Intermittent Fasting For Beginners

The Definitive Guide To Intermittent Fasting For Beginners

I created the below Intermittent Fasting For Beginners Guide because, like many topics in the health and nutrition field, there’s a lot of misinformation about fasting.

When it comes to intermittent fasting there’s oftentimes too much suffering surrounding it. 

The health gain benefits of fasting are immense. But, because of the perceived torture of not eating, many miss out.

In this Guide to Intermittent Fasting For Beginners I’m going to share my fasting secret. That secret is……

You Can Reap The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Without Suffering or Starving Yourself  

Before we start, if you prefer to watch and learn instead of reading this full article, reference the video below. I’ve also created shorter videos to highlight each sub-section below.

Watch The Intermittent Fasting For Beginners Episode

The Incredible Fasting Power Inside You

There’s an incredible power within you. You own it. Your body will do some amazing things for you if you would allow it. You just need to get out of its way for periods of time. These periods of time when you get out of your body’s way occur when you’re not eating….or  Fasting. 

In our SHIFT Formula community, we are all about being Fast Focused. 

The cool thing is, in our community, fasting happens for many of us without us even realizing we’re doing it. Without our even trying to do it.  “Look Ma! No hands!” Remember as a kid how we rode our bike hands-free? The power of near effortless control? That’s how fasting can feel. 

Fasting Can Easily Happen When You Understand How To Make It Happen

Before I get into that… let’s look at why you’d even want fasting to happen. The health benefits are outrageous. Few of us realize the extensive and all-encompassing health marvels that are yours for the taking should you choose to wield your inner power. 

Intermittent Fasting For Beginners - Health Risk Reversal

The Restorative Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting Is Risk Reversal

When we fast, going for periods of time without eating, we are engaged in the powerful action of health risk- reversal. 

Aging Reversed

Now to be accurate, we can’t be like Benjamin Button and age in reverse, but we can slow down the aging process. 

Gut Health

Gut healing happens when we are not eating. Fasting gives our gut and entire digestive system a break. Before “Let food be thy medicine” comes “First, do no harm.”

Inflammation Quiet 

As healing happens inflammation lessens.  Taking in far less ‘lighter fluid’, glucose, (carbohydrate) slows sugar-corrosion and tissue degeneration.

Brain Fog Disappears

Your brain literally rejuvenates, gets more powerful. You become more mentally productive. 

Cancer Growth Hindered

Cancer cells thrive on surges of blood sugar and insulin. Both are radically reduced leaving cancer cells struggling.

Blood Vessel Plaque Dissolves

Plaque accumulation ceases. De-plaque-ing increases. 

Energy and Mood Uptick

An energy surge happens with fasting. Most of us don’t even realize how tired we were until we aren’t tired anymore. 

Body Fat Loss

The popular reason for intermittent fasting is for weight loss. It’s a means to lose body fat. When we fast, body fat burning is enabled because stored fat is mobilized. Stored fat is mobilized because insulin release is minimized. You’ll learn why that is critical to both short-term weight loss and most importantly, keeping the excess weight off for life.

Who Is Intermittent Fasting For?

Who Is Fasting For?

Fasting is for anyone. Everyone. Not forced fasting, but natural fasting. 

Think about when you were a kid. You fasted daily. And you probably didn’t even realize it. 

Back then, you didn’t have the kitchen at your disposal.  You waited till the next meal was prepared for you. 

The kitchen was closed after dinner and all through the night.  And you didn’t eat until the next meal was given to you the following day.

Think about your school years. You were really busy. Preoccupied with the schedules of academics, sports, clubs, or other activities. 

As a kid, you went for more hours without eating than you probably do now. 

Fasting is for anyone who wants to avoid today’s  quality-of-life ‘thieves’. If we want to offset dementia or Alzheimer’s, fasting is the way. 

How about reducing your cancer risk? Amen. Fasting is a way to do that.

Alleviate chronic pain.

I can’t tell you how many of our SHIFT Insiders share that on the days they’re fasting, (naturally, pleasantly), their pain reduction downgrades even further. 

