Who Should (& Shouldn’t) Watch ‘Fasting’ on Amazon Video…

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I recently watched the documentary “Fasting”, available on Amazon Video (free if you’re a Prime member).

In their recent debate on the Joe Rogan podcast, virtually one of the only things guests Chris Kresser and Joel Khan, MD agreed on was the benefit of fasting to the overall health and wellness of nearly everyone on the planet.

If you haven’t been following the news regarding fasting in recent years, here’s just a few of the health benefits you might see:[1]

  • better blood sugar / insulin sensitivity
  • reduced blood pressure
  • reduced cholesterol
  • less body fat
  • improved cognitive performance
  • possibly lower rates of all cancers
  • reversal of diabetes

There’s been additional research that shows the power of fasting extends to improving outcomes from chemotherapy if you’re undergoing treatment for cancer. It appears that a 72 hour fast in advance of treatment, strengthens healthy cells, yet pushes cancer cells closer to cell death.[2]


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Much of the benefit of fasting appears to revolve exactly around this increase in apoptosis and autophogy (cell death, and breakdown / recycling of junk or damaged proteins in the body).

In a fat loss / weight management application, I find that fasting two days a week is the easiest, most sustainable way to create a caloric deficit for the week.

Coming from a martial arts background, I also find immense spiritual benefit from fasting. Similar to the Japanese practices of shugyo, which involve meditation, time in nature, cold water immersion, fasting, other hardships to discipline the mind and purify the body.

This was one of the big stumbling points in the film for me. Instead of talking to members of various faiths, and their practice of fasting, the film focuses solely on the Mormon church, and two of their representatives. Fine if you’re Mormon, but maybe not so much for everyone else who don’t identify with the Mormon faith.

The film brings together some of today’s most vocal research scientists and health care providers like Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Satchin Panda and Valter Longo.

As much as I am a proponent of regular fasting, I have to say that overall I was disappointed with this piece. It was high on production value, and low on substance.

With the exception of the well known doctors mentioned previously, in the end, you never really know whether or not anyone on screen is a paid actor, which, in my opinion greatly reduced the impact of their testimonies. Is this person for real, or is this a paid testimony?

If you’re completely unfamiliar with the practice of fasting, and some of it’s benefits, then this could be a good entryway for you, but if you’re already familiar with fasting at all, this film would largely be a waste of time, unless you’re looking for something to tickle your confirmation bias.


I think overall, the piece does the most disservice to those at risk, or with a history of, eating disorders.

Fasting, at it’s heart is simply a practice of restriction and control; the hallmarks of anorexia and bulimia.

Although they did have a lone dissenting opinion, they instead follow two individuals who claim that the practice of fasting has instead, helped them overcome their eating disorders.

The cycle of “binge and restrict” is also common among overweight individuals accustomed to yo-yo dieting and those who tend to stress eat, etc. (often referred to as “disordered eating”), and these people would be far better served by first developing a more healthy relationship with food and eating, before any kind regular fasting. Like most ardent proponents of any method though, the messengers are over zealous in their delivery of the message.

If you’re interested in something more substantial, I’d recommend you instead spend the time watching the interviews Dr. Rhonda Patrick has done with all three of the previously mentioned doctors, on her podcast Found My Fitness.

Inner Strength Gym IS Complete coaching for MIND & BODY
● Nutrition ● Mindfulness ● Martial Arts ●
Staying strong over 40. Check out our coaching programs for men, or women and find your inner power!

Classes held in Tempe, AZ and workshops worldwide.

References

  1. Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan
    Author links open overlay panelValter D.Longo12SatchidanandaPanda3
    Show more
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001
  2. Safety and feasibility of fasting in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy
    Tanya B. Dorff, Susan Groshen, Agustin Garcia, Manali Shah, Denice Tsao-Wei, Huyen Pham, Chia-Wei Cheng, Sebastian Brandhorst, Pinchas Cohen, Min Wei, Valter LongoEmail author and David I. QuinnEmail author
    BMC Cancer201616:360
    https://doi.org/10.1186/s12885-016-2370-6

Health & Wellness Weekly Round Up – 11 NOV 18

Every week I bring you the best in health & wellness from around the web and social media. Sometimes it’s my own content, sometimes it’s not, but it’s always something I found a gem in.

