Fasting, The New "Old" Revolution and Ketogenic Diet. Are they right for you?


Feeling great and aging gracefully is inspiring people to make positive lifestyle and dietary choices. There is a great resurgence of interest in fasting and the ketogenic diet. You read or hear about them everywhere. Both can have amazing healing and restorative benefits though the truth is neither of these approaches are new.

Let’s look at intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet as ways for you to feel healthy, energetic and strong.

Humans have been fasting for thousands of years for religious or cultural purposes as well as in periods of scarcity. Fasting for health is an approach that has been utilized for decades. The impact of fasting:

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Stimulates fat burning

  • Improves skin,

  • Improves brain function (brain fog all the way to Alzheimers)

  • Balances blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity

  • Balances hormones

  • Improves Energy Levels

  • Improves your digestive system and microbiome

  • Stimulates cellular autophagy

  • Improves genetic repair

  • Stimulates stem cells

Fasting comes in multiple forms such as long extended fasts, water fasts, juice fasting, fasting mimicking diets, modified protein-sparing fasts all the way to intermittent fasting. The different types of fasting are highly customizable to an individual’s lifestyle and health goals. Meal skipping is usually called “intermittent fasting,” Extended fasts; going multiple days without solid food, may confer additional benefits but it also presents risks not typically seen with intermittent fasting. When I was a young adult, I fasted for 23 days! NOT a plan I would recommend now! The most common version of intermittent fasting is to eat for an 8 hour window and fast for 16 hour window. This gives the body a chance to recoup and recover and provide the great health benefits. That could mean eat in the morning at 8AM and finish by 4PM or any permutation of those times. An easier way to get to the 16 to 18 hour fast is to start at 12 hours(overnight) and then add more time slowly. Intermittent fasting produces a mild cyclic ketosis and can be an excellent alternative to a basic ketogenic diet.

Some people might have a hard time having success with intermittent fasting. It especially can be difficult for women who are having stress and a

Hypothalamus pituitary adrenal Thyroid Gonadal axis problem (HPATG) which is often seen as elevated cortisol. Weight loss can be elusive in this situation

Ketosis refers to the metabolic state where the bodies energy comes from ketones in the blood rather than glucose. Then the body turns fat into energy and no longer utilizes glucose for energy which can be fantastic for the brain as well as many other physiological functions. Most people feel sharp or more focused. Often people think of keto as heavy on meat and bacon, but you can go on a ketogenic diet, be totally plant-based and not have to use animal-based sources for your fat and protein if that is your food preference.

The basic principle is to eat 5 to 10% of total calories or 20 to 50 g a day of plant-based carbohydrates, consume 60 to 80% fat like avocados, coconuts medium chain triglycerides oil’s, olives. Limit your protein to about 20% of your total calories. The best way to discover whether you’re in ketosis is to use keto Mojo test strips. This can be bought on Amazon and are really simple to use.

While the keto diet is growing in popularity, some people are struggling with

worsening of symptoms. Potential hormonal alterations stress and inflammation can occur.

People who noticed that their cortisol is elevating, hormonal imbalance, increasing inflammatory markers, cholesterol elevating, or seniors with protein deficiency may not be an appropriate match. Some people with type 1 diabetes may have a difficult time and less under medical supervision. People with eating disorders can find this difficult.

Functional medicine recognizes that all people are biologically unique, so one dietary approach may or may not be valuable for everyone. Also, what may be good for you at 1 time in your life may not be good for you at another time. The goal is to find root causes of your health problems and then create a lifestyle plan specific for your individual needs

You can to track your own weight, body fat, aches and pains, menstrual pattern, and other hormone symptoms. Try it for a few months to see how your feel.

If you’ve been following the keto diet for a long time, you could be at greater risk of developing certain health problems or nutritional deficiencies, especially if you’ve got an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. That’s why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable clinician who can guide your experience and to make sure that ketosis right for you

Testing the HPATG axis when starting on intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet makes sure the body is hormonal healthy and ready to take this on in a great hormonal state.

Test – Don’t Guess!

That’s why it’s important to regularly monitor what’s going on inside your body, to make sure your ‘healthy’ diet isn’t having the opposite effect just because it’s the diet de jour that everyone is raving about.

The most important thing is that you feel good whatever eating style you’ve chosen as well as actually maintaining and improving your health!

Come to my lecture: Fasting, The “old” New Revolution through Dignity Health PEP program September 18th at 6:30 PM to 8 PM at 610 Frederick St. in Santa Cruz to learn much more and get the ins and outs of fasting, including intermittent fasting and fasting mimicking diets. and the ketogenic diet and see their pros and cons and find out whether there right for you.

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