And then there’s heart disease.

One of our SHIFT Insiders actually had a heart-blood vessel blockage that his medical team was keeping track of over the years. He was told that when the blockage reached a critical size, invasive measures would be taken.  

Six months into our program  guess what happened? 

The doctors couldn’t find the blockage. The plaque buildup had reversed, dissolved. 

Fasting is for you if you want to be able to use your body fat, which is what weight loss is really all about. You need to be able to USE your body fat. And fasting unlocks body fat because it quiets your fat storage hormone. 

And fasting is for anyone who’s looking to add more quality years to their life. To delay aging and deterioration. Those who fast, last.

So yes, fasting is for all of us. 

How To Push Through A Weight Loss Plateau | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

Pushing Through a Weight Loss Plateau With Fasting

Many people use fasting periods to push through what’s sometimes called a weight loss plateau. I like to call it a weight loss flatline. 

Why? Because plateau can sound like it’s a weight loss stall due to a lack of hustle. And it’s gonna take a lot of energy to push through.

But a flatline means a ‘steadiness’. Not losing weight but not gaining weight either. Holding steady but not going backwards. We’re just not seeing forward progress in the form of reduced weight. 

We’ve lost some or a significant amount of weight. We’ve quieted  inflammation and  experience pain-free hours. 

We enjoy our renewed, productive brain. 

We roll through our days in our cravings-free life. 

We still feel that uptick in energy. 

But the weight loss  appears to have come to a standstill. 


Why Your Body Resists Change

The body will resist change due to a complex mechanism called homeostasis

Losing weight means losing fuel reserve. The body is wired for survival. Having less fuel in reserve (body fat) is interpreted as a ‘threat’ to your well-being. 

And so your body attempts to conserve fuel. Your metabolic rate or energy output lowers so your body can hold on to the quantity of fuel (body fat) it’s used to holding on to. 

This Is Why a ‘Fat’ Person Tends To Stay ‘Fat’ and a ‘Slim’ Person Tends To Stay ‘Slim’. 

Your body becomes used to carrying a certain amount of extra fuel. When you attempt to change or reduce that amount, homeostasis kicks in and works against your efforts. 

But you can navigate through that homeostasis. In fact, the plateau is precisely what must occur. 

Why a Weight Loss Plateau Is Critical To Permanent Weight Loss Success

Permanent weight loss demands small changes over time. 

The plateau or flatline allows the necessary time for your body to adapt and accept its new, revised less amount of extra fuel. From there – being in a flatline for a period of time….sometimes weeks and sometimes months –  your body allows weight loss to start happening again. 

Resetting The Body Fat Set Point

You navigate your body’s checks and balances by allowing the required length of time to establish a new, body fat set point ‘normal’. 

Sustainable weight loss has to be like this: a couple pounds down then hold that weight. Then a couple more pounds down then hold that new weight.  

Those flatlines have to happen because it’s your body’s adjustment period.  

This is no different than deep sea diving or high altitude mountain climbing. Your body requires time to adjust, which establishes a ‘new normal’, and from the new normal, your body will allow you to go further. 

This is why plateaus are to be expected, and actually celebrated. You’ve reached a milestone so to speak. 

Each plateau or flatline in your weight loss journey becomes your new body fat set point. 

Why Gradual Weight Loss Works

True weight loss must be gradual. Sudden drops of body fat are difficult to maintain longterm. 

That’s because your body didn’t get the necessary time to adjust to each degree of change. 

How many people do you know of who lost a good deal of weight on a calorie restricted shake diet but sadly gained back every bit and more? They weren’t advised to take the slow steady approach. 

True weight loss comes only through lifestyle and habit change, not dieting.  So, it is from each plateau, your acclimation period to its new body fat amount, that your body will allow further body fat ‘using’. 

Ya gotta use it (body fat) to lose it. But your body’s gotta let you use it

So, if you’re in a weight loss plateau and you know what you’re doing, adding  in periods of ‘not eating’ pleasantly, is going to nudge your body through your weight loss flatline and onward. 

