If you’ve been living in a cave recently, go back in. Seriously. There’s a pandemic going on that’s making people more anxious than usual. And when people are anxious, the favorite coping mechanism is comfort eating.
Lots of people are reporting that because of stay-at-home orders and anxiety about coronavirus, it’s not unusual to experience the adult version of the freshman 15: The Quarantine 15.
If you’ve been living in a cave, you may also not be familiar with one of the most popular health trends of recent years: Intermittent Fasting.
Have you heard of intermittent fasting but have no idea what it is? Here’s the skinny on intermittent fasting and how it can help you shed the Quarantine 15…
Intermittent Fasting For Fast Weight Loss
It’s late at night, the kids are finally in bed. Now it’s time to get your Netflix on. (During a pandemic, one of the worst things you can do is watch the 11 o’clock news.) It takes a lot of willpower not to eat popcorn or other snacky food while watching TV. It’s not that we really need to eat late at night; we are not truly hungry (starving), it’s just a habit. It makes us feel better. Comfort eating brings us back to childhood when we skinned a knee and mom said, here sweetie, have some ice cream, you’ll feel better.
Now more than ever, we want mom’s soothing touch.
The good news is that even if you eat late at night, intermittent fasting makes it possible for you to enjoy whatever late-night snack you want.
What’s the catch?
The catch is you have to go at least 12 hours in between your last bite and your next meal. For maximum weight loss potential, the ideal is going 16 hours in between meals.
Intermittent fasting is one of the only diets that doesn’t really tell you what to eat and what not to eat. Rather, it tells you when to eat. And the when is totally up to you, whatever best fits your schedule.
Going 16 hours without eating might sound like an eternity.
But think about it….
You’re hopefully sleeping (or trying to) for at least half that amount of time. And if you finish your last meal by 8 p.m. and you’re fully satisfied from it and don’t eat a midnight snack, you can break your fast by 8 a.m. the next day. Waiting until 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. isn’t so difficult once you get used to it.
Accelerate Your Weight Loss Potential
There are a couple other ways you can do intermittent fasting.
You can pick two days a week to restrict the number of calories you eat. For instance, you can just eat one meal on those days, or just have a couple of veggie smoothies or juices. Or, another way to do it is pick 1 or 2 days a week and do a total fast, consuming nothing but water and herbal tea.
But sticking to a time-restricted feeding window every day (fasting for 12-16 hours and then eating whatever you want during the other hours) is most ideal.
To really get the most out of intermittent fasting, before you have your first meal of the day, do the following:
Upon waking up, drink 8-16 ounces of water. Add some fresh-squeezed lemon. To keep your energy level up, add trace mineral drops to your water or sprinkle in a teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt. Trace minerals are like spark plugs for your cells.
Before breaking the fast, your first calories of the day should be in the form of a veggie juice. Break out your blender and add leafy greens such as kale, spinach and parsley. Add some anti-inflammation herbs and spices such as turmeric, black pepper, red pepper, ginger, fresh garlic and cinnamon. Add a squirt of maple syrup for sweetness and more minerals.
Wait at least 30 minutes after having your veggie juice to eat your first meal of the day. To give your digestive system a rest, try to eat only two large meals per day. Go 5-6 hours before meals. If you’re still hungry after finishing your dinner, eat a handful of seeds or nuts and berries and a tiny wedge of cheese. Don’t stuff you face, but do eat enough so that you won’t be tempted to eat crackers on the couch while watching late-night TV. (Instead of eating while watching TV, get down on the floor and do some stretches.)
Supporting Weight Loss With CBD: What The Research Says
You’ve heard or have experienced how CBD can support a calmer mind, more mobile joints, and more restful sleep. But CBD for weight loss? Isn’t CBD supposed to give you the mad munchies?
Nope, that’s CBD’s see-saw chemical, psychoactive opposite, THC. (CBD counteracts the “high” effect from marijuana.)
Up to 40% of the cannabis sativa plant is CBD, just one of approximately 100 active compounds in cannabis. This makes CBD the second most prevalent compound in cannabis after THC. (Hemp-derived full-spectrum CBD oil contains no more than 0.3% THC, not enough to get you high.)
If THC gets you high and CBD takes the edge off the high, and if THC makes some people eat like there’s no tomorrow, does that mean CBD can help you lose weight?
Because of the federal restrictions on hemp extracts up until 2018, relatively speaking, there’s not a lot of conclusive research on CBD, other than its efficacy for treating epilepsy.
However, preliminary research shows that CBD can reduce food intake and increase metabolism. A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience shows how cannabinoids (remember, CBD is just one of at least 100) influence the body’s natural cannabinoids (the endocannabinoid system) to either block off or activate the receptors.
Certain receptors in the endocannabinoid system–CB1–are only supposed to be contained in the brain and nervous system. However, in people with obesity, CB1 receptors are located throughout the body. Researchers theorize that CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system to block CB1 activation. When CB1 is activated, appetite signaling to the brain increases. Therefore, CBD may help in shutting off the “feed me” signal to the brain.
To date, there’s been no human research that shows that CBD shuts off CB1 receptor activity. But the preliminary research shows enormous potential for therapeutic value.
CBD: Can It Switch Bad Fat To Good?
Your body has white fat and brown fat. The fat around your visceral organs is white fat. Having a preponderance of white fat can cause heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Brown fat on the other hand is burned for energy and is considered the body’s healthy fat.
White fat can be transformed into brown fat. An in vitro (“test-tube” research conducted in a lab, not on people) study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences says that cannabinoid receptors are responsible for transforming white adipose (fat) tissue into brown/beige adipocytes (fat cells). CBD also exerts an influence on CB2 receptors, of which the researchers conclude: “Their modulation can be considered [a] potential anti-obesity target.”
Obviously, more research is needed. But as researchers discover more how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is like your body’s second nervous system, we expect more exciting findings about how CBD can play a supporting role in weight management.