FASTING ISN’T FOR EVERYONE, BUT IT CAN BE

the post east juice cleanse

Here we go with Part 3 of my trip through a 14-day juice fast, sponsored by the good people over at The Post East on Fatherland St. in East Nashville. I am happy to say that it’s over! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed a lot of things about my fasting experience, here are a few:

1. The ease of not having to prepare food
2. The energy that I felt
3. The taste of the juices (The Post East makes some great juices)

As good as those things are, doing a juice fast for 14 days is tough. So how’d fasting affect my body? Here’s the body breakdown:

1. 17 pounds lost. (see photos below)
2. 16.9% Body fat down to 12.1% Body fat
3. 4 inches lost
4. Achieved breakthrough in my physical fitness plateaus

fitness while fasting

nashville juice cleanse

juicing while working out

So if these things are true, why do I think that fasting isn’t for everyone?
Simply put, if you are trying to get “skinny” then you are doing it for the wrongs reasons. If you are trying to fit into a smaller pair of pants to wow your friends at the high school reunion, then you are doing this for the wrong reasons. Fasting needs to be about health. It needs to be treated with serious care and intention. Careful planning to ensure that you are getting enough of the right nutrition, but also careful consideration of the proper things to help remove the waste that you are cleansing out of the body. Fasting is for healing, healing of energy, hormones, heavy metal toxification, inflammation, parasites etc… It may be time for you to consider what a fast could do for you. If this is you, then we can help!


Fasting Is Good For Your Health

Yes, it’s true, fasting is good for your health. Oh we knew it all along. We heard how calorie restriction plus optimal nutrition leads to a longer life… I mean, everyone knows that eating less and requiring less insulin leads to a longer life, right?

Well there is a new study, as there always is, and here is what they are saying:

“Research cardiologists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute are reporting that fasting not only lowers one’s risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, but also causes significant changes in a person’s blood cholesterol levels.”

The research team recorded differences in the body’s biological mechanisms during fasting. Noting that when the body was undergoing the stress of hunger, the body releases cholesterol in order to utilize it as a fuel source. This decreases fat cells and the fewer fat cells in the body, the less likely individuals will suffer from insulin resistance or diabetes.

Also of note, the study also confirmed that human growth hormone (HGH) increased an average of 1300 percent in women and 2000 percent in men. HGH, which is a metabolic protein, helps protect lean muscle and metabolic balance.

Fasting gives your body a break from the constant energy drain of digesting food during the day–every day. It’s important to fast carefully and to take measures when coming out of a fast to not break it too hastily.

Life Fitness Academy can help you set up a fast, or type of fast, and offers nutrition consultation services to help you meet your health and wellness goals.

The Benefits of Exercising Before Breakfast by: Dr Mercola

A new study suggests that exercising in the morning, before eating, can significantly lessen the ill effects of a poor holiday diet.

Researchers recruited healthy, active young men and fed them a bad diet for six weeks. A group of them that exercised before breakfast gained almost no weight and showed no signs of insulin resistance. What’s more, they burned the fat they were taking in more efficiently.

According to the New York Times:

‚Äú… [W]orking out before breakfast directly combated the two most detrimental effects of eating a high-fat, high-calorie diet. It also helped the men avoid gaining weight.‚Äù

Sources:

New York Times December 15, 2010

Journal of Physiology Nov 1, 2010;588(Pt 21):4289-302

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

I’m an advocate of exercising first thing in the morning for two reasons:

It gets done. Despite your best intentions, any number of things can happen in the afternoon and evening, making you skip exercise for “lack of time”
There are additional health benefits to exercising before consuming your first meal of the day
The study above is a great illustration of how making slight changes to the order of your daily routine can dramatically improve your end results.

Exercising Before Breakfast Counteracts Poor Diet and Aids Weight Loss

The study in question lasted for six weeks. It included 28 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 25, divided into three groups; those who:

Exercised before eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, and drank only water during exercise
Ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast before exercising, and drank sugary drinks such as sports drinks during their workout
Ate an identical diet but did not exercise at all
The men who exercised ran and cycled at a strenuous intensity four times a week.

