Today’s article is going to be a little different from common practice when it comes to traditional diabetic diets to lose weight. Today I am going to talk to you about diabetes and intermittent fasting.
If you suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes and you carry a few excess pounds you don’t need me to tell you of the heightened risks you carry. You also don’t need me to tell you how hard it can be to remove any of those excess pounds! There are many diabetic diets to lose weight out there. Many are on this website. A healthy and nutritious diet is no doubt, the secret for anyone looking to lose extra pounds.
There is another approach that some people absolutely swear by. It is called the intermittent fasting diet. Obviously diabetes and intermittent fasting is a controversial combination. I have tried the diet and can vouch for its many benefits including weight loss.
of course, consult first…
Like all new diabetes diets, consult your diabetic doctor if you have any questions and most importantly – always monitor your blood sugar levels closely when changing your diet. Please refer to this article for the best blood glucose monitor on the market.
Intermittent fasting is an extremely popular weight loss diet, not only with diabetics but with everyone looking to shake those excess pounds. The evidence suggests that it is an effective way to manage your weight loss. It has other benefits too (see below) including increasing insulin sensitivity.
How does it work?
Intermittent fasting is as the name suggests, a period of fasting followed by a period of eating. There are two popular methods. One involves a daily 16 hour fast + an 8 hour period of eating, known as the 16/8 fast. The other method is known as the 5/2 fast where you eat for 5 days and fast for 2 days of the week.
The 16/8 method involves fasting for 16 hours and feeding for 8 hours. If you get 8 hours sleep at night that is included in your 16 hours of fasting. If you ate 2 hours before bed, that would amount to 10 hours of fasting. You would then eat your first meal of the day 6 hours after you wake up.
The 5/2 diet This is where you eat a calorie restricted diet for 2 non consecutive days of the week. By calorie restricted I mean eating no more than 500 calories on your day of fasting
When you fast there is an incredible amount that happens to your body on the inside. Your cells repair themselves at a faster rate as your body is not focusing as much of its attention on digesting your food. Your insulin sensitivity improves dramatically and the level of HGH in your body increases making it easier to lose fat and gain/ hold onto muscle.
Research suggests that people who undertake an intermittent fasting diet for a period or between 1 & 6 months may lose between 3 and 10% of their body mass!!
Here is a full list of the benefits
- Anti-aging: Intermittent fasting has increase the life expectancy of lab rats. Studies show that fasted rats can live as much as 36-83% longer!!
- Brain function: Intermittent fasting increases a brain hormone called ‘brain-derived neuotrophic factor’ and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It may also help protect against Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
- Cancer: There has been animal research that suggests that intermittent fasting may help prevent cancer
- Heart function: Intermittent fasting may reduce blood sugar levels, LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides and inflammatory markers These are all significant risk factors in heart disease
- Increased HGH: An increase in Human Growth Hormone is essential to fight obesity whilst at the same time keeping muscle. In some cases it can help you gain muscle.
- Insulin production: Intermittent fasting can reduce the insulin resistance in your body. Studies show that it can lower your blood sugar by between 3-6% and fasting insulin levels by 20-31%. Needless to say this is crucial in the fight against type 2 diabetes.
- Inflammation: Some studies show reductions in markers of inflammation which is a major factor in many chronic diseases.
- Weight Loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight especially fat, without having to focus so much on restricting calories
Should YOU try it?
Diabetes and intermittent fasting is controversial. I have tried it before and was very impressed with the results. Instead of feeling sluggish and tired during the fasting period I found my energy levels increased and my focus became much, MUCH clearer. Again, this maybe because my cells were not as busy breaking down food (?) I went to the gym on an empty stomach and I had some of the best sessions I have had before in my life. I didn’t really focus on being hungry but I understand this could be a challenge for some. Like anything in life, it is a matter of getting used to a new routine day to day. The 16/8 diet maybe the best method to get people started. Play attention to how you feel while you are fasting and let me know how you go with it by commenting below.
If you combine intermittent fasting with good clean healthy eating and living you are guaranteed to see results, probably way faster than with any other diet. Don’t forget, just because you have fasted doesn’t mean that you can go silly during the feeding time.
As always I would love to hear your comments on diabetes and intermittent fasting below…