It’s no secret that life today for most people is incredibly stressful, and where much of the population aren’t happy, aren’t sleeping very well and may even be suffering with extreme nervous system issues. Left untreated, all of this adds up to being a very concerning health problem that may have severe consequences to your quality of life.
Severe stress can literally kill you, as it causes damage to your heart, gut, brain and so forth. There is really no bodily system that does not become negatively affected by stress. The more stress you have, the worse it is for your health. Many of these issues are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs, but is this the safest option? What could these drugs be doing to people long term?
Could taking CBD oil regularly be a credible solution? What does the science say about this?
We love writing about the wonders of CBD oil here at Collective Evolution, and we have published many articles on what CBD oil can do for us. I’m sharing this with you today from both a personal point of view, and I also want to back up what has happened to me with scientific evidence.
Childhood Trauma Affects How We Deal With Stress
Growing up, I personally had an enormous amount of stress. Like many, I didn’t have the ideal childhood, in that I had a very difficult relationship with my parents. While I am not going into details too much, I had sustained severe injuries to my nervous system from how I experienced my youth.
I also had a very unhealthy childhood from eating very bad foods, having many antibiotics, reactions to vaccines, and exposure to lead paint at an early age. It must be said that all of these toxins also affect our nervous systems and of course, general health too.
This has meant that my adrenals took an absolute beating over the years, with adrenaline and cortisol being activated far too often and my body was not able to calm down quickly. I was in a constant flight or fight stage for years. This also affected my mental state, which was very up and down for a long time, where I suffered severe depression and anxiety.
I know I am not alone in feeling like this, as childhood trauma is a huge problem today. I would say in a group of ten people, you’d have the overwhelming response of people saying ‘I’ve suffered childhood trauma too.’ I’d even go so far as to say it’s an epidemic of mammoth proportions, and one that does not get discussed openly enough.
Could regular use of CBD oil help our bodies have a better nervous system?
Sarah Best, nutritionist and writer, has this to say about CBD oil:
I work with two categories of people that CBD oil can really help. The first is highly sensitive women – 15-20% of the population, male and female, are highly sensitive and one thing this means is that they have an extra sensitive nervous system, which makes them extra prone to stress, anxiety and insomnia. CBD oil can be great for calming all that down. The other category are those who are recovering from the effects of an emotionally neglectful and/or abusive childhood. This is many more people than you’d think, and trauma disorders, anxiety and depression are common in this group. Again, CBD oil can really help thanks to its calming, balancing and antidepressant properties.”
If you are suffering from childhood trauma and stress that you feel the effects of today, I really hope that this article resonates with you and you consider trying this oil. At the bottom of this article is a Facebook group you can join for those suffering from childhood trauma.
Anger And Mood Issues Are A Huge Problem For Many Today
While I have come a long way with healing the damage, at the age of 40, I still suffer from anger issues that have also been quite erratic. Again, I know I am not alone here because I hear from others that they feel the same way, especially new mothers, where they are getting too angry too often and it doesn’t feel like it’s a normal thing; something is out of ‘whack.’
I also see these anger issues play out online, with how people behave on social media, often resorting to hurling abuse at others, putting them down and writing really terrible things.
Balanced, healthy minded people do not act like this, as I am sure you may agree.
Anger comes from not being able to process emotions well when the body shoots out amounts of adrenaline and cortisol, so a person can often then explode, yelling at others and in worse cases, may even become violent towards others. Many people who are in jail today, may in fact be there from anger issues (stemming from childhood trauma) that simply got out of control. Their nervous systems were not stable and the severe imbalance led to their criminal act.
With so many teens who say they are very stressed and depressed today, the future for them could possibly be quite alarming if the way they are feeling is not dealt with better. The teens who do commit suicide, are not surprisingly, said to have a history of depression, anxiety, drug abuse or a behaviour problem. Those teens who suffer depression also have a 30% chance of developing a drug problem later in life.
