first emergency typical chaotic everything arrests getting a finally charting realized hadn’t anything before thought without eating anything hunger energy brain really
happened something health though was healthy work didn’t energy really getting constantly having mood swings from being “hangry suffering
of different diets and food choices. Its amazing to me that the foods that are labeled “healthy” are anything but. I fell into the trap of “fat is bad” and “grains are good.” Which never really made sense to me but I followed them anyway because how can they be wrong.
fantastic. putting making happy functioning are suppose thought that cutting would
coaster allowed my energy I was focused and able to cope better with whatever chaos was happening at the moment. This is vital when trying to keep up in a busy emergency room… patients and coworkers count on you everyday!
Metabolically FlexibleIt’s kind of like those hybrid cars that can switch between two fuel sources when needed; electric and gas. In this case sugar and fat.
When you train your body to use both fuel sources youthe powerhouse of cells switching between both fuel sources difficult and have a hard time fasting.
- Autophagy– “self eating.” Essentially this is the bodies mechanism of cleaning out damage cells and toxins so it can help you regenerate newer, healthier cells. This is great for longevity purposes and acute illnesses. It has also been shown to be helpful for autoimmune diseases and in some cases cancer.
- Weight loss– Increases fat burning by forcing your body to use up fat stores as fuel. When you deprive your body of glucose your body has no other choice than to use fat for fuel. This will help with insulin resistance. Hello Diabetics, especially type II!!
- Reduces inflammation– When you have chronic or a low-grade inflammation you typically have problems with cytokines. Cytokines encourage your immune system’s inflammatory response and the constant presence of cytokines further that inflammatory cycle. When you fast the natural levels of pro -inflammatory cytokines can help reduce inflammation. Keeping your inflammation down is also great for anybody with autoimmune diseases.
I can go on and on about the benefits of fasting but how is this helping our stressful lives as healthcare workers?!
- Improves our cognitive function and clarity. This is vital for anybody working with peoples lives in their hands. The mental fatigue alone from this type of work is very high! Fasting encourages your brain to produce and use high levels of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This is essential for having strong mental clarity and works to prevent extreme lows in your mood. By fasting we are protecting our brain cells against damaged due to oxidative stress and by increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Combats Depression. Did you know that a doctor commits suicide in the U.S. everyday and in the female population, nurses are 23% more likely to commit suicide then women in general. “National survey data suggests that among emergency medical technicians, including firefighters and paramedics, rates of suicide are significantly higher than among the general public.” In my 12 years of nursing I have had three colleagues lose their lives to suicide. So how does fasting help depression? For starters, studies show that cycles of fasting can improve feelings of anger, confusion and tension in your overall mood. Since fasting encourages your body to produce higher levels of Ghrelin, the hunger hormone regulated by food intake, has been shown to increase the amount of dopamine present in your brain. Plus everything listed in reason #1 above.
- Helps fight infection– we are constantly around germs! Plus with our high stress jobs we can easily get run down and tired. Fasting encourages your neutrophils phagocytic cells to go after the bacteria that causes infection rather than the refined sugars and starches in your diet. This reduces the number of infectious bacteria in your system. By adopting a low carb, high healthy fat diet, getting your body fat adapted plus fasting will encourage your body to maintain healthy glucose levels. Bacteria love sugar!
- We Rarely Get Breaks! -I usually only intermittent fast on the days that I work. This is because personally I don’t need to loose any body fat so on my off days I tend to eat more to keep my total weekly calories high. This not only helps me get through my shift with more energy but also decreases food stress. I don’t need to worry about what I’m eating all day long or if I’m eating the right foods, the wrong foods or whatever the case may be. By not snacking and feeling hungry all the time I don’t feel the need to munch on the endless amount of crap food that always seems to show up when we are busy; cookies, cakes, pizza, chips ect…Does this sound like your work?
While there are many fasting protocols; 16/8, 5:2, 24 hrs fast, alternate day fast, warrior diet fast and many others (you can google these for more info). I tend to go off my bodies signals. I fast on the days I work, which isn’t the same days every week. I eat when I start feeling sluggish or tired, eat bigger meals when Im off and make sure no matter when Im eating that ALL MY meals include high quality protein, healthy fats and veggies!
Even though sometimes we don’t even have time to pee, lol …. Don’t Forget To Drink !!! We need the hydration and extra minerals! Here is a perfect article on what to drink when fasting. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-what-breaks-a-fast/
If you do fasting protocols, how has this helped you? If not, will you give it a shot? Let me know how you do or what questions you have in the comments below.