04 Mar The Science Behind Intermittent Fasting
Should you eat three square meals per day? There is mounting evidence that this modern eating pattern could be less than optimal when it comes to your health and longevity.
Our ancestors probably only ate one or two meals per day. Could eating like our ancestors solve some of our modern health problems? Many recent scientific studies have proven that shortening the window of time during the day in which we consume our calories can have profound health benefits. These benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Lower risk of heart disease and lower levels of triglycerides
- Increased Human Growth Hormone (the hormone associated with anti-aging and muscle maintenance)
- Increased ability to burn fat
- Decreased Ghrelin-AKA, “the hunger hormone;” this hormone controls how hungry you are by acting on receptors in the brain, encouraging you to eat more
- Decreased insulin resistance – the leading cause of type 2 diabetes
- Decreased risk for many types of cancer by decreasing the amount of free radicals and inflammation in the body
- Better immunity
I suggest intermittent fasting for many of my patients who have tried and failed other methods of weight loss. The results have been remarkable. Patients generally report improved energy, mental clarity, weight management, and productivity. Lab testing confirms lower triglycerides, lower blood glucose and Hemoblobin a1c, and lower inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein.
I start by encouraging a 12-hour fast from 7pm-7am for most patients.
As they adjust to this new eating pattern over time, I encourage them to increase their fast to 15 hours or slightly more as tolerated. Some patients have no problems skipping breakfast altogether and having their first meal of the day around noon. I encourage this practice on a case-by-case basis if it is well tolerated.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Dr. Valter Longo talk extensively about the role of fasting as a major contributor to longevity and wellness:
Fasting helps the body repair and restore vitality.
I personally practice intermittent fasting several times per week.
Please share your thoughts and success stories below.
“Learn the Science. Heal Yourself.”
Mary Caire MD empowers the world to create a culture of optimized health guided by DNA and epigenetics.