Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces Newsletter
Here we are quickly rolling into July when Memorial Day seemed like it was here just last week! I have had some nice days to golf and the courses are in fairly good shape still. If you have not gotten into bathing suit shape yet, there may still be time.
Battle of the Bulge
When I was competing in Judo in college, my roommate and I got the bright idea to drop a few weight classes in the 6 weeks before the Collegiate Nationals. I went from the 205 and over class to the 156 pound class in those 6 weeks. Low calorie diets work every time they are tried. Ever see a fat prisoner released from a concentration or prison camp? No! But starvation diets or severely restricted diets make you lose more than just fat. Some studies have shown that 35-40% of the weight loss comes from a loss of lean muscle mass.
To lose our weight, we ate no more than 1000 calories a day while working out 2-3 hours a day. On Sunday evening, when the dorm didn’t serve dinner, we went to an “all you can eat” salad and pasta bar at Pizza Hut and ate until we were full. This “starve all week and then pig-out” kept our bodies from going into a “starvation metabolism” and kept the weight coming off. In 1977, there were no books written on starvation metabolism or Intermittent Fasting like there are today. We just stumbled upon it by listening to our bodies. I lost the 50 pounds but I also lost a lot of muscle in the process.
In the last year or so, I’ve read two books on Intermittent Fasting (IF) and it is being talked about more and more in the media. Ori Hofmekler in his book, The Warrior Diet, says the concept came from studying the habits of Roman soldiers. They would not eat much in the morning before battle and would fight or march all day and then feast at night. They were a powerful group of men who had speed, strength and endurance. He started testing this eating pattern on himself and others and found he got stronger and healthier. Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon, also was written for athletes and bodybuilders to help them lose fat and gain muscle.
The concept is to fast 16-24 hours 1-2 times a week to get your body burning fat as a fuel instead of sugar. So you eat dinner at 7 PM on Sunday night and then you don’t eat until dinner on Monday. Maybe do it again on Wednesday night until Thursday night. Then you can feed yourself well those evenings. The rest of the week you can eat like you normally do or eat less during the day and keep your body in fat burning mode.
Original Hybrid Vehicle
Many of you remember the term “ketosis” from The Atkins’ Diet and past newsletters I’ve written. Our bodies have two fuel systems that we can operate on: sugar and fat. When we are in sugar burning mode, we tend to store excess calorie energy as fat on our bodies. The sugar stored in our muscles and liver only lasts about 6-12 hours depending on who you are and your activity level. Scarce food was a normal condition for most of our human existence. The fat fuel system could sustain us for days without food as long as we still had water. When we found food, we ate as much as we could to help replenish our sugar and fat stores. Feast and famine is programmed into our genetic code. IF makes use of that programming to help reduce our blood sugar levels, decreases insulin resistance, increases Growth Hormone production, burn fat and even helps fight diabetes and cancer.
In a recent newsletter, Dr. Mercola had an article about how eating a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet can help fight cancer. Fasting is one of the ways to get your body into ketosis:
A ketogenic diet, which calls for minimizing carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats and moderate amounts of high-quality protein, can offer hope against cancer, both for prevention and treatment
I would suggest you take the time to look at that article. The audio is kind of distorted in places but you can download the transcripts and read the interview instead. Mercola.com also has more articles on Intermittent Fasting.
Anyone having trouble losing weight, has insulin resistance or just wants to feel better, would benefit from IF for a day or more a week. I have been using it for months and I feel great and have less body fat. Also, if you want to lose weight, cut down on your fructose intake and go easy on all those tasty summer fruits! Also avoid foods you are sensitive to since they put fat on your belly.
If you are severely hypoglycemic, you aren’t a good candidate for IF yet. Let’s work first on getting your pancreas and adrenals stronger and blood sugar stable. Eat more foods high in quality fats and proteins and less carbs. Soon you will be able to put more time between meals than you could in the past. Interval training also helps to stabilize your blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. See last month’s newsletter for info on interval training.
The 4th of July lands on a Thursday this year so we are going to be out of the office both Thursday and Friday and take a long weekend. I will also be gone on Wednesday but Stephanie will be here until noon. Don’t wait until the last minute to get in that week or you might miss us!
Have a great Independence Day!