The Best Way To Get Back On Track With Your Weight Loss Program | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

The Best Way To Get Back On Track With Weight Loss 

One of the best intermittent fasting for beginners strategies is this fasting / weight loss that experienced fasters use…

We can also use fasting to get ourselves back on track. 

Holidays, vacations, parties, celebrations. All these things of life. The break room. How many people are having a birthday this month? Am I right? 

It’s very challenging in the world today to stay on track because no one’s got your back. 

But, when you understand how food operates within you, enabling fat accumulation or enabling fat release, it gets sooo much easier. 

And using a fasting day or two can really get us back into our dialed-in ‘shifted’ lane. And here’s what we really love.

How To Crush Cravings Using Intermittent Fasting

SHIFT Fasting Crushes Cravings

We call it… Not-Hungry Fasting! 

It’s how we crush cravings and retrain our brain to actually crave healthy fats instead of sugar. 

You can  influence your brain to crave things like cruciferous vegetables loaded with butter.  It’s really all about the fat. 

Fat is the antidote to cravings. Fat is the secret in the formula. 

Without enough fat, sugar cravings will continue to torment you. 

You might be eating ‘fattening’ foods right now, but your problem will be solved eating fat foods. There’s a world of difference.  

How To Reduce Belly Fat With Intermittent Fasting | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

Intermittent Fasting for Beginners #1 Benefit – Risk-Reversal

We also use fasting to reduce our reliance on medications and to reduce risk-factors. 

One of my clients had shared recently that her doc told her, “If you can just lose some of the weight around your middle, I can take you off your post-breast cancer medications.” 

Other medical comments include, “We can reduce your blood pressure medications.”  “We can dial back your diabetes medications.” 

Belly Fat Behaves Differently…. More Dangerously

The reason why reducing belly fat is considered the number one risk-reversal is because belly fat is not like fat depots on other parts of our body. 

Belly Fat Behaves Like a Gland In That It Secretes Compounds

Belly fat is active. It secretes inflammatory signals. Cytokines. These are involved in every  metabolic syndrome condition that comes along with an expanding waistline. 

Breast Cancer Risk

Consider a woman in a breast cancer situation.  

Breast cancer is breast tissue cells that are growing out of control, not behaving as they’re supposed to. And if the woman is carrying belly fat and elevated insulin, that waistline adipose tissue is also pumping out estrogen. 

This Is Why Men Who Carry Belly Fat Tend To Develop Breasts 

Belly fat produces estrogen. 

And if you have breast cancer, you do not want excess estrogen stimulating growth of breast tissue. Right?  This correlation is just one reason why reducing belly fat is powerful risk-reversal.

Your Waistline Shrinks As Your Bank Account Expands

What I love is that as your waistline shrinks your bank account expands. Think of the positive financial consequences of getting off  medications or even just reducing them! 

How much money would you save? 

The Financial Drain Of Being Diabetic

Take a typical diabetic life. Expenses average approximately $16,000 per year. 

Imagine cutting back your medical needs by half or more? 

My daughter’s Type 1 supplies ran $24,000 per year. 

While young adult friends and siblings may struggle to pay their rent and gain a financial foothold, those with this never-ending condition of Type 1 Diabetes must first meet medical costs. 

Our daughter, through SHIFTing, reduced her medical expenses by 3/4! Talk about savings! 

And her health is significantly improved. Her life is so much easier now. And, by the way, yup, she fasts every day.

Intermittent Fasting Fundamentals

So, how do we fast?  How do we make it pleasant?  How does that work? 

Well, the reason we forget to eat and we pleasantly fast is because we know how to live fat-focused. 

We Eat Strategically

Get that? We don’t ‘not eat’, we eat. 

We eat strategically to generate periods of just not being hungry. 

And if you’re ‘just not hungry’, what happens? You eat less often. 

And when you eat less often, you’re in fasting, right?

Minimize Insulin | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

 Minimize Your Insulin

The internal power move that you are activating when you’re pleasantly not eating is that you’re giving your body a break from your fat storage hormone. Insulin. 

