HOW TO BURN FAT & NOT GAIN WEIGHT DURING THE HOLIDAYS: With Intermittent Fasting
Posted on December 19 2019
By Steve Blechman
Intermittent fasting has become the latest diet craze, not only for weight loss, but also for enhancing health and for a longer life. I have personally tried alternative-day, intermittent fasting for potential health and pro-longevity purposes and for its effect on my feeling of well-being and body composition.
Everyone from well-known celebrities to everyday, average people are trying it and claiming it is successful. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have been practiced for decades. It has gained popularity due to a growing body of research. Over the years, this research has shown that intermittent fasting and caloric restriction can enhance weight loss, cognitive function and help prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It can also slow down the aging process and enhance longevity, but most of the research has been done on mice and rhesus monkeys, and not humans. A new review and meta-analysis of intermittent fasting often referred to as time-restricted feeding (TRF) showed that it had a very positive effect on bodyweight and metabolism! This meta-analysis was published December 6, 2019 in the journal of Reviews of Endocrinology and Metabolic Disorders. The present systematic review and meta-analysis summarized a most recent evidence on the effect of time-restricted feeding (TRF) on weight loss and cardio metabolic variables in comparison with unrestricted time regimens. A total of 11 studies, 5 randomized controlled trials and 6 observational were included. The findings of this important meta-analysis found greater weight loss with TRF than control regimens. There was also a significant reduction in fasting glucose and better blood sugar control in the TRF followers.
The latest research on intermittent fasting and time-restricting feeding (TRF) shows that it is a very promising method for weight loss, weight control, fat loss, and prevention of obesity and metabolic syndrome (abdominal obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and elevated lipids). Most recently, six studies have been published in the peer-review literature in the months of November and December 2019 alone for weight loss, metabolic, neurological and cognitive benefits (Nutrition Reviews, November 27, 2019; Nutrients, November 21, 2019; Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders, December 6, 2019; Complementary Therapies in Medicine, December 2019; Cell Metabolism, December 5, 2019; Brain and Behavior, December 5, 2019).
A study in the October 2018 British Medical Journal found that a 24-hour, intermittent fasting regimen can lower the need for diabetic medication (BMJ Case Reports, 2018) by lowering blood glucose levels. Intermittent fasting also lowers blood insulin levels. Insulin is the fat-storage hormone. By lowering blood insulin levels, you can inhibit fat storage and enhance lipolysis and fat oxidation (fat burning) and promote the metabolic formation of ketone bodies as an energy source. Another most recent study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed for the first time, the benefit of intermittent fasting for people with diabetes (JAMA Network Open, 2018).
As mentioned above, I personally tried alternate-day fasting during my holiday feasts as well as cheat days when I go off my diet. I have had tremendous success! This has worked for me in the past extremely well, short term. I tried it last Christmas and it is great for any holiday feast. I follow my 24-hour, seven-day, holiday intermittent fasting program (one meal per day) like this:
- For most of us, the Christmas celebrations will kick off on Super Saturday, December 21st, the biggest shopping day of the year, four days before the Christmas Eve holiday feasts start, and continue until New Year’s Day. By trying intermittent fasting for seven days, you will be able to enjoy your holiday meals without the guilt and the stress of weight gain before the new year!
- On Monday early evening, have an early dinner, 24 hours before your Christmas Eve feast. Before bed, I’ll have my AML Thermo Heat Nighttime Fat Burner.®
- Tuesday morning, I wake up before I head to the gym. I have my AML Thermo Heat Fat Burner®an hour before I start my workout. I then do an hour of cardio to deplete muscle and liver glycogen stores. Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate that is broken down in the body into glucose during fasting and exercise. As little as one hour of high-intensity exercise can deplete your muscle glycogen stores. Fasting for 24 hours can also greatly reduce your muscle and liver glycogen stores. The body is dependent on fat as fuel source as well as ketones from the accelerated breakdown of fat. The approximate amount of glycogen stored by the liver is 100 grams and glycogen stored by the muscles is approximately 500 grams. By depleting muscle and liver glycogen from my workout and incorporating 24 hours of intermittent fasting, it allows me to consume more carbohydrates for my Christmas Eve dinner without gaining weight! After my workout, I take AML™ Thermo Heat Fat Burning Protein® for lunch; it’s usually added to my coffee. AML™ Thermo Heat Fat Burning Protein® is a great post-workout midday meal. It is scientifically designed for people on low-calorie, low-carb ketogenic diets to enhance fat burning and preserve lean body mass!
- One shortcoming of fasting and intermittent fasting is that intermittent fasting or TRF accelerates fat burning but may slow down metabolism and energy expenditure. Fasting has been shown to lower thyroid hormone output and slow metabolism. A recent study in the journal Obesity, July 24, 2019, found that time-restricted feeding (TRF) “interventions facilitate weight loss primarily by decreasing appetite rather than increasing energy expenditure.” The results of the study found that TRF did not increase 24-hour energy expenditure but can increase 24-hour fat burning (fat oxidation.) That’s why AML™ Thermo Heat® supplements can potentially enhance the benefits of intermittent fasting, or TRF, by not only enhancing fat loss but also by increasing brown fat activation, thermogenesis and energy expenditure!
- On Christmas Eve, you can eat all the foods you’d like. Christmas is a favorite holiday of many. There’s no pressure. It’s just a great evening with family and friends. You can eat all the seafood, pasta, breads, cheeses, meats, and your favorite piece of a pie a la mode, and of course, my vino – I love my red wine! For Christmas Day, our dinners are plentiful but reasonable. The holidays are for enjoying. So, enjoy!
- After Christmas Day I resume my intermittent fast! I won’t eat again until my dinner on Thursday evening.