Here are some concerning statistics I’d like to share with you:
- 18.8 million Americans suffer from a depressive disorder
- 4% of preschoolers are clinically depressed
- There is a 23% rate of increase in children with depression
- 30% of American women are depressed
- Antidepressants only work for 30% of the depressed population
- 10% of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth
- 15% of depressed people will commit suicide
- Depression costs the U.S. 51 billion when they have days off work
If you know of any teens who are depressed, you might like to tell their parents to look into giving them CBD oil, but they might be more comforted in knowing that taking CBD oil is not the same as smoking it. The oil is non-addictive and does not make people behave as if they are on drugs.
This subject of depression and mood disorders, is such an urgent global matter, we really need people to feel calmer – which would then affect our earth so positively – but we need to get to this state without resorting to using drugs that really do not fix the problem.
CBD Oil For Depression
If you suffer from low mood and feel depressed, you might like to see how you respond to CBD oil. A study showed that CBD has a fast acting antidepressant ability.
CBD Oil Calms The Nervous System Down
Do you feel like your nervous system is very poor and runs on high alert all the time? Until recently, I still found it very hard to calm my own nervous system down at times, after having stimulating things like coffee, too much raw chocolate and anything that was ‘exciting,’ for example, even hearing some really good news.
The first time I really saw the power of CBD oil was after I had not slept a wink the night after I had a very strong raw chocolate cake. By 2pm the next day, I felt awful, like I had too much jittery energy in my body and around my heart. A friend reminded me to take some CBD oil that I had in my cupboard and the result was quite mind blowing. Within just ten minutes, my entire mind and body had calmed down, and all of the jittery feeling went totally away. It felt truly incredible to see it happen that fast.
If you have also had years of stress, or suffered from a very serious traumatic event, this may literally have reprogrammed your body to be in a constant fight or flight stage. If you don’t do anything about it, then it may mean you could be more predisposed to an early heart attack, or even stroke. Our bodies need to work in a healthy balance.
Now that CBD oil is legal in some countries (and states) across the world, I’ve personally been trying CBD oil for the last few months and have found that the effects are quite profound, as have others I know, and I am excited to share them with you.
How Does It Work?
Cannabinoids (the chemical component of cannabis) are proven to activate certain receptors found throughout our bodies, which produce pharmalogic effects, especially that of the central nervous system and the immune system. You might be fascinated to know that there are natural cannabinoids found in human breast milk.
The endocannabinoid system found in humans is said to affect many varieties of physiologic processes. These include pain sense, memory, appetite, food intake, energy balance and motor control.
Click here to learn more about the endocannabinoid system or watch the video below
Dr. Josh Axe shared in an article regarding a study that showed taking cannabis oil may regulate the emotional response to trauma and therefore prevent further stress. This is because it minimised the stress receptors in the hippocampus and amygdala (areas in the brain) that combined, are both responsible for processing our senses and emotions.
CBD Oil For Insomnia and PSTD
CBD oil also helps us sleep better – with restful sleep being vital to help deal with stress – and can be very helpful with dealing with insomnia. I’ve also noticed better sleep from using CBD oil just before bed, but you must be careful with the dose, sometimes less is more.
A study on military veterans showed that CBD oil helped the participants to deal better with their coping mechanisms, and they slept better and had reduced anxiety.
What CBD oil can do is block that particular memory from coming back and reminding you. Not only that, it’s been shown to have an effect on cortisol, in terms of tempering the cortisol in those situations and reducing it where the cortisol is high. Other situations we have with cortisol that is low, it has been able to bring up that cortisol to a normal level. – Dr. Philip Blair COL (retired) – Researcher on CBD for PTSD
You might like to view a very interesting talk Dr. Blair did. He also says CBD oil helps with inflammation, which is one of the key factors causing depression.
Another Doctor by the name of Sue Sisley who is a researcher for cannabis oil use for PSTD. She shares information about CBD oil in the video here.
CBD Oil For Anxiety
CBD oil also showed positive results in a simulated speaking test where very anxious people had to speak in front of an audience, and those that took CBD oil were much less anxious.
For those that suffer with social anxiety, you might find comfort in knowing that CBD oil has been shown to help people cope with being in that sort of environment. Here is another study also showing that is has positive effects.
