Recommended Non-technical Dietary--JK

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Fasting is easy

9  Fasting is easy 10/23/16

What has gone wrong:  It all starts with too much of the very reactive sugar fructose (net 15 times more than glucose), which damages the live.  The liver is part of the glucose regulatory system and this damage causes insulin resistance.  Because of insulin functions to cause the cells to take up glucose and burn it; it also causes those cells to stop burning fat and to store it.  With insulin resistance, they require a higher than normal level of insulin to lower the blood sugar, and thus they have a higher than normal rate of fat storage.  Those people are prone to storing more fat than they burn.  Over 90% of people of the long-term obese have what is called insulin resistance, and its consequence a fatty liver (NAFLD, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease). 

Why fasting works:  The fix is to burn the excess fat in the liver (and if diabetic in the pancreas), and to continue in the fat burning mode by fasting.  Without a signal from blood insulin, the cells throughout the body switch to burning the stored fat, this is what occurs while sleeping.  Staying in fat burning longer by fasting allows the liver to gradually ship-out and metabolized the excess fat it stored.  Once the liver heals by both lowering the sugar in the diet and by eliminating the excess fat in the liver, the liver’s contributions to the control and metabolism of glucose normalizes and insulin resistance is cured.  A healthy liver is essential in the long-term fix of the weight regulatory system and thus being able to lose weight and keep it off.    

The use of fasting along with a low carb diet reverses obesity and type-2 diabetes.  This fix has been growing in popularity, though food manufacturers and pharma ignores this fix and gives us the wrong message, that of eat less and exercise more.  This doesn’t work for the long-term overweight because their weight-regulatory system has been reset to their current weight, and attempting to lose weight only results in the yo-yo diet.  I have extensively research the topics of diet and fasting.  With the insights of this research I shall use my experiences to illustrate why fasting with reduced carbs is the fix for insulin resistance, NAFLD, and excess fat.    

My Experience:  I never had a protracted weight problem.  By logic I had used the short-term fast when I gained 20 pounds during the winter of 1969-70.  I was in graduate school, philosophy, University of Manitoba.  At the age of 26 during the winter my metabolism slowed down, and so I didn’t burn off rapidly the now excessive calories.  I had developed a fatty liver, and thus was putting on abdominal pounds.  It took 3 months of reduced meals and short-term fasting to lose the weight around my middle.   It stayed off because it was short-term weight gain; my white adipose tissue through leptin had NOT reset my weight to 178 pounds.  After that, whenever I gained 5 pounds, I simply cut back on portions, quit eating by 7 PM, and skipped breakfast several times a week.  The second change was exercise.  I moved from Winnipeg to southern California in 1974 and became in 1975 a sports addict.  I started regularly playing volleyball, cycling, and running, In 1980  I added moderate weight training and singles racquetball.  In 1993 my diet changed for the worse:  following the lead of a very fit friend who both weight trained and ran 7 miles a day, I went on a very low fat (thus high carb) Western diet.  Fortunately I exercised daily and watched my weight; thus I never went more than 5 pounds above my slim weight.  Skipping breakfast, reducing portions, and cutting back on sweets was an easy fix. 

In 2012 I watched Prof. Lustig lecture on YouTube, which had gone viral.  He explained why sugar was poison and I took notes.  A year later, I researched his explanation of the diabesity pandemic (obesity and diabetes);   he presented the evidence on how excess fructose harmed the liver like alcohol and was driving the diabesity pandemic.  In the spring of 2014, I reduced by 75% sugars including fruits.  I also cut back on carbs from grains to about 30% of calories; thus I increased saturated and monounsaturated fats to replace those calories.  It took about 4 months before candy, fruit juices, pies and melons tasted way too sweet.  Though my weight remained for decades the same, I had 3 pounds more around the lower abdomen than when entered graduate school in 1968.  It was a sign of a fatty liver, so I decided in March of 2016 to experiment with daily short-term fasting. I still ate the rest of the day whatever I desired (my carbs had been reduced a year before and replaced with saturated and monounsaturated fats).  By July of 2016, 4 months later, I lost 4 pounds, waist shrunk 1 inch, and fasting glucose (a measure of IR) was 10% lower.  I noticed that by skipping breakfast, I had reduced my total consumption of food.  I was less hungry especially at dinnertime and there was no decline in metabolism with its negative affect upon physical activity and mood.  The low-insulin diet causes a lower level of hormone leptin, a hormone which reduces metabolism and increases hunger—it is the main cause of the yo-yo diet.  (Leptin produced by fat tissue, functions to restore fat to its normal level.)  A big plus was that I experienced in the morning an increase in mental and physical energy; it is a time when I do most of my studies and writing; and I avoided the decline following breakfast.[1]  I like the short-term fasting. 

