Despite of what you may have heard from all the ‘health experts’ out there, having three (or more) meals a day is NOT good for you!
Eating again and again throughout the day, apart from constantly making insulin, our fat-storage and tear-and-wear hormone, spike, our body has to use most of its vital energy for the process of digestion – and it is such hard work that it blocks all other important tasks.
Our body simply needs its time for proper assimilation and nutrient absorption, detoxification and regeneration, and if we want it to work the best for us, we must give it the time it needs! Every animal on the planet does this intuitively.
Fortunately, animals don’t have doctors and nutritionists telling them that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and to eat 3 or more meals every day to “increase their metabolism” – so they usually eat ONCE a day. Intuitively and naturally, they are on intermittent fasting (IF).
IF is simply scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them.
In history, some of the most brilliant, long-lived, athletic cultures also practiced IF. Claiming it brings physical and spiritual renewal, they actually only ate one proper main meal per day, a large, cooked feast in the early evening, after having finished their work. Then they fasted overnight and up until the early afternoon of the next day, when they usually broke their fast eating “snacks”, such as fruits, bread, olives and porridge, up until their next main meal in the early evening. So they were fasting for around 18 hours, and then feasting for around 6.
This eating pattern, nowadays called intermittent fasting, is a great way to not only help our body cleanse itself, and support digestion, nutrient assimilation and cellular regeneration, but also to keep our insulin levels at a healthy baseline level for most of the day, while increasing HGH – helping us get lean by losing fat, while maintaining, or even gaining muscle mass, and slow down the ageing process.
And all this without any crazy dieting or starving. Or feeling restricted in any way. We basically just eat bigger meals during a shorter time frame. And feel great for it!
The science behind intermittent fasting, as much as my personal and clinical experience with it, show that it’s an easy to implement lifestyle choice that effortlessly and outstandingly helps us heal, and stay fit, lean and youthful. I love IF and recommend it to all my patients because it’s simple enough that they’ll actually do it, and meaningful enough that it really makes a difference.
This is how I have been eating for years now; and it shows, and it feels SO good! I love giving my body the time to assimilate my nutrients and cleanse itself before I feed it again! And honestly, it feels great to let yourself be without food for long enough that you actually let real hunger set in, and when you then finally eat, food tastes so amazing!
You learn to really appreciate food again; and on top, it saves a lot of time not having to prepare various meals throughout the day, sitting down to eat and cleaning the kitchen multiple times a day. Go for a walk instead!
IF is, beside an oil-free, WFPB diet, the BEST strategy for losing body fat, while maintaining muscle mass on the long-term, without ever feeling hungry, and you will will find a whole chapter on all this in my book Nourished by Nature.
There is extensive research supporting longevity, fat loss, muscle gain, youthfulness and superior health through intermittent fasting – many of them pointing to our mitochondria, our cells’ powerhouses.
A Harvard study published in Cell Metabolism has now also revealed that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan.
The scientists used worms for their studies, as they live for only two weeks, making the study of ageing easier in real time. The researchers found that when they restricted the worms’ diet, the mitochondrial networks were in a ”youthful” state. They also found that these youthful networks increased lifespan.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, who conducted the research while at Harvard Chan School. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older.”
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology,” said William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “Our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondrial networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.”