Losing weight is considered to be a challenging process because most people don’t know the correct way to burn fat. I want to talk to you today about a strategy that will help you lose weight safely and keep it off for good. It’s based on a fat burning hormone called Human Growth Hormone (HGH 1,2,3,4). A small gland makes growth Hormone in your brain called the pituitary gland, and it works through the liver. Growth Hormone is the main fat burning hormone. One of the things that trigger Growth Hormone is Intermittent Fasting.
Fasting has been around for thousands of years, in fact, people in the Bible fasted for many different reasons, but I am going to tell you how you can use intermittent fasting for weight loss. Dr. Michael VanDerschelden, a doctor of chiropractic and best selling author of the book “The Scientific Approach to Intermittent Fasting, did a seminar back in 2015 where he explains the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Another chiropractor Dr. Eric Berg, who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods has a viral video on YouTube where he talks about the fastest way to lose weight using intermittent fasting. In this post, I will be summarizing the research done by Dr. VanDerschelden on intermittent fasting as well as the different fasting methods used by the two doctors to help you achieve results.
Intermittent Fasting In Modern Society
Health professionals like dietitians, nutritionists and even the general public advocate that you should eat six small meals a day at three-hour intervals. In theory, eating six small meals throughout the day is said to keep your metabolism high and avoid the “starvation” mode where your metabolism drops. The weird thing is, whether you eat a 2,000 calorie meal in one sitting, or spread it out throughout the day, you are still burning the same amount of calories according to Dr. VanDerschelden. The real starvation mode does not occur until 72-96 hours after eating, which is three to four days, not three to four hours.
The Theology and Science of Fasting
God designed our bodies to alternate between feast and famine; this is why our ancestors were able to go days without eating while hunting and once they caught food they would eat a ton and then go back to not eating again. Jesus expected his followers to fast, and even anticipated it would happen. He doesn’t say “if,” but “when you fast” (Matthew 6:16). He also doesn’t say his followers might or should fast, but “they will fast” (Matthew 9:15). Research shows that cycling our eating habits this way actually make people healthier.
“I fast two days a week, and I give you a tenth of all my income.” (Luke 18:12)
When you’re using up energy, your body likes to draw power from your glycogen stores and your glucose which is your blood sugar. This is your body’s primary source of energy. So if you’re eating every 2-3 hours and continuously stocking up your glucose level, how are you ever going to burn fat for energy? You can’t because your body will keep using the glucose and the glycogen that you keep eating.
Most people want to gain muscle and burn fat says Dr. VanDerschelden, but if they’re eating multiple meals a day, they won’t be able to do that. Glycogen stores in the body take 6-8 hours to be metabolised, 6-8 hours after your last meal is when your body will start to use its fat stores as energy and to release ketones into your bloodstream. The ketones are going to be used as brain food; your brain favours ketones over glucose as its primary source of energy.
Researchers found that if your brain is getting ketones as its primary energy source instead of glucose you’re going to increase memory, increase concentration and you’ll also have a protective barrier against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Remember, you have to go 6-8 hours without eating to get to the fat burning mode and start reaping these benefits though. That is also when you will start burning fat around your waist and everywhere else your body stores fat.
This strategy is contrary to popular belief, but has proven to be very lucky in helping people to lose weight according to Dr. Berg. It is not a diet, it is a lifestyle change that you can implement now, and that will drastically change your life. What you are doing is restricting your eating to a tiny window throughout the day without restricting calories. A lot of the fad diets out there promote massive calorie restrictions that make it impossible for people to commit to long-term. This is because they get so hungry after 2-3 days of being on the restrictive diet that they start to eat and go off of it. Fad diets don’t work because they do not base on science, says Dr. VanDerschelden.
With intermittent fasting you are restricting your eating window, but you can still eat the same amount of food. This is easy for people to do, you can incorporate it into your lifestyle and maintain it very quickly, you don’t have to restrict yourself. According to Dr. VanDerschelden, intermittent fasting can lower inflammation, lower fat levels, shed unwanted fat and increase brain function. When paired with healthy foods, intermittent fasting can clean and detox your body, making you a more efficient and more energetic.
There are different ways you can structure your intermediate fasting schedule. I am going to give you two different templates you can follow.
The first template is the one that Dr. Berg uses; it is a three-step process that will jumpstart your Growth Hormone and help you healthily burn fat, even if you are not exercising. The second template is Dr VanDerschelden’s method, it restricts your eating window to just eight hours per day, every day, and for the additional 16 hours you’re not eating, and it works better when paired with exercise. These were the two best methods that I found when doing my research. Dr. Berg’s approach is a little complicated and geared more towards people who do a season in their health journey. You’re going to need to invest in an inexpensive, but high-quality juicer for this regimen. Dr. VanDerschelden’s approach is easy to follow and is more practical. I would suggest using the juicing method regardless of what template you use because it’s going to help you flush out toxins from the body and speed up your weight loss efforts.