CBD Oil For PMS
Hands up if you are one of the 75% who experience PMS and can find that time of the month incredibly stressful for yourself and for those that surround us? I used to have very bad moods the week before my cycle. I would always know when I was due, even without looking at the calendar because my mood would just suddenly be so bad. This is all down to hormone levels that are rising and falling throughout the month.
I used to suffer from a very severe form of PMS called Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder which is said to affect between 3-8% of the population. This meant that my PMS was really really bad, and looking back to the times in my life where I was suicidal, it was often during that time in the month. I was prescribed antidepressants for this, as many women are for PMS, but they didn’t help me at all. In fact, I would say it made things much worse for me.
I am glad I no longer take these drugs, because I have since found that they really are very bad for your health when you take them for years. An alarming study showed that long term use of antidepressants can actually increase early death by 33%. McMaster University in Canada carried out a study where they used results from 17 studies, which involved nearly 380,000 people. At first when they looked at the data, it seemed to suggest just a 9 percent increase of death who took these medications, but they then removed the people in the study who suffered cardiovascular disease and saw that the more accurate results were discovered. The remaining patients were the ones who had a risk of death of 33%.
‘We are very concerned by these results,’ he said.
‘They suggest that we shouldn’t be taking antidepressant drugs without understanding precisely how they interact with the body.
‘I do think these drugs for most people are doing more harm than good and that physicians ought not to generally prescribe them.’ – Canadian Study leader Paul Andrews
It is with this information that I feel it’s very important people are aware that being on long term antidepressants is not a good idea for their health.
CBD Oil For Schizophrenia
Those that suffer with Schizophrenia often end up taking very powerful drugs, which are likely to also cause serious health issues long term. While smoking marijuana has been found to increase psychotic episodes with some people having to go into mental institutions, the high levels of THC are likely to be why this can be a trigger for some.
However, taking CBD oil, which often only has a tiny amount of THC, can actually decrease the amount of psychotic episodes they have.
Dose Is Key: Don’t Go Overboard With CBD Oil As Effects Can Be Counter Productive
Regarding the effects CBD oil has on PMS, after taking CBD oil several times a day and before bed, over the last few months, I can happily share that I had zero PMS recently and have had a calmer mood overall.
This has not happened in a very long time where I haven’t experienced quite bad mood swings before that time of the month.
Just a word of warning, when something sounds good, it’s easy to think that perhaps more is better, but in the case of CBD oil, taking too much can be counter productive. I have had friends who have anxiety say they took too much and felt anxious, but when they have a small amount (five drops as opposed to a whole dropper full for example) that it works a lot better, and their anxiety goes away.
It’s the same for sleep – I have taken too much some nights and found that it caused me to take longer to go to sleep. I think it’s best to take the drops under the tongue as it bypasses the digestive system and goes straight into the blood due to the many capillaries the tongue has. This means the effects will be achieved faster.
One other very interesting finding is that a survey carried out recently showed most of the participants (nearly half) stopped taking their pharmaceutical drugs. 80% said that they found CBD oil to be ‘very or extremely’ effective.
While I can’t guarantee that you’d get the same beneficial effects as I have, maybe it is worth a try to see how your body responds to CBD oil.
Because all CBD oil is not equal, and quality and how it’s made is very important, if you’d like to try the oil that I personally use you might like to check out Spirit of Hemp, which posts worldwide with free international shipping.
There are many other great brands out there, which one do you use?
If you’d like to know more about further studies on CBD oil you can check out this link that is a very good resource.
For information on what CBD can do for cancer, epilepsy, Alzheimers, and other disorders please read this.
Go here to join Sarah’s Facebook group for highly sensitive women (and/or to ask to be added to her secret group for those men and women recovering from childhood trauma): https://www.facebook.com/groups/highlysensitivewoman
Some Doctors Claim Babies Should Share Their Mother’s Bed Until The Age Of 3
- The Facts:
A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother's bed. It's not the only study examining the benefits of close contact between mother and child shortly after birth.
