I’ve said many times that I believe soon intermittent fasting (IF) will be just as common as the low-carb lifestyle; and, that just like low-carb diets, the research and numerous accounts of personal successes will win over the naysayers. I look forward to that day because I do grow tired of the misinformation that suggests eating six small meals a day optimizes metabolism, or that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, or that eating less than 25 grams of carbohydrates a day is the only way to achieve ketosis. In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” Not that it doesn’t work very well for many; but how’s it working for you?
How do I know the alternative, intermittent fasting, works well for me? There’s only one way to know if a lifestyle is beneficial and that is to become educated about personal health trends. Think of your nutritional habits today and ask yourself, is your average blood pressure normal, is your healthy cholesterol going up, are your triglycerides going down— heck, what are triglycerides anyway? We can’t expect to live a healthy life if we don’t know and understand our own health indicators.
If I were to ask the average person what their car’s primary source of fuel is, they would likely swiftly give me the correct answer. But, if I pose the same question about the body – “what is the body’s primary source of fuel?” – many would be stumped. The answer is carbohydrates or glucose, by the way. Did you get it right?
Up until about a year ago, I didn’t know or care much about any of this health stuff. I don’t have high blood pressure, diabetes or any major health condition and take no medication, so what was there to care about? Little did I know, I was on a dangerous trend toward all of the above. But all that has changed now and daily intermittent fasting has helped me become much more proactive about my health.
I was very happy to learn that new health regulations make it mandatory for blood labs to provide test results directly to patients. It’s your right to have those available to you and everyone should take advantage of that. I became curious about the specifics of my results despite being told by my doctor simply, “everything looks good.” I wasn’t satisfied with that anymore, especially after adopting a complete lifestyle overhaul since beginning daily intermittent fasting. “Within normal range” is fine, but am I trending better or worse? That’s what I wanted to know. So, I ordered my results and looked at trends. I found a few surprises. Two years ago my HDL (healthy cholesterol) was 39; last March, after eight months of fasting, my HDL had increased to 46. My triglycerides (you want those results low) were at 94 last year and are now at 50. Of course one of the most gratifying indicators is losing almost 50 pounds in less than a year.
I’m encouraged by these results. They stand as my own personal testament to daily intermittent fasting as a healthy lifestyle choice. I highly encourage everyone, especially my fellow fasters, to be their own health advocate, educate themselves and learn about their body. After all, you only get one. My small contribution toward that end is this bloodwork result trends template I developed to track my own results over time. The template includes a test guide for each indicator to help you be informed.
Of course there are many more benefits to fasting than heart health and weight-loss and you can add many more health indicators to this list, but it’s a good start. Feedback is appreciated in the comment section below.