Estimated read time: 7-8 minutes
Intermittent fasting seems to be everywhere in the news and with your favorite celebrity or influencer; heralded as a miracle to help with weight loss and to dramatically improve overall health.
Joel Bikman, a long-time nutrition executive and co-founder of a new science-based health company, applauds the renewed interest in intermittent fasting but is concerned because he sees so many people doing it wrong and getting poor results.
"People often try intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding for a short time and then give up," said Bikman. "If they will understand why fasting can work and how to make it better, they can enjoy a lifetime of incredible weight and health benefits."
Don't worry about calories
According to Bikman, one of the biggest misconceptions about intermittent fasting is that it works because of caloric restriction.
"The idea that intermittent fasting works just because of reduced calories is an outdated notion; counting calories is an unsustainable approach and is the #1 reason for fasting—or any diet—to fail," said Bikman. "Done properly, people won't worry about calories at all, but about eating the right kind of foods to satiety at the right times."
Focus on the hormone insulin
Bikman reiterates that moving fasting beyond the calorie number is the first step. While calories undoubtedly have value, calories don't switch our bodies from "sick" to "healthy" or from "fat" to "lean".
"People should instead be thinking about how their food affects their hormones," said Bikman. "Hormones respond directly to the food we eat and directly involve a person's health and weight."
The key hormone in this equation, according to Bikman? Insulin.
"We've learned that elevated insulin is one of the most relevant factors in people being unable to stay lean and healthy," said Bikman. "When done properly, intermittent fasting works very well because it helps people keep insulin levels low and helps them to remain insulin sensitive."
Nutrient fast vs. caloric fast
What if you could get some of the benefits of fasting, including lowering insulin and improving insulin sensitivity, without actually fasting? Bikman says this may be technically possible with the right kind of diet.
"Science shows us that if insulin is high, the body is in the 'fed' state and is storing body fat, and if insulin is low, the body is in the 'fasted' state and is burning body fat," said Bikman. "Accordingly, if we use a true fast, which is the avoidance of all calories (i.e. a caloric fast), to keep insulin low, then a way to mimic that state is by eating the nutrients—protein and healthy fat—that also keep insulin low (a nutrient fast)."
Bikman shares that with insulin as the focus, viewing the right nutrients as a form of fasting has real merit. For example, when someone is eating a Standard American Diet which is high in carbohydrates, insulin will be consistently elevated, driving fat storage in the body, slowing metabolic rate, and inhibiting autophagy (the body's way of "cleaning" out damaged cells to regenerate healthier cells).
"With a nutrient fast that avoids carbohydrates in favor of protein and healthy fat, insulin stays low and the body burns more fat, increases metabolic rate, and activates autophagy," said Bikman.
The most important part of the fast
If you're thinking about utilizing fasting to improve your weight and health, Bikman offers one strong recommendation.
"We now know that how you end your fast is the most important part of a fast," said Bikman. "If you've been working hard and been disciplined all day and now you're ready to eat, don't end your fast with insulin-spiking treats and refined carbohydrates."
"End your fast with foods that are going to give you what you need—essential fats and essential amino acids from healthy fats and protein—all while helping your insulin stay under control," said Bikman. "Doing so can help you keep the benefits of that fast going even through your meal."
Bringing solutions to the real world
Bikman has traveled extensively, witnessing the devastating effects of poor nutrition - even in developed countries around the world. Whether it's due to a fast-paced lifestyle, fast food, or even a lack of healthy options, it can be difficult to get the proper nutrition you need, let alone proactively manage your weight.
"Ideally, we all would have the knowledge, time, discipline and budget to plan, purchase and prepare perfect meals, especially after fasting," said Bikman. "But it simply doesn't happen; people get busy, they get stressed and they make unhealthy choices that derail their health goals."
It became apparent to Bikman that he and his team could be part of the solution to help people achieve their best health more quickly, and especially to assist those that don't always have the time, knowledge or discipline to eat healthy. In response, Bikman and his co-founding team of metabolic, nutrition and industry experts recently created HLTH Code Complete Meal.
Bikman says these carefully formulated meal shakes are an ideal way to end a fast and to promote healthy weight management, gut health, brain health, even hair, skin and nail health. HLTH Code Complete Meal features an optimized, science-backed blend of protein, collagen, healthy fats, apple cider vinegar, probiotics, fiber, vitamins and minerals—with no added sugar or any artificial ingredients.
"HLTH Code Complete Meal is based on research, not fads," said Bikman. "An incredible amount of work went into making this nutritionally balanced and optimized, yet we knew that if it didn't taste good, no one would use them consistently."
Helping with hunger
When it comes to ending a fast, Bikman says it's easy to splurge and consume plenty of "junk" calories and still feel hungry. This not only derails all of the benefits from the fast, but those calories consumed aren't the right types of calories to provide essential nutrition. He refers to this as "mis-nourishment" and he says it's ruining many people's health.
"A HLTH Code Complete Meal shake is the perfect way to end your fast, because it's packed with optimized amounts of necessary ingredients to leave you feeling full and energized for hours," said Bikman. "Yet it's more convenient and affordable than virtually any meal you could make or buy."
Bikman says the shakes are quick and easy to make: Just add two scoops of Creamy Vanilla or Chocolate Macadamia Complete Meal Powder to 8 oz. of cold water and shake or blend. For general wellness, he recommends replacing one meal daily. To reset your health or for weight loss, replace up to two meals per day.
"I absolutely love this stuff. It really does have an amazing taste. It mixes very well and leaves no powder texture/taste. It fills me up and completely satisfies any craving and quells those hunger pangs", said one reviewer.
Another review shares "I've been drinking this for 5 months to break my intermittent fast and I'm in my best shape and down 21 pounds. I can't recommend this enough!! Plus it has a great flavor!! What's not to love??"
Can HLTH Code help with weight loss?
According to Bikman, the best health starts with the right blend of nutrition. Increased energy; feeling more vibrant; a stronger immune system; a clearer mind; improved gut health; and an improved appearance are some of the benefits from improving one's nutrition.
"The comprehensive benefits of HLTH Code Complete Meal are especially helpful if you're trying to lose weight," said Bikman. "Weight loss is rarely easy. There has to be the right changes in both hormones and caloric balance to signal to the body that it's time to start burning, not storing, fat."
Bikman adds that based on the best available studies on human metabolism, along with exercise, HLTH Code Complete Meal helps people lose weight without the need for counting every calorie.
No risk—satisfaction guaranteed
If you're nervous about trying something new and making changes to your nutrition plan, don't be. Bikman stands by his HLTH Code Meal Replacement products and is willing to guarantee your satisfaction.
"You have nothing to lose (except those extra pounds) and everything to gain—in terms of wellness and confidence," said Bikman.
Indeed, if you've been looking for improved wellness and healthy weight management, then HLTH Code Meal Replacement could well be your answer. For exclusive savings on your first order, visit getHLTH.com and enter the discount code KSL at checkout.