Intermittent, Alternate-Day & Ketogenic Fasting

The human body evolved without grocery stores. And human reproduction evolved according to the  three evolutionary principles that governs all of Life. First, find security. Second, secure sustainability, in particular food, water and shelter. Then third, have fun and procreate in conformity with both the Bible’s and Evolution’s dictats on replication to the hilt. In this perspective, during times of scarcity, the mammalian body’s innate intelligence was to design a  liver ketone system whereby the body could feed off it’s accumulate fat so as to preverser the most important physiological functions, including, but not limited to the passing of genes via the  million year old reproduction gymnastic technique.[1As society developed, regular periods of not eating became less of a consequence of food scarcity and more of an integral part of cultural norms and identities. Meals were eaten at certain times of the day. But as technologies like electricity progressed and spread to the general population, society’s habits and meal times changed to fit the highly variable daily schedules of modern people including their energy needs and corporate tastebud and addiction manipulation..[2]

What Is Intermittent Fasting versus Alternative Day fasting

Intermittent fasting is alternating periods of fasting with periods of eating during the same day. So  one has a restricted window during which to eat. Many people who practice intermittent fasting adjust their eating schedule to align with the natural rhythms of hormonal and sleep-wake cycles of the body. This cycle can be one of your own devising, or it can be a more established pattern like 12 hours of fasting followed by a 12-hour window in which you can eat normally.

There are many ways to fast intermittently. The type you choose hinges on your health goals, energy needs, and willpower. Intermittent fasting to improve physical fitness is different from intermittent fasting for weight loss. The schedule and foods one chooses are the primary differences.[3]

On the other hand, alternate day fasting is based on a complete 24 hours fasting period where only water is taking during 24 hours followed by eating during specific window hours during a cycle of 24 hours followeing by another total 24 hours fast ans so on.

Evidence showing the Comparative Benefits between Intermittent and Alternate Day Fasts

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Rationale

One argument for intermittent fasting is that it’s easier to stick to compared with dieting or eating small amounts of food throughout the day for weeks or months. Eating things in moderation or miserly portions isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people find dieting difficult for this very reason. If you take an “all or nothing” approach to dietary changes, intermittent fasting might help you get the results you want. Indeed, alternating periods of fasting with short periods of eating appears to increase weight loss compared to traditional calorie restriction.[4]

An even better argument for intermittent fasting is that regimented intermittent fasting periods combined with earlier mealtimes work with, rather than against, your hormonal rhythms to promote a healthier metabolism. Your appetite, energy expenditure, satiety (feeling full), and fat storage all respond to hormonal and environmental cues like your sleep-wake cycle. Eating on a regimented schedule, like intermittent fasting, can help you optimize your eating habits for weight maintenance, weight gain, and weight loss.[56]

Modalities

When the faster eat at times when the body isn’t prepared for food enzymatically or hormonally, one can start throwing all the various clocks in your body out of sync. (Cf section  on chronobiology). Eating too late throws one’s organ systems and hunger-regulating hormones off their circadian system. One third of all of human eukariotic genes are encoded with circadian clocks. Thus, eating out of sync with what the body needs can affect how the body responds to hormones like insulin, ghrelin, and leptin and more. Disrupting these hormones can significantly affects multiple pathways including appetite and energy storage.[5]

Ideally, one’s hormonal cycle should sync up with your sleep-wake cycle to fuel and support your daily activities. But your stress, eating habits, and hectic daily schedule can easily prevent these two systems from running on the same schedule. To stick to an intermittent fasting schedule, you’ll have to be diligent about eating on time and avoiding snacks and meals if they fall out of the designated eating window.[6]

 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Research shows multiple benefits from any type of fasting, including intermittent fasting. The brain, weight loss, and fitness benefits make intermittent fasting an appealing option for anyone looking to improve their health, especially for people with type 2 diabetes or anyone trying to maintain weight loss after obesity.

Slowed Aging and Improved Longevity

Caloric restriction has received a lot of press the last few years for its role in extending lifespan in animal studies, but it’s near impossible to ethically study long-term food restriction on humans. Intermittent fasting triggers the same effects of caloric restriction, so you get the improved aging and a longer, healthier lifespan.[7]

Boosts Brain Growth, Repair, and Function

Intermittent fasting holds several benefits for the brain. Tightly regulating your eating schedule seems to improve memory, generate new neurons, enhance brain recovery after trauma, elevate mood, and lower your risk of the cognitive decline associated with aging.[89]

Regulates Hormone Levels

Insulin, ghrelin, and leptin levels and response in the body improve with intermittent fasting. This means your body is able to better respond to the rise and fall in blood sugar, and regulate feelings of hunger and fullness. Human growth hormone, the hormone that triggers growth in children and helps regulate sugar and fat metabolism, also increases during cyclical fasts.[1011]

Improves Blood Composition

The body is better able to regulate the ebb and flow of energy resources when you adopt a regular eating schedule. Fasting both lowers and somewhat paradoxically helps sustain healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure, insulin levels, and cholesterol. Improved blood composition decreases oxidative stress in the body.[12]

Decreases Oxidative Stress

Eating, in general, results in oxidative stress, depleting your antioxidant defenses against free radicals in your tissues. Intermittent fasting, by its nature, significantly decreases your exposure to the inflammatory effects of converting food to energy because you eat less often.[113]

Enhances Fat Burning

Low insulin levels occur during the fasting state because you’re not absorbing a steady supply of glucose from the digestive tract. Low insulin levels prompt fat burning to keep energy levels stable. Intermittent fasting gives you better access to your fat stores.[114]

Mimics the Beneficial Effects of Exercise

Athletic training provides many beneficial effects on the brain, heart, vascular system, stress response, and body composition. Intermittent fasting mimics many of the same benefits, such as lower your resting heart rate, improved immune function, increased DNA repair, better motor function, ketone production, improved resistance to stress, faster recovery from stress, and enhanced recycling of old or malfunctioning cells.[1]

Intermittent Fasting Patterns

Generally, the longer the fasting period, the better the results. Some people find they experience some emotional effects with fasting. You may find that you feel irritable and short tempered while adjusting to an intermittent fasting schedule.

