Posted on December 3, 2015 by Muyen Peng Don’t Let the Holidays Ruin your Waistline Living The Little Known Art of Intermittent Fasting for Supercharging Your Metabolism If you have ever tried to lose weight, then it’s probably a safe bet to assume that you hit a plateau at one point. Perhaps you tried the latest diet fads or supplements recommended by Dr. Oz, yet you still have the ever so dreaded “inch you can pinch” on your waistline. Here’s a novel idea: maybe it’s not what, but a matter of when you eat. Introducing Intermittent Fasting Just a few generations ago, fasting was a common way of life, not by choice, but due to the time of year when crops yielded little. As a result, parents gave what little morsel of food they had to their children. Involuntary fasting for days on end was normal, and people simply sucked it up. Modern western society, by contrast, has become a culture of sissified wimps. Today, we get a little hunger pang and all of a sudden act like we’re going to drop dead if we don’t get food into our growling tummies. Fasting, though, however unpleasant it may be, just may be the key that turns on the proverbial fat burning switch. This was confirmed in this laboratory study. Mice that underwent fasting not only lost more weight but even showed improvement in cognitive abilities! In other words, if you’re prone to brain farts, then fasting may actually help. That, right there, is some real food for thought. To Hell With Being Smarter; I want to Be Sexier! Of course, thanks to the selfie boom and Jersey Shore, it’s always about the bod and never about the mass of Jell-O between your ears. No worries, though, if it’s all about appearances, then fasting will help shed those stubborn inches. To make the process more doable, you won’t be fasting for a full 24 hours; you’ll be going for about 16, hence why it’s called intermittent fasting. The best part of intermittent fasting is that half of the duration is already completed for you. Every day when you get out of bed, you just fasted for eight hours. It’s up to you to get in the other eight hours, and it’s a lot easier than you think. Here’s the lazy man’s approach that works effectively: stop eating three hours before bed, and don’t eat anything until lunch the next day. That should work out to about 16 hours. Do this about two to three times a week, and badda bing badda boom. Why It Works Food is fuel. When the body lacks food, it has no readily available fuel source. Once the glycogen stores are completely metabolized – which takes six to eight hours – the body will be forced to rely on the fat stores as a reserve. The minute you shove food down your throat, however, glycogen is restored. This is why most weight lost programs recommend training first thing in the morning before breakfast. The energy expenditure will come mostly from fat since glycogen levels are at its lowest due to the fasting that occurred while you slept. This study (with human subjects, not mice), confirms that intermittent fasting drives up metabolism and fat loss. Fasting Prolongs Life Western foods have always been blamed for the staggering rate of heart disease. Well, just maybe, it’s not so much the Big Mac and side order of super-sized fries that’s sending you to an early grave. Perhaps it’s the clockwork practice of having to goddamn feed ourselves three times a day. A 2008 study revealed that regular fasting reduced risk of coronary disease. A later study also showed that metabolic changes from fasting lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol by 58%. Is this to say that as long as you fast, you can cram your face with jelly donuts and extra-loaded pastrami sandwiches? Absolutely positively 100% certainly… NOT! Fasting is not a license to throw away common sense and eat at your heart’s delight. Fasting should complement, not replace, sound food choices. What About Muscle? For guys, you obviously want to hold onto as much muscle as possible while losing fat. Conventional bodybuilding wisdom tells you to eat every three hours because if glycogen levels fall too low, your body will target muscle tissue just as much as it targets your fat stores for fuel. Fasting, then, may seem to be at odds with mass building 101. Yes, it’s true that long fasting periods can eat into your hard-earned muscle. However, your muscles won’t shrivel into raisins overnight, nor will you all of a sudden develop the skinny-fat type of physique a lot of marathon runners have. Preserving muscle while fasting is easy: take a Branched chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement. BCAAs help prevent the body from going into a negative nitrogen balance, which the body is prone to during lack of calorie (and therefore, protein) intake. All you need to know about negative nitrogen balance is that it leads to muscle catabolism. Insider Tip for Fighting off Hunger If fasting leaves you famished, then here’s a secret tip that you absolutely won’t mind doing first thing in the morning: HAVE SEX! This is no joke. Get naughty with your partner, and you will feel so good you will forget all about your growling stomach. If a partner isn’t available, then get on the Internet and look up whatever it is that gets you sexually aroused. The Web is littered with XXX material, Channing Tatum underwear pics, and GIFs of Kate Upton’s “orbs” glistening and bobbing in slow motion. Here’s the deal: when you have an orgasm, the body releases oxytocin, AKA the love hormone. Oxytocin, in turn, raises levels of a peptide hormone known as Cholecystokinin (CCK). CCK is a known appetite suppressor. In addition, Oxytocin is also known for reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is notoriously known for elevating fat levels and increasing carb cravings. Incorporate It Into Your Lifestyle New studies really seem to indicate that the whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” idea really is a bunch of bull crap. Your body won’t all of a sudden malfunction because it went for a few more hours than usual without nourishment. Give your body more credit than that. Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle that just might morph your body from soft and pudgy to lean and mean.