A search for intermittent fasting on Google turns up more than 4 million results. PubMed lists almost 500 research articles on the subject. Great stuff. And, in the midst of all the kerfuffle, websites and books keep popping up riddled with conflicting information and advice. Some of it is useful. Too much of it is just plain confusing for someone seriously wanting to put this eating style into practice. As a result, many people dive into this way of eating with great enthusiasm only to discover that it turns out to be very tough for them to sustain it for more than a week or two, no matter how much they grit their teeth and keep trying.
Whether you call this much talked about eating style meal spacing, intermittent fasting or some other name, it is by no means new having been practiced in one form or another for a century or more by those in the know about the gifts it can bring. A T W Simeons, the original creator of Cura Romana, wove it skilfully into meal planning during the rapid weight loss portion of his protocol. On Leslie Kenton’s Cura Romana, meal spacing/intermittent fasting is incorporated both into the Essential Spray+Food Plan part of the experience and Consolidation. Participants learn as a matter of course how, if they wish, they can structure this food style into their way of eating for a lifetime of lasting weight control, high level health, and protection from the degenerative diseases now plaguing our planet.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Since Cura Romana is a holistic, science-based no-hunger protocol which brings balance to the control centers of the brain, eliminating food cravings and unnatural hunger, the process of integrating meal spacing into a participant’s life is simple. In fact, it takes place almost automatically thanks to the profound shifts in biochemistry which the program brings about quite naturally.
Sadly, this is not case with a lot of people who, on their own and without the benefits of Essential Spray+Food Plan want to initiate meal spacing/intermittent fasting into their life. Many write to me saying that they struggle hard when trying to eat two meals a day without snacks. Some make the mistake of attempting to do this while continuing to eat all the wrong kind of foods. Others report that they fail, no matter what they do. Then, full of disappointment and self-criticism they revert to the ways they were eating before.
I passionately believe that the benefits of this eating style need to be available to everyone. What is missing in so much written and talked about is practical information about how to approach meal spacing/intermittent fasting so you can gently ease yourself into it and become familiar by experimenting with an introductory plan. This will make you free to make a choice as to whether or not you want to make it a permanent part of your life.
LET’S GET PRACTICAL
There are some important questions which need to be answered before you even begin: What’s the best way to approach meal spacing/intermittent fasting? What kind of foods do you need to eat to reap its benefits and which foods should you avoid? What benefits can it bring? And, most important of all, how do you go about gracefully easing yourself into such a dramatically different way of eating than what you have been used to?
First here are some important things to get straight:
- Dieting with calorie restriction—eating less and exercising more—is forever doomed to fail. It just doesn’t work at all for lasting weight loss.
- The success of meal spacing/intermittent fasting in no way demands that you count calories. The notion of calories-in-calories out is nonsense.
- So is the belief that you need to eat three meals a day. This has been foisted upon us for generations. It is wrong as is the idea that we need to eat regular snacks.
- The truth is that your body needs regular periods free of meals and snacks for health and lasting leanness. This need is implicit in our genetic inheritance. As such it is to be honored.
- Eating too often, which most people do, forces the body to keep up with on-going levels of glucose that are continually shunted into the blood. This creates a relentless inflammatory load which in turn leads to degenerative conditions including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and destructive distortions to blood lipids. It also forces your body to age rapidly.
- Even short periods of fasting daily—from 12 to 18 hours—help keep insulin spikes down, while increasing insulin sensitivity. Metabolic processes gradually begin to normalize, reducing dangerously high blood glucose levels at the same time.
- For meal spacing/intermittent fasting to work for you—for them to help keep you healthy and lean for life—you must completely avoid convenience foods. They are filled with artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavoring, and hidden GMO components. Eat only real food—fresh green vegetables, wholesome proteins such as eggs, fish, and meat, plenty of good fats such as organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter from cows that have been pasture grazed.
WHEN TO EAT
When it comes to exploring meal spacing/intermittent fasting, success on every level depends on your creating an eating lifestyle that works for you. By the way, when you begin to space your meals wisely day after day this directs the protein hormone insulin—which plays a central role in healthy metabolism by removing potentially toxic excess glucose from the blood—to direct the blood glucose into the liver and muscles where it can be turned into energy, rather than laying it down as fat deposits.
