-This is a guest post by our partner site kutaan.com who teaches us the benefits of entomophagy coupled with intermittent fasting.
Enjoy the read!
Entomophagy and intermittent fasting is something I thought would be high time to write about. After all, intermittent fasting is one of the most talked about subjects out there when it comes to diet, or dieting.
So, can intermittent fasting be done on an entomophagous diet?
The answer to that question is yes you can do intermittent fasting on an entomophagous diet.
So, since you can combine these, in my opinion, extremely health-beneficial as well as environmentally friendly ways to live, it would only be prudent to learn more about it.
Now, most of our readers are women, so if you just decide to just skim through, please read the section ” Entomophagy and Intermittent Fasting for Women” as intermittent fasting effects you differently from men.
What is Entomophagy?
To many, entomophagy is something new and unheard of. Perhaps you’re just here because a friend sent you the link to this article after you’d had a conversation about entomophagy or intermittent fasting. That’s why I thought we would go over what entomophagy is.
Simply put it, entomophagy is the practice of eating insects.
You might be a little bit scared or grossed out when hearing about eating insects. It’s a normal reaction to something new. At least in this case. We’ve been taught either directly or indirectly eating insects is barbaric.
Some of us ate a bug or two when we were kids, and then never again. Needless to say, if your parents saw it they would probably be like “don’t eat that” and “spit that out”.
More importantly, if you were hassled by your parents as a kid for “stuffing your face with gross bugs”, now is the time to tell them you were, as I like to refer to it, “a pioneer”.
What your parents probably didn’t know is entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, actually form part of at least 2 billion peoples’ traditional diets around the globe.
Moreover, it’s reported 1900 species of insects have been used as food.
Nor is entomophagy something new. As a matter of fact, the role of insects as food has a long history. For that reason, I wrote an article about it. It’s called “BUGS AS A SOURCE OF FOOD“. It’s a long read, but definitely worth it.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Needless to say, this isn’t rocket science. It doesn’t have to to with what you eat. It has to do with when to eat and when not to eat.
Being more specific, Intermittent fasting is when you’re alternating cycles between fasting and eating.
So, is intermittent fasting yet another one of those “life-hacks” that in reality isn’t going to hack anything but actually take up more time?
No, it’s not. If anything it will save you time and energy. You probably don’t have to cook as much and consequently, you’ll have fewer dishes to do.
Having fewer dishes to do will undoubtedly make your life more fulfilling. Needless to say, I haven’t seen any actual study confirming this claim, perhaps it’s just because of the very reason we all know it. No study needed.
The same can be said when it comes to time. It seems as if everyone wishes there were more hours during a day. While we can’t put any more hours in a day, we can make the best use of the ones we have.
Fasting and Religion
And as stated before, entomophagy and intermittent fasting, all tough new concepts for some is actually something that’s been part of human history for a long time.
Fasting is something people are and have been doing for religious or spiritual reasons for quite a while now. We can see it in religions such as;
For example, I have a friend and he’s a Muslim. They fast for 30 days and can only eat once the sun sets. So their eating habits, I’m told (obviously) changes depending on where they are geographically during this period. This fasting period is called Ramadan.
In this case, my friend couldn’t start eating until about 10:00 o’clock at night. However, there’s one crucial difference here, that is, unlike the kind of fasting I’m a proponent of, they aren’t allowed to drink anything either.
How Intermittent Fasting is Done
The 16/8 Method
There are several ways of going about intermittent fasting. One, probably the most common way, is done by fasting for 16 hours a day. Otherwise known as the “The 16/8 method“.
It might sound like a long time, going for 16 hours without food. You needn’t worry though. Those 16 hours actually include the time you spend sleeping.
As a result, you actually only have 8 hours of fasting, which even a low-disciplined guy like myself can muster.
Consequently, you skip breakfast and eat your first meal once those 16 hours have gone by.
I, on the other hand, start my day with breakfast. I’ll explain why later on.
Another example would be the “Eat-Stop-Eat” version. This is when you fast for 24 hours, and you do this 24-hour fast one to two times a week.
Meaning, if you eat dinner, then you won’t eat until dinner the next day.
To be honest with you this version is one which I’ve kind of tried, but won’t be doing anytime soon again.
I remember feeling great having a lot of energy most of the day, later on, I was driving on the highway, I started to feel dizzy and ended up in McDonald’s Drive-Thru.
Obviously, this is not the way to go about doing fasting. Stuffing your face with McDonald’s food is, as I like to put it, eating assisted suicide.