- Reflect On:
How much of what we do today in a conventional way, especially with regards to childbirth, is the best way to do it?
When it comes to parenting, everyone seems to have an opinion, and rightfully so, especially if you are yourself a parent. But what about controversial topics? Is there a right or wrong way to raise your children? Are there certain things that you should or should not be doing? Of course, some things are more important than others. But new advice given by a paediatrician suggests children should sleep in bed with their mothers until they reach the age of three.
Dr. Nils Bergman, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, argues that for optimal development, healthy newborns should sleep on their mother’s chest for at least their first few weeks. After that, he believes they should stay in bed with mom and dad until they are three or even four years old.
Because there has been a lot of fear propaganda created around the risk of cot death — the notion that a parent might roll over and suffocate their child — co-sleeping is generally not advised, and in fact, a recently published British study found that almost two-thirds of the cases of SIDS occurred when the bed was being shared.
But, according to Dr.Bergman, “When babies are smothered and suffer cot deaths, it is not because their mother is present. It is because of other things: toxic fumes, cigarettes, alcohol, big pillows and dangerous toys.”
A study involving 16 infants monitored the babies while they slept in their mother’s bed. It found that the baby’s heart was under three times as much stress when he or she slept alone. While sleeping in a cot, they had a more disrupted sleep and their brains were less likely to cycle and transition between the two types of sleep, called active and quiet.
In the cots, only 6 of the 16 babies had any quiet sleep at all, and their sleep quality was much worse.
Dr. Bergman continued to explain how changes to the brain that are brought on by stress hormones can actually make it more difficult to form relationships and close bonds later in life.
Another study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry monitored results from 73 premature infants receiving Kangaroo Care, or skin-to-skin contact with their mothers, and another three premature infants received standard incubator care. The subjects of the study were monitored over a 10-year period, and the results were as follows:
KC increased autonomic functioning (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA) and maternal attachment behavior in the postpartum period, reduced maternal anxiety, and enhanced child cognitive development and executive functions from 6 months to 10 years. By 10 years of age, children receiving KC showed attenuated stress response, improved RSA, organized sleep, and better cognitive control. RSA and maternal behavior were dynamically interrelated over time, leading to improved physiology, executive functions, and mother–child reciprocity at 10 years.
The National Childbirth Trust supports bed sharing provided the parents have not been drinking, smoking, or using drugs, or if they are obese, chronically ill, or suffer from chronic exhaustion, all of which could cause them to roll over onto the baby or otherwise impact their health.
Overall, it’s a very controversial issue. Many swear by bed sharing, and it certainly used to be standard practice before cribs became so common and affordable. There are many upsides to this, but it is also important to be aware of and consider the potential dangers.
We all know babies need to be snuggled and cuddled and given love; they need to feel safe and secure, and how could they possibly feel this all alone in another room in a crib? When you actually think about it, it seems pretty backwards.
Every parent is just doing what they feel is best for their baby, but the opinions of others tend to get in the way. We’ve all heard those comments like, Oh you shouldn’t pick up that baby, you need to let them cry, they are going to have attachment issues, how are they going to develop their independence? Well, they are babies; they can’t care for themselves and they need to be taken care of. It is a natural urge for the mother to take care of her child.
What are your thoughts on this? Did you co-sleep with your child? Did you ever feel it was unsafe? Do you prefer your child to sleep in a crib? Let us know!
Yale Study Reveals 1 in 3 Drugs Have Safety Issues Even After FDA Approval
- The Facts:
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association conducted by a team of researchers from Yale University discovered that nearly one in three drugs that the that the FDA tests and approves ends up having safety issues.
- Reflect On:
Are prescription drugs as safe as they're marketed to be?
In 2014, Harvard University stated that prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death, yet pharmaceutical companies continue to hide behind their profits and promote their products as safe. Doctors and even their patients are willing to turn a blind eye to many of the adverse side effects of drugs, opting for the “bandaid” effect they provide instead of seeking alternative treatments and preventative methods.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and conducted by a team of researchers from Yale University studied the effectiveness of the FDA’s drug approval process. The team discovered that nearly one in three drugs that the FDA tests and approves ends up having safety issues.
