The Obesity Crisis
According to the World Health Organisation, over one billion people worldwide are classified as obese. In Australia, obesity is being termed an epidemic and obesity levels are on the rise. Based on the AHIW BMI index, 67% of the Australian population are reportedly overweight with 31% obese. The financial cost is enormous at $11.8 billion in 2018 which is estimated to climb to $87.7 billion if nothing is done to stem this.
However, the true cost is far more insidious. Researchers have long warned that carrying excess weight can lead to a multitude of health problems. Among many other issues, obesity can lead to heart, liver and kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility, sexual dysfunction and has even been linked to some cancers.
Lifestyle can also be seriously affected as excess weight puts dangerous pressure on organs, muscles and joints, affecting mobility and sometimes causing chronic pain and fatigue. There is a high emotional and mental price to pay for many as well with one in two obese people reporting they have been ‘fat-shamed’, not only by the public, but by health professionals and doctors.
This is especially disturbing considering obesity is being linked to shorter lifespans. The latest reports show that a BMI of 30-35 can cause people to die 2 to 4 years earlier than people in a healthy weight range, and a BMI of 40-45 can cause premature death 8 to 10 years earlier. Expert Dr Kale from the University College of London reports that patients who feel humiliated often won’t continue to seek medical help.
“The result (of strong weight bias by doctors) is that patients are not coming back or they delay their follow-up appointments,” Dr Kalea says.
“They avoid healthcare prevention services or cancel appointments due to concerns of being stigmatised due to their weight.”
Many overweight people end up seeking help online yet traditional dieting methods have failed the majority of sufferers. The reason is actually quite straightforward: most people find daily restrictive eating for long periods of time too hard and end up giving in and binge eating. Even if they do manage to persevere and get to their goal weight, they tend to put it back on again when they return to their original bad habits.
Excessive exercise is another option however it’s also too difficult to sustain for many due to people being time-poor, too unfit to maintain motivation or due to a physical inability, often, ironically, caused by being overweight. Additionally, without a change in diet, weight loss will likely be minimal and cease without continuation.
Intermittent Fasting has been lauded as a breakthrough for weight loss for several reasons, the most prevalent being that many advocates find it far less restrictive than traditional diets. Food-wise, it does not require participants to diet full-time. As such, binge-eating is averted because intermittent fasting is actually a diet that’s designed to be ‘broken’.
The 5:2 method of intermittent fasting has enjoyed enormous popularity as it only requires people to diet 2 days a week, then eat normally the other 5. Many report that the 5:2 method of intermittent fasting is an easy alternative to other diets, however some do struggle with the very low calories on the 2 fasting days. The allowance is 500 calories for women, 600 for men, and even though the 5 non-fast days allow for 2000 calories for women, 2400 for men, not everyone enjoys doing the hard yards to get to their 5 days of ‘feasting’.
Which is where the 16:8 method comes into play.
The 16:8 method is an everyday model of intermittent fasting whereby you diet most days of the week but only part of the day, hence its nickname, ‘part-day dieting’. The rules are quite simple: eat 1600 calories (women) or 2000 calories (men) but keep it within a 16-hour window. For example, if you stop eating at 8pm, you simply don’t eat again until midday the next day. Advocates who’ve enjoyed success with this method often say they’ve just accustomed themselves to having black tea or coffee for breakfast and the rest is easy as the calorie allowance is generous when squeezed into a shorter than usual time frame.
Both methods result in equally successful levels of weight loss, yet it doesn’t end there. Intermittent Fasting is showing consistent health benefits beyond what is expected from normal weight reduction.
According to Dr Varady from the University of Illinois Chicago, intermittent fasting actually supports a healthy metabolism and evidence based findings show it reduces insulin levels, facilitates fat burning and muscle gain, induces cellular repair, improves heart health and protects against disease, including reducing the risk of some cancers.
Add this to the overall weight loss health benefits of improved cardio-vascular function, a reduction in the likelihood of some cancers, plus heart, liver and kidney disease, plus the possible reversal of Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, infertility and sexual misfunction and general improvements in mobility, chronic pain and mental health and it’s easy to see why Intermittent Fasting has become so popular.
“People love intermittent fasting because it’s easy,” Dr Varady concludes, “(and they) need to find diets that they can stick to long term.”
Jeanette says that before 16:8 she “hid behind a mask”, giving the impression she was happy but it was far from the truth. At 106.5kgs/235lbs, she didn’t want to leave the house. Then a terrifying health scare forced her to take action. Jeanette embraced the 16:8 lifestyle with online program SuperFastDiet and reclaimed her life.
“Before I discovered intermittent fasting, I never liked the image in the mirror that looked back at me,” Jeanette says.
“I was hiding behind a mask and I just wanted to stay home. I tried everything under the sun to lose weight, ‘forever on a diet’ but it never worked. I thought I would always just be this way.”
Then came the moment that would change everything. “My health was poor and I went to hospital to have a gallbladder operation.” Jeanette flatlined while waiting and woke up in the cardiac ward. The doctors told her she seriously needed to lose weight as part of her ongoing recovery and Jeanette knew it was no longer something she wanted to do, she needed to do it. It was then that she came across SuperFastDiet and the 16:8 method and everything changed.
“How would I describe the difference to what I’d tried and failed at before? It was easy, doable, no thought required. You can just eat normal, everyday foods. You can just eat the same amount of calories each day so you don’t have to really plan – just adapt to whatever the day throws at you within the allowance and 8-hour window.”
“When you lose the word ‘diet’, when you lose the guilt from others and you make daily, persistent changes and go after what you want – the possibilities are endless.”
Jeanette’s inflammation has gone from around her major organs and she now has greatly improved her heart health. She has lost 17.4ks/38lbs.
Want to give the part-time dieting solution a try? Join SuperFastDiet and get started today!