Intermittent fasting, easy weight loss?

Welcome to our big family! Let’s fight laziness, unhealthy eating habits and overweight together! Chances are you’re curious about the latest healthy weight loss methods, diets that really work, and fasting fads of late. Maybe you’re looking for a healthier daily eating rhythm, and want to get rid of the old “three meals and high-sugar snacks” eating habits and turn your fat into muscle.

Today, the science of weight loss has yielded tremendous results, providing direction for dietary modifications and fasting programs. Successful weight loss doesn’t depend on minute-by-minute diet regimens, price-sensitive ingredient additions, or food calorie counts by spoonfuls. The essence and root of the problem lies not in this, but in “the power of habit”. Many people are trapped in the trap of bad habits that increase their total daily energy intake: snacking while working at the computer, eating potato chips while sitting in front of the TV, and eating cocoa sauce while in bed. Bread and drink the first cup of coffee of the day.

The German Duden dictionary defines the word “habit” as “behavior, behavior, and character that becomes unthinking by frequent, continuous repetition”. Some eating habits are family traditions that exist in our subconscious, such as having a barbecue together every Sunday, or watching TV while the whole family eats together. Some are local customs, such as every family cooking hearty dishes every day. But many eating habits that seem natural at first glance are not the result of culinary traditions, lifestyle practices, or genetic inheritance over thousands of generations, but rather the result of new-age marketing, overeating, lack of thought, and stress. .

“I don’t know when I’m used to eating cookies at work,” says social psychologist Wendy Wood. She believes it’s a classic bad habit that’s hard to control and even harder to break. Wood has always had biscuits in her house, but she froze the whole bag to avoid having to eat them all the time. “To break a bad habit, you have to make it difficult for yourself,” Wood explained.

So what about good habits? We first define it as a “good habit”, or we reclassify it as a “good habit”. Almost all major religions have the idea of ​​fasting, during certain times of the year, even if food is plentiful, no grains go in. The Christian fasting day is fasting on specific days, while the Islamic Ramadan is fasting at specific times and eating only when it is dark. For believers, fasting is a subconscious act. And that’s important because research has shown that only subconscious habits can be sustained by us humans for long.

Almost half of our decisions are made subconsciously, Wood said. We even develop the bad habit of bypassing the fruit and vegetable section in the supermarket and going straight to the fast food section, feeding ourselves fat without knowing it. Only people who recognize their habits and correct them can stay close to their weight goals.

That’s the problem with dieting regimens like “eat half a month” and “eat rationally for three weeks.” Before long, most people will return to their usual routine. According to a survey by the German Pharmacy Association, 60% of Germans have tried at least one weight loss program in 2020: eating only half, less bread, no carbs, extremely high protein, ketogenic short-term diet plan… In fact, All of which starve people in some way for a period of time, which usually ends in failure repeatedly. Dieters are struggling, and the dieting market is booming. According to the University of California, for 95% of dieters, the weight lost will be regained within five years at the latest, and they often even gain more weight than before the weight loss. 95% failure rate! So: if dieting was a medicine, would you take it? Will it be licensed for sale?

Some so-called proprietary diet formulas often leave the body deprived of important nutrients. The microbiota that live in and on our bodies and are vital to our health — billions of bacteria, viruses and fungi — can be compromised as a result. At worst, unbalanced diets can lead to malnutrition, a decline in the body’s microbiome, a loss of diversity, and accelerated growth of some dangerous gut bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile, which often causes nosocomial infections.

In addition, the brain may also surrender in the process of trying to change eating habits. In Wood and her team’s view, these popular 20th-century-style diets are fundamentally wrong: Sticking to it requires lasting self-control, and it afflicts dieters. “A diet plan like this doesn’t create a habit, because you have to be sane every time you eat, every bite,” Wood said. “It can cause the brain to go into a battle of fatigue.” So, for the most part, people Sooner or later, your diet plan will fail.

And, as if giving up wasn’t frustrating enough in itself, the body retaliates: During a diet, when there is a shortage of energy, the body adjusts its needs. Once dieting stops, energy demands grow voraciously in the body. The body decides to reserve energy well for possible future periods of shortage. In this way, year after year, weight loss repeated failures, and the weight continued to increase.

Andreas Michaelsson is a professor of clinical naturopathic medicine at the Charité School of Medicine in Berlin and one of Germany’s foremost experts in nutrition. He recommends choosing fasting over dieting. Michelson’s advice seems contradictory, isn’t fasting an extreme form of dieting? After all, fasting is pure withdrawal, and people who fast eat almost nothing. Still, for many people, it’s easier to avoid eating at all than to stick to a traditional diet. “Fasting has a positive psychological effect, and maybe it doesn’t have a rebound effect,” says Michaelson.

Since time immemorial, our ancestors lived short-term in a state of food shortages, after all hunters and gatherers had no granaries and supermarkets. Modern fasting research shows that a healthy balance can be achieved as long as the abstinence is not extended for too long. And in our modern life, there is simply no more food-free phase, today people even snack up to ten times a day, and we live in an environment of constant food excess.