1) Eat three meals per day for three day
- Don’t have snacks
- Don’t have five to six small meals a day
- Don’t graze at night
- Do eat three meals a day with no snacks in between
2) Eat two meals per day for the next three days
- Choose: Breakfast & Lunch or Lunch & Dinner
- 11:30 am breakfast and 4:30 pm lunch is ideal
- Don’t snack in between
- Do spread your meals out
Make sure you are eating two meals a day with no snacks in between. Snacking is going to create glucose and glucose are going to lower the Growth Hormone that we are trying to spike up.
3) Eat one and a half meals per day for the next three days
- First meal must be big & full of nutrients
- Second meal (the ½ meal) is a green shake
- You can use a green shake powder or real vegetables
Juice option 1- Kale, beet leaves, parsley & berry-flavoured stevia for sweetness.
Juice option 2- Spinach, celery, cucumber, green apple & ginger
Kale can make some people feel bloated, if that’s the case you can use spinach instead. You need a lot of greens because you want to flush out the fats that your body is burning.
After three days of doing one and 1/2 meals per day, you switch back to three meals per day and repeat the process all over again.
For people who don’t exercise very much and has a stubborn metabolism, you may alternate between steps 2 & 3. Some people need all three feeds so you can play around with this template depending on how you feel. If you’re not too tired, you can go from three meals to just two meals a day, but you keep rotating this cycle. You’re eating and then not eating, eating and not eating back and forth to induce the fat burning effect by spiking the Growth Hormone.
Template # 2
- Sleep for 8 hours
- Skip breakfast in the morning
- Eat first meal of the day-lunch around 12:00 pm
- Eat healthy snacks throughout the day
- Eat last meal of the day-dinner between 7:00-7: 30 pm
- Don’t snack outside the 12:00pm-8:00pm window
This template is more suitable for people who like to work out, I will explain a little later. You can have black coffee (no cream) or tea in the morning if you need the extra energy. You just can’t have sugar because any sugar you put into your system is going to increase your blood insulin so that you won’t be using your fat stores anymore, you will go back to using the insulin (5). You can also have snacks in between meals with this method.
When you skip breakfast, you will get hungry in the morning for the first week or two. After about 15 days when your body is burning fat as its primary source of fuel, you will not have sugar cravings or food cravings anymore. Most of our needs are for sugars so when you limit the sugars and get your body used to burning fat you won’t have those desires anymore. You can use this template on the weekdays and eat however you want on the weekend which you can consider to be your “cheat days.”
The key to success with both templates is what you eat and how much you eat, you have to use portion control. You’re still going to have to eat healthy foods during your meals. Eat lots of vegetables and leafy green salads because it’s low in carbohydrate and has a lot of vitamins, nutrients and fibre. You are what you eat so if you eat bad fats and processed carbs, your cells will be sick even though your fat stores are low. A skinny person who has small amounts of fat stores isn’t necessarily a healthy person. As Christians, we need to be fit for the Lord, so we want to pay attention to our diet and what we put into our bodies.
You also need protein, the amount of protein should be the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand, about 4-5 ounces give or take. You need to eat some healthy fat because it’s going to allow you to go longer without getting hungry.
If you’re following template # 1, you want to start off with low-fat and gradually increase it. Some healthy fats that you can eat include peanut or almond butter, coconut oil, avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. There’s a lot of healthy fats that you can eat. You can have turkey bacon if you’re a meat eater but make sure it’s non-hormonal and non-nitrate uncured turkey bacon.
You need healthy fats; you don’t want to do “low-fat” or “lean” anything. You will also need to eliminate, sugar, starches, rice, corn, potatoes and beans because they’re too high in carbs and you will not have snacks.
That is a fast way to lose weight safely and feel great because you are not starving yourself with a restricted diet. If you follow this method, you will healthily lose weight. The key is keeping your greens up to flush out the fats that you are burning up and increasing Growth Hormone by rotating the intermediate fasting cycle until you hit your target goal. There are other things you can do to speed up your weight loss like exercising, but this template will at least get you started.
If you work out you should use template #2 You can work out before lunch at either 10:00 am or 11:00 am then eat a massive meal immediately following your workout at 12:00 pm. If you prefer to work out in the morning all you have to do it time it in a way where you will be working out towards the end of your fasting window and still leaving an 8-hour window for your snacks and your second meal. You want to work out towards the end of your fasting window so you can eat right after your workout, your muscles need to be nourished right after your workout.
If you add high-intensity training- HIT- to this lifestyle, you’re going to see tremendous results in your weight loss and efforts. You can use this method if you are cutting or if you want to lean out.
In summary, intermittent fasting has become more popular over the past few years, and the scientific community is doing more and more studies on this exciting concept. The general public is just now starting to warm up to the idea of intermittent fasting, but as Christians, we should be excited about the fact that science is finally catching up to a practice that the people of the Bible had been performing for centuries and that we have been doing for years. We should also rejoice over the fact that the link between spirituality and physical health, now has the potential to connect with popular culture.
A disclaimer: You should always talk to your doctor before you begin any new dietary lifestyle change. Dr. VanDerschelden says that if you are pregnant, nursing or if you have low blood sugar, you should not do intermittent fasting. When you’re pregnant or nursing, he suggests you should focus on eating a healthy diet because you’re feeding a growing baby too. If you have low blood sugar naturally and you diminish it, even more, you might feel dizzy or faint, and that can be dangerous.