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Fit Fridays with Holly Lowe Jones: 3 benefits of fasting (or eating less often)

Photo: Powell Photography courtesy of HollyLoweJones.com

Photo: Powell Photography courtesy of HollyLoweJones.com

For years, I lived by the “eat more frequently” mantra.

As a personal trainer, I even urged my clients to eat every two to three hours, in an effort to boost their metabolism. My belief in this weight-loss method was founded in my own experience. I’d gone from being a pudgy adolescent to a fit and trim fitness buff and competitive triathlete.

I understood the value in maintaining blood glucose levels, and preventing uncontrollable hunger, both of which are accomplished by eating frequent but small meals throughout the day. However, now that my desire and need for leanness have increased, I have nearly reversed this method of eating. I have since discovered the benefits of eating only twice a day, three at most, and avoiding snacking.

Here are three benefits of fasting and less frequent eating to consider:

  1. Constant Cleanse – While browsing in a local health food store a couple of years ago, I discovered Jay Robb’s book Six-Pack Abs, where he prescribes a two-meal-a-day regimen, and I was immediately intrigued by this new concept. He suggests that if you eat only twice, within an eight hour period, that your body will be in a continually cleansing mode. As an added bonus, he claims that after eighteen hours of not eating solid food, the body begins to release HcG (the highly coveted human growth hormone). In other words, your body will be able to rid itself of waste and excrement, much more efficiently thereby increasing energy and maintaining physical signs of youth. I have tried this method and can personally attest to experiencing all of these benefits. It’s not always easy to accomplish, and I am more consistent at times (particularly during triathlon season), but when I adhere to this method, I reap instant rewards.
  2. Calories In, Calories Out – The writers of Skinny B—h also agree that eating less frequently contributes to maintaining thinness. They are proponents of skipping breakfast, just like Jay Robb. I personally haven’t eaten breakfast before 11 a.m. more than a handful of times over the past year and a half (unless I have a race that morning-and even then, I don’t eat much). The authors agree that eliminating breakfast promotes the constant cleansing state, while also allowing for ease of calorie control. It’s hard to keep track of calories and portions when you’re eating throughout the day. I’ve learned to put more time into creating perfectly nutritious and satisfying meals, particularly since they are so spread out. It becomes imperative to ensure that I’m both satisfied and properly nourished, which can often get lost in the motions of constant eating.
  3. Consumption Reduction Is Freedom – As I age, the ability to live my life freely, becomes more important. I have found that having more money and material possessions doesn’t offer the feeling of freedom that I seek. Likewise, eating more often does not always yield improved digestion, increased fat-loss and ease of food preparation. Infrequent eating lends itself to a simpler lifestyle. Reduced consumption leads to increased free time and calorie burning. Less use of energy and other resources ultimately allows more time for personal fulfillment.

My body now experiences the benefits of regular “cleansing” (allowing the digestive system a much needed break from the rigors of breaking down solid food) and increased fat loss, while I gain the freedom of simpler living.

Though fasting may not be for everyone, it just may be a viable approach for those looking to try something new in pursuit of wellness.

Wishing you health and happiness,
HLJ

Holly Lowe Jones is a media professional, certified fitness and nutrition expert, and personal trainer (ISSA). A member of the National Association for Health and Fitness, Jones is also a seasoned triathlete who competes in her spare time.

For more information, please visit her website www.hollylowejones.com.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/hollylowejones

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