HOW TO LIVE LONGER | PART 1: Intermittent Fasting
By: Jeff Leider, CSCS
TIME CHANGES ALL THINGS...
Not very long ago I was a HUGE advocate for eating frequent meals, every 2-3 hours to be exact. The idea behind this was to keep your metabolism working for as long and as hard as possible and to give a constant flow of nutrients to your body all the time. I even saw much success with this approach, for both myself and for my clients. I really thought this was the answer.
The results did not lie and I was able to coach two clients into losing 100+ pounds. I was able to get friends and clients eating this way and they were able to receive the body that they dreamed of. My own success while eating in this way included getting my Body Fat % as low as 5.7%, playing semi-pro basketball, becoming a ranked CrossFit Athlete, and participating in two Nike product testing live events. This was the right nutritional plan for me, I thought...
While all of the achievements above are great, during that time period I was never really considering overall health. My focus was mostly on aesthetics and performance, which I am now realizing is only part of the picture when thinking about overall health. I was thinking more on a surface-level basis and not taking a holistic approach to my nutrition.
Not until the last few months have I really started focusing on overall health within my diet.
I know, I know...All of that looks healthy on paper and in person, and I’m sure my body handled it well. BUT...FOR HOW LONG WOULD MY BODY BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN ALL OF THIS OUTPUT?
These are the questions that I began to ask myself:
How long can I sustain training for hours on end? Can my body handle it? Is it taking away from another goal?
What is happening to my body on a deeper level when I am drinking Sports Drinks, Protein Shakes, and consuming countless carbs?
With all of the many diseases, sicknesses, and cancers out there was I so sure that I was healthy enough to be okay?
How can I expand my health to live longer? What can I do today to increase my longevity?
I decided to dig deep. I know I am confident in my ability to exercise and guide people within their own fitness and health journey.
However, what’s the real question that EVERYONE is searching for?
I believe that I have found it! (at least to me at this point in my life)
That question is...
HOW DO WE LIVE LONGER, HEALTHIER, AND BETTER LIVES?
MY INTERMITTENT FASTING START...
Six months into beginning the KETOGENIC DIET (PART 3), I began reading more into using Intermittent Fasting to get into KETOSIS faster due to lower blood sugar levels. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which our body raises its ketone levels and starts to use fat as its choice energy source.
IF INTERMITTENT FASTING is not consuming any nutrients over a period of time. Many researchers advocate initially starting with smaller windows (6 - 12 hours) of fasting and then gradually building up to a consistent fast of 16 hours, where it is said to be the sweet spot for optimizing your results. In-depth research says that you should aim for 20 - 24 hours (and even up to days) of fasting to activate genetic potential and AUTOPHAGY (the recycling of damaged tissue in our body.)
Don’t freak out because we do this everyday when we sleep! And when we wake up we Break-the-Fast, or famously know as our 1st meal, Breakfast.
A recent study from Experimental gerontology showed that physiologically, calorie restriction has been shown in animals to increase lifespan and improve tolerance to various metabolic stresses in the body. [1,3] Although the evidence for caloric restriction in animal studies is strong, there is less convincing evidence in human studies. Proponents of the diet believe that the stress of intermittent fasting causes an immune response that repairs cells and produces positive metabolic changes (reduction in triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, fat mass, blood glucose).
It now makes more sense why some cultures continue to use fasting as a part of their ritual or habit for thousands of years. It makes sense that we should considering adapting our body to times where food is less abundant. Genetically, we are predisposed to fasting. Food has never been this abundant and just like we mass produced animal protein in slaughterhouses and vegetables with huge amounts of pesticides(poison) just because we can, BUT it doesn’t make it healthy for us!
Why do you think there is such a demand for Organic, Non-GMO foods? Studies are showing more and more about what our body benefits from and we need to focus on combatting the mistakes we’ve made. We are constantly implementing quick fixes and it’s hurting our body. I want to share this to as many people as possible because us as INDIVIDUALS COLLECTIVELY, CREATE CHANGE!
