The Salk Institute published a report two years ago showing that mice who fasted for 16 hours every day were leaner, more energetic and healthier than mice who didn’t fast. Now the Intermountain Medical Center finds that the same may be true in humans.
One explanation for the Salk mice study is for two hours after eating your liver converts the nutrition in your meal into fat for later use. If you don’t eat for at least two hours, your liver then stops making fat molecules, and starts making molecules for cellular repair. However, if you keep eating every two to three hours, your liver keeps making fat molecules, and spends little time making molecules for cellular repair.
The researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center add that fasting forces your body to use up stored fat cells for energy. And fasting may trigger action from the human growth hormone (HGH) to protect lean muscle and metabolic balance.
The net result of periodic fasting are lower triglycerides, weight and blood sugar levels. And your liver is allowed more time to help repair damaged tissue throughout your body.
But why do some people find it difficult to not snack throughout the day and night?
Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University speculate that our modern lifestyle and out-of-balance circadian system may be to blame. Artificial light helps us to sleep less and eat more. And the modern lifestyle encourages larger calorie intake at night.
Unfortunately, this may lead to obesity and poor long term health. Ideally, we should eat the most calories at breakfast, and the least at dinner. Combine this with sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night promotes the health benefits indicated in this new research results.
Think about it. If you’re sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night, that’s 7 to 8 hours you’re not eating. And if your can avoid eating for at least two hours before bed time, that’s a total of 9 to 10 hours of fasting. That gives your body 9 to 10 hours to repair your body tissues, rather than producing fat molecules.
This may be one of the reason that people who sleep 7 to 8 hours a night are healthier than people who sleep less.
Try these suggestions to increase your ability to fast for 10 to 12 hours each day.
- Eat a large breakfast of proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.
- Make dinner your smallest meal of the day.
- Don’t reduce your calorie intake, but try to eat them within a 12 hour period during the daylight time period.
- Try to get a good dose of natural sunlight during the day.
- Don’t eat 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Snack during the day with high protein snacks, such as nuts and seeds.
- Limit your sugar intake, and stay away from low fiber carbohydrates.
- Don’t drink high caffeine drinks after 2 pm.
If you can fast for 10 to 12 hours each day, you’ll significantly reduce your risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.