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Starve Your Way to Longer Life

24th July 2013

Intermittent fasting – What it can do for your waistline, your health, and your lifespan

A small, but growing, movement is gathering steam while staying largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. Studies show that this trend can:

  • Encourage fat oxidation
  • Reduce body weight
  • Get LDL and triglyceride levels inside a healthy range
  • Improve blood glucose and insulin levels
  • Increase longevity

Yes, we said it—following the dictums of this movement can significantly lengthen your life.

This small, growing movement is known as Intermittent Fasting, or IF. It involves regular, alternating periods of fasting and non-fasting. Adherents to IF eating patterns vary in their programs, but some typical regimens look like this:

  • 20/4 – used to denote a repeating pattern of 20 hours of fasting followed by 4 hours of non-fasting
  • 19/5 – a regimen of 19 hours of eating followed by 5 hours of eating, as promoted in the book, Fast 5
  • Eating only one meal per day
  • Eating between 400-600 calories on alternate days or on two non-consecutive days a week, as in the BBC2 Horizon documentary “Eat, Fast & Live Longer” (1)

On his website, The IF Life, intermittent fasting & feeding proponent Mike O’Donnell says following an IF plan can:

  • Reducing blood glucose and insulin levels (improving the state of the overall glucose metabolism)
  • Increasing fatty acid oxidation with increased FFAs (through increasing lipolysis hormones GH, glucagon and adrenaline)
  • Sparing and preserving muscle tissue (lean mass)
  • Increasing various health factors (lower inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduced oxidative stress, increased protection against neuro-degenerative diseases, and more)
  • Keeping the metabolism strong/healthy (as eating more meals does not “speed up” your metabolism) (2)

Mike has been a personal trainer and health/fitness coach for over 10 years. His book, 2 Meal Solution, details his experiences with intermittent fasting and why you should adopt the IF lifestyle for better health and a longer life. He discusses different approaches to IF at his blog.

For years, Dr. John Berardi, Chief Science Officer of Precision Nutrition, has advocated frequent meals, spaced 3-4 hours apart, consisting of nutrient-dense, healthy food.

That strategy — when combined with a smart exercise program and world-class coaching — has helped thousands of his clients drop over 120,000 pounds of fat in the last ten years.

Dr. Berardi was intrigued enough by the rising tide of IF, he decided to test it for himself. He details the results of his experiment with intermittent fasting on his website:

“Over the course of six months, I dropped twenty pounds of weight, from 190 pounds to 170 pounds. I also reduced my body fat from 10% to 4% while maintaining most of my lean muscle mass.”

If you’re interested in losing body fat, resolving health issues like high blood pressure and insulin levels, and potentially adding years to your life, look into intermittent fasting.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Wikipedia


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