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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Latest Dieting Research

From George Ure's Urban Survival:

Coping: The Case of Too Many Hobbies

Latest Dieting Research

On a more practical note, I did  have some computer time (4 AM Sunday) to do a little bit of research on how to lose weight.
Scandinavian and Scottish genes like to stay warm when it’s cold out and winter is a tough time to keep fat off.
But it turns out there is some pretty convincing research on something called intermittent fasting.
The way it works is simple enough:  One day you eat about normally.  On alternating days you only eat 1/4 of your normal food intake.
The research also answered another great question for me:  How is it that my wife can still wear the same sized clothes she was wearing in high school?
Well, turns out in the researching, that there’s another way to lose weight:  Eat all your food for the day in a short window of time. 
In Elaine’s case, she rushes around doing homemaker magic and doesn’t slow down for breakfast until 10:30 AM, or so.  And usually, we try to eat around 4 PM, or so, because I don’t like going to bed full.
The payoff seems to be that if you confine your eating to a 6-8 hour window, then your body has the 16-hours it needs in order to drop into fat burning mode.    The research also seems to suggest that the “common wisdom” of eating small bites and this and that throughout the day is actually wrong if losing weight is the goal.
Sure, this keeps the blood sugar levels normalized, but if you’re going to lose weight in a serious way, you need to go 16-hours (or longer) with minimal food.  And there was even some discussion about an “eating every other day” approach.
That latter idea has a certain sensibility to it (not that I’m going to be that sensible!) in that wandering humans didn’t always have 3 to 6 squares per day.  In fact, they often got only a meal every day or two…or in the case of Roman Legions, they might get a bite of something for breakfast and then march until dark and then get some vittles.
The key (for me) is to begin the fasting upon waking.  That way, I am already past the “sugar burn” part and I can make it till dinnertime.
What screws me up is eating breakfast.  That starting me being hungry for the rest of the day.
None of this is medical advice, see your doctor before yada, yada…but it’s a ripe research area is you are finding those few extra pounds from the holidays are sticking around a bit longer than desired. 
There’s a Wikipedia entry on intermittent fasting over here.  Just remember as you read anything in the field that there are billions upon billions of dollars tied up in the whole business of selling diet whatevers…and those people can edit Wikis, too.
The way I look at it (already having found what really works great in terms of vitamins and energy levels) is the more a diet regimen costs, the less likely I’m inclined to try it.  I’d recommend a similar level of skepticism…

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