There is increasing interest in the science and application of fasting with regard to general health and diabetes in particular. This is a short introduction to the subject in the hope that it will spur people to researching the subject themselves. I originally intended to cover the subject in one post but it deserves a more nuanced approach, so will make it at least two.
The most frequent objections to fasting as a regime are that:
You will lose muscle mass.
You will be ravenously hungry.
Well, you might like to tell that to a bear who has just spent 7.5 months hibernating, or even the humble hedgehog. Though a little different than fasting, nevertheless the example illustrates my point.
Firstly, you have to take on board that, without exception, no animal on the planet in it’s natural environment and in good health is ever remotely overweight never mind obese. We as a species are the exception to the rule. All animals have a set point that keeps their body weight optimal. You cannot hunt nor run away to save your life if your weight is outside limits.
This is important - your body is ALWAYS trying to return to it’s optimal weight unless you interfere with the process with a poor diet.
It is entirely natural for there to be famine and feast wherever you are in the animal kingdom. Humans along with most of the animal kingdom have huge reserves of energy in their fat storage which is designed to tide them over until the famine is past. Enough of a reserve to tide them over but not enough to interfere with the fight or flight response. We no longer have to hunt and gather and there’s the rub. We have unlimited (for the most part in the west and increasingly in the developing world) to foods that make us fat and sick.
So what’s the solution?
Well before that there’s the problem, and it’s INSULIN.
Simply put, insulin is the storage hormone and if it’s permanently high in the bloodstream it’s IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight. IMPOSSIBLE! Cast into the mix insulin resistance and you have the perfect storm that is T2 diabetes.
Therefore the obvious solution is keep insulin as low as possible, and I’ll expand on that in the next part.