What Is Intermittent Fasting And How Is It Done
Although IF has become more popular in recent years, the diet plan isnt new. In fact, many religions have followers who practice fasting of some variety throughout the year. Fasting is often required for blood tests, medical procedures, or surgery. The reason IF has gained so much attention recently is likely due to the release of new diet books plugging the plans and celebrity endorsements. I think that it has gained popularity because anytime a person drastically cuts calories from their diet, theyre going to lose weight. And were so results driven that by seeing that happen we think, This is a great solution, says Despina Hyde Gandhi, RD, CDE, a dietitian at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Program and the president of the Greater New York Dietetic Association.
There are different ways to do IF, including skipping meals and eating only during a certain time period, as well as restricting calories on certain days of the week and eating normally on other days.
Roberts decided to fast by eating two meals a day, but she never follows a strict schedule. I eat when Im hungry, she says.
Reverse Insulin Resistance: Use These 8 Simple Steps
Do you want to make yourself immune to chronic disease?
If so, you need to prevent and reverse insulin resistance.
Good news and bad news. Which first? Okay bad news
Insulin resistance is related to almost every chronic disease:
It may not cause them all. But at the very least, persistently high insulin levels exacerbates them.
Good news: you can reverse insulin resistance. And reversing it is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Learn more below about why insulin resistance is bad and the 8 simple steps to reversing it.
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How Does Insulin Resistance Happen
The obesity or weight-related spectrum of conditions has varied labels.
- Insulin Resistance.
Insulin Resistance isnt just for some people. It holds no prejudice. It develops in every body.
So then, how does insulin resistance happen?
The body, over time, grows resistant to insulin to some degree because insulin has been signaling your cells throughout your entire lifetime every time you eat and every time you experience an emotional rise or feel stressed. Insulin becomes especially overly present in a body that has been over-fueled, burdened, or over-loaded with glucose. Glucose is the sugar that foods break down into during digestion.
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Intermittent Fasting For Diabetes Step
There are a few different options when it comes to intermittent fasting. I cant stress enough how important it is to check with your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting diet.
Intermittent fasting isnt hard to do. It really just comes down to figuring out a plan and then executing. Will you fast for 16 hours per day, or one day per week?
So, Step One is pick one of the fasting options below
How Fasting Reverses Type 2 Diabetes
While many consider type 2 diabetes irreversible, fasting has been long known to reverse diabetes. In a previous post, we considered bariatric surgery. While extreme, these surgeries have proven the point that the metabolic abnormalities that underlie T2D can be fully reversible even after a few short weeks.
Many early studies were done with the heavy-duty Roux-en-Y surgery, which is the heavyweight champions of surgeries. The best weight loss. The most complications.
But even milder forms of bariatric surgery show the same reversibility of T2D. A gastric band is essentially a belt implanted around your stomach. The surgeon keeps tightening the belt so that you cant eat.
The results of gastric banding versus medical treatment showed a significant and pretty good drop in their fasting blood sugars. In other words, their T2D was reversing in a b-i-g way. Those given medicines alone basically stayed the same. They were no better than before.
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Intermittent Fasting The Best Diet For Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes was once thought to be a chronic disease that could never be cured. You can start medications to control it, but those medications will be with you for life.
Now we know better. As Dr. Jason Fung has said, People are focused on giving drugs to type 2 diabetes, but it is a dietary disease.
He and his team at Intensive Dietary Management Program set out to prove that they can do better than drugs. They recently published a case report of three men with type 2 diabetes who were able to completely stop their insulin and most of the oral drugs while still improving their diabetes control.
How did they do it? Intermittent fasting.
The subjects fasted for 24 hours three to four days per week, going from dinner to dinner without food, while eating lunch and dinner on the other days. They lost between 10 and 18% body weight and between 10 and 22% from their waist circumferences.
But here is the amazing part.
Starting from a daily average of 70 units of insulin, they safely stopped their insulin as quickly as five days into the protocol, with the longest taking only 18 days. That is a dramatic result!
When done correctly, however, intermittent fasting combined with a low carb diet may be the best treatment of type 2 diabetes that we have ever seen.
Thanks for reading,
Before You Try Fasting
Talk to your doctor first. If you have type 1 diabetes, other health problems due to diabetes, or have had hypoglycemia, your doctor may recommend you not fast.
If your doctor says itâs OK to try, ask if you need to check your blood sugar more often or adjust your diabetes medication during and after fasting.
Watch for signs of low blood sugar. If you start to feel shaky, sweaty, or confused, your blood sugar may be too low. Stop fasting right away and do what you normally would to treat hypoglycemia. For example, eat a glucose gel or have a sugary drink followed by a small, balanced meal when your blood sugar level is back to normal.