Overall, the men had identical high-calorie, high-fat diets. The primary difference was whether—and most importantly, when—they exercised. The other difference was the type of beverages they drank during exercise.

At the end of the trial, the non-exercising control group had gained an average of more than six pounds, and had developed insulin resistance—the precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Those who ate breakfast prior to hitting the gym gained an average of about three pounds; half the weight gain of those who did not exercise. However, they too had developed insulin resistance…

The only group that gained almost no weight, and showed no signs of insulin resistance were those who exercised before eating breakfast, and drank only water during their workout.

I want to draw your attention to how the type of beverage consumed during exercise can also have a major impact on your weight loss and health goals.

You’ll want to avoid all types of sugary drinks, including sports drinks, for up to two hours after your workout because fructose obliterates the growth hormone response. You’ll find more information about that at the end of this article.

Clearly, the fasting exercise group reaped the benefits of both fasting and not ruining their efforts with carbohydrate-rich beverages…

The authors concluded that:

“This study for the first time shows that fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during hyper-caloric fat-rich diet.”

That’s quite remarkable, considering all three groups consumed very high caloric diets. This is powerful evidence that occasional indulgences do not have to lead to excessive weight gain, which is great news for most of us, especially in light of the recent holidays.

But even beyond holiday excesses, it’s quite clear that something as simple as modifying your schedule to exercise before eating your first meal of the day can have a very beneficial and protective impact on your health and weight.

How Fasting Forces Your Body to Shed Excess Fat, and Combats Insulin Resistance

One of the explanations for how exercising on an empty stomach can prevent weight gain and insulin resistance despite overindulgence is that your body’s fat burning processes are controlled by your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and your SNS is activated by exercise and lack of food.

The combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy.

This is why training on an empty stomach will effectively force your body to burn fat.

It’s also important to realize that eating a full meal, particularly carbohydrates, will inhibit your sympathetic nervous system and reduce the fat burning effect of your exercise. Instead, eating lots of carbs activates your parasympathetic nervous system, (which promotes energy storage‚Äîthe complete opposite of what you’re aiming for.

This can explain why those who exercised vigorously but ate a carbohydrate-rich breakfast first still ended up gaining weight, albeit not as much as those who did not exercise at all.

More important, however, is the impact fasting exercise can have on your insulin regulation. The researchers concluded that those who fasted before exercise had increased levels of a certain muscle protein that plays a pivotal role in insulin sensitivity.

As I’ve explained in numerous articles, insulin resistance is the root cause of most chronic disease, making maintaining proper insulin regulation a primary factor of good health.

In a nutshell, you do that by:

Exercising regularly
Avoiding sugar/fructose, and grains (including organic whole grains as they too will quickly convert to sugar in your body and lead to insulin resistance)
Based on the impressive results from the study above, you may also want to consider exercising prior to having your breakfast to optimize the beneficial impact of your exercise on your insulin regulation.

Other Pro’s and Con’s of Exercising on an Empty Stomach

Keep in mind that the majority of the “fuel” used during most exercise is not actually coming from the food you have just eaten. If you’re working out at a moderate to high intensity you’re using glycogen and fat that is stored in your muscles, liver, and fat cells. Typically, your body has enough of that stored fuel to last for one to two hours of intense work, or three to four hours at moderate intensity.

Therefore, if you are consuming a high quality diet, eating every three to four hours, your body may not need anything to eat before you begin your workout.

Still, some people do have a hard time exercising without eating something first.

Typically these people are more sensitive to changes in their blood sugar levels, which can decline during the first 15-25 minutes of their workout. It is this decline in blood sugar that causes dizziness, faintness, nausea or lightheadedness. This is especially true if you exercise first thing in the morning.

Additionally, exercising on an empty stomach may not appeal to athletes as it will typically reduce overall performance. Professional athletes may also not be as concerned with fat loss.

I believe the best approach is to use some common sense and listen to your body.

A number of individual factors can play a role, such as your age, when you last ate, whether or not you’re pregnant, taking medications, your medical history, level of fitness, and the type of workout you engage in.

For example, if you feel weak or nauseous while exercising on an empty stomach, you may want to at least eat a small meal before exercising.

