Fasting Stress Test:
There are many ways to lose and manage weight. Almost all involve a degree of discipline, and conscious intake and expenditure of energy.
Any weight management plan which provides lasting "diet based intervention for effective transformation" (D.I.E.T)can be considered the best plan.
Based upon your personal preference and lifestyle, any D.I.E.T will work. One of these, intermittent fasting is discussed here.
Intermittent fasting is a powerful way to lose and manage weight, reduce oxidative stress and stay healthy. The tool below may be helpful if you choose intermittent fasting as your preference to achieve your weight loss goal.
This is an algorithm to find out how long you can/should fast and therefore is named the "Fasting Stress Test". After using it the first time, you can determine how long you can fast. You can then follow this to continue intermittent fasting. Make sure to consult with your healthcare provider before embarking on a long-term plan.
Passing the Fasting Stress Test:
Q: How can you determine if you passed the fasting stress test?
You were able to fast longer than 8 hours and were hungry when you got ready to eat after the fast was finished.
Q: How can you determine if you did not pass the fasting stress test?
You were not able to go longer than 8 hours without eating because of feeling too hungry to continue, losing self-control, dropping blood glucose, getting distracted by false cues of hunger which are mentioned in the stress test below.
Q: What to do if you were not able to pass the fasting stress test?
Check with your healthcare provider to see if you have any medical conditions such as diabetes, glycogen storage disease, or hypoglycemia due to any metabolic disorders. Review your current diet. It could be that you are eating a high carb diet. This usually means eating a lot of high glycemic index foods such as refined carbs and simple sugars.
After you have determined how long you can fast based upon your fasting stress test above, prepare to eat. Incorporate daily intermittent fasting in your new diet plan after you have discussed your options and your preferences with your health care provider. Please remember that fasting must be adopted as a lifestyle or weight management tool only after you have discussed with your practitioner that it is an optimal choice for you.
When eating, keep mindfulness in mind and eat plentiful healthy foods.
Would like downloadable versions of the fasting stress test and mindful eating?
Tips to pass the fasting stress test and to continue fasting with maximum results:
Identify false hunger cues numbered from 1-7 in the fasting stress test and develop strategies to overcome these.
Eat a low carb diet. It is best to avoid refined and simple sugars such as high fructose corn syrup and high glycemic index foods such as cereals, bread, pasta and snacks containing refined carbs and sugars.
Eat a diet rich in complex carbs, healthy fats and lean protein. Examples include green vegetables, healthy seeds and legumes, plant and animal-based lean proteins etc.
Stay hydrated and keep it simple with water.
Get restful sleep and avoid chronic sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation causes elevated cortisol and insulin resistance, which can hinder weight loss.
Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Prolonged sitting slows down metabolism.
Avoid eating small quantities thinking that a small amount will not cause any problem because it is just a few calories. Eating frequently, even in small quantities initiates a cascade of metabolic reactions in the body which leads to hindrance in burning fat. Some of these metabolic events are the release of insulin, inhibition of un-coupling protein which is needed for burning fat and further release of ghrelin which is a hunger hormone until complete satiety is achieved. All of these factors make it difficult to lose weight.
Reflect on your last fasting attempt and set a goal to always do better. Identify factors which hindered success and take steps to avoid those.
Plan and enjoy your meal when the fast is over. Eat as healthy as possible. This food is becoming a part of you. Why not choose health over junk?
Congratulate yourself on making any albeit small progress. Never quit. Remember, every big journey starts with a single step.
If you have any health condition which makes fasting unsuitable for you, please do not use this tool. Instead, discuss your options with your health care provider.
Have questions about using this tool? Let's discuss at your visit.