Be careful about what you eat after fasting. Eating too many carbohydrates after fasting can cause your blood sugar levels to become too high. Choose healthy, balanced meals and snacks.
Use caution. Donât do tough workouts while youâre fasting. Hard exercise can make your blood sugar levels dip, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Ask your doctor what activities are OK to do, or just take a break.
Stay hydrated. Having diabetes puts you at risk of dehydration, which can make your blood sugar harder to manage. Drink lots of water and calorie-free beverages when you fast.
Kathryn A. Boling, MD, Mercy Medical Center.
CMAJ: âIntermittent fasting: the next big weight loss fad.â
Annual Review of Nutrition: âMetabolic Effects of Intermittent Fasting.”
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: âDoes Intermittent Fasting Work?â
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Should You Consider Intermittent Fasting
If you have type 2 diabetesand especially if you have challenges managing your blood sugar, you require insulin therapy, or are taking numerous type 2 diabetes medicationsit is advised to consult with a health care provider before entering any intermittent fasting program that is not supervised by medical experts. If you follow an intermittent fasting program, its also important that your blood sugar levels are carefully monitored, as you may be able to lower or even stop your insulin therapy or type 2 diabetes medications.
Promising Approach: Prevent Diabetes With Intermittent Fasting
- Deutsches Zentrum fuer Diabetesforschung DZD
- Intermittent fasting is known to improve sensitivity to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin and to protect against fatty liver. Scientists have now discovered that mice on an intermittent fasting regimen also exhibited lower pancreatic fat.The researchers showed the mechanism by which pancreatic fat could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting is known to improve sensitivity to the blood glucose-lowering hormone insulin and to protect against fatty liver. DZD scientists from DIfE have now discovered that mice on an intermittent fasting regimen also exhibited lower pancreatic fat. In their current study published in the journal Metabolism, the researchers showed the mechanism by which pancreatic fat could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Intermittent fasting reduces pancreatic fat
The team of scientists divided the overweight animals, which were prone to diabetes, into two groups: The first group was allowed to eat ad libitum — as much as they wanted whenever they wanted. The second group underwent an intermittent fasting regimen: one day the rodents received unlimited chow and the next day they were not fed at all. After five weeks, the researchers observed differences in the pancreas of the mice: Fat cells accumulated in group one. The animals in group two, on the other hand, had hardly any fat deposits in the pancreas.
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Are There Any Reasons Why Someone With Type 2 Diabetes Should Not Try If
IF may worsen symptoms in people with hard-to-control blood sugar levels and those with brittle diabetes.
There is minimal research on the effects of IF in certain populations, such as people who are pregnant or lactating.
People at higher risk of developing side effects such as hypoglycemia, dehydration, and hypotension should also avoid IF. These individuals include older adults, those with immunodeficiencies, and those with a history of traumatic brain injury or dementia.
Deliberately engaging in fasting can also exacerbate the challenges that people with eating disorders face.
What Can I Eat
On the 5:2 diet, you can be a bit more flexible and choose which days to fast based around your schedule. The fasting days can be tough to begin with, but once you get into a routine your body will become used to it.
Its a good idea to make your meals from scratch rather than relying on packaged food or ready meals. This means that you can control exactly whats in it and also make some swaps to reduce your calories so that you can optimise your calories for the day.
On fasting days:
Planning is essential when you are fasting as you will want to get the most out of your calorie limit. There are many good resources such as Carbs & Cals or the 2-Day Diet that will give you evidence-based, nutritionally balanced meal ideas. They will be based around:
For the days and times that you arent fasting, you will want to keep your diet in line with general healthy eating guidelines which include:
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How To Do Intermittent Fasting With Type 1 Diabetes
As a person with type 1 diabetes, you might even notice that you feela little free, because you arent worrying about whether youre going to be high or low after your breakfast.
The awesome part of this for people with type 1 diabetes is this: your blood sugar is steady, steady, steady all morning long until you end your fast by eating at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. or dinnertimedepending on which fasting schedule you follow.
Ive also found that if I do a 24-hour fast before a carb-heavy meal like pizza, Ive found that fasting actually cuts down significantly on the insulin I need for that meal.
If you stick to your fasting program consistently, youll find you lose weight and you gain insulin sensitivity, which means: youll need to decrease your background/basal insulin rates! This is a good thing! This is part of weight-loss with diabetes, but if you arent expecting it, youll be annoyed and frustrated with the low blood sugars.
Intermittent Fasting Reverses Insulin Resistance Naturally
Do you remember the body set weight? Hormones set the weight thermostat in your brain. And your body targets to adjust to it in the long run. Therefore, it suppresses the resting metabolic rate.
