We have been taught to eat three meals daily – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some nutritionists advocate eating four, five, or more small meals throughout the day. How does this factor into losing weight, but, more importantly, into losing fat? Fasting removes glycogen from the liver and fat burning begins.
Our normal eating regimens supply carbohydrates in which our bodies convert to blood glucose when meets the energy demands – sleeping, watching television, driving, walking, cardio, breathing, and more. Our insulin and glucose levels remain high. We burn glucose for energy and store fat with the extra calories eaten.
In a perfect world, we would eat enough food to meet our energy requirements for 24 hours. We would store no extra fat, nor would we need fat for any energy requirements. If you are at a healthy weight, this is good. However, if you are overweight, it is not.
We are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is because we are breaking the fast of sleeping. We are taught that we need food (energy) to start our day. We condition our bodies to need food as soon as we awaken. It becomes a habit and our brains expect food (or coffee, at least).
Dehydration from overnight sleeping confuses our bodies with a hunger feeling. Drinking a large glass of water shortly after awakening offsets that first hunger feeling.
It is interesting the Eastern philosophy tells us that breakfast is not important. Eat breakfast if you want, but it is not necessary. They believe that lunch should be the most important and largest meal of the day. And dinner should be smaller, so it does not interfere with sleep.
The liver controls how fast we start burning and continue to burn fat. Brain behavior, fat storage, energy expenditure, and glucose management are functions starting in the liver. Glucose is converted into glycogen in the liver and muscles.
Generally, it takes about 20 hours (plus or minus three or four hours) to use up all the stored glycogen in the liver. When glycogen stores are used up, the body will shift from a glucose-based energy source to a ketone-based energy source.
Fasting is the easiest way to achieve fast fat burning. Not eating or drinking (other than unsweetened beverages) for 24 hours begins the process of burning fat for energy – or losing the fat stored in those places in your body that you do not want it.
Yes, without fasting, you can achieve the same thing, but it takes longer. You must eat fewer calories than needed for all energy expended. A low-carb diet does not replace blood glucose levels needed to sustain total glucose-based energy. Calories remain king in the big game of fat loss. A keto diet with more calories needed for daily energy demands will not allow weight loss.
Fasting and cardio will deplete the glycogen in the liver to as few as 12 hours depending on the intensity and length of exercise. Once liver glycogen is gone, the body automatically shifts to fat burning. Fat provides the body with all the energy it needs to maintain and enjoy life.
The longer you fast, the more fat you burn or lose. The foods you choose to eat after a fast also determine how much more fat will be burned or lost.
In the middle ‘90s, I read five books on the Atkins diet of low carb eating. I did not see anything that bothered me. I started on it and remained on it for six years. I lost lots of weight and fat. I found it easy for me to live on five grams of carbs daily without any difficulty or health issues.
The only lifestyle change I noticed was that I could no longer run distances more than two miles. I was completely out of energy at or around the two-mile mark. Previously, I could easily run six to eight miles daily.
The one health issue I did not know about and was never written in any Atkins book is our body operating continuously in an acidic environment. pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity in the body. Ideally, the body should have a pH of 7.35-7.45. This is slightly alkaline.
What happens if you live in an acidic world? Your body extracts calcium from your bones to stabilize blood pH – which is 7.35-7.45. Eating proteins, fats, and carbohydrates cause an acidic response in the body. It is easy to get pH strips to test your body – either with urine or saliva. I used to test twice daily – once in the morning and again in the evening. Based on my lifestyle, I can maintain an alkaline environment in my body most of the time.
What is the danger of keeping your body in an acidic environment? The body will continue to leech calcium leaving your bones vulnerable to osteoporosis or fragile enough to break. I took my first bone density test and discovered that I was osteopenia after six years on Atkins. That was a wake-up call!
Eating fruits and vegetables along with minimal protein and quality fats keeps my body’s pH at or above 7.4 most of the day. The diet regimen I adapted is based on the book, The Wahls Protocol, which supplies over 30 key nutrients the body needs daily.
If you want to lose fat, consider fasting for 24 hours and begin eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Always consult your physician before making any dietary change, especially if you are on any prescription medicines.
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com