Research Finds Serious Issues With FDA Drug Approval Process
In order to establish whether or not pharmaceutical drugs are safe for consumers, the FDA implements drug testing and clinical trials. These trials typically test fewer than 1,000 patients over a short timeframe, usually around six months or less. The Yale researchers suggested that safety issues could only truly be detected if more patients were studied over a longer period of time, speaking to the ineffectiveness of the FDA’s testing.
To identify how to effectively determine any safety issues with pharmaceutical drugs, the Yale researchers studied data on new drugs approved between 2001 and 2010, with follow up through 2017. Their findings proved that approximately 32% of new drugs approved by the FDA had notable safety issues.
A shocking 71 of the 222 drugs approved within this timeframe were withdrawn, had a “black box” warning regarding the side effects, or required a safety announcement to the public about newfound risks. This begs the question: Why are these drugs being approved in the first place if they warrant so many safety concerns?
“That is very rarely a drug withdrawal, but more commonly a black box warning, or drug safety communication issued by the FDA to let physicians and patients know that new safety information has been determined,” explained Associate Professor of Medicine and Public Health Dr. Joseph Ross, who led the research team.
The researchers also specified characteristics of pharmaceuticals that were more likely to pose a higher risk of safety issues to patients, including biologic therapies and drugs that were approved through the FDA’s accelerated approval pathway. The accelerated approval process often uses surrogate endpoints, which means that the researchers measured a factor other than survival, such as tumour size, to figure out whether the drugs should be approved.
“This [finding on surrogate endpoints] has the greatest relationship to policy today,” Ross further elaborated. “In the 21st Century Cures Act, there’s a push to have the FDA move to further support the use of surrogate markers … [but] they’re more likely to have concerns in the post-market setting.”
“While the administration pushes for less regulation and faster approvals, those decisions have consequences,” Ross stated. The Yale team’s previous studies exposed that the FDA approval process for drugs is much faster than that of other government organizations in Europe, which is interesting given the nature of the business in both countries. Prices of drugs are far higher in America than they are abroad, and Americans take a lot more drugs, meaning U.S. pharmaceutical companies make a lot more money.
The timing of this study is interesting too, as the FDA has been facing increased pressure lately to quicken the drug approval process. “It shows that there is the potential for compromising patient safety when drug evaluation is persistently sped up,” said Ross. “At the very least, the study should inform ongoing debate about premarket drug evaluation,” the researchers concluded.
Dr. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, weighed in on the study, commending the researchers for their work. “It’s important to keep in mind that the post-approval safety issues cover the spectrum from relatively minor to serious,” Alexander said.
“A good next step would be to dig into the extremely serious safety problems, determine whether the FDA could have flagged them sooner and how they might have been missed,” he continued.
“All too often, patients and clinicians mistakenly view FDA approval as [an] indication that a product is fully safe and effective,” Alexander explained. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We learn tremendous amounts about a product only once it’s on the market and only after use among a broad population.”
Dr. Alexander makes a great point: Just because a drug is approved by the FDA, doesn’t mean it’s safe. In an ideal world, FDA approval would mean that the drug is entirely safe to use, but the reality is that the testing is not extensive enough to even determine the safety of the drug, let alone guarantee it.
Far too often, people place their doctors and health care practitioners on pedestals and fail to conduct their own research. Though I am not qualified to professionally advise anyone on their health, I certainly do not trust everything that my doctor recommends, which is largely because no doctor knows everything there is to know about health. It’s up to you to figure out your own health, not your doctor.
Though doctors can provide wonderful advice and can help immensely when diagnosing and treating illnesses, they can also drastically hinder your health. However, that’s not necessarily their fault, it’s often yours. The onus is on you to conduct your own research, get multiple professional opinions if need be, and ensure you are making informed decisions.
Further Proof of Misconduct at the FDA
In journalism, embargo refers to a “back-room deal” in which journalists and their sources agree not to publish an article prior to a specific date or time. The FDA goes one step further by implementing a “closely held embargo,” which gifts the organization complete control over all new FDA information privy to exposure for the American public.
