Is Intermittent Fasting For You?
Intermittent Fasting (IF) as a way to lose weight is not new, but it has received a lot
of attention lately, perhaps with New Year’s Resolutions on many people’s minds. I
have not personally tried intermittent fasting, but I have researched it and I have a
few pearls for you.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not a diet; it is a way of eating. We all fast, at least for as
long as we’re asleep at night. The idea behind IF for weight loss is to extend that fast
beyond the usual 8-hour sleep window. For example, the most popular IF is the
16/8 fast. You don’t eat for 16 hours, then you can eat during an 8-hour time frame,
which you can pick. Some skip breakfast, eating from 1pm to 9pm. Some prefer to
skip dinner, eating from 7am to 3pm. The idea is that about 12 hours after you begin
fasting, your body begins breaking down fat for energy. Good, right? Well, yes, but
breaking down fat doesn’t need a magic window of time. Even if you eat off and on
all day, you will still break down fat off and on throughout the day if you have a daily
calorie deficit. The only way you’ll be sure you’re eating with the proper deficit is to
count your calories. It’s not hard at all; my favorite method is with the MyFitnessPal
app, but there are many other apps and methods to choose from.
Some people talk about IF allowing you to stop counting calories or macros – “just
eat whatever you like!” As if this method makes healthy eating and caution about
portion size unnecessary. Not true! Studies have shown that Muslims sometimes
gain weight during Ramadan, their holy month of fasting. It’s because some of them
binge eat when the sun goes down. Common sense must be your guide in both
quantity and quality of food (see my blog for December 2017 – 6 Weight Loss Facts).
There are many roads to weight loss and healthy lifestyle. IF has worked for a lot of
people. It might work for you, if you can follow a reasonable diet during your non-
fast window. Phentermine, the appetite suppressant we prescribe, could be a big
help during your fast. Before you try IF, though, ask your PCP if it’s safe for you.
2019 New Years Resolutions
Got any 2019 New Years Resolutions yet? Let me suggest an early one – lose weight in 2019! If you’re like most Americans, you know that this resolution should be your first priority. There are two ways to lose pounds: eat fewer calories and burn more calories. In other words, diet and exercise. At Cordova Medical Clinic, we can help you with both of these. We prescribe phentermine, an appetite suppressant that you take once daily. It has been prescribed in the U.S. for nearly 6 decades, and it works very well. Phentermine is in the stimulant class, so it not only suppresses appetite, but it also gives you an energy boost, helping you to begin a new workout program easier. Our nurse practitioners will carefully screen you, and then you return in one month for a re-evaluation.
We all want to improve our health and avoid heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and a dozen other health issues related to being overweight. Also, we want to feel better and look better. That is why weight loss should be number 1 on your list!
We are friendly and fast, so don’t delay your resolution. Get a jump start on being healthy and looking great in 2019 – Come see us at Cordova Medical Clinic!
In our last blog, we made the point that diet is 80% of weight loss effectiveness, and exercise is only 20%. We prescribe phentermine for most of our patients. It lowers your appetite and gives most patients an energy boost. So phentermine can help with both mechanisms of weight loss. Come see us if you think it might help you.
But exercise not only helps with weight loss and weight maintenance – it has tons of health benefits.
A 2012 study by the NIH showed that exercise can extend your life by about 3.5 years if you get the recommended amount (2.5 hours per week of moderate exercise). And even if you only get half the recommended exercise, you’ll live nearly two years longer. Those who got twice the recommended exercise lived 4.2 years longer than sedentary people. So the more you exercise, the more benefit for your longevity. And you don’t have to knock yourself out to get decent results.
Longer life is great, but what about quality of life? What does the research say about that? Research shows that regular exercise can prevent completely or delay the onset of 35 chronic disease conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, many cancers, polycystic ovarian disease, depression and anxiety, bone fractures/falls, erectile dysfunction, and many more.
If you can prevent or delay these conditions, you will feel better and spend a lot less time as you age in the doctor’s office, hospital, pharmacy, and on those ridiculously long phone calls with your health insurance company. Plus, you’ll save many thousands of dollars that you can use for fun things for you and your family.
The research also shows that if you, say, had to have your appendix out, if you’re a healthier, fitter patient you are going to have way fewer complications afterwards and a shorter hospital stay.
This January is time to make some New Year’s Resolutions. I encourage you to make regular exercise your top resolution! Come see us at Cordova Medical Clinic if you need help getting started.
January resolutions are just around the corner! For this blog, I’ll be summarizing an article written by Alice G. Walton for Forbes.com in September 2013. If you’d like to read the entire article, which I highly suggest, please click here.
- Dieting beats exercise. Of course, you’re doing your best when you do both, but you simply cannot out-exercise bad eating habits. Eating fewer calories is 80% of weight loss effectiveness. Phentermine can help reduce your appetite; come see us to learn more about it.
- Exercise does boost your metabolism. Exercise helps keep your metabolism up, which makes maintaining your weight loss so much easier. And of course, it provides tons of other benefits as well: better sleep, feeling stronger, better heart health, stronger bones and joints… I could go on and on!
- You may have to work harder than others to maintain your metabolism. Research has shown that formerly sedentary people who recharge their metabolism may never quite get back to normal, so they may have to work harder than their always thin friends to get and stay trim. Not a pleasant fact, but something you may have to deal with.
- There is no one best diet. Paleo, low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and dozens of others will all work, but you have to decide to stick with it.