Insulin is always present in your life. If you didn’t have insulin, you would be dead. We wouldn’t be having this conversation. 

No one gets out of this without insulin. The trick is to not have an insulin riot going on inside of you. 

Who Would Want a Lot of Fat Storage Hormone Circulating All The Time? 

If you have an expanding waistline, you’ve been in an insulin riot. 

We want to help you get your insulin quiet. Reduce your body’s need for a lot of insulin. 

We don’t want insulin to be the loudest player in your body because other things happen when insulin is dominating your internal environment. 

It’s really important to know that when you are minimizing insulin, you are mobilizing your body fat. 

When Insulin Is Minimized Body Fat Is Mobilized | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

How Insulin Negates Your Ability To Burn Body Fat 

When insulin is the dominating presence in your bloodstream, fat burning is not an option. 

Even if you are working out more often, with more intensely, and for more hours. If insulin is high, you’ll continue to carry that spare tire around your waist. 

How many times have you’ve been to a kick ass exercise class, and the instructor announces, “We burned 2200 calories today!” and everyone joins in a collective fist pump and ‘huzzah’!  

But, look around, everyone walks out of the classroom still sporting the damn spare tire? It’s still right there around your middle. 

It’s because you and the rest of the class…and probably the instructor, too…..is  exercising in an insulin riot. That insulin keeps you from tapping into your body fat stores. 

During the whole workout you were burning sugar. Probably some muscle, too, because your body converts protein to sugar as needed. 

But you didn’t get into the fat tapping or fat burning… because of insulin.

So, what you should remember is this.  Only when insulin is minimized, is body fat mobilized. You are not tapping into your body fat unless you get your insulin riot to an insulin quiet.

Okay, I know I’m saying the word ‘insulin’ a lot, but hold on with me. Let’s go a little deeper than just scratching the surface here. It’s powerful to know not just the benefit but why the benefit occurs. 

You do indeed want to minimize  insulin. 

Insulin is not just for the poor friend with type 2 diabetes. Or maybe the friend’s daughter, who has type one diabetes and has to inject insulin. 

Everybody’s Body Is Subjected To Insulin

Insulin is manufactured and released inside of you  all day, every day. And, as you get older chances are good that your body is releasing more than it used to.  

How can you know? 

If you’re fighting an expanding waistline, experiencing some degree of chronic pain in your joints, or forgetting where your car keys are. Friends telling you, “Yeah, Barb, you already told us that story yesterday.” 

Forgetting your directions when driving. A little dementia creeping in,  heart disease developing, any form of diabetes, neuropathy, restless leg, brain fog, lethargy, etc. 

Every auto-immune condition is exacerbated  by elevated insulin. 

That long thread demonstrates how insulin is a domineering force in your life whether you realize it or not.  

Diabetes is the messenger of the 21st century. And it’s critical we don’t get hung up on the  word ‘diabetes’. It’s insulin and glucose, glucose and insulin. 

Any elevation of either blood sugar or insulin is diabetes. 

This is where the label, diabetes, throws us all off. “I don’t have diabetes. I don’t have a blood sugar problem.” Yeah, that’s cause you’re wearing it around your waist. 

We Wear Excess Blood Sugar Around Our Waist As Belly Fat

Belly fat came from the blood sugar, came from the carbohydrate you just ate.

The Biggest Reason Why Insulin Dominates Your Body

There’s just one reason  insulin rises and dominates your body. That reason is a blood sugar rise. 

What’s a Blood Sugar Rise? 

It’s an influx of carbohydrate that had just broken down to glucose and was deposited into your bloodstream. That’s what blood sugar is. 

We all have blood sugar. And we all have rises in blood sugar. 

If you see a buffet of carbohydrates think to yourself, “that’s a buffet of blood sugar” because that’s what it is. 

Fat does not become blood sugar. 

Protein can become some blood sugar. Some of the protein we eat could be converted to blood sugar if your situation calls for it.  It’s not the fat, it’s a bit of the protein.