A study put together by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with Duke Molecular Physiology Institute indicates that embracing dietary restrictions from time to time might reinvigorate cells and promote healthy aging. Similar results can be obtained through genetic manipulation, researchers says.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging," said Heather Weir, author of the study and currently a research associate at a biotechnology company, in The Harvard Gazette. "Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically.”
There are tons of studies advocating using some sort of fasting but our broken system of factory farming, the dairy industry, processed foods, the Sugar Epidemic, American Dietary Guidelines and more hasn’t focused on wellness but on Sickness. It is your duty to take control and stop outsourcing our health and learn and implement for ourselves.
Our Government has poured in so much money to The Dairy Industry that they started the “GOT MILK?” campaign, paying our Role Models just to pose with a milk mustache to attract fans. We mass produced sugar and gave it out so fast that less chewing of natural hard foods has lead us to a smaller jaw, more braces and more teeth extracted. Our Government led us to believe that FAT was such a bad nutrient source that would lead us to increased Heart Problems and we instead advocated to eat much more carbs and sugars. This lead to such a hit to our BABY BOOMER’S(Birth dates (1940’s-1960’s) and we’re seeing much more cancerous cells than ever now a days. These bad habits will be passed down and followed generation to generation unless we take control.
How to begin IF(Intermittent Fasting)
You want to start slow and be consistent.
If you get off track, just get back on.
End your eating and drinking at night(ex. 6pm or 8pm) and see how your body feels in the morning.
Comfortably, add time to your fast making a goal of 12 hours for your 1st day.
The next day repeat and see if you can extend your fasting time.
Aim to make more healthy decisions in your eating too! It will upgrade the fasting benefits.
Week 1, aim for 3-5 days and see if the next week you can improve.
Starving Vs. Fasting
***We DO NOT want to STARVE ourselves but rather eat in a SHORTENED time domain and within that you DO need to get adequate calories in.***
***DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF!!!***
STARVING- I do not get enough calories to meet my daily intake.
My body is in stress mode and it only focuses on necessary functions.
Hormones and chemical balances in my body are off and compromised.
My sleep is affected because my biological clock is just worried about finding nutrients.
My metabolism begins to slow down and becomes inefficient.
Ex- I hold fat in my stomach because of the cortisol build up from stress.
Ex- My period is off track and does not happen consistently as normal.
EX- My mood is off daily and energy is never consistent.
Fasting- I eat the regular amount off calories in my day but in a shortened time domain.
My body knows it will be rewarded the same amount of nutrients daily and is never stressed because it knows there is an abundant amount of food.
My body is able to use energy towards other healing mechanisms rather than spending valuable time metabolism food constantly.
You will begin to notice energy changes positively throughout your day when blood sugar levels are no longer up and down so much.
Your body will learn that food is just a source and it will inform your when you need to eat.
How I began to change my nutrition
On my nutrition journey, I went from eating every three hours to now starting off with 12-hours of fasting during day 1. See below for my initial regimen:
Day 1: 12-Hour Fast
Easy- With Black Cold Brew Coffee from (Coffee Sponsorship?)...I'll wait!
I started my fast at 8pm and did not eat until 8am.
Some research says that black coffee, water, tea, and apple cider vinegar is allowable because it does not raise your blood sugar or insulin levels much.
I noticed my day went much more fluid and my energy was great. I was not very hungry but noticed I used eating just to deflect from something else at times.
Day 2: 16-Hour Fast
Easier- I started my fast at 7pm and did not eat until 11am.
I exercised during my fast and surprisingly my weights and my energy were both through the roof.
I expected to feel more of a strain but was overall had good energy throughout the day.
Day 3+: 12-20- Hour Fast
I began to get a feel for Fasting and it made my day flow much better.
I had more time in the morning(less prepping.)
I had increased energy from lower, more consistent blood sugar levels.
I noticed I could exercise during my fast and was just as strong, and felt my joints were getting more mobile because what felt to me as natural healing effect.
I didn’t feel like food was a chore to eat every so often but rather I began to listen to my body and gave it the necessary nutrients when I started to get hungry.
