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Well… you fast!
We all have nights when we binge. This could be a birthday dinner or a festival or a drunken night or just a night when your spouse/mom decides to make something special for no reason. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it! I mean, whats life without some feasting right?
And interestingly enough, the act of binging or feasting isn’t new to us. From when humans were hunter-gatherers, the unavailability of a constant energy (food) supply, kind of forced them into feasts. Whenever there was a big kill or a serendipitous find of 30 ripe mangoes, they probably ended up feasting possibly till their stomachs couldn’t hold any more food! This was critical for survival and honestly, very natural. Given that storing food wasn’t an option, when food was hard to come by and suddenly a large amount of food was available, the only option was to eat like there was no tomorrow. This way, though food couldn’t be stored, the energy (calories) from the food could be compacted and stored… as fat!
After such a feast the unsurmountable urge to find food no longer existed since the body was utilizing the energy that was stored previously and so folks moved on to living their lives without worrying about finding food or feeding. The case today is pretty much the same. Though there is a constant supply of energy (food), there are times when we feast and the best thing you can do for yourself after such a feast is to fast.
Is this healthy?
As long as you are a generally healthy being, there is absolutely nothing to worry about when fasting. Since the body continues to receive energy (from fat stores), it isn’t, by any stretch of imagination, ‘starving’ and hence will continue to function as well as always.
Many, if not all, cultures and religions worldwide encourage some form of fasting or the other and there is good reason for the same. Fasting has been proven multiple times to be one of the best options for good health and longevity.
Will this help with fat loss?
Well of course. For one, the fasting helps balance out the calorie equation. And in addition to that, when you feast, especially when consuming plenty of carbohydrates, insulin is elevated which stimulates glycogen and fatty acid synthesis and when you fast, glucagon is elevated (which in turn stimulates secretion of adrenalin) which inhibits glycogen and fatty acid synthesis. Since glycogen and fatty acid synthesis is inhibited, this helps mobilize and utilize the stored energy (fat) for energy. In other words, the excess calories that you consumed during the feast, without doubt, was stored as fat and fasting will help mobilize some of the stored fat that can then be used (burned) as energy.
Is this practical?
Here are some options to incorporate this…
- Skip breakfast the day after your feast or the meal following your feast.
- Skip breakfast and eat very modest meals of mainly vegetables for the remaining meals if your feast was indescribably epic!
- As a general health habit, start off by skipping breakfast twice a week. Ensure that you get enough sleep and that your stress levels are low.
- If skipping breakfast is too hard for whatever reason, stick to super light and simple food options like eating only a few carrots or strawberries or a fresh vegetable salad (without dressing) until lunch.
- Remember to drink enough water while fasting and don’t hesitate to have a couple of cups of green/black/white tea (without milk and sugar) or black coffee (without milk and sugar).