Carbohydrate IS Blood Sugar

But it’s all of the carbohydrate that becomes blood sugar. Carbohydrates become blood sugar. This does not mean we shouldn’t eat carbohydrates.  It does mean we should be aware of how much carbohydrate we eat. 

The nutrition-driven arguments of good carbs, bad carbs, simple carbs, complex carbs can create much confusion. Regardless of quality of carbohydrate, whatever quantity of carbohydrate you consume, that is exactly how much sugar you’re putting in your bloodstream. 

Carbohydrates are comprised of sugars, starches and fiber. Only the fiber component doesn’t become blood sugar. And every time blood sugar rises above four grams, we’ve overwhelmed our blood with glucose, so insulin is released to assist with its dispersal.

Four Grams Of Sugar In Our Blood Is The Limit

That’s it. Just four grams. 

Let’s get a better idea of our blood sugar reality. 

One bagel is approximately 64 grams of carbohydrate. Let me say that again. One bagel, specifically the Panera Bread designated Breast Cancer Bagel is 64 grams of carbohydrate.  

Your insulin kicks in to disperse the incoming 64 grams of sugar.  And if your blood sugar was already elevated from your last feeding or from a diabetes situation, you can imagine what the influx of 64 more grams of sugar will do to your blood sugar value. 

So, think about how much insulin will be present to handle the bagel episode.

Insulin’s main function is to signal the cells in your body. “Hey, we got some fuel coming in. It’s just sugar. We gotta disperse it. So open up and let this sugar in.” 

The sugar in the blood must be removed and so it gets distributed to all the cells of the body. That’s primarily insulin’s role. But there are other sugar dispersal pathways that go on inside you.

How High Insulin Levels Reck Havoc On Health 

Insulin is involved in the breaking down of sugar into smaller particles. 

I can recall how naive I had been. I knew nothing about insulin. 

But when it became center stage in my daughter’s life I got insulin-schooled. Insulin doesn’t erase blood sugar. Insulin doesn’t absorb blood sugar. Insulin doesn’t cancel out or delete blood sugar. 

Insulin ensures sugar from your blood goes into other parts of your body. 

Blood sugar becomes body sugar so to speak. I’ve never heard it described that way, but that’s how I see it. 

Insulin enables sugar to move from the blood into other parts of your body. Sugar gets pushed into cells that need fuel for energy.  Sugar gets pushed into adipose tissue around your waist, where it converts to fat.  

Blood sugar becomes belly fat. 

Blood sugar also breaks down and is diffused through the body. Being sticky, it attaches to proteins all over your body. Sticky proteins. Sticky molecules of sugar attached to proteins are consequences of aging.  

We start deteriorating from the inside out. 

Think of the sugar in a sliced apple left on the kitchen counter.  What does it do? It starts turning brown and gets kind of tacky and gummy. That’s similar to Alzheimer’s. That’s neuropathy, damaged nerves, and macro-vascular disease sugar corroded-damaged blood vessels. Skin deterioration and eyesight decline. 

It’s natural aging that occurs to different degrees in each of us. But we can slow that down.

When insulin is in action, its presence is domineering. Its domineering presence influences other internal aspects.

Let’s take a look.

The Result Og High Insulin Levels | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

Brain Function and Nerve Health

When insulin is active, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor is inactive. 

This is your body’s naturally producing regenerative substance. Like Miracle Grow for our brain, new neurons and nerve tissue are supported and renewed. 

BDNF Keeps Cognitive Function Strong, Our Minds Sharp, And Our Nerves Repaired

When nerves are damaged from chronic inflammation and pain develops, BDNF helps to regenerate new nerve cells, enabling new neuron growth which serves to eliminate the pain. 

But if this regeneration compound is turned off more often than turned on, pain can actually become hard wired because those dead nerve cells never get rejuvenated. 

The Result oF High Carbohydrate Eating

It’s one thing to have an insulin surge after a high carbohydrate meal. It’s a whole other degree of health compromise when we eat carbohydrate lopsided. 

In doing so, we end up with high amounts of insulin circulating far more often than not. Which means far less opportunity for BDNF, brain and nerve support. 

