Eighteen months ago on this blog (http://blog.ergoob.org/2015/11/extra-days-off-lead-to-excessive.html) I wrote about some of the things I'd been reading about recently. As I was looking back to find references to "intermittent fasting" (IF), I came across the list again. Here it is, words unchanged, only in a slightly different order to reflect the importance (in my humble opinion) of these things to weight loss:
- low carb diets, high in fats (like Paleo), with or without grains and gluten
- the merits of intermittent fasting versus eating multiple smaller meals each day
- the importance of fiber in our diet
- the value of fermented food and drinks (pickles, sauerkraut, kefir)
- how the human gut is the second brain
Based on my recent experiences, I'm utterly and completely convinced that we humans don't need nearly as many carbs as experts say we do.
There are three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. While there are essential proteins (amino acids) and essential fats (linoleic and alpha-linolenic used to build omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) there's no such thing as an "essential carb".
The process of gluconeogenesis produces all the glucose that the body needs. It happens in all of us, especially overnight, which is why some diabetics wake up with blood sugar levels higher than when they went to bed. Low carb diets use this fact to derive needed energy from stored fat.
Whether you fast for 16 out of 24 hours a day (eating all your food in the remaining 8-hour window) or choose to fast (500-600 calories only) for two whole days out of 7 (the 5:2 diet), you are creating the conditions your body needs to burn fat. If you have an hour to spare and are interested, check out the BBC documentary from five years ago called "Eat, Fast and Live Longer" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ihhj_VSKiTs. It's very interesting.