HEALTH HACKER: HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT BY FASTING – ADAM MACDOUGALL – NEWS.COM.AU

By Adam MacDougall, News.com.au

Whenever I’m talking to people about hacking their way to rapid weight loss, I always tell them about what I call the M&M’s equation — for every single one of those tiny treats you eat, you need to run the length of a football field in the hopes of burning off those calories.

Yes, that’s 100m. For a piece of candy that’s smaller than a five cent piece.

Now, according to the company, there are about 210 individual chocolates in a 200g bag of M&M’s. Which means if you polish off the lot (and who among us hasn’t?), you’ll need to run a whopping 21km just to break even.

It takes a long time to burn off even one piece of chocolate.

And it gets even worse if you prefer peanut M&M’s as one of those little suckers would see you need to run the length of two footy fields to burn it off.

And that’s the whole point; the secret to weight loss isn’t exercise. It’s simply impossible to exercise hard enough to counteract a bad diet.

Don’t get me wrong, exercise is good for so many things (gaining muscle, improving your cardiovascular fitness, mental wellbeing to name but a few), but dropping kilograms in a hurry simply isn’t one of them.

The simple truth is that weight loss begins at the end of your fork. And the maths to losing weight is incredibly simple; if you burn less calories than you consume, you won’t lose any weight.

So, the fastest way to lose weight? The clue is right there in the question; it’s fasting.

From Hugh Jackman to Eddie McGuire, it seems everyone is turning to fasting as a way to drop weight quickly and improve their general health.

I know it sounds terrifying but fasting isn’t the same as starving yourself. It’s more about blocking out a part of day in which you won’t be consuming calories.

In fact it’s just getting back to eating like our grandparents did. They didn’t eat all day and deep into the night until their heads hit the pillow.

Today the average person has more than 15 individual eating events every single day, from their first cup of creamy coffee to their last sweet treat after dinner.

Fasting interrupts the near-continuous consumption of calories, forcing your body to instead use its stored energy (and don’t worry, we all have lots), helping you to lose weight fast.

And it’s not just weight loss. Fasting is so beneficial for so many reasons.

Every time we ask our bodies to process food, it puts pressure on our internals organs and digestive systems.

It wasn’t so long ago that our ancestors hunted for their meals (and with no guarantee of success, I might add) and so our bodies are actually programmed to go for long periods without calories, which is the reason we all store fat in the first place.

And fasting gives our bodies the break they need to repair and regenerate and allows us to burn off that excess fat we’ve been storing.

It doesn’t need to be extreme. In fact, it can be as simple as having an earlier dinner and giving your body a couple of hours break before bed.

Oh, and staying away from those M&M’s when you’re watching the telly.

FAST FACTS

… ABOUT FASTING

Drink water

Start your day with H2O. Our bodies are made of 70 per cent water so its essential that we keep up its supply. Starting your day with 500ml of water can boost your metabolism by a whopping 25 per cent and help fire up your fat loss.

Most important meal of the day

Don’t eat breakfast like a child. Breakfast simply means breaking your fast and if you eat sugar packed cereal and juice first up you will be left feeling tired cranky and hungry all day. Opt for a higher protein breakfast instead.

Don’t eat right before bed

Stop eating at least three hours before you’re going to bed

You don’t need to fill your body with energy to go to sleep, so schedule an earlier dinner and you’ll find you sleep better and you’ll be burning fat without doing anything at all.

ASK ADAM

Question: Hi Adam. What’s with all these “experts” that flood my social media feeds? And why do they all say different things? Are there influencers I can actually trust on health and fitness stuff?

Answer: Great question and I’m yet to hear a better answer than this one from Dr Nick Fuller, the research program leader at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and best-selling author of Interval Weight Loss: “Stop following social media influencers for health advice. A lot of these people don’t know what they’re talking about, their advice is not evidence-based, and it’s the last thing you should be listening to.”

* Send your health questions to [email protected]

Adam MacDougall is managed exclusively by The Fordham Company.