Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is Fasting Every Other Day For You?

There's a lot of talk these days about eating less, calorie restriction and fasting. Not just because of Lent, but finding easy, or easier ways to have less food so that weight loss and weight maintenance can at last be achieved.Please post a comment below - tell us if you've been fasting, or thought about it. What was your experience? What have you learned?I wrote about this in March; here's the initial column on Fasting Every Other Day (click here).

Yes, there are a few research projects and studies about calorie restriction, and how it increases life span in rodents. It's not proven to extend lives in humans, however. That's where the scant research has been centered, on lengthening lives, not losing weight per se.
Here's a report from the University of California, Berkeley from 2005.

So, in consideration of the "Fasting Every Other Day" subject... it seems to be about eating anything and all you want one day, and then reducing intake, or fasting entirely the next. There's even an acronym for it, ADF, "Alternate Day Fasting." There was a study done by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular in 2007, here's a news report about it in
Science Daily, click here. Again, this study was only on lab rodents, and stated that the forced fasting could control obesity and assist with Type II diabetes, but did not help for fat reduction or weight loss.

Here what I think: I do believe that eating fewer calories if you are overweight or obese is a good idea. Also, increasing physical activity is really great. However, I think calorie-lowering and increasing activity must always be in moderation. Having been on a lot of fasts in my life, and experiencing mixed results (sometime feeling starved, dizzy, etc.) it's not something I do much anymore.

Rather, I pray to God and ask Him to help me abstain from compulsive overeating. In effect, that amounts to mini-fasts. I do this throughout the day, in my efforts to always eat only just as much as my body needs - not what my desires or thoughts dictate.At night, to solve my nighttime eating challenge, I will have only a little amount and then do without any more even though I often want more. That's a "mini fast" in my estimation. Anything more than doing my best with God's help to maintain moderation is all I am capable of doing. Fasting every other day makes me too hungry to manage, and is not for me.

Sources : (by Dr Norris Chumley)