Twitter

This post by Ben Bikman was a real eye catcher. It’s generally considered the a low carb, ketogenic diet is not ideal for performance, but here have an ultra endurance runner smashing the record for fastest 100 mile run ever. Incredible! Of course, we should bare in mind that most of the criticisms against ketogenic diets are in regards to anaerobic power sports, but there are examples of Olympic lifters excelling on keto as well.

Instagram

An inevitable fact of losing weight is often feeling hungry. When you sit down to eat, and you’ve been hungry since your last meal, it’s easy to miss your 80% fullness cue, and over eat. Here, we have a strategy from Alan Aragorn, which basically amounts to filling yourself up on water in advance of your meal.

In my opinion, this is not a beginner strategy. In other words, if you haven’t mastered some fundamentals like regular meal prep and eating mostly whole foods, you should not be trying to use this kind of trick to keep yourself from eating, but if you have mastered the basics, and you’re in a calorie cutting phase, this might help you squeak under your goals with less discomfort.

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The “Water Trick” is a uniquely effective tactic for dieters because it puts the focus on adding or increasing intake instead of reducing or taking it away. It’s ideal for occasions such as eating at restaurants or social/family gatherings. – The attached are my own research-adapted methods that work consistently in the trenches. The upper end of the guidelines (bravely) exceed the doses in the study protocols :). I nudged the 30 minutes down to a max of 20 minutes as well. Lo & behold, this almost never fails to curb the desire for large food servings, a second plate, or a post-meal dessert. – These tactics are ideal for those who want to default to lower caloric intake with minimal effort toward calculating or quantifying. – #inthetrenches #streetwisdom #boom

A post shared by Alan Aragon (@thealanaragon) on


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YouTube

In the video below, YouTube creator and meal prep extraordinaire Bobby Parish takes you on a tour of Costco to his top picks for eating well.

I was shocked to learn about Costco’s organic eggs receiving such a low ranking from cornucopia.com. For me it underscored that we should frequently check ourselves: what do I know, and how do I know it? Quite often the narratives the we spin in our own heads do not match up to reality. I had begun a narrative in my mind that all Costco products must be good, because that narrative aligned with how I feel about Costco as a company, and how they treat their employees.

Similarly, people often sabotage their own efforts at nutrition by spinning a story around their choice like “it’s okay I ate a dozen donuts just now, because I’m heading to the gym, and I need the pre-workout…”

Inner Strength Gym IS Complete coaching for MIND & BODY.
● Nutrition ● Mindfulness ● Martial Arts ●
Staying strong over 40. Check out our coaching programs for men, or women and find your inner power!

Classes held in Tempe, AZ and workshops worldwide.

The Epigenome, Qigong & The Fountain of Youth

Qigong Image - Classes held in Tempe, AZ
Most Chinese martial arts, like the one I train and teach (I Liq Chuan) include some kind of qigong 氣功 practice.

The word qi (pronounced chee), is made up of two parts: the character for rice, and steam. The idea being the intrinsic energy that is in the breath (and food). Gong, in this case, means exercises, so qigong means something like “breathing exercises” (although movements that coordinate with the breath are also usually included).

For centuries, the old masters practiced various qigong methods to strengthen their bodies, improve their health and extend their lives.

Today, scientists are using technology to understand how these ancient practices work; the epigenome!

The epigenome is made up of chemical compounds and proteins that can attach to DNA and direct such actions as turning genes on or off, controlling the production of proteins in particular cells. That means that we’re not (entirely) victims of our DNA, doomed to whatever fate they have in store for us. Outside factors, like diet and lifestyle, can have a massive impact on how the switch gets flipped in certain genes.

Think of the genome (DNA) like a car, and the epigenome like the driver.  Both work together. You can’t change what kind of car you inherit from your parents, but you can steer the car in different directions, or whether or not it even gets started and taken out of the driveway to begin with.