- A calorie is a calorie…BUT! It’s true a calorie can come from any source, be it fat, carbs, or protein. But to be healthy, you want to eat mostly highly nutritious foods, like fruits and veggies and whole grains and low-fat meats. Avoid the junk food – you’re likely to feel full quicker with higher fiber foods like fruits and veggies, and therefore eat fewer calories.
- Habits are the key. You can’t eat right for just a few weeks or a few months and then expect to stay thin and healthy. You have to decide that this journey is about a change in lifestyle, one where you are constantly learning about your food intake and exercise habits for the rest of your life. Start with a few small changes, and once those are ingrained, add a couple of new ones. You can make it happen!
Come see us at Cordova Medical Clinic to get started on your New Year’s Resolutions for 2018!
$10 Off of your office visit and a FREE Shot of your choice!
I recently participated in a 7-week Transformation Challenge at the gym I belong to. We all tried to improve our strength and stamina over that period, with a baseline workout on Day One that was repeated on the last day. But most people were also trying to lose weight. My goal was to lose 10 pounds over the 7-week period. And for one of those weeks, I was going to be on vacation. Yikes!
I didn’t quite reach my goal – I lost 7.5 pounds. Looking back on it, I lost all of that in the first 4 weeks, then I plateaued. And I think I know the reason why: I stopped keeping a journal of my calorie intake. I had decided to enter all my food and exercise into the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. At about 4 weeks, I decided I didn’t need to do that any more because I knew about how much to eat and what kinds of foods to eat. Maybe so, but I wasn’t accountable for all of my calories, so my actions didn’t follow the plan. I know this to be true because I didn’t lose weight for 3 weeks: if I had a calorie deficit, I would’ve still been losing. (My exercise remained the same throughout.)
MyFitnessPal not only helped me lose weight, but it taught me a few things. I started reading labels more. I discovered new protein-rich foods that are also low-calorie, such as Greek yogurt. I learned on vacation that a dozen raw oysters on the half shell are only 114 calories and have 12 grams of protein. You can bet I repeated that snack! I also found out how to use the barcode reader on MyFitnessPal to enter a new food, which made using the app even easier. I plan to lose a few more pounds in the next month, and I know I will do it with MyFitnessPal. If you want to lose weight, give MyFitnessPal a try. I think you’ll like it.
As of May 1st 2017,
our new hours will be:
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri 8:00 – 4:00
Thurs 10:00 – 6:00
Sat 9:00 – 1:30
Holy cow! How is it I just now heard about this great healthy ice cream? My daughter brought home a couple of pints of ice cream a week ago. I just looked away, since I assumed they were high-calorie treats and I didn’t want to blow my healthy diet. But my wife pointed out that the entire pint of Lemon Cake flavor has only 240 calories! My favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor is 1040 for the whole pint. Then she brought out the Birthday Cake flavor. It was very good, too. I’ve since tried Strawberry, Pistachio, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup, and Chocolate Almond Crunch – all delicious! Some are a bit higher in calories; for instance Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is 360 calories per pint, but that is as high as they go, and that’s still only 1/3 of the calories of regular ice cream.
If you have a problem with your appetite, Phentermine is a great appetite suppressant, and we can prescribe that for you at Cordova Medical Clinic. But eating higher protein meals and snacks also helps you feel full longer, as does fiber. Halo Top ice cream is great in that respect too: Vanilla Bean flavor has (per pint) 240 calories, 24 grams protein, and 12 grams fiber. These make an excellent pre- or post-workout snack or late evening snack. If you haven’t seen you favorite flavor, they have 17 to choose from. They are carried locally in Kroger’s and Whole Foods. Let us know your favorite on our Facebook page. I’m voting for Strawberry. Today, that is.
Protein is one of the three macronutrients every human needs daily to survive and thrive. (The other two are fats and carbohydrates.) But can extra protein be your key to weight loss? It can be: high-protein diets are one good option for you in your weight loss plan. Any good weight loss plan should also include exercise at least 5 days a week. And if you follow a good exercise program, you will need more protein to rebuild and grow your muscles. So why not use a high-protein diet in conjunction with that exercise?
For most Americans the foods we overeat the most are carbs and fats. If you try to eat mostly lean proteins, you can let them take the place of carbs and fats. Examples of protein-rich foods are meat, fish, eggs, milk, cottage cheese, beans, peas, and nuts.
You need some carbs and fats, but try to eat things that are not loaded with them. The other great thing about protein is that it will help satisfy your appetite, so you eat less often and smaller portions. (Phentermine is a prescription appetite suppressant that also curbs your appetite. If you think you might need help with this, come see us at Cordova Medical Clinic.) People who eat a protein-rich breakfast eat about 200 calories less per day than people who consume a carb-heavy breakfast.
So how much protein should you eat daily? The minimum is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, so about 65 grams of protein for a 180-lb person. However, if you exercise 3-5 times a week for 45 minutes, you need much more to help rebuild muscles. Also, you need more if you are taking in fewer calories than you need daily on a weight loss program. So a good rule of thumb is to double the minimum recommendation. That would be 0.72 grams per pound of body weight, or about 130 grams of protein daily for a 180-lb person. Protein is best utilized by your body to build muscle in smaller portions. Eat about 20-30 grams 5 to 6 times daily.
A Healthy Breakfast: 4 egg whites, 1 yolk, ¼ cup fat-free cheddar cheese. Only 165 calories, with 23 grams of protein, and delicious! If you skip the egg yolk, you drop 55 calories.