Fortunately, there’s a near perfect breakfast food that may offer the best of both worlds.

What to Eat Before Exercise to Really Boost Fat Burning

Yes, there’s another, perhaps even more efficient way to boost fat burning without fasting.

A recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, demonstrated that consuming whey protein (20g protein / serving) 30 minutes before resistance training boosts your body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout.

It appears as though the amino acids found in high quality whey protein activate certain cellular mechanisms (mTORC-1), which in turn promote muscle protein synthesis, boost thyroid, and also protect against declining testosterone levels after exercise.

In practical terms, consuming 20 grams of whey protein before exercise and another serving afterward will most likely yield the double benefit of increasing both fat burning and muscle build-up at the same time.

Again, not everyone will need to eat something prior to exercise, but if you do, a high quality whey protein is one of your best bets. It’ll curb your hunger while still optimizing fat burning.

Whey protein is also known for its ability to help your insulin work more effectively, which, again, is one of the primary benefits of fasting prior to exercise.

For more information about whey protein‚Äîknown as the gold standard of proteins‚Äîlisten to my interview with Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet. He’s a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fitness and how to use food to burn fat, build muscle, and optimize your health.

A Great Way to Start Your Morning

Personally, I typically exercise first thing in the morning, before eating, and then have a whey protein shake for breakfast. This ensures that I get my exercises done before anything has the opportunity to derail my plans, and gives me plenty of energy for the day ahead.

Earlier last year I posted my own breakfast shake recipe, which took me quite a while to develop, so if you missed it, feel free to review it now. It’s packed with nutrients and is perfect both as a healthful breakfast and post-work out meal.

It should be noted for clarity, however, that whey protein is NOT a weight loss supplement, in and of itself. Without the exercise, it will not magically help you lose weight.

The Most Effective Exercise for Weight Loss and Optimal Health

Since we’re talking about fat burning it’s important to realize that the type of exercise you perform will also have a major impact on this process.

I recently wrote about the many health benefits of high-intensity burst-type exercises such as Peak 8. Improved fat burning is just the beginning when it comes to this type of training!

Performed two or three times a week, Peak 8 exercises will boost your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), and slow down telomere shortening‚Äîboth of which are tied to the aging processes of your body. To learn more, please see this link.

During these high intensity, sprint-type exercises you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 30 seconds, followed by a 90 second recovery period. The cycle is then repeated for a total of eight repetitions‚Äîhence the term “Peak 8.”

Another boon of Peak 8 exercises is the amount of time you save. Including a three minute warm up and two minute cool down, your total time investment is a mere 20 minutes as opposed to your regular hour-long treadmill session.

I’ve been doing Peak 8 exercises since April 2010 and have shed over 17 pounds of fat and three inches off my waist while gaining more than five pounds of muscle, all while dramatically reducing the time I spend in the gym.

For a more in-depth explanation of the peak fitness program, which is a comprehensive exercise plan that also includes strength training, core exercises and stretching, please review this recent article.

So, to summarize the diet and health advice discussed above:

Exercising before breakfast can help prevent weight gain and insulin resistance, even when consuming an excess amount of calories and carbs
Quench your thirst during exercise with pure, clean water only. Sugary drinks such as sports drinks will obliterate many of the most impressive health benefits of your training
If you can’t, or don’t want to exercise on an empty stomach, your ideal breakfast alternative is a high quality whey protein. It will help boost metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout and promote healthy insulin secretion
Incorporate high-intensity burst-type exercises like Peak 8 into your fitness regimen to further maximize fat burning and slow down the aging process
www.mercola.com

FASTING FOR WEIGHT OPTIMIZATION

So, many of you have been asking us how to get over the plateau for weight loss.¬† You have hit a stretch with no weight¬† loss and would like to jump start it again. ¬† We would like to suggest a fast.¬† I know “fasting” is confusing, but hear me out. ¬† We are suggesting a Fuel Fast.¬† With this fast you can enjoy the benefits of fasting without hunger and cravings.¬† You can either fast one or two meals.¬† Fasting is also good to help rid your body of all the toxins, build-up and extra “junk” stored in your bodies.¬†Good¬†things can happen to our health when we eliminate what we typically eat and drink and exchange them for ideal amounts of foundational nutrients. These include nutrient-dense superfoods, complete plant proteins, non-grain low-glycemic carbohydrates, amino acids, essential fatty acids, pre- and probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, therapeutic herbs and other healthy nutrients.¬† ¬†The Fuel Fast is for anyone who wants to transform their health. It promotes detoxification, regeneration, peak performance, weight optimization, and accelerated release from unhealthy cravings.

