Therapeutic Fasting

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Take control of your hunger with Therapeutic Fasting.

Fasting is flexible, and can complement or enhance any diet or style of eating you choose.

No matter what your diet, your philosophy on food, or your religious beliefs, you can still incorporate Therapeutic Fasting into your way of eating. It can be a key component in effective medical weight loss and also help balance sugar levels.

Intermittent Fasting is flexible, and will complement any style of eating you choose, while amplifying your weight loss efforts, and enhancing your metabolic fitness. It is cheap, (duh) and most of all, it solves a well-known category of human cognitive behavior that has been proven to be a lifestyle habit that is a successful weight loss tool.

There is something incredibly powerful about taking control of your hunger, and not being a slave to cravings. A lot of your cravings, desires and “diet-cheats” are based on how your brain is wired, for example, think about the last meal you had. What was the reason you even ate, timing, noon for example? Was it habit, or you got home from work, got comfortable and reached into the fridge, before dinner? Or were you just truly hungry?

For a moment, let’s forget what you had to eat, or if this was just because of an ingrained habit, (always eating at noon), or that you may not have even been hungry; Now if you were hungry, place the level of your hunger if you remember, (most of the time you won’t), on a scale of 1-100, 1 being you basically just finished eating, you are almost sick from being too full, and at 100 you are truly starving!

Now, if you can remember your last meal and if not, then next time before you eat try this scale. We tend to eat because of boredom, stress and forced habit (three meals a day, upon waking, when your boss says, “eat” and upon arriving home. When we are eating, we would usually be on the 40-55 range on the hunger scale, we “usually announce we are starving when we hit 60!

Starving…really? Give this a few moments of thought to the last time you were really “starving”, have you ever been, truly “starving”, like 99-100 on the scale?

Have you ever not eaten for a few days?

Maybe because of a stomach bug or you were stranded in the mountains and ran out of food, but for whatever reason have you ever truly gone beyond 80 on the scale?

Most Americans have not.

With using Therapeutic Fasting as a tool/habit, you will learn that you do not need external things to satisfy you, you do need to eat and you do need nutrition, however, you may come to realize you don’t NEED to super-size or to eat just because it’s noon. You will be able to break some of these habits, so quickly and easily, you will surprise yourself.

Let us start with a brief explanation on what I mentioned previously about a well-known category of human cognitive behavior. What I am talking about is our inability to multitask as well as, our inability to realize that we really can’t.

For example, have you ever been on a “diet” and because of life, (a job, your home, your kid), you were so busy and stressed out, you may have had to skip a meal and at first chance, you reached for something…anything to eat? Well you won’t remember what it was, but I will bet you, that you gave this dietary choice almost no thought, other than, opening the wrapping, biting and swallowing.

Why?

Well because if you were truly, so busy and stressed out, you were UNABLE to concentrate on anything else, such as the rules of the diet you may have been following; Is this KETO? How many points is this? Is there enough protein in this? You just, unwrapped, bit down and swallowed.

We can’t multitask, well at least not well or for long periods of time. This fact is written in stone and believe it or not in your genes. So, when you have a list of things to remember, don’t eat this and you can only have 30% of that, no carbs before 5, only avocados on Thursdaysyou will always fail. You need to accept this and then begin to design or develop habits that will ease you through this.

Briefly, let me lay out a “simple” scenario:

You want to follow a diet program, you need to lose some weight for better health and to feel better overall. You chose a diet, it may not have anything to do with your food likes or metabolism or level of experience, but the cute doctor on TV, who probably has his/her meals prepped daily by his/her personal chef/trainer has told you this is the right diet for you!

So, you jump in, you get the diet app for your phone, you set your alarms for the proper times you will eat, you spend every third day at the local market picking out the best cuts of meat, the freshest veggies, you go home and begin to meal prep for the next 12 meals and place each one in it’s pre-labeled little plastic container that you bought on Amazon and you jump in…awesome!

Ok, wake up sleeping beauty; Real life sets in…

Your project at work gets out of control, you need to go in early, your bag breaks on the way to the train and your meals for the day are now colorfully spread all over the sidewalk. You skip breakfast, well, you grab a double/venti/foam/whip something or other and an oatmeal cookie from the coffee shop.

By lunch your “starving”, so you grab a package that looks like a cheese covered something that you had ‘prepped’ from the local deli, then your boss tells you that you need to stay late but your kid gets strept throat and you need to rush home…no problem, multi-task and get it done!

So, you order some Chinese food on the way home, (your kid will appreciate some hot soup) and you don’t have time to go to the market and recook your dinner that fell out of your bag and after all you’re starving…again!

Diet over… You lose!

Although, it seems easy to say, “ok, well just don’t eat”, fasting in a medically supervised fashion is a bit more than that. This can become a habit/tool which can fill in those gaps, of normal day to day life and give you the flexibility to lose weight in a controlled setting and still maintain adequate nutrition. An individualized discussion is truly needed to be successful in adopting this tool, but I will briefly lay out a general plan which has been a good starting platform for many of my patients;

Pick a time for the end of your last meal, let’s say 8pm, you will then “fast” for 12 hours, so from 8pm, no food for 12 hours (water ok). Remember, you will probably be sleeping 8 of those hours, so not a huge issue and then you won’t eat again until 8am. If you are thinking to yourself, well I always snack at night, this is corrected two ways.

  • DON’T BUY THE SNACKS (P.S. Your kids don’t need them either!) If you must have snacks in house, “for the kids”, buy only fresh and healthy ones. If they complain, let them go out and buy their own!
  • If you are really feeling that this is too hard, start with 10 hours, again no junk food, then rapidly get to the 12 hour point, it is really easy and YOU CAN DO IT ! You will see.

After 10-14 days of completing this 12 hour fast, congratulate yourself, you have “stuck” to the plan and you are going in the right direction. At this point add an hour or two, when you get to  the 14 hour stage, stay there for an additional 10-14 days, this is a marathon, not a short race. Most people use 8pm and fast till 10am, this let’s you have a little extra time at night, when you are late from work, picking up the kids, etc.

The 10am mark also presents an interesting hurdle, you may be at work, well if that is the case, break your fast with a low sugar protein shake,( very easy prep) and at almost any job, you can have a drink nearby. So the excuse of not eating breakfast reinforces you to make the correct decision when breaking the fast.

At this stage, I like to recommend for weight loss, increasing slowly to a 16 hour fast, sounds tough, but stated a different way, you are basically skipping breakfast and you will break your fast at noon. This, using basic math, will cut out approximately 30% of your calories or about 700 calories a day, this can translate into 1 ½ pounds a week or 75 pounds a year! Eating the same meals you are eating now!

Once again, there are many variants to this type of habit/tool, I do recommend you speaking to a medical professional with significant experience in this field. You will need to know the pit falls to miss and some of the easy hacks, which can enhance your success.

We would be happy to discuss this and the many other therapies we offer, just contact us.

Be Well.