One advantage to the lower carbs is that while in the fat burning mode the body increases metabolic rate about 10%.  Secondly neurons releases the catechol amines (adrenalin and noradrenalin, and dopamine) which cause stimulation and mood elevation.  This combination has been inherited because of the survival advantage when food is short—more energy for hunting and gathering.  This is why I now like skipping breakfast.  Morning fasting and not eating at night has convinced me that weight control with short-term fasting is easy and pleasant, much easier than an energy-restricted diet.[2] 

Literature on Fasting:  Dr. Jason Chapter 20, “When to Eat” in his Obesity Code, 2016, p 235-251 covers the history and advantages of fasting; his opening Sentences:  “LONG-TERM DIETING is futile.  After the initial weight loss, the dreaded plateau appears, followed by the even more dreaded weight regain. The body reacts to weight loss by trying to return to its original body set weight…  Even if we eat all the right things, our insulin levels stay elevated…. But we fail to address the other problem insulin resistance.”  The reason for the major drop in metabolism is leptin[3] (regulated by insulin) and it physical and emotional consequences; lack of energy with its consequences on moody and activities.  Thus very few of the long-term obese are capable of going on a life-long energy restricted diet—there are numerous long-term studies which show that the obese gain back most or all of their lost weight.  Only fasting addresses insulin resistance.”  His clinical experience (over 1,000 patients) and extensive published research proves that fasting is both easy and works—as too my own experience, and other whom I have consoled. 

From Fung’s Obesity Code:  I shall present what I find of most value in that chapter, sometimes quoted and my additions will be in [brackets].  IR causes excess fat storage and leptin promote reduced metabolism and increased appetite.  [But it is not appetite/hunger exactly, rather the feeling that if I eat a bit more my energy and mental clarity will return to what it ought to be; viz., I will feel better and be in a better mode (this is the effect of leptin on energy)].   All foods promote the release of insulin; only not eating will keep blood insulin level low—see insulin table section 3.  As Fung points in other chapters, incretin hormone system responds to digestion in the stomach and small intestine by stimulating the release of insulin from the pancreas [fats and fructose by far produce the least response, insulin index of 10 and 17 respectively].  Incretins explains why meat, fish, and poultry have a higher insulin index than boiled pasta.  Though Fung writes of 24 to 36 hour fasting as curing IR, his clinic also uses the short-term fasting.  “The term ‘breakfast’ is the meal that breaks the fast—which we do daily”--p 237.  Fasting has been used in most cultures and religions, and our ancestral hunter-gatherer was forced by circumstance.  Hippocrates of Kos (c. 460-370) wrote; “instead of using medicine, better fast today; to eat when you are sick is to feed your illness” p 237.  Humans like most animals do not eat when sick.  Plato and Aristotle were staunch supporters of fasting.  “The body does not burn muscle until all fat store is gone” p 240.  “Blood glucose levels remain normal as the body switches over to burning fat for energy.  This effect occurs with fasting periods as short as twenty-four to thirty six hours.  Longer fasts reduce insulin even more dramatically…. Regular fasting has been shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity.[4]  This finding is the missing piece in the weight-loss puzzle.  Most diets don’t address insulin resistance,” p240.  One of the most potent stimuli of [human] growth hormone {HGH] secretion during fasting.  Fasting promotes the use of fat as fuel and preserves muscle mass and bone density.  Adrenalin [and noradrenalin] levels go up with fasting,” p 241 they are the natural amphetamines that create alertness and physical energy.  “Breakdown of muscle tissue happens only at extremely low levels of body fat—approximately 4 percent,” p 242.  “The human body has evolved to survive episodic periods of starvation,” p 243.  “Caloric restriction diets do not allow the evolved adaptation that occurs during fasting,” p 244. We have also like all mammals have evolved a system to return to our normal weight when weight has been lost through increased hunger and reduced rate of metabolism.  Its main regulatory hormone is leptin that is produced by the adipose (fat) tissue.  “Studies of eating a single meal per day found significantly more fat loss, compared to eating three meals per day, despite the same caloric intake” 243[5].  “Total energy expenditure is increased during a fast—in a 4-day fast by 12%,” p244.  “In our clinic, experience showed that appetite decreased as duration of fasting increased.  The most astonishing aspect of this study [107 obese subjects unable to lose weight] was the ease with which prolonged starvation was tolerated.  These experiences echoes our own clinical experience at the Intensive Dietary Management Clinic with hundreds of patients,” p245.  The more dangerous visceral fat is preferentially removed with fasting.  There is reference to Dr. Michael Mosley (British on BBC) 5:2 diet, 5 days of full caloric and 2 days of 25% of calories at the end of a short-term fast.  In the trial that compared the 5:2 to the Mediterranean diet with a 25% reduction in calories.  At 6 months both groups lost about the same amount of weight, but the 5:2 group have lower insulin and less IR, at p247. This change (though not measured) indicates that excess liver fat had been metabolism.  The short term fasting made this important difference.  For the long-term overweight fasting reverses insulin and leptin resistance, thus it is essential, and it is used by Dr. Fung to cure type-2 diabetes.     

