In the midst of the pandemic that the whole world is trying to survive at the moment, we often hear about a range of solutions our experts devise to help its suppression.
There’s a multi-pronged attack, a suite of initiatives and multiple channels. We can shoot this thing down from a variety of angles or have a layered approach.
The point is, more than one change in behaviour is needed to run this virus to ground. Masks alone won’t do the trick. They need to be worn in conjunction with social distancing, working from home, a vaccine, QR codes….the list is endless.
It’s an approach that is part of our lives in many ways. You can’t make a beautiful meal with one ingredient if the recipe requires 10 different ingredients, you can’t rise up the corporate ladder without a strong team at your side and you can’t improve your health with only one lifestyle change.
It’s a great concern to me that intermittent fasting has become the cure all for weight loss because, when it alone is tested as it was recently in the Australian media, it will invariably fail at some point. It may bring results at first but, apart from health requiring more than just weight loss, it’s going to be hard to maintain because it’s not enough to skip two breakfasts or dinners a week and think you’re healthy even if you do lose a few kilos at first.
DON’T STOP AT ONE
There’s never just one thing to do to become healthy. We’ve known for many years that you at least need to combine diet with exercise. That’s the most basic public health message but, at Aston RX, we have an even more integrated program to ensure lasting, permanent and great results. There’s a matrix of factors we need to take into account to help you reach your health goals.
Intermittent fasting won’t lower your blood cholesterol all on its own. If however, you combine intermittent fasting with a diet high in fibre and healthy fats and low in starch and sugar, that cholesterol will come down.
Before blindly launching into an intermittent fasting program thinking you just have to cut a few meals out each week, we need to identify what is missing in your current regime so that we can address it in a very pointed and specific way. That’s why each new client has a blood test to ensure the program is bespoke to their specific requirements.
It’s usually not just about what you’re NOT eating but also about what you ARE eating. It’s incredible but so many people in the developed world are technically malnourished because, while they may have access to a surplus of food, they’re filling up on nutritionally poor options that leave them depleted in so many ways, apart from on the scales.
I’ve seen many diet trends emerge over the years and they tend to fade just as quickly because they’re not part of a broader lifestyle change. For some time, I’ve heard a lot of people say they’ve tried intermittent fasting and it didn’t work.
Well, it can work but it depends how you do it.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of not eating for certain hours of the day. That’s intermittent fasting. The problem is that it only tells you when not to eat. It’s the nature of human beings that they interpret this restriction as an allowance to eat whatever they want when they can for eight hours a day so they tend to binge like a kid in a candy store.
Panic sets in and the problem is that you’re not necessarily eating good food in that eight hour window. You’re potentially, maybe even probably, eating a lot of rubbish that will send your insulin levels sky high. The fasting could have helped but it can barely compensate for the negative effects of the binge, your gut biome is then out of whack, you’re not exercising and the disaster continues to snowball.
People are so frightened of being hungry that, when we anticipate doing without, we go crazy. There’s no judgement here and it’s understandable because , if we’re not eating the right foods, this fear is largely biological because our blood sugar levels are also crazy, yelling for more glucose to try to stabilise.
I can tell you that, after seven days on Aston RX, most of my clients are pleading with me to not eat more food. Their blood sugar is so stabilised and level that their hunger is gone and that’s not just because they’ve succeeded with intermittent fasting.
WHAT, HOW AND WHEN
It’s also about the type of food they’re consuming, the way it’s eaten and when it’s eaten. What, How and When are the cornerstones of my program. It’s not just one factor and never could be. When all of those factors combine in this matrix, the body calls on its own fat stores for sustenance and doesn’t need the same amount of food.
As soon as brand new clients tell me they get hungry between breakfast and lunch or between lunch and dinner or between dinner and bed time, I know their blood sugar levels are all over the shop. That’s not genuine hunger, it’s genuinely unstable blood sugar but it can be rectified. Even better, it doesn’t take long at all for it to rectify. In fact, within a matter of days, the body starts to appreciate the new rhythm of digestion, the nutritionally dense foods it’s being fed and responds quickly.
The totally wrong message is to think, for one minute, that you just have to do one thing for a miracle weight loss to happen. I see people who, for 10 years, have tried one specific thing to lose weight believing it works because they followed a program or maybe it worked by helping them lose a bit of weight at the beginning.
This sets them up in a cycle of failure, they lose confidence and end up gaining even more weight which is so disheartening and avoidable.