For decades, the conventional wisdom has been that most people gain around five pounds between that first forkful of Thanksgiving stuffing to the greasy egg breakfast on New Year’s Day.
Most sources say if you do gain weight over the holidays, it is probably just about two pounds of fat. But keep in mind this is an added two blocks of butter to your body – and over just five years – that’s 10 extra blocks of butter layered on your body and a major reason we tend to gain weight with aging, especially when combined with a loss of muscle mass.
If you, however, start to push the envelope at Thanksgiving and proceed to green-light every Christmas cookie and cocktail, you could easily pack on five pounds of fat. It’s not hard to hit this mark as we tend to eat out more, attend more parties and consume more alcohol (which messes with blood sugar and insulin balance and reduces our inhibitions with food in addition to other things….). Combine these activities with sleeping less, and we have the perfect storm for tipping the scale to the heavier side. Plus, these high-sugar, high-carb, potentially high-salt meals can cause more water retention and bloating as they raise insulin that causes loss of potassium and magnesium and sodium retention. If this is the cause of your puffiness, you will also feel more hunger and cravings – so pay attention. In contrast, puffiness related to an inflammatory or allergenic response to holiday foods will be associated with other symptoms of inflammation in addition to water retention, such as joint pain, stiffness, headaches, fatigue, difficulty waking and dark circles under the eyes.
So, even though you may have over the coming weeks, you can take steps to dial back the damage with a safe and healthy approach to a fasting day once a week. Just one caveat though, you must still consume the amount of protein you need to maintain your muscle mass on all the other days of the week, even if you have over done carbs, fat, booze or sugars on any given day. The formula is:
Your body weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = body weight in kilograms. Times your body weight in kilograms by 1.6. This will give you the total protein you need to consume per day. Divide this by four to get the dose you need four times per day.
130 lbs /2.2 = 59 kg’s
Times 59 kg’s by 1.6 = 94.5 grams of protein per day.
Divide by 4 = 24 grams four times per day with four meals
If you reach bedtime and have not hit your protein intake for the day, drink a serving of protein powder in water. You will not gain weight with this tip. In fact, you’ll tend to wake up lighter and feeling stronger when following this dietary rule.
Now that we have covered the protein basics, and before we get into the specifics of your intermittent cleansing day, here’s an overview of the benefits of having one or two fasting days a week. There has been a lot of discussion recently about the benefits of fasting and incorporating into your lifestyle – but it can do more harm than good when the wrong approach is adopted. Studies show just how fantastic fasting is and science backs it up. After this summary, we have shared our suggested best approach. should you decide to delve into the fasting world.
A scientific review in the British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease suggests that fasting diets may help those with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, alongside established weight loss claims. Cardiac researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute (May 2011) have demonstrated that routine periodic fasting is good for our health and our hearts. This discovery expands upon a 2007 Intermountain Healthcare study that revealed an association between fasting and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death among men and women in America. Fasting was also found to reduce other cardiac risk factors, such as triglycerides, weight and blood sugar levels.
Both humans and mice that manage to live to a ripe old age show a clear change in their glucose metabolism, according to a study by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (November 2007). Terry Combs and his colleagues report that changes in metabolism can indeed increase longevity as they uncovered that long-lived mice burn less glucose and more fatty acids during periods of fasting, and as a result produce fewer free radicals.
The key to this switch may be fasting –and its associated adiponectin boost. Adiponectin is the hormone our body releases during exercise that burns fat, aids insulin balance and reduces inflammation. Researchers found that Snell mice had three times as much adiponectin in their blood as control mice; Snell mice also had fewer triglycerides in their cells, indicative of higher fat metabolism.
Studies have clearly shown that our body responds to the fasting by boosting growth hormone – the hormone that helps build muscle. Apparently, the hunger or stress caused by fasting leads the body to release more cholesterol, which allows it to utilize fat as a source of fuel, instead of glucose. Ultimately then, this decreases the number of fat cells in the body. Growth hormone protects the lean muscle and metabolic balance, a response triggered and accelerated by fasting. During the 24-hour fasting periods undertaken in the study, growth hormone increased an average of 1,300% in women and nearly 2,000% in men.