Most people leave out breakfast altogether. They choose to eat two meals a day, spacing them so that they allow at least 5 to 6 hours after their first meal, say brunch or lunch, before eating their second. No snacks are allowed.
Doing this enables the body to increase its levels of an important peptide hormone—Human Growth Hormone (HGH)—produced by the pituitary gland. Bit by bit it brings gifts such as helping to reduce body fat, increasing muscle mass and enhancing bone density. Of course, this takes time to develop so be patient.
The second meal of the day becomes an early dinner, after which they begin their longest period of fasting which lasts through the night. It needs to be a minimum of 12 hours but many people find that once they have got used to their new eating lifestyle, they want to extend their night fast to as long as 17 hours. No snacking, of course.
Provided they are eating the right kind of foods, once they establish for themselves the best pattern of meal spacing to suit their lifestyle, they find themselves feeling vital and not hungry between meals. They are also delighted to be looking and feeling better than they would ever have thought possible before starting to eat this way.
WHAT FOODS TO EAT
Here are foods to choose any meal spacing/intermittent fasting eating style:
- A good supply of wholesome natural fats like coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and butter—preferably from grass-fed cows.
- Top quality protein foods including meat, seafood, eggs and the very best micro-filtered whey if you like to make smoothies.
- Plenty of fresh green vegetables—preferably organic— both to eat raw and to cook.
- Some low-sugar fresh fruit such as berries.
- For vegetarians, Tempeh, miso and other fermented soya products are excellent. If you decide to use tofu, make sure it is organic. More than 95% of soy beans today have been genetically modified. You do not want to put GMO foods into your body ever.
For a complete list of foods to eat—as well as those you want to shun forever—download a free copy of my Healthy and Lean for Life. The first part of this book is available free to download from www.curaromana.com You’ll find it at the bottom right hand corner of the home page
FOODS TO SHUN
The most significant change to human diets in two million years began with the Agricultural Revolution where man went from a carbohydrate-poor to a carbohydrate-rich diet as cereals and starchy vegetables began to enter our food chain. The more these carbohydrates have been refined and processed, the more problems they have caused us. During the 20th century, an overwhelming increase in cereals, grains, sugars and high-fructose corn syrup used in convenience foods have become the major triggers for obesity and chronic illness. In the nineteenth century, we ate between 10 and 20 pounds of sugar per person per year. Today per capita we consume between 150 pounds and 200 pounds a year. So this is little wonder.
For more than half a century food manufacturers, intent on making profit, have been producing a great variety of so-called foods by fragmenting and reducing raw material foodstuffs—grains and seeds, fats and sugars, vegetables and legumes—to simple “nuts and bolts” ingredients. Then they whip up these nuts and bolts into the manipulated “convenience foods” which fill our supermarket shelves—from ready-to-eat meals to candy bars, cakes, breads, and cereals. This tuff now makes up 75% of what the average person eats. Because such foods have been whipped up using grains, flours and sugars, junk fats and chemical additives—all of which you want to avoid when creating your own meal spacing/intermittent fasting food style—you will want to steer clear of them altogether to reap the benefits of your new eating style.
BEWARE THE PERILS OF CONVENIENCE
White flour and sugar-based convenience foods have an ultra-long shelf life. This suits food purveyors intent on making a profit. Yet such packaged foods are little better than junk foods—often devoid of any nutritional value other than calories. Even the fats used to concoct them are not the natural fats that we thrive on. The highly processed fats most of them contain, together with the masses of chemicals used as flavorings, colorings and preservatives, are far removed from the foods your body needs for health. It is little wonder that human beings who eat them year after year—even those in economically privileged countries—do little more than survive. You will never succeed in creating a meal spacing/intermittent fasting food style for yourself unless you get rid of convenience foods from your life.
EASE YOUR WAY FORWARD
Anyone new to meal spacing needs to experiment before diving headlong into making dramatic changes in how, when and what you eat. So, next week, I’ll give you a simple and easy-to-begin way to help you experiment with creating condensed eating windows in your own life which that suit your appetite and ability to cook. I’ll suggest meal structures and provide you some of my own recipes. It is high time that the many gifts of meal spacing/intermittent fasting to be available to anyone and everyone genuinely wanting to make use of them.