In recent years many interesting ways to regulate hormone production to activate natural weight loss, muscle development, and improve our overall health have been developed. By and large, the overriding trend of these discoveries leans toward a new way to look at how diet and calorie intake effects the size of our waistline. According to traditional thinking, the more food you eat, the more fat you will put on- and the more sugary and fatty things are in your diet- the faster you will gain weight.
We have long been mystified by the fact that some people can eat enormous amounts of food and never put on weight- while others can skip meals every day and still gain. We’ve always known that different people have different metabolisms- but what has eluded us until fairly recently is the fact that we can change our metabolisms.
To put it another way, we can alter the ways our body’s process and store calories. One of the most powerful weight loss secrets that has been getting a lot of attention lately is ketogenesis. This refers to a method of triggering a metabolic mode called ketogenesis.
This is a metabolic state in which the body burns fat instead of sugar as fuel. The body wants to burn fat first because it is highly energetic and it is less vital to our health than fats. But our bodies are optimized for an environment where sugar is rare. When we have too much of it, we become completely dependent on sugar. The mechanics of our cells become altered in such a way that they cannot easily use any other fuel.
It’s a bit like what happens when a person becomes an alcoholic. With alcoholism, the mitochondria of the cells are altered so that they can only use alcohol as fuel. This is why alcohol withdrawals are so painful. When a person enters ketogenesis, a similar process occurs and people experience what is called keto flu- this is actually sugar withdrawal. But once the transition is complete, the body begins burning fat instead of sugar, and growth hormones like testosterone are produced.
The main problem with maintaining the ketogenic diet is the fact that it requires that a person completely cut carbs out of their every day eating habits. That means no rice, no pasta, no potatoes, and so on. These filler foods are not the healthiest things you can eat. They are low in nutrients and high in carbohydrates which means they are fattening.
But these filler foods hold an important place, at the dinner table- especially for people of modest means. Meat and vegetables are expensive, and for the average wage earner, eating enough meat and vegetables to satisfy hunger is way too expensive.
Fortunately, there are other ways to trigger growth hormone and keep the body in a lean burning mode without spending $1000 a month on groceries.
One of these ways is short bursts of high-intensity exercise. The other is intermittent fasting. For many people, both of these methods are much easier and more effective than prolonged exercise and other methods of fasting.
When it comes to fasting, many people do it wrong, often falling into the trap of starving to the point of binging and then quitting. But in the same way that a very intense one minute burst of cardiovascular exercise is better for the circulatory system that 40 minutes of jogging, a simple schedule of intermittent fasting can also be superior.
But why? Intermittent fasting mimics the eating schedule that a person would naturally take when living in the wild. We are optimized for living off the land, hunting, gathering, and eating for survival- not for entertainment. It imposes stressors on the body that our biology recognizes as indicative of a situation where developing strength and firing up the regenerative facilities would be beneficial.
Some have theorized that by eating whenever we want to, the body seems to enter into a punitive mode- literally switching off our regenerative powers to prevent us from eating more than our fair share.
For the average person who exercises little to moderately, the most successful fasting schedule is 8 hours on and 16 hours off. That means eat as you like for a period of 8 hours, and then stop eating for 16 hours. It’s easier than you might think since you’re going to be asleep for half of that 16 hours.
You can think of it as a simple way to insert some much-needed self-control into our indulgent modern lives- self-control that the human body appears to recognize and appreciate.
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