Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Waist loss on the cheap, by fasting

Dear friends

Introduced by Kari (Ben & Rachel's violin teacher) to Michael Mosley's (British physician-journalist) Fast Life, I just completed the 12 week induction plus 5 weeks of maintenance program of fasting twice a week (600 kcal/day - men, 500 kcal/day - women).

It's based on rigorous animal research that demonstrates that intermittent fasting not only induces weight loss, more more importantly targets the central belly fat (that leads to hypertension, diabetes 2, metabolic syndrome and obesity).  Although it has been known for 70 years that cutting calories prolongs life in animals and humans, the reasons were not known until recently.  Fasting enhances insulin sensitivity (reverses diabetic tendencies), stimulates cell cleanup and renewal (autophagy and increased stem cell production), and promotes anti-cancer immunity. 

In one illuminating  experiment, reducing calories in a rats diet not surprisingly led to weight loss.  In the paired group, restricting eating to only 6 hours per day and fasting the other 18, led to significantly greater weight loss.  Therefore, it's not just about reduced calories but when you eat them ... a long period of fasting allows the tummy fat to be burned off because it serves as your belly backup fuel tank when not eating.  Conversely, snacking every 2-3 hours, floors the insulin (storage) pedal and deposits those carbs right into the belly fat - look around you, and down, can you see your toes?  Constant snacking was my issue.  Note: this is counter to the 'conventional wisdom' of 6 small meals per day.

So how am I?

Lighter and fitter than I've been in 20 years, with a spring in my step, pants loose, almost needing s'penders ...  I could not have done this without this low cost diet (except for the new pants) as I was already exercising 7 days a week (run, road bike, spin, tennis, Tai Chi, yoga).

And ... it is absolutely empowering to be able to reshape oneself at my age. 

OK, OK I hear you ... you want to see proof (da numbers)

Lost 13.8 lbs = 9.3% of body weight (12 weeks of induction fasting 2X/week and 5 weeks of maintenance fasting 1X/week) - within striking distance of my high school weight

Reduced waistline by 2 1/4" (most important given my familial hyperlipidemia 2b and type 2 diabetes) - but sadly only a 2 pack abs (mostly lumpy excess skin)               

Test name             Before*           After fast**    (Normals or desirable)

Total cholesterol (C)      218                         171                  (< 200) I have run > 300
Triglycerides                     222                         101                  (< 150) I have run > 400
good HDL C                        64                           65                  (40-60) higher the better
bad LDL C                          110                           85                   (< 100) I run > 100     
glucose                                  96                           96                   (65-99) I usually run > 100
HgbA1C                                   5.8                         5.8                (3.9-6.1)

*On medications but no statins due to intolerance (muscle breakdown with CK elevation)
Partial Portfolio diet (soy, oatmeal, almonds)

**On medications and diet above PLUS fasting 2X/week for 12 weeks

Yaoza, have never had lab numbers like these!

More em-power-ment to you and your new bod!  Call for Qs.

Note:  This has recently been featured in NY Times, Time Mag and WSJ.