I have been practicing Intermittent Fasting for about 6 months now and can notice changes to how I view food and what’s going on internally and externally within my body. 100%, I am more focused on other activities that are helping me Level up my career. I notice my body healing old injuries, and daily my joints feel better. I have been able to make consistent, better food choices because food is less of a thought but internally a reaction to what my body needs. I’m loving it and want to guide you towards not outsourcing your health but to take advantage of the information out there and to be your own experiment.
5 Benefits on Hormones during Intermittent Fatsing
Increased Anti-Aging in our body from our body’s own production of Growth Hormone.
Teaches our body to use Fat as our preferred energy source while fasting.
Our body recycles its damaged, viral or cancerous cells through a process know as Autophagy when in a prolonged fasted state.
Controls and lowers our blood sugar to more effectively breaks down food.
Increased cognitive functioning- Aides on growth of neurotransmitters in our brain to keep our mind sharp and focused.
People who should be cautious doing Intermittent Fasting
Women pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing.
Anyone with a history of Eating Disorders
People who are chronically stressed
Anyone not sleeping well
I hope this article has given you much insight on IF(Intermittent Fasting). It’s a growing topic around the health sector and you will hear more about this in the future. I’m not a doctor so you should always consult with your doctor or physician when implementing any changes to your nutrition. I advise STARTING SLOW AND BEING CONSISTENT when beginning anything new.
This will be the 1st of my 5 part series on “HOW TO LIVE LONGER.” Weekly check out www.LeaderLifeFitness.com to see old and new articles, sign up for classes and look be on the lookout for RETREATS, ONLINE AND IN-PERSON EVENTS, PRIVATE TRAINING, CORPORATE WELLNESS PROGRAMS AND NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING.
ONE LAST THING!
We will start our very 1st- 8 week online nutritional course at the lowest price it will ever be again of $200. This course gives you the individual insight on everything nutrition, from Gut Health, to Macronutrients and research on various eating styles like Vegan, Eating for Athletic Performance, Fat loss, all the way to learning the benefits of eating a Carnivore diet.
Details of LeaderLife Nutrition’s 8 week course.
Emailed Weekly PowerPoint slides and Interactive video explanations on each weeks topic.
1 ZOOM group or individual -Video call per week(time/day TBD)
3 Live Check-ins( Measurements, Pictures and Fun!)
Access to Private Facebook group
This course is meant to let you make better decisions and finally takes control poof your health. You will learn and be among a community of people striving together for optimal health in our group calls. We will have Optional Body Fat Check-ins and Transformational Pictures to Show us your results when you take control of your Health the right way. We will have up to 3 Optional Check-Ins on sight at our LeaderLife Fitness location in Midtown, NYC.
We look forward to helping as many people as possible. If you refer a friend we will reward you with $50 off (each person) who joins. Doing this together with friends our family helps your become more accountable. A community a setting is proven to be more effective than doing anything alone. Join our tribe and RISE with these strong LEADERS!
You can purchase at www.LeaderLifeFitness.com under the tab LeaderLife Nutrition Course, Venmo(LeaderLifeFitness) or in person :).
Feel free to use this as a gift during the holidays! Give the gift of Health!
We look forward to hearing your comments about this topic on our Instagram and Facebook account LEADERLIFE FITNESS.
Be on the look our for WEEK 2: How To Live Longer, Part 2: Brain Adaptation
Much Love, Happiness and Health,
Jeff Leider CSCS
Tinsley GM, La Bounty PM. Effects of intermittent fasting on body composition and clinical health markers in humans. Nutrition reviews. 2015 Oct 1;73(10):661-74.
Robertson LT, Mitchell JR. Benefits of short-term dietary restriction in mammals. Experimental gerontology. 2013 Oct 31;48(10):1043-8.
Horne BD, Muhlestein JB, Anderson JL. Health effects of intermittent fasting: hormesis or harm? A systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug 1;102(2):464-70.
Harvard T.H. School of Public Health, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, 2017 U.S. News and World Report, Fasting from time to time might make you live longer. 2018 March;3
The Harvard Gazette, 2017 U.S. News and World Report. Fasting from time to time might make you live longer. 2018 March;3