For some people, it works. You should try, just don’t end up in a drive-thru…
The 5:2 Diet
Yet another example would be that of the “The 5:2 diet“. Here you eat 500-600 calories two times a week. However, you don’t do those two days in a row. The remaining 5 days you eat normally.
I personally have never tried it this way, but it does sound reasonable.
Which Way is the Best?
I can’t tell you what is best for you. However, my worldview tells me consistency leads you to something better at the end, whatever it may be. If you’re able to be consistent and do it for a long time, especially in the world of health, you will see results.
Doing something where you end up giving up or failing to do what you set out to do from the beginning is just wasting your time and hopes. When you do things this way, unfortunately, the results could be pure despair.
This also why I personally wouldn’t go for the “Eat-Stop-Eat” version, nor the “The 5:2 diet“. I feel as though my chances greatly enhances my ability to end up in the aforementioned Mcdonald’s Drive-Thru.
By the way, after the Drive-Thru, this is where the aforementioned feeling of despair kicks in. The words, after finished eating of course, “what have I done” pops up in my mind.
Just as a tip, as we all know, either by experience or by instinct, going shopping for food while hungry is a bad idea. Chances are you’ll end up eating something you know you shouldn’t eat.
Needless to say, these are just my opinions and advise. Try whatever you feel you could do consistently, so you can get results.
Intermittent Fasting for Women
So, we’ve gone over how to do intermittent fasting. However, there are some differences when it comes to fasting between men and women. Because of this, I thought it would only be fitting to lay out some of the different approaches you as women should consider.
To sum it up, one could say, it’s a more gentle approach towards intermittent fasting than that of men.
How Intermittent Fasting is Done for Women
Now, to me, this method looks like one of the more sustainable approaches towards fasting.
Here you fast for 12-16 hours two to three days a week. The fasting periods should be nonconsecutive and spread evenly. For example, you can fast Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Just as mentioned before, this is when you have a full 24 hour fast, once or twice a week. However, no more than twice a week for women. Start with a step by step approach, gradually building up from 14 to 16 hour fasts.
The 5:2 Diet
Here you reduce your calorie intake to 25 percent of what you normally eat, like 500 calories. You do this for two days a week, but not in two days in a row. Consequently, you eat like you normally would do the remaining days.
Modified Alternate-Day Fasting
This means you’re fasting every other day. The non-fasting days are days where you eat normally. However, on fasting days you’re allowed to eat 20-25 percent of the calories you’re normally eating, which is about 500 calories.
The 16/8 Method
Lastly, we have the 16/8 method, also called “Leangains method“. And just as with men you fast for 16 hours a day and the remaining 8 hours are your eating window. However, women should build up to those 16 hours. So, start with 14 hours and then gradually build up to 16 hours.
Your Stored Body Fat
My problem area is the belly area, my waist. This is true for so many people. A tight waist will make the pecks on a man look better, bringing out the V-shape. For women, a tight waist will make the boobs look bigger, as well as bringing out the butt. Needless to say, these are things most of us, both men and women tend to long for.
I will talk more about how I found fasting affected my waist-line later on.
For now, I will tell you why fasting might be something we all should consider doing.
- One reason is the case for insulin. When you fast, insulin sensitivity improves, your levels of insulin drop, a lot. Once you have lower insulin levels, your body fat will become more accessible.
- Another reason is that of HGH, Human Growth Hormone. Again, when you fast, this hormone will go through the roof, as much as a 5-fold upturn. Fat loss and muscle gain are two of the benefits of this.
- Thirdly, fasting brings about cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells.
- Yet another amazing benefit of fasting is gene expression. Here we find changes in the function of genes. This related to longevity as well as protection against disease.
Who doesn’t like all of these great things? I mean, it’s the most basic recipe for your health.
Intermittent Fasting- A Candle Burning at Both Ends
Entomophagy and intermittent fasting, eating a lot of vegetables, going to the gym, these are all things which might be foreign to you. At least when told about in the same context. Moreover, these are all things we know we should do, meaning, eating healthy and doing some type of physical activity.
I was skinny my whole life until the start of my twenties, then life kicked me in my behind. I, obviously, couldn’t keep eating the way I had been for such a long time.
Again, something you might be familiar with, which is the overall compound interest on life’s problems. The result seems to be even poorer decision-making skills when it comes to your health.
I, however, was one of the lucky ones, I had the support of people in my life who cared about me and wanted to see me succeed in my endeavor to losing weight.
Some of you might not be as lucky. However, you now have something which I didn’t. The knowledge of intermittent fasting.