A team led by James Brown from Aston University (April 2013) evaluated the various approaches to intermittent fasting in scientific literature. They searched specifically for the advantages and limitations in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes using fasting diets. The basic format of intermittent fasting is to alternate days eating ‘normally’ with days when calorie consumption is restricted. This can either be done on alternate days (day 1: eat normally; day 2: restrict) or two days within each week are considered ‘fasting days.’ These types of intermittent fasting have been shown in trials to be as effective as or more effective than counting calories every day to lose weight. Evidence from clinical trials shows that fasting can limit inflammation, improve levels of sugars and fats in circulation by impacting adiponectin, and reduce blood pressure.
Intermittent fasting powers a boost in glucagon, adiponectin, and growth hormone. You can fast once or twice a week to improve your overall health and to prevent weight gain. We recommend doing your cleanse day on a Tuesdays or Wednesdays, which will give you a day or two of clean eating after the weekend gets your insulin back in balance, quiets cravings, and steadies your appetite after weekend cheats or parties.
Want to accelerate your fasting results? Take six capsules of a plant-based before starting your fasting day (like at bedtime) and immediately following it (like on rising the next day). This is a tip directly from the products formulator lips when we met him at a medical conference in Boca Raton. This secret assists with muscle metabolism and insulin balance and greatly enhances the benefits of fasting.
Final note: Fasting is not recommended during pregnancy or for those who are on insulin or have type I diabetes, are underweight or overly stressed, anxious or depressed.
During your cleanse day, you should drink at least three to four litres of warm herbal teas to support the cleansing process. I recommend a combination of herbs with anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects such as ginger, lemon, blueberry, hibiscus, dandelion, green tea and parsley.
If you feel overly hungry, add more protein or vegetables, drink more herbal teas and remind yourself that the benefits of fasting extend beyond just the 24 hours, and it does get easier with time and experience. You can still exercise (without the fear or losing muscle when you use the right fasting style).
Sample daily outline and estimated timeline, you can adjust for your schedule:
On rising: one full lemon juice in 1 – 4 cups of warm water ( I prefer using a mason jar)
8 – 10 am: in a shaker cup with water:
These are two secret ingredients to make the perfect cleanse day because of the benefits collagen and creatine offer. With this drink added potassium and magnesium in supplement form can be helpful for electrolyte balance, calming the nervous system and reducing bloating.
In a separate mason jar, 2 bags green tea with 1 bag hibiscus tea and 1 bag lemon, ginger, or detox tea (makes about 4 cups).
10 – 12 pm: green/vegetable/fruit juice – dilute half water if using carrots, beets, apple. If using green veggie juice, dilution may not be necessary. Alternatively, you can use one serving of herbal cleansing formula in about one liter of water.
12 – 2 pm: 2 bags green tea with your choice of one or two types of herbal tea
2 – 4 pm: Repeat your 10 – 12 pm drink – green/vegetable/fruit juice – dilute half water if using carrots, beets, apple. If using green veggie juice, dilution may not be necessary. Or take one serving of herbal cleansing formula in water.
4 – 6 pm: one full lemon juice in 1 – 4 cups of warm water
6 – 8 pm: Repeat your 2 -4 pm drink – green/vegetable/fruit juice – dilute half water if using carrots, beets, apple. If using green veggie juice, dilution may not be necessary. Or take one serving of herbal cleansing formula in water.
8 – 10 pm: in a shaker cup with water:
With this drink, swallow take a second dose of potassium and magnesium for water balance, calming nervous system and reducing bloating. After the drink is done take a dose of melatonin, preferably in a lozenge or spray form for optimal assimilation rather than a pill that is swallowed.
Style 2: Intermittent Fasting Day 500 – 600 Calorie (The Majority of Which Are From Protein)
Sample daily outline and estimated timeline, you can adjust for your schedule:
On rising: one full lemon juice in 1 – 4 cups of warm water
8 – 10 am: in a shaker cup:
10 – 12 pm: in a mason jar, 2 bags green tea with 1 bag hibiscus tea and 1 bag lemon, ginger, or detox tea (makes about 4 cups).
12 – 2 pm: Mix two powders in a shaker cup with water:
1 – 3 pm 2 bags green tea with your choice of one or two types of herbal tea
3 – 5 pm: Mix two powders in a shaker cup with water:
6 – 8 pm: Mix two powders in a shaker cup with water:
8 – 10 pm: in a shaker cup:
With this drink, take a second dose of the minerals potassium and magnesium for sleep, bowel regularity, water balance, calming nervous system and reducing bloating. After the drink is done take a dose of melatonin, preferably in a lozenge or spray for optimal assimilation rather than a pill.
If you try one of our cleanse days keep track of these factors to help you determine how you make out.