Kick start your metabolism, even if it’s become sluggish through dieting
I used to think that skipping a meal would somehow encourage weight gain. Then, as a bodybuilder, the golden rule was the loss of your muscle occurred without eating the necessary five meals per day. When I began my fasting journey, these thoughts flooded my mind. It’s incredible how much hype we believe when it’s nothing but false theories driven by lack of education. Fasting helped me lose weight, eliminate bloating and ease my digestive issues; it also increased my metabolism. Unfortunately, my metabolism took a beating due to excessive dieting for years. Scientists at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology identified 30 previously unreported substances whose quality increased during fasting and indicated many health benefits. Dr Takayuki says, “We have been researching ageing and metabolism for many years and decided to search for unknown health effects in human fasting. It turns out that fasting induces metabolic activation.” This study was published in Scientific Reports and represented an analysis of whole human blood, plasma and red blood cells drawn from four fasting individuals. Researchers monitored all changes in metabolites — substances formed during chemical processes and grant organisms energy and allow them to grow. This monitoring revealed 44 metabolites, including 30 that were not previously recognised. Previous studies identified that metabolites decline with age, specifically leucine, isoleucine, and ophthalmic acid. However, these metabolites increased in people who fasted, which suggests that fasting might help increase longevity. The human body uses carbohydrates for quick energy — if they are available. However, the body begins using alternate energy stores when starved of carbs. This might be referred to as “energy substitution.” Fasting appears to induce effects beyond just energy substitution. During the human blood analysis, researchers noted that fasting might reprogram which protein cells build at what time and alter their function. This boosts the body’s natural production of antioxidants, protecting the cells from free radicals produced during metabolism. “Recent ageing studies suggest that caloric restriction and fasting have a prolonged effect on the lifespan of animals, yet the detailed mechanism is still a mystery,” Teruya says. “It’s possible to verify the anti-ageing effects from various viewpoints by developing exercise programs or drugs capable of causing the metabolic reaction similar to fasting.” The following steps would be to expand on replicating the results into a more extensive study and investigating how other means may trigger metabolic changes.
From this body of research, we can comfortably say that fasting increases our metabolism whilst providing our body with the means to fight free radicals — both ageing and environmental. In that case, it would be an ideal lifestyle alternative for those who want a flexible plan that helps them lose weight and decrease their risk of disease and markers for ageing. I LOVE the fasting journey and have been an enthusiastic follower for years. It’s not failed me along the pathway towards my fat loss, maintenance and health goals. Please check out this resource to read more about this study.
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