Many of us have been on diet after diet after diet and still struggle with finding a sustainable healthy weight. Well, when we restrict our calorie intake over time, as is most often the case in traditional diets, our bodies go into survival mode.
In survival mode, the metabolism slows way down. Recent studies have shown that the metabolism can remain in a slowed state for up to a year after being on a traditional diet. While in survival mode, the body also produces more of the hunger hormone - ghrelin - so we feel hungry all the time, which is often why we end up going off a diet.
Then when we come off a diet and go back to eating more food, now that our metabolisms have dramatically slowed, we gain even more weight back.
It's no wonder that traditional diets end up putting on more weight in the long run! To understand this in depth, we have to understand that our bodies are always in one of two states:
Digesting Mode OR Cleansing Mode
Digesting mode occurs when we have just eaten food, and our bodies are solely focused on processing the food's nutrition. Cleansing mode occurs when there is no food left to digest, which often occurs several hours after a meal. Cleansing mode is also when our bodies repair damaged cells, get rid of any toxic build-up, and can focus on restoring and rejuvenating the cells. When we enter cleansing mode, our bodies begin to burn fat, and it is during cleansing mode that we lose the most weight.
In modern society, food is available all the time. If we eat all the time, even small amounts, our bodies never get into cleansing mode. To give our bodies more time in the fat-burning cleansing mode, we have to stop digesting!
The most effective method for sustainable weight loss is by maximizing time in cleansing mode through intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting doesn't have to be a big to-do. Intermittent fasting can be done every day by eating our main meals between 12-6 pm. (That means that after an early dinner, there is no more snacking throughout the evening.) Then in the morning, we can consume a low-glycemic index shake to keep our energy up without eliciting digesting mode and keep the fat-burning going for around 18 hours! Intermittent fasting doesn't inhibit the metabolism because it doesn't require calorie restriction and actually allows cleansing mode to occur.
Intermittent fasting doesn't necessarily work for everyone. For support around intermittent fasting or other methods for sustainable weight loss, be in touch with Dr. Werness to set up an individual wellness consultation!