What to do about fasting’s bad reputation.

Mike’s been following a Fast-5 schedule for a couple of years. He’s lost weight and his doctor tells him he’s in great shape and to keep up what he’s doing. But when he tells his doctor that what he’s been doing is fasting, the doctor says “that’s not good.”  This shows how easy it is to forget what’s healthy and what’s not, even for medical professionals. It also shows how widespread the negative impression of fasting is.

There’s a way to beat that: you can use a different term. Instead of saying “intermittent fasting” or “fasting,” you can say “I’m on an appetite correcting eating schedule,” or ACES. That tells people you’ve eaten recently, and you’ll eat again. They’ll probably ask more about it, without starting from the assumption it’s a bad thing. Give it a try.

Read more about ACES and other tools for a lifestyle of health in AC: The Power of Appetite Correction.

Weight Record Pages

Six-month (26 week) AC weight record pages are available for your convenience as a free download. Printing the page on paper is recommended for everyday use; progress notes can be kept on the back of the page.

As described here, the idea is to compare today’s weight to your weight on the same day of last week, not to yesterday’s weight. This helps minimize the effect of water fluctuations.

The page is available in two versions:

Week starts on Sunday

Week starts on Monday

What’s Appetite Correction?

If you’re wondering what appetite correction is all about, please have a look at this video.

If you’d like to learn more about appetite correction, or you’re interested in intermittent fasting and don’t know where or how to start, look for AC: The Power of Appetite Correction on Amazon.com, available now in the Kindle version; a paperback version is coming soon. If you don’t have a Kindle, free Kindle reader apps are available for laptops, desktops, iPhones, iPads and most other tablets and smartphones. You can also use the Kindle cloud reader to read the book on a web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.).

Your Body is an AMAZING Machine

In my new book, AC: The Power of Appetite Correction, I emphasize how remarkably good the human body is at automatically taking care of many of the things it does. Here’s a look at what the best of current technology can do when faced with tasks your body handles with grace and ease. This is what getting around would be like without your autopilot systems working.

Paging Dr. Weil

Dr. Weil, on your site’s weekly bulletin, you have a headline of “How To Gain Bad Belly Fat,” and report that “a new study suggests that skipping meals can add to belly fat – the kind that can set you up for diabetes and heart disease – at least in mice.” You go on to say “The belly fat the one-meal-a-day animals put on was determined to weigh more than the belly fat of the mice who could eat at will,” and “The study’s senior author said the new findings support the notion that small meals throughout the day may be helpful for weight loss, but also suggest that skipping meals to save calories sets you up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose, which can promote unhealthy belly fat.”

I have to ask: Did you read the article or just the press release from Ohio State University? The study started by restricting the food intake of one group of normal-weight (not overweight or obese!) mice for several days. The restricted group reached an average body weight that was 21% lower than their age-matched peers, which, by the way, continued to put on weight throughout the duration of the very short (18 day) study. For a person with a lean body weight of 150 pounds, a similar restriction would put them down to 118.5 pounds.

When these underweight mice were then allowed to eat more, but in a limited time, they gorged. The authors indicate that this arrangement of semi-starvation followed by refeeding is known to promote gorge-feeding in mice, but I’m not sure what other behavior would be expected from animals allowed to eat again after famine conditions inducing so much weight loss. The researchers found that the underweight mice put on more belly fat and had less thermogenesis in their brown fat compared to the mice in the control group. This all makes perfect sense; an animal would conserve both fuel and energy when exposed to starvation conditions and an unreliable food supply. The study did not go on long enough for the underweight group to recover to the same weight as their peers in the control group, so we can’t know whether or not they would have redistributed the belly fat once they recovered their normal body weight. The authors also mention that the feeding schedule may have been in conflict with the circadian rhythm of the mice, since the normally nocturnal mice were limited to daytime feeding.

At no time in the study was an overweight mouse put on time-restricted feeding, so the study does not mimic overweight humans eating on a time-restricted schedule. The study may have some relevance to refeeding an anorexic person, or one who has suffered involuntary starvation conditions, or perhaps a person who has lost weight due to cancer or infectious disease. Weight loss on an intermittent fasting (also known as time-restricted feeding) schedule, despite the senior author’s allegation stated above, was not examined in this study. If it had been, the results would likely have been similar to those discussed here.