So, back to qigong; a 2005 study by Li et. al. showed that regular practice can turn on genes that fight inflammation and help us stay young!

Remember that scientists are linking systemic inflammation to cardio vascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s, so it really does look like practicing things like meditation and qigong and tai chi, have very real, observable effects on our health and well-being.

Although the study was small (N:12), it’s a very exciting start to providing real, scientific evidence of the benefits of qigong, tai chi and other mind body interventions in human health.

There are five different major types of white blood cells. Neutriphils being the most plentiful, on average making up half to two thirds of your white blood cells, lead the assault in the body’s immune system response.

The study showed that practicing qigong can increase the lifespan of these cells, while pro-inflammatory neutraphils died earlier through increased apoptosis (basically cell death and recycling). Researchers currently suspect that when damaged cells don’t die off in a timely manner, they may play a role in the formation of cancer. So while it’s too early to tell for sure, that means that practicing qigong, tai chi, or other mind body interventions can possibly help prevent cancer from ever getting started to begin with!

Qigong is also a great tool for managing stress which is a key factor in helping to maintain a healthy weight, recovering from exercise and performing your best; which is why it’s a key factor in our coaching program here at Inner Strength Gym.

Nutrition Tip – Make A Super Shake

It can be tough to eat all high quality meals, all the time, especially when you’re in a hurry.  One solution is to make yourself what Precision Nutrition coaches like myself like to call “Super Shakes”.

The Super Shake is packed with good stuff like high-quality protein, fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants and more.

You generally want to build your shake with the following guidelines in mind:

  1. One to two “thumbs” worth of fat
  2. protein source (like silky tofu or powered protein)
  3. greens, or powder greens supplement
  4. frozen berries or fruit for some carbs / micronutrients
  5. water to make it a drinkable consistency.
  6. optional “topper” like yogurt

This is my recipe:

My favorite ingredients for a high quality, nutritious and time saving meal replacement! Great for losing weight and building muscle!
My favorite ingredients for a high quality, nutritious and time saving meal replacement!

1) I like the Fage brand geek yogurt. I go for the fat free version because of my gall bladder (I need to try to keep my fat low because gall bladder disease runs in my family 😥)

2) again, I have to keep my fat portion lower, so I go for just 1 “thumb” of fat here. Walnuts & macadamia nuts are great choices for fat. Another great product I found recently was Nutzo at Costco (you can buy it on Amazon as well but it’s more expensive). It’s a mix of higher end nuts and flax and chia, so it’s really high in omega-3s. I originally tried it out as a substitute for peanut butter because I can’t digest peanuts anymore (damn you gall bladder!). Avocado would also be a good choice to add fat and fiber to your super shake.

3) frozen mixed berries. Whatever you like. Frozen berries are way more cost effective than fresh and you don’t have to worry about the mold! Costco to the rescue again!

4) greens, or powdered greens supplement. One I REALLY like is “earth grown nutrients” by Onnit. One of the few greens supplements I’ve tried where you really notice an immediate lift in your sense of wellness.

5) vanilla protein powder. My brand is True Nutrition. Super high quality, very affordable. I use the micellar casein for the slow digesting quality with a boost of enzymes, essential amino acids and collegen. (You can customize your own blend, use the code luoyegongfu at checkout to save 5%)

6) water to mix. I’m currently making good use of Rudy’s gift of Sedona, Arizona spring water!
(Note: if you live here in the Tempe, AZ area you can order to Sedona Spring water direct from one of my students.  Contact me here if you’re interested.)

Hopefully this helped give you some ideas for making the best meal replacement shake for men and women! If you’re looking to lose fat and get in shape in 2018, but don’t have a lot of time to cook, get a head start and learn how to make your own, wholesome, nutritious meal replacement shake and stick to your weight loss goals for the new year! Getting the right mix of micro and macro nutrients can help you lose weight and build muscle. You need to get the right nutrients in your body to help you recover from exercise, but finding the time to prepare and eat multiple healthy, whole food meals every day can be tough. These super shakes will help you meet your fitness goals and save you time!