Another way to help in this process is journalling.  According to a 2008 study of 1,700 dieters, published in the the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, dieters who write down everything they eat in a diet diary or food journal lose twice the amount of weight compared to those who don’t. This also applies to your general health and fitness goals.  For this specific fast, we are suggesting Living Fuel products.

Here are some “fast tips” for proper fasting:

• Replace breakfast or another meal daily with LivingFuel SuperGreens, SuperBerry Original or SuperBerry Ultimate. Once you’re confident that your LivingFuel meal will provide hours of sustained energy levels without hunger or cravings, then you’re ready to replace another meal. Some people prefer to FuelFast two meals a day; others replace all their meals with LivingFuel.

• To extend energy and the time between meals, add fresh vegetables, fruit or juices, organic coconut milk/oil, CocoChia Snack Mix or LivingProtein to your LivingFuel Smoothie.

• Try a great-tasting CocoChia bar within 30 minutes of your LivingFuel smoothie.

• Drink plenty of water, herbal teas and SuperCoffee. Avoid eating or using caffeine between meals or within three hours of bedtime.

Living Fuel:  www.livingfuel.com

If you are interested, you can contact us for product information and purchasing.  (lifefitnessacademy@gmail.com).

Click here to watch a video about the LivingFuel Fast.


Try A Fasting Cleanse by Extraordinary Health

Jordan Rubin states: “Fasting is the high-powered spiritual tool for breakthrough in body, mind, and spirit. The average person feels much better and lives healthier by observing a one-day partial cleansing fast each week.”

Dr. William L. Esser followed the progress of 156 patients who agreed to go on therapeutic fasts of various lengths while at his West Palm Beach retreat center in Florida. His findings as reported in Fast Your Way to Health are as follows: “He reported on the fasting of 156 people who complained of symptoms from thirty-one medically diagnosed diseases, including ulcers, tumors, tuberculosis, sinusitis, pyorrhea, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, cancer, insomnia, gallstones, epilepsy, colitis, hay fever, bronchitis, asthma, and arthritis.” 92% improved or totally recovered!

According to WebMD Medical News a study appearing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences conducted by Mark P. Mattson, Ph. D. shows that ‘…in mice, at least, skipping meals improves glucose metabolism and insulin levels, and it also seems to protect brain cells. To test the diets’ effects on brain cells, mice were given a neurotoxin called kainite, which damages nerve cells in a brain region called the hippocampus–an area critical for learning and memory. In humans, nerve cells in the hippocampus are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. The meal-skipping mice had nerve cells that were more resistant to neurotoxin injury or death–more so than the other mice. “We don’t recommend people go whole days without eating,” Mattson tells WebMD. “However, we think this does suggest that skipping meals may not be bad‚ in fact, it may be good for you. In terms of our history, it’s only very recently that humans began eating three meals a day plus snacks. Our ancestors had to compete for limited supplies of food, and had to go many hours, sometimes days, without food.”

Chris Strychacz, Ph. D., a research psychologist at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, has been fasting every spring for 25 years. He refers to this as his “spring cleaning” that renews him in body, mind, and spirit. James Dillard, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, remarks about detox diets and fasting: “Certainly, the human body carries huge loads of petrochemicals. We know people usually die with the full burden of PCBs they’ve ever been exposed to, stuck in their liver. DDT sticks around, too.

Can fasting remove these? Dillard responds, “Theoretically, yes. When fat is mobilized, anything that is fat-soluble should be mobilized, too.” He advocates this for maintaining health and long life: “The old-fashioned way of eating the right foods, getting exercise, clean living, and keeping a positive mental attitude, that’s what works.” Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body, WebMD archives)