A Candle Burning at Both Ends- Intermittent Fasting at Work
A headline reading “A candle burning at both ends” might sound weird, or perhaps even stupid. I assure you, there’s a train of thought behind it though.
Now, we all know losing weight is a painstakingly slow process. As a result, you start to feel demoralized. You feel nothing is happening and the effort you’ve put in doesn’t compare to the weight you’ve lost. This is where we give up.
Consequently, anything that might help us lose weight faster is something that is appealing to us, all of us.
Needless to say, this is where we start to look for various weight-loss products at the health-food store and online. And almost all of us fall for whatever “miracle in a bottle” is sold.
Supplements are great, but they are supplements, we even sell products which we consider to be good for your health and beneficial to the environment. However, as of yet, I haven’t come about any weight loss miracle pill which I find trustworthy.
Could this be the reason why intermittent fasting isn’t nearly as known about as it should be, meaning you can’t make money out of people selling stuff?
I personally don’t think this assumption is out of place.
Now, finally, I’ll tell you why I consider intermittent fasting to be like a candle burning at both ends. You see, one could make a parable to the slow burn of a candle with trying to lose weight. It’s a long and tiresome process.
So, when we do intermittent fasting we kind of speed up the weight-loss process, hence the title “a candle burning at both ends”.
The Science Behind “A Candle Burning at Both Ends”
This isn’t just me talking jibberish. As a matter of fact, when you do intermittent fasting you do lose weight in several ways at the same time.
- Firstly, you have the restriction of calorie intake. By eating fewer meals you automatically get fewer calories, that is, unless you (over)compensate by eating more once you do eat.
- Secondly, you lower your insulin levels. This basically means you burn stored energy, otherwise known to us as fat.
- Thirdly, intermittent fasting increases the release of norepinephrine (noradrenaline). This is a fat burning hormone.
Furthermore, if you’re like me and like to hit the gym, you don’t want to suffer muscle loss. This is, once again I might add, where the power of intermittent fasting comes into play.
You see, when comparing intermittent fasting to the more standard ways of continuous calorie restriction, intermittent fasting has shown to cause less muscle loss. Something you obviously don’t want when doing all that hard work so look buff or lean. Moreover, having higher muscle mass helps you burn calories, even when resting.
Hopefully, you now understand what I mean by “burning a candle at both ends”. Also, now you have the knowledge so many people lack when it comes to losing weight.
Some people say “knowledge is power”. I, on the other hand, would like to argue that it means nothing unless you make use of that power.
So, love yourself, treat yourself as you would have a loved one. Hopefully, this will make you successful in your endeavor to create the body you want, where you feel comfortable and can be healthy.
Entomophagy and Intermittent Fasting- Your Cholesterol
Now I’m not a doctor. Nor am I nearly smart enough to be one. However, both you and I are smart enough to put “two and two” together.
With this outlook, I thought we’d look at cholesterol. To be more precise, the bad kind of cholesterol.
Your normal sources of protein such as meat and dairy products have been known to increase in the plasma levels of LDL cholesterol. And to suffer from cardiovascular diseases is nothing to wish for.
This is where protein from crickets could come in handy. In one study, rats fed on a diet supplemented with crickets found their serum LDL cholesterol to be significantly lower.
Basically, getting your protein from crickets could lower your serum LDL cholesterol.
Meanwhile, an intermittent fasting study has shown the very same thing. Meaning, it could lower your LDL cholesterol.
Admittedly, there’s also a study showing that there’s no difference in LDL cholesterol on people doing Ramadan, which in effect is like intermittent fasting.
However, the people in the first study were obese, and the people in Ramadan study had a normal weight.
Simply put it, to be sure of all this, more studies need to be made on the subject of intermittent fasting.
Entomophagy and intermittent fasting- Would You Like to Live Longer?
Hopefully, by now, you can appreciate one of the many reasons one should do intermittent fasting. Also, we’ve seen that getting protein from crickets could lower your LDL cholesterol. By this kind of reasoning, one could argue it could help you live longer.
However, this isn’t what I’m getting at.
As a matter of fact, there’s a study out, claiming intermittent fasting may increase your lifespan. Considering the way intermittent fasting makes me feel, and look, I’m personally not surprised by this.
In said study, researchers used nematode worms. Apparently, these worms only live two weeks. This enabled the researchers to do the study in real-time.
Sadly, it doesn’t say for how much longer the worms stayed alive.
However, I’ll leave some quotes from some of the people involved in the study which might help you see why this isn’t just big talk.