Typical Intermittent and Alternate Day Fasting Schedules

Schedule Eating Period Fasting Period
12:12 12 hours 12 hours
10:14 10 hours 14 hours
8:16 8 hours 16 hours
6:18 6 hours 18 hours
4:20 4 hours 20 hours
2:22 2 hours 22 hours
Alternate day Duration of one meal 24 hours after end of meal

Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting and kick-starting the Alternate Day fasting Protocol

If you can stretch your fast out for longer periods of time, you’ll quickly see lower insulin levels and spend more time in ketosis, the fat-burning state. To start intermittent fasting, the Institute recommends starting with 16:8 schedule, which means  a 18-hour window in which there is no food intake followed by 8 hours of eating. Fasting for longer periods with comparatively short windows to eat (6:18 or 4:20) are even more effective. Extending the fast beyond even that benchmark kickstarts the alternate day fasting.

You’ll have to evaluate what works with your daily schedule and workout goals to find a stable, sustainable intermittent fasting pattern. Some fasters find that a 10:14 or 6:18 fasting plan is a better fit for them. Fasting, in general, will yield an array of health benefits, so don’t be afraid to shift your schedule around to suit your needs. Just make an effort to eat earlier in the day rather than late at night to decrease fat storage. However, if you typically skip breakfast, feel free to begin your eating period around lunchtime.[5]

The physical effects of fasting on an individual depends on an incalculable number of variables. Some people respond to fasting significantly better than others. If you are particularly stressed out or you’re going through some difficult life events, I would advise you to put fasting on hold until you get your stress under control due to the hormonal imbalance that usually accompanies (and feeds) the stress response.[15]

The Alternate Day Fasting Modality

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What to Eat During an Intermittent, Alternate Day and Ketogenic Fasting Modalities. Happiness Medicine’s Services

Although you one need not have to adopt a different diet to try intermittent fasting, the H.M. Institute recommends a whole food, plant-based diet with lots of raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to improve nutrition and maintain health.

If the viewer is looking to kickstart fat loss and other health benefits, consider the Institute’s ketogenic and alternate Day fasting programs via consultation.

Unlike most ketogenic diets and fasts, which rely on a substantial amount of animal fat and protein to shift your body into ketosis, the Institute designed the ketogenic fast to cleanse the body with specific whole plant foods like avocado and walnuts that promote a healthy blood composition  while lowering oxidative stress and chronic inflammation  in addition to burning fat reserves.

 

References (15)
  1. Van Praag, H., et al. “Exercise, Energy Intake, Glucose Homeostasis, And The Brain.” Journal of Neuroscience 34.46 (2014): 15139-15149. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  2. Longer, Valter, and Satchidananda Panda. “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, And Time-Restricted Feeding In Healthy Lifespan.” Cell 23.6 (2017): 1048-1059. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  3. Harvie, M. N., et al. “The Effects Of Intermittent Or Continuous Energy Restriction On Weight Loss And Metabolic Disease Risk Markers: A Randomized Trial In Young Overweight Women.” International Journal of Obesity 35.5 (2010): 714-727. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  4. Williams, K. V., et al. “The Effect Of Short Periods Of Caloric Restriction On Weight Loss And Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care 21.1 (1998): 2-8. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  5. Garaulet, M., et al. “Timing Of Food Intake Predicts Weight Loss Effectiveness.” International Journal of Obesity 37.4 (2013): 604-611. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  6. Lewis, Gary F., et al. “Disordered Fat Storage And Mobilization In The Pathogenesis Of Insulin Resistance And Type 2 Diabetes.” Endocrine Reviews 23.2 (2002): 201-229. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  7. Perkins, Robert. “Diet That Mimics Fasting Appears To Slow Aging.” News.usc.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  8. Bair, Stephanie. “Intermittent Fasting: Try This At Home For Brain Health.” Stanford Law School. N.p., 2017. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  9. Martin, Bronwen, Mark Mattson, and Stuart Maudsley. “Caloric Restriction And Intermittent Fasting: Two Potential Diets For Successful Brain Aging.” Aging Research Reviews 5.3 (2017): 332–353. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  10. Alzoghaibi, Mohammed A., et al. “Diurnal Intermittent Fasting During Ramadan: The Effects On Leptin And Ghrelin Levels.” PLoS ONE 9.3 (2014): e92214. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  11. Ho, K.Y., et al. “Fasting Enhances Growth Hormone Secretion And Amplifies The Complex Rhythms Of Growth Hormone Secretion In Man.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 81.4 (1988): 968-975. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  12. Azevedo, Fernanda Reis de, Dimas Ikeoka, and Bruno Caramelli. “Effects Of Intermittent Fasting On Metabolism In Men.” N.p., 2013.
  13. Faris, Mo’ez Al-Islam Ezzat, et al. “Impact Of Ramadan Intermittent Fasting On Oxidative Stress Measured By Urinary 15–Isoprostane.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2012): n. pag. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
  14. Fung, Jason, and Jimmy Moore. “The Complete Guide To Fasting.” 1st ed. Victory Belt Publishing. Print.
  15. Torres, Susan, and Caryl Nowson. “Relationship Between Stress, Eating Behavior, And Obesity.” Nutrition 23.11-12 (2017): 887-894. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.

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