Fasting and Bursting for Your Brain and Body
When pictures of my wife Merily and I skinning appeared on Facebook, the questions started… “What is skinning?” When I reply it’s what I love to do for my brain health and to stay lean, I get asked, “Why is it so good for your brain and for weight loss?” You’re going to have to watch the video to understand skinning, but I will answer the other questions. These are questions I’ve gotten a lot lately, so they deserve some explaining. First of all, skinning is simply a way to do high intensity interval training (HIIT), which I like to refer to as burst training. However, interest has sparked because I’ve used this type of training, along with intermittent fasting, and observed powerful health benefits. Combining the practices of burst training and intermittent fasting raises growth hormone and positively affects other hormones involved with weight loss, anti-aging, and brain function.
Intermittent fasting has been the greatest health discovery for me in my “old age.” When I hit my mid 40’s it became harder to stay lean. Admittedly, I am a bit fanatical (as my wife says) about staying as lean as I was in my 20’s, and intermittent fasting has been the magic bullet. Not just for my desire to keep my abs, but my brain, skin, and athletic performance dramatically changed as well. Just ask my kids who secretly compete with me or me with them. Fasting changed me in a big way and they observed it. Perhaps it was the perfect combination of my Advanced Cellular Healing Diet and the burst training, but it was fun to see so many changes in my 50th year of life. Who said it can’t be done? I am healthier now more than ever, and those who know me would agree. After nearing death’s door, to experience this level of health is a miracle, and I give God the glory for what He has taught me and the opportunity to teach others.
Why The Combination Works So Well
I read studies on the combination of burst training and fasting, which demonstrate how combining the techniques raises growth hormone and makes you more hormone sensitive, which is the key to staying young and lean. If you have read my past articles, you know I say the key to weight loss is not calories or exercise but hormones. The studies show the same results for daily intermittent fasting alone (click here to watch the topic discussed on cellularhealing.tv or read more here), but combining fasting with burst training takes it to a whole new level. As it turns out, both intermittent fasting and burst training are cited in studies as ways to improve memory (cognitive function). I read a study that found when you combine different therapies that have a positive effect on the brain, there is a synergy that takes place and the positive results for dementia and cognitive decline were greatly increased 1. This is something I found over the years to hold true. I call it a Multi-Therapeutic Approach (MTA). The combination works, and it’s the reason to utilize these amazing therapies together. I believe it’s why the results are so incredible for the brain, weight loss and hormone balance.
Another 180° Solution™
First off, I must warn you, this concept is a 180° solution™, meaning it is opposite of everything you have been told or taught. My philosophy in life, and especially health, is if you take everything you have learned or heard from the media and do the opposite, you hit the mark every time. I’ve said many times during lectures that this diet is so easy. You don’t need me: simply watch TV and do the opposite, you will get it right every time. There is more truth to this concept than you may think. For example, we have been taught to eat a big breakfast, “the most important meal of the day.” The truth is, more and more studies show that humans do better with a smaller meal or no meal in the morning. In fact, if you eat dinner and fast through the night until lunch (skipping breakfast), growth hormone is increased and hormone function is improved. By the way, this is daily intermittent fasting, which is one type of intermittent fast.
Think about it: we are the only country in the world that promotes eating a big breakfast. The first time I went to Europe I was shocked at the meager snack they call breakfast. If you do a history search, you will find the Greeks and Romans didn’t eat a morning meal, and most would barely eat during the day yet feast at dinner. There are people, due to their hormonal inability to burn fat, who burn muscle instead of fat for energy to sleep. When they eat breakfast, it stops the muscle loss occurring from the body using muscle as an energy source. That’s another topic for a different day, but those people can eventually fix their hormones to burn fat for energy and enjoy the benefits of fasting for 16-18 hours at a time. Fasting may not be for everyone, but I have learned it just takes some people more time, due to challenges at the cellular level, to break through and shift their hormones into the fat burning zone. Oftentimes, the very practice of skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch (daily intermittent fasting) causes a breakthrough in weight-loss resistance.
Yes, I know you were also told you should eat before a workout and within 30 minutes afterwards, but what if the opposite is true? What if NOT eating before and after exercise has a greater impact on health? I believe the studies support this 180° concept. I can tell you from personal experience, as stated above, that it does indeed work better. Ironically, I was once one of those people telling others to eat 30 minutes after a workout. It’s what I was told as a kid in my former weight lifting days. The idea makes sense on the surface until you learn how the body adapts to stress and recovers. Simply put: it’s all about hormone manipulation.
Let me give you the quick how-to. Pick a high intensity, burst training type of exercise. It can be anything from sprints, steps, weights (especially with large muscle groups), skiing, skinning, or anything else. The goal is to get your heart rate to the point of not being able to talk well because you are breathing so hard. Eat dinner the night before, skip breakfast, and do your workout. Wait until lunch or later to eat. The idea with intermittent fasting is to go 16-18 hours between dinner and a light low-carb lunch consisting of mostly good fat and protein the next day. Of course, you enjoy a very big dinner, and believe me you will be as hungry as a Greek or Roman soldier. It will take some time to get to the state of not becoming famished while fasting for 16 hours, especially when you do a hard workout. However, the more you train your body to burn fat to replace energy stores (glycogen), the longer you can go as an efficient fat burner and not become hungry. Studies show even waiting 2-3 hours after a workout before eating promotes a rise in growth hormone, which helps to make you a fat burner and replace the used energy (sugar). It’s all survival and energy conservation. Adaptation to the stress created from a high intensity workout is the reason a hormone shift occurs. We are simply taking advantage of the body’s innate response for survival.
What About Late-Day Workouts?
What if you don’t have the time or desire to workout in the morning? You can do a lunch workout and wait 2 hours after the workout before eating and get a similar response. What about an evening workout? This gets a little trickier to experience the benefit; therefore, I would suggest bursting and fasting on the weekend and perhaps one other day during the week. You can also do this one day a week, but it will take some time to work up to it. Try this: don’t eat at all during the day, workout after work in the evening, and then come home and eat 2 hours later. You might chew a family member’s arm off by the time you get home, but remind them that its just another survival response. Have fun with this powerful tool to improve health, and remember for the best results GO 180°!