The FDA’s use of the “close embargo” reveals that the institution likely wants to prevent reporters from leaking information. The biggest concern seems to be that, when officials begin giving the go-ahead for this special access, it makes it much easier for the agency to prevent stories they don’t like from being exposed.
For more than a decade, the FDA has shown a pattern of burying the details of misconduct. As a result, nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses. The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn’t get forthright answers. For an agency devoted to protecting the public from bogus medical science, the FDA seems to be spending an awful lot of effort protecting the perpetrators of bogus science from the public.
You can read more about that in the following CE article:
The FDA also works hand-in-hand with pharmaceutical companies, which you can read about in the following CE article:
To make matters worse, pharmaceutical companies also hold close ties to doctors, which you can learn about here:
To be clear, 128,000 people die every year in the U.S. from drugs prescribed to them, which is being done under the approval of the FDA and doctors. The reality is, drug companies make a lot of money from selling prescriptions, and so do those involved with them, including doctors.
At the end of the day, the medical industry is a booming business, one that thrives off sick people. These companies actually benefit when their drugs cause adverse effects, because they then have additional reasons to sell you even more drugs. The system is designed to help you in one way, and then disadvantage you in another. In essence, they want you healthy, but not too healthy, and until we educate ourselves and take control of our health, we will continue to perpetuate this cycle.
Intermittent Fasting Is Great, But Alternate-Day Fasting Is Having A Big Impact On My Body
- The Facts:
I started alternate day fasting a few months ago. I've lost a healthy chunk of fat from my body and my weight has stabilized. Fasting is a great way to boost your health and help your body utilize its fat stores.
- Reflect On:
The science of fasting is very interesting, and it shows that fasting can be used as a therapeutic intervention for multiple diseases and/or to simply be healthier. Is it ignored by medicine because it doesn't generate a profit?
Several years ago I remember coming across an old study from 2013 about caloric restriction, emphasizing how it extends life span and prevents as well as helps to reverse several age-related diseases in a variety of species. This was very intriguing to me, especially given the fact that humans have been bombarded with the idea that we need to eat at least three meals a day, plus snacks in order to be healthy and fit. Fast forward to today, and fasting has become quite popular, and this is thanks to a wealth of research that’s emerged showing that not only caloric restriction, but fasting, has a number of health benefits.
Fasting has been shown to extend life, protect against neurodegenerative and age-related diseases, ‘starve’ certain cancer cells, reverse and manage type two diabetes, trigger new stem cell generation and help people lose weight. If done for a long enough time, although we don’t quite know exactly how long, fasting also actives autophagy, the body’s self-cleaning system, which allows the cell to get rid of old cell machinery, breaking them down into smaller parts to be reused by the cell. Fasting stimulates the production of ketone bodies in the blood, which have also been shown to have a number of benefits and is one of many mechanisms by which fasting benefits the body.
Fasting Is Beneficial
When you eat food, that food is converted into glycogen which your body then burns. When you fast, your body uses up stored fat for energy after its glycogen reserves are depleted, and the process of the body switching from burning glucose to efficiently burning fat is something that seems to have been built into our biology, meaning we are designed to go short, or even prolonged periods of time without any food, and that this ‘stress’ on the body actually benefits us in many ways.
There is absolutely no evidence that, for the average person, fasting can be dangerous. In fact, all evidence points to the opposite. If you’re on prescription medication, or experience other medical problems, then there are obviously exceptions. But it’s quite clear that the human body was designed to go long periods of time without food, and that it’s completely natural.
If you want to learn more about the science of fasting, there is plenty of research out there. Sifting through scholarly articles on the subject will yield many interesting results. You can find a number of lectures on Youtube as well. The main takeaway for me after studying fasting and its mechanisms for fifteen years now is that it’s an extremely healthy and safe practice with a number of health benefits, and I wanted to share my current experience instead of simply diving deep into the science of it all.