“Low-energy conditions such as dietary restriction and intermittent fasting have previously been shown to promote healthy aging. Understanding why this is the case is a crucial step toward being able to harness the benefits therapeutically,” said Heather Weir, lead author of the study, who conducted the research while at Harvard Chan School and is now a research associate at Astex Pharmaceuticals. “Our findings open up new avenues in the search for therapeutic strategies that will reduce our likelihood of developing age-related diseases as we get older.”
“Although previous work has shown how intermittent fasting can slow aging, we are only beginning to understand the underlying biology,” said William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “Our work shows how crucial the plasticity of mitochondria networks is for the benefits of fasting. If we lock mitochondria in one state, we completely block the effects of fasting or dietary restriction on longevity.”
Intermittent Fasting- My Personal Experience
Like I told you before, I was heavy once. Little by little I managed to lose weight. I felt better and I looked better. But more importantly, I got rid of a chronic disease called chronic urticaria.
Even though I ate a good diet I still had a bit too much fat on my belly. Belly fat it seems is something almost everyone has a problem with. It’s the last to go, so to speak.
Nowadays, after ridding myself from Chronic Urticaria, I also go to the gym. And to be completely frank, I have sneaked a couple of sodas and some candy from time to time. Because I’m going to the gym fairly regularly, this junk food hasn’t made me overly fat.
Nobody is Perfect
Now, you might be wondering why you should take health-advice from someone who by admission hasn’t always been the pinnacle of health. It’s a fair question.
It might not sound like a humble answer, but if you’re one of the people who asked yourself this question, I ask you this: Do you really think you’re the only one with a sweet tooth? If not, how can you expect others to never give in to the temptations of a Fanta, or a juicy burger?
Actually, I used to have this very mindset and it’s not healthy. By thinking others are stronger than you just bring about a mindset of defeat before you ever set out to do whatever it was you intended to do. Everybody starts somewhere.
Moreover, by realizing this, you now can set out to make mistakes and fail but most importantly, try, whatever it may be.
“I’m just a human, and so are you, the best we can do, is to learn from each other”.
Again, by this I mean, we all fail and make mistakes. With this, we can help people not to make the same ones. We can also show others they aren’t alone.
Needless to say, the phrasing might sound harsh, however, if you really think about it, they are words coming from love. This because now you’re reminded you too can be the change you want to be.
Listen, don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
Let’s continue. I’ve tried various ways of approaching a healthy lifestyle, sometimes coupled with less healthy ways. Anyway, here are the following ways I’ve done it:
- One way was to go to the gym while sneaking sodas and candy.
- Another way was to go to the gym while taking care of my diet, not eating unhealthy snacks or drinks.
- Yet another was going to the gym while sneaking sodas and candy coupled with intermittent fasting.
- And the final way was going to the gym eating healthy coupled with intermittent fasting.
Now we’re going to see what happened next. Excited yet? Well, you should be.
Intermittent Fasting- My Results
So what happened when I did all this? Well, I’ll go over the results with you in a moment. However, I need you to know I never intended to try and see what happened when doing this.
This “test” is merely me going; “hang on, I did this, then this, and so on” and this is what happened.
In other words, this is hardly hard science. Just my personal experience.
Moreover, I never stuck to a fasting period religiously. I did, however, embrace the concept of limited time for the intake of food, or drinks which influence your insulin levels.
You spike your insulin when you eat or drink certain drinks. When this happens, the body takes energy from the food instead of the energy already in your system, i.e fat.
By the way, black coffee won’t break your fast, some teas will though, so make sure you check out whether or not your tea will break the fast.
1. Going to the Gym while Sneaking Sodas and Candy
Here, I wasn’t really sticking to any kind of fasting routine. To start with, it’s not something I would recommend. Drinking soda and eating candy, no matter what one would like to think, is never good for you.
What I found was, I kept a steady weight, although I did have a little bit of a love handle situation.
This probably has to do with the very fact one burns energy while working out. The overall good diet I have probably has helpt a lot.
And for those who don’t know, a good diet here at kutaan.com consists of a lot of vegetables and entomophagy.
2. Going to the Gym while Taking Care of my Diet, Not Eating unhealthy Snacks or Drinks
Here too, I wasn’t doing any fasting. Even though I wasn’t doing any fasting, this is one of the more preferred ways of approaching a healthy lifestyle. I found myself to have an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep. Furthermore, I also found it easier to deal with work and life in general. Having a more stable mood if you will.
To be noted, the love handle situation wasn’t as bad as before.
