We’ve been told that we have an obesity problem in North America. We’ve also been told that our sugar consumption is too high, and that this can eventually cause health problems like insulin resistance and type II diabetes. But you may not have heard this part before: the easiest way to lower your insulin level and lose weight is to simply stop eating for 24 hours on a regular basis.
Dr. Jason Fung, a doctor in Scarborough, Canada, made this intuitive leap while trying to help his own patients drop their insulin level and lose weight. Insulin, he says, causes your body to store energy in the form of glucose and fat . As long as you keep eating and your insulin level remains high, the fat and sugar storage will continue. It then follows that if you can stop eating for a long enough period of time, your insulin level will finally drop, forcing your body to use the fat instead of storing it.
One of the problems with our modern diet is that it seems we never stop eating. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we now often eat a snack in between each meal as well. And it’s not even just the meals and the snacks, it’s the size of the meals and the snacks. We spend so little time without food in our stomachs that our insulin level is never able to drop completely so that our body can begin using our fat instead of storing it.
Dr. Fung’s solution is simple: just skip breakfast. Eat nothing after dinner the night before, skip breakfast, and don’t eat until lunch. For many people, that would mean 18 hours without food. If you have the energy, you can skip lunch too, and just drink water, tea or soup broth throughout the day until your evening meal. Dr. Fung says he does this himself, and has also recommended it to many of his patients, and he’s pleased to say that it has worked wonders for their health. Once they begin fasting and their insulin level comes down for an extended period of time, their weight finally drops and many chronic health problems, like type II diabetes, are suddenly resolved.
In our modern, food-centric, and increasingly obese culture, this may be a magic bullet we can all use to help us lose weight and finally regain our health.
Excerpt: “How do we bring our insulin down?
First, avoid foods that excessively stimulate insulin. Like, sugar and refined grains. That, we (as a society) have accepted.
But we also need to think about meal timing.We need periods of time when we aren’t eating, so insulin can go down, leaving our bodies in energy burning mode. If we leave more time between meals — and, therefore, burning energy — we will lose weight”.
About the author: Rebecca Wong has been working in the herbal business since 2000. She has received her training in acupuncture and herbalism from respected authorities Paul Des Rosiers and Vu Le at the Ontario College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Toronto, and Michael Tierra at the East West Herb School in California.