch at 12h00 you should have your last meal in the evening by 20h00.
At our weight loss retreat on the island of Koh Chang in Thailand, we usually have lunch at 13h00 and finish dinner and dessert by 21h00 after which tea, coffee or water can be consumed.
If you have a later dinner planned or a brunch, don’t despair. A 12-hour break (fasting window) is better than nothing. Just try to get as many 8/16 intermittent fasting days in as possible.
Some people prefer to do alternate day fasting which will work, however is less researched.
Why we prefer the 8/16 daily fasting routine is because you are getting your essential nutrients and proteins every day and do not have to go without them for days on end. If you do not get your regular proteins, the body will start to cannibalise itself and reduce your muscle mass. Also with a longer fast the body may react with its natural fight or flight response triggering the bunkering of nutrients, fat and water as the body may think a famine is coming.
So adhere to this 8/16 routine and don’t overeat during the feeding window, and you will begin to see results on the scale, even without closely watching what you are eating or consciously dieting. Of course, you must also ditch the sugar.
So let’s continue together. Step one, Ditch the sugar, step two, Take a break.
Join us for the next steps in your weight loss journey in our next articles.