This Is How You Improve Fitness With Intermittent Fasting!

May 14, 2021 0 Comments

By stabilizing blood glucose levels and supporting body’s fat burn mode, intermittent fasting demonstrated a lot of these improvements. It shows that the higher your metabolic fitness, the less risk you have for metabolic dysfunction, which can eventually manifest as  insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high triglycerides, heart disease, cancer and more. Fasting helps improve the function of your cells and their ability to reset themselves and remove pathogens. This is a process called autophagy. 

In this article, you will learn the findings on metabolic health, considerations for women and practical ways that you can increase fasting success. As with everything, fasting protocols should be individualized because each person has a different response.  

Difference of Intermittent Fasting vs. Time Restricted Eating 

Intermittent fasting as a whole can be defined by three pillars: caloric restriction, variable fasting frequency (daily, weekly, monthly), and it is not necessarily intended to support the circadian rhythm. One example of this is called ProLon. ProLon is a five day fasting mimicking diet (FMD) that induces a state of autophagy, the body’s ability to reset cells and remove damaged calls of pathogens. The program includes short-term caloric deprivation (about 800 calories per day), fasting frequency of five days straight, and no specific time cutoff for your eating window. I recommend that most people complete a five day fasting mimicking diet at least once to reset their taste preferences and decision-making ability, contributing to improved metabolic health. 

While Time restricted eating is defined by: no caloric restriction, practiced daily or almost daily, and supports circadian rhythm. As humans, we are built to eat during the day and rest and rejuvenate during the night. All cells in the body have their own clocks that control metabolism, the ability to process sugars and the release of hormones. Restricting the time that you eat can help prevent erratic eating at all hours of the day and night, further supporting stable blood glucose levels. This tends to work well for individuals who are not exercising intensely in the early morning, those who are trying to improve their blood sugar or blood pressure levels. The common window of fasting could be anywhere from 12-16 hours. The window that works best for you will depend on your stress levels, exercise, gender, and overall dietary habits. 

Potential Benefits of IF and TRE

Intermittent fasting and time restricted eating may contribute to:

  • Weight loss
  • Better blood sugar regulation
  • Lower levels of chronic inflammation
  • Better cognitive function/decreased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Improved gut microbiome & gut-immune health
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Increased longevity
  • Reduction of metabolic syndrome markers (this study found this to be true, but it was not more effective than traditional continuous calorie restriction)
  • Research on the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD)

ProLon, the five day fasting mimicking diet, developed by Dr. Valter Longo and other PhD researchers from USC promotes cell rejuvenation, longevity and metabolic health. They have conducted a few studies. In one of their clinical trials, they found: 

IGF-1, a marker associated with aging and increased risk of cancer in mid-aged adults, was reduced by 13%.

Participants experienced more than a 1-inch loss in waist circumference, while lean body mass was preserved.

In overweight participants (BMl>25), abdominal fat was reduced by >7%.

Weight loss came mostly from abdominal fat (a primary predictive factor for chronic disease). Participants lost an average of 5 lbs.

Another study done in mice found this may be an effective intervention for inflammatory bowel disease and inducing positive changes in the microbiome.

This literature review explores the anti-inflammatory effects and the potential for mitigating the progression of autoimmune diseases.

Research on Time Restricted Eating (TRE)

Time restricted eating researcher, Dr. Satchin Panda and his team published a study in January 2020 that was conducted in 19 adults who had metabolic syndrome (a combination of elevations in blood sugar, triglycerides, blood pressure, waist circumference, and lipids). They fasted for 14 hours overnight and ate all meals within a 10 hour window, with the exception of water, for 12 weeks. They were not advised on decreasing caloric intake or increasing physical activity. They found that participants had a 3-4 percent reduction in body weight, abdominal fat and waist circumference; reduced blood pressure and total cholesterol and improvements in blood glucose trends. Future research that also includes a control group will help to better understand the true impact. 

Important things to remember for Getting Started with Fasting Mimicking Diet

1. Work with a Healthcare Practitioner 

2. Try to Do it With Others

3. Plan your Schedule Around the Week of ProLon 

Considerations for Getting Started with Time Restricted Eating

1. Stop Eating Earlier in the Evening 

2. Start with a 12 Hour Fasting Window

3. Women Should Especially Consider Starting Slow 

4. Consider Getting your Cortisol Levels Tested

5. Add Herbal Teas in the Evening 

6. Pay Attention to your Hunger Levels and Cravings 

7. Flex your Window for Sustainability 

8. Factor in Your Workouts 


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