This has worked so well for me and I have recommended it to so many people. With people traveling, going to company parties and visiting friends and family, Christmas can be an overload with holiday cheat foods, and for many it can last several days. My program can help you stay on track and not gain weight! After the Christmas holidays and New Year’s celebrations, I recommend the low-carb Mediterranean Diet. It is the healthiest and most effective diet to stay on track for the new year, according to the latest scientific research and US News & World Report annual diet rankings.
A study published in the British Medical Journal (November 2018) reported that a low-carbohydrate randomized trial resulted in enhanced energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. By enhancing energy expenditure, it helps to maintain weight loss. The researchers found that you burn 250 more calories per day versus high-carb. Most recently, a study published in Diabetes Care (November 5, 2018) showed participants-maintained weight loss over a one-year period by staying on an energy restricted Mediterranean diet with daily exercise.
Heart attacks occur when blood flow that delivers oxygen to the heart is cut off from a clot. This is more common during the holidays than at any other time. A study published in the British Medical Journal by Swedish researchers has found that you’re more likely to have a heart attack on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is the worst time for a heart attack, researchers found, with the risk rising at 40%! Most heart attacks occur at 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. This was an observational study, analyzing the timing of 283,014 heart attacks from 1998 to 2013. This study was published on December 12, 2018 in the British Medical Journal.
The causes of heart attack are more common during Christmas and the holidays. We don’t know for sure the mechanisms or reasons why they happen. It could have to do with emotional stress, arguments over the dinner table, such as family feuds or politics, excessive food intake and alcohol, anger, anxiety, sadness, grief or stress. Too much alcohol can cause what’s called “Holiday Heart Syndrome,” which can cause heart arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation after bouts of binge drinking even in healthy individuals. I know people who have gotten Holiday Heart Syndrome. It feels like a giant anxiety attack. People have been rushed to the hospital thinking they were having a heart attack. Enjoy red wine and cocktails, but just don’t go overboard. During the holidays, people should chill out! Relax with family and friends. Eliminate stress and the holiday rush!
It has been reported in the scientific literature in the past that aerobic exercise after an overnight fast accelerates the loss of body fat. As discussed before, research has shown that low glycogen and insulin levels from an overnight fast cause your body to shift fuel away from carbs therefore, allowing greater mobilization of stored fat burned for energy. This strategy is basically to help you become a fat-burning machine.
FASTED CARDIO VS. NON-FASTED CARDO FOR MAXIMUM FAT LOSS
An article recently published in the New York Times on December 3, 2019 reported that, “cyclists who peddled on an empty stomach burned twice as much fat. This new study that was reported in the Times’ article was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The study found that exercising on an empty stomach before breakfast can lower muscle fat!
The study reported that the aim of the researchers was “to assess acute and chronic effects of exercise performed before versus after nutrient ingestion on whole-body and intramuscular lipid utilization, and postprandial glucose metabolism.”
In a six-week randomized crossover designed controlled trial, researchers at the University of Bath in England recruited 30 overweight, sedentary men. The researchers divided the men into three groups, one as a control and the other two groups riding a stationary bike, three times a week at a moderate pace tracking heart rates as well as the amount of fat that the subjects burn. One exercise group also downed a vanilla-flavored shake two hours before their ride (with no other breakfast) while the other group swallowed a similar-tasting placebo drink, containing water, flavoring and no calories. In other words, the placebo group rode on an empty stomach, but did not know it.
The riders who had pedaled on an empty stomach, however, had incinerated about twice as much fat during each ride as the men who consumed the shake first. The riders all had burned about the same number of calories while pedaling, but more of those calories came from fat when the men did not eat first.
According to Javier Gonzalez, lead researcher of the new study, “The reasons for this extra metabolic boost are complex but most likely involve slimming of muscle fat,” he says.” The fasted riders’ bodies had to turn to internal energy stores for fuel, including fat from their muscles. (Interestingly, the fasted riders did not feel as if their workouts were more draining than the other group, according to everyone’s subjective ratings of their exertions.)”
The results of this new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism further confirms the benefits on fasting cardio before breakfast for maximum fat loss! When you eat a meal or carbohydrate before workout, you increase levels of insulin, which enhances fat storage and inhibition of fat mobilization, oxidation and fat burning. You don’t want to release insulin before cardio if you want to burn more fat. By fasting on an empty stomach before cardio, your body can shift fuels from burning glucose to burning fat. The research shows that fasted cardio before breakfast will not result in loss of muscle tissue to a greater extent than cardio in the fed state.
There are only a few studies that looked at the long-term effects of fasted cardio on body composition. The British Journal of Nutrition compared a morning run and eating an early breakfast or while in a fasted state. Not having breakfast resulted in 20% more fat being burned! Another research paper found that cardio-fed or fasted it doesn’t make a difference on the amount of fat you lose (J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 2014). What research should we believe?
Bottom line: the scientific research has shown that intermittent fasting and fasted cardio is an exciting and promising method for weight loss, fat loss, weight control, and metabolic health. The latest research shows that for someone with stubborn body fat, as well as someone who is lean, and wants to get ripped, then fasted cardio before breakfast can enhance more abdominal fat and intramuscular fat burning! Don’t think you can lose weight and enhance fat loss by taking just one fat-burning pill a day! That’s why I developed the AML® THERMO HEAT ADVANCED DIET, NUTRITION, SUPPLEMENTATION AND EXERCISE PROGRAM for maximizing brown fat, brown fat activity and 24-hour energy expenditure! Check out the AML® THERMO HEAT LOW-CARB MEDITERANEAN DIET and why I feel it’s the best overall diet for weight loss, fat loss and optimal health! It’s rich in healthy fats and not bad fats that activate brown fat thermogenesis.
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