3. Going to the gym while sneaking sodas and candy coupled with intermittent fasting
Now, this is where I started to incorporate fasting. This is also where it gets interesting to say the least. Even though I this time sneaked some sodas and candy I seemed to have managed to keep the love handle situation under control, at least somewhat. Although, I didn’t eat as much real food either. One could say I switched out the good food for the bad. To some extent that it is.
For example, when I drank sodas I stopped drinking at a specific time. So as not to drink to close to bedtime. The same when it came to candy or something else unhealthy.
The key point being, I limited the time span I allowed myself to eat.
Notably, sneaking unhealthy food and drinks didn’t seem to have affected my weight as much as it would’ve if I hadn’t limited the time when I allowed myself to eat.
4. Going to the Gym Eating Healthy coupled with Intermittent Fasting
Like before, here too I incorporated fasting. Going to the gym lifting weights means embracing a healthy lifestyle. At least if you keep a good diet, which again, here at Kutaan means eating a lot of vegetables and insects, or insect-based products such as cricket-flour.
And if you’re one of those people having a hard time losing weight and keeping it off, well, I think this could be for you.
First of all, this time I’ve eaten healthy and I didn’t sneak sodas or unhealthy snacks.
Secondly, I don’t have a particular time when I eat. Normally, however, I do start my day with a protein-rich breakfast. This is something I’ve started doing recently, again, I’ll tell you why later on.
I’m already quite a thin guy. As stated earlier, the problem area is the belly area. As it is for many people.
Actually, limiting the time when I allow myself to eat has helped me tremendously with making my belly area tighter. And, since I weigh myself every day when I wake up I’ve not only seen changes on the scale, I’ve also seen changes when looking myself in the mirror. Certainly, something which I haven’t always looked forward to doing…
Admittedly, it’s not a ton of weight I’ve lost. However, in relation to my current size, weight and overall body-type, its given me amazing results.
I feel it’s important to note here, these are changes which have come about in a very small period of time. I can’t tell you exactly how long these changes took. It probably took something like a week.
Honestly, It’s not that hard either. The thing is, you eat what you eat but you don’t keep grazing all through the day.
So, if you stopped eating say, 6 hours before you know you’re going to bed and then feel a bit hungry, and want to eat say, a banana, then don’t.
Entomophagy and Intermittent Fasting – More on the Belly Area
It’s funny how things work out. Well, perhaps I shouldn’t say funny, interesting might be a more accurate statement. The reason why is because I discovered the effect it had on my belly by observing the changes. I didn’t have any studies telling me how great intermittent fasting would be for my waist-line.
As a result of these very noticeable belly-changes, I tried to see if I could find any study confirming my suspicion intermittent fasting was what helped me.
Needless to say, it wasn’t particularly hard. What I found was it does seem like it has to do with the fact you’re not focused on restricting your calorie intake when you do intermittent fasting. As a result, your caloric intake isn’t as high.
Consequently, if you “over-eat” during your eating periods you won’t get the same results.
More recently, circumstances arose where I decided not to eat breakfast for a couple of days. Even more so, I don’t think I ate that much overall.
Sometimes these circumstances are to be capitalized on, as I did. The results were a slim waist-line.
This may sound counter to what I’ve previously stated, but again, I’m simply “retracing” what has happened when I’ve tried different things.
Why I eat a Protein-Rich breakfast
When I first started to do intermittent fasting I didn’t have the flexible work-hours I do now. Nor have I ever been one for eating breakfast.
Since intermittent fasting is basically about going longer periods of time without eating, or drinking things which affects your insulin levels I decided not to eat breakfast. Using the momentum of the sleep, where you don’t eat (I hope) to then continue some time into the day, where you then break your fast.
Now though, I eat a protein-rich breakfast with some fatty food.
As stated earlier, I will now tell you why I eat breakfast.
You see, I read this book. The book was basically about life and how to tackle it. And since I’m all about diet, one thing, in particular, stood out.
The author of the book claimed he recommended his patients to eat a protein and fat rich breakfast. This to have the energy needed throughout the day. In particular, if you were depressed since that too will drain a lot of your energy.
The Results of a Protein-Rich Breakfast
What can I say, it works great eating breakfast and still do intermittent fasting. I still have the ours where I don’t eat. The difference now is, I feel more energetic, have an easier time concentrating and I no longer lose my temper the same way either.
So, if you have a job, or life circumstances where you have annoying people around you a lot, this seems like something you should try.
Again, I’d like to remind you this is hardly a scientific study, just my personal experience.
So, do entomophagy, do intermittent fasting, and to see how far you’ve come, compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to others.