The Dark Side Of Intermittent Fasting
Part 11 of the “Fasting & Autophagy” series.
Maybe skipping breakfast and calling it “fasting” is really only to justify a bad habit.
There’s a lot of data and well-structured research in large populations from around the world indicating certain lifestyle behaviors dramatically raise the incidence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance.
1. Skipping breakfast
2. Eating later in the day and into the evening
3. Eating multiple meals and snacks
4. Eating throughout the entire day
5. Eating large meals late in the day or before bed
Now take a typical intermittent fasting schedule:
A person skips breakfast and eats at 12 noon. (#1)
Eats 30-40% of their food after 6 pm (# 2 & 5)
Eats freely, staying in their “window” (#3 & 4)
You might think I was inventing a scenario for the worst eating schedule going 5 for 5.
Why do these 5 particular eating habits hurt our cardio-metabolic health so much?
Our DNA responds to changes in the environment and is one of the biggest influences in our day and night bio clock. Many people believe their biorhythms and circadian clock determine their energy, wakefulness, sleep, and urges to eat. As it turns out we program our circadian clock by what and more importantly in this case, when we eat.
Let’s take a look:
#1. Eating upon rising, along with light sensed in our eyes, tells our body it’s daytime activating certain metabolic/hormonal reactions. Delaying eating, even just a few hours, shifts our wake-up biology negatively.
#2. When we stop eating tells our body it’s night time stimulating the cascade of metabolic changes preparing us to go to sleep. Eating later in the day/night with the lights on, we tell the body it’s still daytime delaying sleep metabolism interfering with sleep cycles, increasing ghrelin our hunger hormone, causing overeating the next day.
#3. Eating multiple meals and snacks maintains our fed state blocking repair, detox, and allowing fat and scar tissue accumulation in organs and systems causing metabolic dysfunction and slows healing.
#4. 90% of people eat over 12 hours with 50% eating from when they wake up to bedtime in a 15-hour eating span. Similar to #3 keeping them in a chronic fed state.
#5. Our morning metabolic state is primed for eating, decreasing over time. Night digestion is less efficient with the strongest insulin response of the day, worst glucose response, and interfering with sleep cycle hormones.
One night of sleep disturbance can lower our metabolism by 6% and negatively shift our metabolic health markers. Combined with any of these issues above compounds negative cardiometabolic effects making it harder to sleep the next night. Not only will this make us hungrier, eat more, but it also drives up junk food consumption the next day.
It doesn’t take long for these lifestyle habits to hijack our metabolism. Instructing our body that our days, nights, and energy cycles are upside down leads us to gain weight, develop insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic fatigue.
Up to 75% of adults have insulin resistance right now and 100% of adults show signs of it at some point in their adult life, making Insulin Resistance the number one health problem in the U.S. whether your doctor knows it or not.
We need to be our own guardians of our health and quality of life. Insurance companies, the government, and the medical system are all at least 23 years behind.
“If it is to be, it is up to me.” Mary Kay
We can do better.
I won’t leave you hanging and will show you how to do this thing right in the next few posts.
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