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Fast. Feast. Repeat.
The Comprehensive Guide to Delay, Don't Deny® Intermittent Fasting
- Read in 12 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 7 key ideas
Fast. Feast. Repeat. (2020) takes readers on a whistle-stop tour of the theory and practice of intermittent fasting. Drawing on cutting-edge research and immersion in the culture of the fasting community, Fast. Feast. Repeat. lays out the whys and hows of fasting in gripping detail.
Key idea 1 of 7
When it comes to fat loss, fasting beats dieting hands-down.
People sometimes think that fasting only helps you lose weight because it causes you to eat less. If you don’t eat for half the day, the thinking goes, you’ll probably end up cutting a few calories.
Over time, this undereating adds up – and, eventually, the number on the scale goes down. Sounds pretty straightforward, right?
Well, maybe – but this line of thinking ignores everything that makes fasting special. Fasting doesn’t work just by helping you to eat less. It works because it triggers some truly remarkable processes in the body.
The key message here is: When it comes to fat loss, fasting beats dieting hands-down.
One of the ways fasting helps you to lose weight is by reducing the amount of insulin circulating in your bloodstream.
Now, insulin is an important hormone; it works in tandem with glucagon to keep your blood-sugar levels in balance when you eat. But it also prevents the breakdown of your body’s reserves of fat.
So when you eat throughout the day, you keep your insulin level high – and you stop your body from tapping into your fat stores. When you fast, on the other hand, you let your insulin level drop – switching your body into fat-burning mode.
But that’s not the only reason fasting is a great weight-loss strategy. When you try to lose weight by adopting a traditional diet, your body’s natural response is to rebel. Why? Well, as far as your body can tell, you’re facing some kind of threat to your food supply.
How does your body respond to that? Simple. It boosts ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry, and lowers leptin, which tells you when you’ve eaten enough. In other words, it does its best to make you feel ravenous.
But that’s not all. In order to conserve energy, your body reduces its metabolic rate, or the number of calories it expends to keep you going. So while you’re trying to eat less, your body adapts and starts to require less, undoing all of your hard work.
Fasting, however, is different. Because you draw on your stored fat when you fast, your body doesn’t react as though it’s facing starvation when your food intake drops. Instead, you burn through the fat you’ve accumulated in your body – and avoid the downsides that normal diets promote.