Is this the simplest weight loss plan ever?

How would you feel if someone told you to stop eating all the time? I imagine your response might be something out of print in a family magazine. But what if they had a point? Whether you want to hear it or not, research shows that one of our biggest health issues is that we never stop eating.

Not so long ago, we were advised that it was more correct to “graze” to prevent highs and lows in blood sugar. Everyone is now talking about “intermittent fasting” or “time-restricted eating” (eating dinner early and breakfast late, with fasts 12-16 hours in between).

New Scientist recently praised the “long-life diet” that recommends fasting and every health expert from (Dr. Ranjan Chatterjee) to most Wuhu (Gwyneth Paltrow) does so. So what has changed? It all comes down to awareness of insulin levels, which brings us to the science part…

“Consistently elevated insulin levels interfere with leptin, the hormone that provides a feedback mechanism to tell your brain that you are full,” explains Dr. Andrew Jenkinson, a bariatric surgeon and author of Why We Eat (Too Much). It’s like the fuel gauge in your car.

You panic when you see it blinking blank. But the problem is not that the tank is empty, but that the gauge is broken. The Western culture of snacking on sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods means that insulin levels never go down.

How would you feel if someone told you to stop eating all the time? I imagine your response might be something out of print in a family magazine. But what if they had a point? Whether you want to hear it or not, research shows that one of our biggest health issues is that we never stop eating (stock image)

These terms related to hormones and blood sugar levels can be confusing, so allow me to introduce the simplest nutritional concept of all: the SEAT (stop eating all the time) plan. You don’t need to count calories or buy “diet” versions of foods.

Now when I get past the fridge and look for cheese, I tell myself: Stop eating all the time. When I smell croissants in the bakery, I think: stop eating all the time. Try it. Your secret health weapon can be as easy as changing the way you think.

If that sounds like deprivation, the way I see it is as follows: Food should be delicious and enjoyed to the full, ideally with other people. For me, that means meal times. Snacks are often returned without thinking, in a state of boredom or stress. So, even though I’ve given up snacks, I still enjoy good food every day – and I enjoy it even more because I’m hungry at dinnertime. It’s common sense, and it’s the only diet that’s easy to stick to — because it’s not a diet: it’s a mindset.

This simplicity is at the heart of why fasting works, says Dr. Jason Fung, author of The Obesity Law and The Complete Guide to Fasting. “It’s easy to understand,” he explains. It’s also convenient, so you can save time and simplify your life. And it is flexible: you are always in control of how and when you fast. You can fast more if you need to lose weight, and less if you are on vacation.

Experts in the smart way to seat

fasting teacher Dr. Jason Fung

Hunger does not continue to increase if you do not eat. Instead, your body will use the calories it needs from your body, and hunger will decrease. Stay busy to take your mind off eating.

Dietitian Karen Newby

If you feel shaky or faint, eat a protein-rich snack, such as nuts. For something sweet, eat fruit or dark chocolate, but eat it shortly after the main meal to avoid a spike in insulin.

Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Andrew Jenkinson

“Sugar and refined carbs give people a buzz, so resisting them can feel like you’re giving up alcohol. Know that cravings will peak and then pass. I call it the craving to surf.”

Gastroenterologist Dr. Megan Rossi

Make sure you feel hungry and not thirsty. Then find a distraction such as going for a walk. If you are really hungry, eat a high-fiber snack, such as hummus with celery or carrot sticks.

People often think that they will tire or deteriorate at work if they do not eat, but in practice, the opposite is true. “It increases energy and focus,” Dr. Fong explains. While fasting, your body releases noradrenaline, giving you more energy and focus. This is why a hungry wolf is so dangerous.

How about a hungry wolf? Anecdotally, women who haven’t eaten are more likely to report a feeling familiar to all of us: “hunger.”

A ‘Hangry’ is a classic sign of low blood sugar, says Karen Newby, RD, author of The Natural Menopause Method. The reason this is exacerbated by the age of 40 is that our metabolism begins to change as estrogen is out of balance. The hunger hormone ghrelin also increases in middle age.

Newby compares eating sugar or refined carbohydrates, such as crackers and chips, to pouring gasoline on a fire. It will burn brightly but briefly – which leads to more cravings. “But protein and beneficial fats, such as oily fish and nuts, are like putting coals on a fire,” she explains. “They keep our power plants going, so we don’t need to eat a lot of snacks.”

Newby says that fasting can be effective for women of any age: “Overnight intermittent fasting for 12-14 hours, and small fasts between main meals, helps us to be more aware of the food we eat. We also give our digestive system a break, as we used to, Even just 100 years ago, snacks are a very recent invention, created by food companies with a market value of billions.

But not everyone sees fasting as a cure for all diseases. ‘Most evidence’ [of the benefits of fasting] It’s from the animal studies, says Dr. Megan Rossi, gut health expert and author of Eat More, Live Well, and we’re very different from mice. I have recommended intermittent fasting to some patients because it can be effective for weight management but this has to do with the fact that if you reduce your eating period, you eat less.

The important thing, she says, is less when you eat and more about what you eat. If people feel very hungry, they can tend to overeat on ultra-processed foods. The focus should be on foods that are rich in nutrients and plenty of fiber, which feeds gut bacteria, and regulates the appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin.

So the key to not landing on the face first in the cinnamon swirl after your fast is to make sure your meals contain plenty of nutrients, fiber (in other words: vegetables) and some protein (meat, fish, eggs, lentils, beans, tofu). A 14-hour fast won’t do much if your eating window consists of chips and ice cream. Once you’ve rocked it, it’s easier than you think to add seeds to porridge, nut butter to toast, or a ball of frozen spinach to pasta.

The focus on getting all the nutrients you need tends to crowd out naturally sugary or ultra-processed foods. What I cut out for was a mid-morning pastry and a late-night snack—and surprisingly, I don’t miss it. So give it a go. I promise your life will be better if you stop eating all the time.

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