My Alternate-Day Fasting Experience
I have found that the research directly correlates with my experience of fasting on a regular basis, and it’s something I’ve been doing for fifteen years. I have done a lot of prolonged fasts in my life, weekly fasts, as well as many periods of intermittent fasting where I condense my eating period to a time of 5-8 hours. But only within the past few months have I tried alternate-day fasting, and so far it’s the fasting method that’s been the most successful for me. Everybody is different, and at the end of the day you just have to find what works for you.
I’ve always put on weight quite easily, and have had no problem storing food. Perhaps it’s genetics, my family has a strong and long history of type two diabetes, hinting to the idea that insulin levels in my family can remain high, thus making it impossible to access my fat stores. Obviously, fasting drops your insulin levels, allowing your body to access and burn its fat reserves which, again, has been shown to have a tremendous amounts of benefits.
Alternate-day fasting has given me something consistent to go with when it comes to maintaining and stabilizing my weight. For me, intermittent fasting just wasn’t doing it, I found I could not eat what I enjoy without packing on extra fat and slowly increasing my weight. I also did many prolonged fasts, which helped me drop my extra fat, but then I’d put it back on. This was true for me even whilst eating a healthy, whole grain fully plant-based diet.
With alternate-day fasting, I do not gain weight, and my energy levels have increased to the point where I am now working out at the end of every fast. I’ve never experienced so much energy an I’ve never felt so alert. I had a glimpse of it with intermittent fasting, but the period without food just wasn’t long enough for me, I feel, to really tap into the benefits of fasting.
So what does alternate-day fasting look like? It’s when you eat one day, and then fast the next. Simple.
So, for example, what I do is I will eat on a Monday, and then have my last meal in the evening. Then, I wait until Wednesday morning to eat again. So, I am doing 36-40 hour fasts, quite often. What recommended alternate-day fasting looks like is eating on Monday, and then not eating until 24 hours after, or Tuesday night. Or, eating on Monday, and then restricting your calorie intake the next day to only 500 calories., and then repeat throughout the week.
I’ve been fasting for a quite a long time, so my body is quite fat adapted. It’s not difficult for me to fast and when I do I do not feel hungry at all, which means my body has adapted itself to ‘consuming’ it’s stored energy. I am at the point where alternate-day fasting for me usually means not eating for at least 40 hours and after a workout, and every now and then I will extend my fast to 72 or more hours and throw in a workout at the end those fasts as well. The food I eat during my eating periods is, again, a whole foods plant-based diet.
Related CE Article going into more detail: What Working Out In A Fasted State (Not Eating) Does To Your Muscles
That’s how I do it, and doing it this way I dropped nearly 20 pounds before eventually stabilizing my weight. I usually do alternate-day fasting, but every now and then I will eat two days in a row here and there. So I am not extremely strict on myself, but then again, my fasting periods are longer and I believe it’s easier for me simply because I am well adapted to the practice, and my body type and perhaps my genetics helps me have an easier time with it.
If you’re looking to shed some fat from your body, it’s something I recommend you try, it’s great because it forces you to enter into a fat period for a longer state than intermittent fasting, and allows you to utilize more of your fat reserves.
You can look at alternate-day fasting as an ‘extreme’ form of fasting, although there is nothing extreme about it and it’s completely safe. If you’re someone who has never fasted before, I recommend you start off with intermittent fasting, as fasting alone for someone who has never practiced it can be quite difficult at first until your body gets used to it.
If you’re looking for some great resources on this topic beyond simply reading and searching for scholarly peer-reviewed publications on the subject via online journal databases (there are lots), you can visit Dr. Jason Fung’s website blog here. There are a lot of great informative articles on the subject there.
Another great resource is Krista Varady, PhD, a Professor of Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her research focuses on the efficacy of intermittent fasting for weight loss, weight maintenance, and cardio-protection in obese adults. Her work is funded by the NIH, American Heart Association, International Life Sciences Institute, and the University of Illinois. She has published over 70 publications on this topic, and is also the author of a book for the general public, entitled the “Every Other Day Diet”.
Her “book for the general public,” The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off is a great place to start.
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