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Staff don’t eat for 36 hours every week to supercharge their brains

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Learning and development | 12 Jul 2016, 01:02 PM Agree 0
One company is encouraging staff to skip food every Tuesday to improve their performance and productivity.
  • Danny | 12 Jul 2016, 04:42 PM Agree 0
    I had to comment on this article to clarify some of the information. I don’t think the CEO of this company understands nutrition. Rather than fasting it would be better to eat a high carbohydrate, plant based & whole food diet to improve cognitive function, particularly memory, creativity and ideas.

    The body’s preferred energy source is carbohydrates and the brain only uses glucose (from carbohydrates) as fuel. Glucose is a type of sugar which the brain depends on for fuel. Studies show that dips in glucose availability can have a negative impact on attention, memory and learning, and that administering glucose can enhance these aspects of cognitive function. The brain also uses up more glucose during challenging mental tasks. Therefore, it may be especially important to keep blood glucose levels at an optimum level for good cognitive function. Consuming regular meals may help to achieve this….not fasting.

    The idea of ketosis is very dangerous. Here is some info from John McDougall, MD:

    With insufficient intake of the body’s primary fuel, carbohydrate, the body turns to fats from foods and from body fat for fuel. Byproducts of this metabolism are acidic substances called ketones (acetacetic acid, B-hydroxybuteric acid, and acetone). The metabolic condition is known as ketosis. Ketosis is associated with loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, and hypotension (lower blood pressure). The result is a decrease in food (calorie) intake. Ketosis is the key to the diet’s success, by allowing the body to starve while reducing the suffering of severe hunger pangs. This same condition, ketosis, occurs naturally when people are literally starving to death or seriously ill. During starvation this metabolic state is a kindness of nature allowing the victim to suffer much reduced pains of hunger while dying. During illness the suppression of the appetite frees the person to rest and recuperate, rather then be forced by hunger to gather and prepare food. Because ketogenic diets simulate this metabolic state seen with serious illness, I refer to them as “the make yourself sick diets.”
  • Hunger4Truth | 12 Jul 2016, 06:00 PM Agree 0
    Danny might benefit from reading some of the latest research published by acknowledged experts demonstrating the benefits of intermittent fasting for short periods. According to Dr Valter D. Lungo (and others) a neurotransmitter known as BNF is stimulated by fasting. It acts on the brain a bit like serotonin, raising alertness, energy levels and lifting mood. My personal experience of fasting for 24 hours twice per week supports this research so I'd challenge the claims that optimum performance depends on regular meals. With respect to a high carbohydrate diet most people would be familiar with a 'sugar rush' and the subsequent crash that occurs after, so I suspect that any 'studies' are not considering the whole story.

    The human body is very sophisticated and adapts to dietary changes. I doubt that nature ever intended for us to eat the typical high calorie diets that contribute to the obesity epidemic and the chronic diseases it causes. Far from "making yourself sick" a sensible approach to short term fasting is much more likely to lead to a long and healthy life than reaching for another donut. Anyone interested this topic should take a look at the excellent BBC Horizon documentary produced by Dr Michael Mosley. He does a great job of explaining the research in simple terms.
  • Andy | 13 Jul 2016, 06:22 AM Agree 0
    'Woo' pretty much sums this up!
  • Danny | 14 Jul 2016, 02:46 PM Agree 0
    Hunger4Truth, thanks for making me aware of Dr Valter D. Lungo. I'll look him up.

    I am aware that some studies have shown benefits from fasting but I'm coming from a place of optimal & long term health (not just stimulating a neurotransmitter). An optimal diet that has been proven by 1000's of medical studies to prevent and reverse most modern diseases. For a lot of the recent medical studies watch this video - http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/

    I do a 16 hour fast once a week but more for digestion and detox.

    The top Athletes will not fast like you suggest. They need the energy and carbs.

    Have you ever tried a high carbohydrate, plant based & whole food diet? There is no sugar rush…just constant energy, alertness, great mood, amazing skin and no sickness. Even helps with meditation and personal development work as the mind is clear. These benefits aren’t short term from fasting…they are constant. Like I said, this diet has been proven to prevent and reverse most modern diseases. I appreciate your own experience suggests fasting is working but I would suggest testing the diet before committing to fasting for the rest of your life.

    I’ve seen the documentary. I tried intermittent fasting a few years ago before I learnt about and then experienced life on a high carbohydrate, plant based & whole food diet. Dr Michael Mosley is a good presenter but I would prefer to get my nutritional facts from the experts.
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