9/20/12

Faster Fasting


This week we're covering diet and what I believe research is pointing towards as the more supported diets. Monday we talked about Paleo and the week before that we covered Raw milk. Today's post is going to bring forward the application of fasting.

The bro-science of the day basically tells us that we should eat between 6-8 meals a day, and that breakfast is the most important meal. The logic tells us that for breakfast we need as many carbs and calories as possible after sleeping for 6-8 hours, if your lucky, but then says that if you don't eat every 3 hours your metabolism will be too slow. Think about it, how can your biggest meal come after your biggest feeding gap of the day? The mentality argues with itself.



So we go forward to the idea of fasting. Research has supported that intermittent fasting, a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting, leads to greater fat oxidation and decreases ones risk for disease [1]. This could be as simple as not eating for a day or not eating until later in the afternoon, which means skipping breakfast. Further research shows us that intermittent fasting also decreases someones risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes II [2] Research has been done on people who participated in Ramadan and the result was that they had lower levels of  inflammatory[3]. 

My favorite  article pertaining towards fasting was conducted by Mark Mattson and his team at the National Institute on Aging. They took some mice and broke them into two groups. The first group ate as much as they wanted everyday, and the second group fasted every other day then ate as much as they wanted. In most instances the calorie consumption of the mice that ate every other day was double that of the mice that consistently ate. The results showed that the mice who fasted every other day were leaner, healthier, and lived much longer. The second portion of the experiment involved injecting both groups of mice with a toxin that damages the cells in the same part of the brain Alzheimer's damages in humans. The result of this was the mice who fasted had less damage to the hippocampus than those that did not. We know that inflammation is the cause of alzheimer's. Because fasting supports reduced inflammation it's clear to see how their results line up.

This evidence is probably because the lack of food causes the cells of the body to be "stressed" in a similar way that we stress our body during a workout. The adaptation to the stress makes the body stronger. All of this is great news to us because we can fast one day, and then consume enough calories for two days and still be healthy! Let me math-a-maticly break this down for errybody. Let's say the average person eats 2,500 Kc [kilocalories] a day. Someone who fast's will consume 5,000 calories every other day and be healthier and leaner. BUFFET!

Now Google research articles on eating breakfast, you will find a majority of them boasting of how great breakfast is for everything. Does your car need new tires? eat breakfast! Are you behind on bills? eat breakfast! That's what it feel's like sometimes. Now don't run off and say that no one is allowed to eat breakfast anymore because I'm not saying that. I personally throw down a healthy heaping of eggs and bacon every morning, its stinking delicious. However, our new logic tells us that longer lengths of fasting actually increase fat oxidation, reduce inflammation, and decrease disease risk. If your trying your hardest to gain weight then eat breakfast. If your like me you wake up starving and are adjusted to drowning your pallet in greasy animal foods. Just forget the bro science you read at bb.com and wake up to real science.

Fasting and Spirit:
Biblically we are called to fast for the Lord. In the book of Jonah when the ninevites were shown their flaws they fasted to God (Jonah 3:5). John the baptist's disciples fasted while they worked for and praised the Lord. Fasting surrounds some of the greatest stories of the Bible. However, Jesus does scorn those who fast for attention (Matthew 6:16). So if you decide to try a cycle of fasting either for a day, or just for a portion it's important to not go around boasting of your fast. When I fast I grab my bible and try and read an entire book that day; you're not eating so what else are you going to do? Whatever you do remember to make it righteous before God.

Also, we see that fasting has health benefits so don't be afraid to try it. I hear a lot of churches telling people they don't need to fast from food, but rather skip a day of TV. I've done both, and I promise that fasting from food is much harder than anything else. In this country our dependence on food is dangerous; I would go so far as to say almost Idol status. So the next time you decide to fast break your food addiction and honor your temple. It will strengthen your spirit and your body.


  1. Sander Kersten1Josiane Seydoux2J effrey M. Peters3Frank J. Gonzalez3,Béatrice Desvergne1 and Walter Wahli (June 1, 1999) Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor α mediates the adaptive response to fasting. Retrieved  J Clin Invest. 1999;103(11):1489–1498. doi:10.1172/JCI6223.
  2. Benjamin D Horne. et al. (October 1 2008) Usefulness of Routine Periodic Fasting to Lower Risk of Coronary Artery Disease in Patients Undergoing Coronary Angiography. Retrieved  American Journal of Cardiology
    Volume 102, Issue 7 , Pages 814-819.e1
  3. Fehime B. Aksungara (a), Aynur E. Topkayab (b), Mahmut Akyildizc (c) Interleukin-6, C-Reactive protein and Biochemical Parameters during Prolonged Intermittent FastingAnn Nutr Metab 2007;51:88-95 Vol. 51, No. 1, 2007. (DOI: 10.1159/000100954)

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.