Intermittent fasting

If you think about it, you’ll realize we’re meant to fast intermittently. That’s what body fat is for—to fuel your body when you’re not eating.

But when are you not eating? We’re taught to eat three meals a day with snacks in between. Most of us scarcely go four hours without a bite to eat, except during sleep when (if you get enough) our bodies are lucky to get eight hours of rest from metabolizing food. All this overeating is making us sick, and there’s no opportunity at all to balance it out because the traditional wisdom holds that if you don’t eat every few hours, your body will go into “starvation mode” and you’ll just end up gaining weight. The notion that not eating is what causes weight gain is absurd. Yet recommend that someone try fasting for weight loss and suddenly you’re an anarchist! Well, count me in.

Constant insulin release is a major cause of weight gain and diabetes for a lot of people, many of whom are simply trying to follow diet advice to eat a “well rounded” diet of breakfast, lunch and dinner. This pattern can do a lot of harm. The first step to undoing it is to make the radical move of skipping breakfast if you’re not hungry in the morning. Go ahead! I promise no harm will come, and you’ll get 12 hours of fasting in your day—12 hours during which your cells get a break from a constant stream of glucose and insulin.

If you’re curious to try longer intermittent fasts, check out my book on the subject. Intermittent fasting undoes a lot of the harm that’s been done from the frequent meals you’ve had all your life. Fasting increases insulin sensitivity and lowers insulin levels, so that fat can exit your fat cells and get burned for energy. This is how fasting can finally result in dramatic fat loss even in people who are insulin resistant, and prevent the progression toward diabetes or reverse the disease itself.