So, in order for withdrawal to become a good habit, we have to consciously get used to it. It was the Hesse doctor Otto Businger who popularized its modern basic form, the so-called “starvation therapy”. About 100 years ago, he cured his painful arthritis. In 1935, Bussinger established a fasting clinic in the health park in the spa town of Bad Pyrmont. Currently, the clinic is run by his great-granddaughter, Verona Buzinger-Kalle. “A lot of people who come to us are looking for change and our long-term vision is to change the way people live,” said the 36-year-old, who fasts at least twice a year. She talks about how her guests only drink vegetable juice, water or tea for one to two weeks, and they also sprinkle cilantro in the vegetable juice because it is rich in vitamin C.

Scientific studies have shown that such withdrawal triggers the body to initiate a number of healthy responses. Carbohydrates stored in the liver are broken down and blood sugar levels drop. After about 24 hours, the body adjusts to fasting mode. At this point, adipose tissue is broken down into energy-rich fatty acids, which the liver converts into ketone bodies, which replace sugar to supply energy to the brain, resulting in positive effects on neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, or dementia.

“Fasting makes demands on the body,” Businger-Kalle said. Short-term starvation therapy is stressful, but not damaging. Instead, the genes and proteins responsible for protecting and renewing the cell are activated, and the process of “autophagy” kicks in, a recycling program of cellular waste in which damaged, old proteins are broken down and used to build new ones. The microbiome is also reborn, and fasting also means recuperation time for the gut and its microbial inhabitants.

“It’s not surprising that fasting can ‘reset’ habits,” Wood said. “When old behavioral habits are broken, people think and make decisions more consciously, and this is a good time to develop new habits.” Fasting therapy can bring about a major life-changing change, but this dietary adjustment must be adapted to people’s lives and not stressful, or new habits cannot be formed.

Scientists at the University of Otago in New Zealand have studied the long-term effects of dietary modifications on body weight. They spent a year comparing three popular forms of diet: the Mediterranean diet – a regional diet considered particularly healthy; intermittent fasting – five days of eating and two days of fasting; Paleolithic The diet, the Paleo diet, often eats meat and does not eat grains, milk and sugar. All subjects assigned themselves an exercise program, either intense or moderate. The Paleo diet group mostly opted for high-intensity interval training, which seems to be a more male-style match.

One year later, subjects on the fasting and Mediterranean diets lost more weight than on the Paleo diet. Also, subjects on the Mediterranean diet had a slight health advantage in blood sugar levels and, more importantly, 57% of them adhered well to the diet, closely followed by the fasting group at 54% %. In contrast, only one-third of the Paleo diet subjects adhered to it, and apparently most of them resisted developing the diet into a good habit.

Tim Spector, a British infectious disease expert and author of The Myth of Diet, has been studying weight for decades. He said: “It’s time to stop torturing people, almost no one has lost weight because of all these bans in recent years. A diet based on fruits and vegetables that is not strictly enforced and banned is best suited to people’s lives, also So it’s easier to help people lose weight successfully.” A study in the United States that lasted more than 30 years confirmed that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and compared with other groups, the overall mortality rate is also lower for 30 years.

Fundamentally, ingesting nutrition can be like riding a bicycle, once learned, it doesn’t require our conscious involvement. Repetition is the key to success. A person who wants to change must do an activity regularly and frequently until the consciousness stops making any active decisions. Wood has just been through this, too, with nuts and fruit currently on her table. “Whenever I’m craving cookies, I eat nuts or fruit,” she says. The effects of this change have been proven: Families that have a fruit basket in the kitchen have thinner members. “Reprogramming” takes some time. “It takes about two months to change one diet,” Wood said.

[Compiled from German “Star”]

Editor: Zhou Dandan

“During the pandemic, taking care of two kids, working from home, spending time with my husband – all of these things are very draining. I tried to numb the emptiness by overeating. Fasting was my ‘reset button’, After that, I was at peace and seemed to be reborn. Now, I listen to my inner voice more often and ask myself: Do I want a second serving? And the answer to that question is often: My body doesn’t need a second one. Two. Now, I realize that more deeply.”

“I’ve always been vegan only, and for me it’s a fasting regimen. Now I’ve been vegan for eight months and my girlfriend is vegan with me. We feel good. I’m younger Tried a low-calorie diet at the time, and now I don’t think it makes sense. We have to eat the purest form of food for the best results. The body adapts well to the way we eat. Vegans can eat it too It’s good, I don’t feel like I need to give up anything. There are healthy alternatives to almost everything, and there are so many great vegetarian dishes.”

“I’ve tried dieting for years to lose weight, but it’s never been successful. When I was 16, my sister was told by the doctor that she was prediabetic. After examination, I was just like her. The doctor said that my family has Diabetes genetics. I’ve been off sugar since then. For me it was easy to do, easier than any previous diet and it worked great – I lost weight in 2 years 15kg.”

High-intensity interval training is a type of circuit training in which high-intensity power-training periods are alternated with short rest periods to aid weight loss. This type of training appears to have particularly positive effects on the cardiovascular system and blood sugar levels in overweight people, and it also reduces body fat more than average compared to other types of exercise. However, high-intensity interval training has high requirements on the heart and joints, so before adopting this training method, you must communicate with your doctor in advance to confirm your health.