For this reason, people are regaining weight after the eat less, move more regime from The Biggest Loser to even bigger gainer. We better know this effect as yo-yo dieting.
Moreover, the metabolic adaption as the bodys response to chronic calorie restriction doesnt even recover after six years.
And thats what a study involving the participants of the T.V. show The Biggest Loser suggests.
Furthermore, those who lost the most weight during the competition showed a greater persistence of metabolic adaption .
Hence, this compensatory effect of a lower metabolic rate coupled with constant cravings due to small snacks seals the widely proven failure of conventional calorie reduction.
Accordingly, an empirical study from the U.K. showed that 99.5 percent of overweight women and men could not successfully lose weight through calorie restriction .
In contrast to calorie restriction, intermittent fasting changes the hormone balance positively.
Since it is hormones that control our body, intermittent fasting is the most effective natural remedy for insulin resistance.
Due to its fighting both primary and secondary causes of insulin resistance, fasting is that effective:
- High insulin levels
Hence, intermittent fasting can reverse insulin resistance naturally.
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Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Diluted apple cider vinegar has a history as a weight loss drink. And according to studies, it still helps you lose weight today .
Although it is not a panacea, apple cider vinegar helps to increase insulin sensitivity naturally. Because similar to dietary fiber, apple cider vinegar has protective effects on carbohydrate absorption.
For this reason, vinegar is added to sushi rice, potato chips, or French fries.
Likewise, adding apple cider vinegar to white rice reduces the relative blood sugar spike by almost 40 percent and thus helps with weight loss .
If you take apple vinegar shortly before a meal, its particularly useful .
Correspondingly, a study on apple vinegar for weight loss showed that two teaspoons of vinegar lower the resulting blood sugar and insulin levels by 34 percent.
Moreover, apple cider vinegar also helps to lower blood pressure .
But even more interesting, apple cider vinegar increases insulin sensitivity by helping to reduce critical visceral fat inside the liver .
More than two teaspoons of ACV arent a problem either since acetic acid increases satiety and lowers calorie intake throughout the day .
Therefore, consume at least one tablespoon or three teaspoons of apple vinegar a day to reap the health benefits.
But its entirely up to you whether you consume it as a shot, diluted with water, or as natural dressing.
And read the label!
Apple cider vinegar should be produced naturally and not exceed 1.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
What Happens To Your Body During Fasting
The changes that occur in the body during fasting depend on the length of the continuous fast. Usually your body enters into a fasting state eight or so hours after the last meal. Your body will initially use stored sources of glucose and then later in the fast it will break down body fat to use as the next source of energy. Using your bodys fat stores as an energy source can, in the long run, lead to weight loss. Losing weight, particularly if you are overweight, can also lead to better control of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, fasting should not be used as a way of losing weight in the long term.
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Heres What We Know About Whether Intermittent Fasting May Be An Effective Tool For Diabetes Management
Again, this isnt an eating plan thats widely recommended by diabetes specialists, but there is some data to suggest IF could help with diabetes management.
A case report published in BMJfound that intermittent fasting helped treat the insulin resistance in three patients with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes. It also lowered their A1C levels. And, this is definitely worth paying attention to: After using intermittent fasting for several months, the patients were able to stop using their insulin medication.
Intermittent fasting may even help with prediabetes. A clinical trial published in the journal Cell Metabolismthat had men with prediabetes try intermittent fasting. Some were asked to follow a plan for five weeks where they could eat for six hours a day the others were asked to eat for 12 hours a day. Those who followed the six-hour eating plan ended up having less insulin resistance at the end vs. those who followed the more regular 12-hour eating pattern.
But all of that said, a meta-analysis of research on intermittent fasting published in the journal Cell Metabolismfound that intermittent fasting had the same results on a persons insulin resistance and A1C as eating a diet with limited calories.
All in all, it’s unclear if intermittent fasting is helpful for any other reason than the fact that it may help you cut calories, since you’re eating in a shorter window of time.
Intermittent Fasting Does Come With Potential Side Effects That Anyone With Diabetes Should Know About
Intermittent fasting isnt perfect, and there are some side effects to consider.
- It can mess up your hunger cues. That can cause you to overeat when youre in a feeding window. Thats a problem for anyone, but especially for someone with diabetes, Dr. Schutta says, noting that this can lead to elevated glucose levels. Regularly having elevated, uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to complications like nerve damage, eye issues, kidney disease, and stroke, per the ADA.
- Low blood sugar. On the flip side, people with diabetes risk having low blood sugar during fasting periods, Dr. Céspedes says. That can lead to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, trouble concentrating, nervousness, irritability, and uncoordinated movements.
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