For those who want to know more of the science behind fasting, I highly recommend that you read my “Evidence of Alternate Day Fasting—Cures Type-2 Diabetes” and Fung’s book The Complete Guide to Fasting.  On P. 204 he states that, “A major advantage of the sixteen-hour fast is that it is fairly simple to incorporate into everyday life.”  The graph on page 202 indicates the amount and duration of the traditional 12 hour fast (7 pm to 7 AM) the 16-hour fast and the 20 hour fast (3, 2, and 1 meals respectively as to the extent of fat metabolism, and fat storage when eating.  My own experience and others whom I have counseled has convinced me that short-term fasting is easy, and the scientific literature confirms that longer periods are also easy; this is because our body has evolved a system to burn the fat reserve and to keep us alert and full of energy so that we more likely to hunt and gather foods.  And as Fung states, “it has a high rate of compliance.”  

[1] Seniors, much more than people under the age of 60, experience postprandial a major decline in energy because of the major reduction in metabolism by the mitochondria as it switches to glucose metabolism to produce the energy molecule ATP.  The lower store and reduced rate of production of ATP has profound effects upon seniors.

[2] As I age (73 years in 2016), the diversion of energy and blood to promote digestion entails a low point after eating a full meal.  

[3] Leptin is produces by the fat (adipose) cells and among its functions is the restoration of fat to the set level.  It does this by a 25% to 40% decline in metabolism.  The obese dieter feels that if he eat more he will have more energy and be in a better mood.  

[4] This could well make a daily skipping of breakfast equal or better than alternate day fasting.  There is journal evidence to decide this possibility.  

[5] I two friends have lost significant weight on one meal a day.  One a Dr. Evans lost over 150 pounds, and both kept the weight off.   

You ought to take better care of your body than your car

Why fasting works--summary

There is a fallacy spread by industry contrary to that science; namely, that there is a simple mechanism governing metabolism of calories, and those who have a long-term weight issue can simply will to exercise more and eat less, and they will return to what had been their youthful weight.  However, we have inherited the complex mammalian weight regulatory system for omnivores.  In this system there are two main pathways for production in each cell by the mitochondria of the energy molecule ATP:  one metabolizes glucose the other fats. The surest way of fixing this system is to stay much longer in the fat-metabolizing mode of the mitochondria.  This is effectively accomplished by fasting.  Mammals have also evolved a system so that when out of food they actually have more energy (not less) for to hung and gather—it promotes survival.  Thus fasting is pleasant and thus easy.   I regularly skip breakfast, because it is pleasant to just drink lemon tea. 

The advice here is merely what JK would do in those situations. See your doctor for medical advice.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing--Edmond Burke

Perverse systems grow by recruiting good men--jk

Everybody thinks they know what good is, but they are confused--Plato