This is one of the reasons Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and MS are associated with and/or negatively impacted by high carbohydrate consumption. Brain and nerves are compromised by glucose and insulin and by the internal factors they trigger….BDNF deficit.

Weight Control

When insulin is active you don’t generate BDNF and you don’t get to burn any body fat. 

You don’t get to burn any body fat because your fat burning enzyme, lipase, is not being produced when insulin is elevated. 

Even if you’re in your kick box class, you would still be running on sugar and never get to utilize body fat. Not cool. 

This is the message.  Understand that your inability to shed body fat isn’t about you not putting in enough effort.  It’s not a character flaw. It’s not that you’re not working hard enough. You just need to work smart enough. 

Intermittent Fasting For Beginners – Weight Loss For Exercise Tip…

If you are exercising for weight loss, exercise toward the end of a fasting period because insulin will be low and body fat burning will be a Go.


Here’s another lousy. 

When insulin is turned on, glutamate, which is one of the most inflammatory, what they call excito-toxins  your body produces, that is a big driver of inflammation, is also released in our bodies. 

Every time we’re dealing with blood sugar surges from carbohydrate focused feedings we unknowingly have been disabling some of our body’s key health supporting actions.  

And The Quality Of The Carbohydrate Is Far Less Important Than The Mere Quantity 

The ‘good carb’ justification has led many into health chaos. 

It’s the amount of carbohydrate. 

Certainly, you want to choose quality foods over poor quality foods. But this is where ‘nutritionism’ can lead us astray. 

Have you ever, like my daughter and I, had been grabbing all the good organic superfood carbohydrates and then wondering, “Why am I gaining waist weight? “

Waist weight is from the carbohydrate we ate. Carbohydrate digests to glucose. Glucose is deposited into your bloodstream. Sugar in excess of immediate energy needs is shuttled by insulin into adipose tissue where it is stored for later use as body fat.


High insulin allows Hdac. 

What is that? The H stands for histone which is a type of protein that DNA is wrapped around. And ‘dac’ stands for de-acetylase.  

DNA expression is regulated by acetylation. The ‘de’ implies that the acetylation is downgraded or compromised which leaves the DNA at risk for ‘wrong expression’. 

This Is Associated With How Cancer Develops 

Hdac is a pre-cancerous influence and is elevated when insulin is high. Can you see why people with blood sugar problems or who use insulin or have high amounts of their own insulin are more prone to developing cancer? That’s just one of the reasons.

If we want brain and nerve health, if we want to address chronic pain and avoid Alzheimer’s, if we want to burn body fat whenever we choose to, if we want to enact internal anti-cancer actions we want to fast because fasting significantly drops insulin levels which enables all the good stuff we just talked about.

But if you’re anything like me, you want the fasting to be pleasant. And you want it to work. 

 So how do we do this?

Intermittent Fasting Fundamentals | Barbara McDermott - SHIFT Formula

Intermittent Fasting For Beginners Fundamentals

Fasting fundamentals in our SHIFT Formula community, are based on suppressing insulin with strategic eating. 

That means we can actually mimic a fast and reap the benefits of fasting because the benefits occur when insulin is minimized. 

We Can Minimize Insulin By Eating Strategically 

That strategic eating sets us up for hours of satiety. That’s why we say we intermittent fast so pleasantly. We literally aren’t hungry. 

In fact, we make damn sure that we’re not hungry. 

I do not wish to fast in an agitated state. I want to fast in a calm, powerful, controlled state. 

So, we rely on foods that don’t contribute to blood sugar and therefore, don’t stimulate insulin. 

So fasting benefits happen… naturally, effortlessly.

‘Dining In’ On Our Body Fat Is What Carries Us Through

And the fasting benefit that carries us through is the outrageously wonderful benefit of ‘dining in’. 

This is what we call fat tapping or our body using up its stored fat for fuel. 

Not only is this actual weight loss aka body fat using, it’s what assists in keeping us not hungry. 

When your body finally! is enabled to burn body fat again the pleasant side-effect besides weight reduction is appetite reduction. Double Win!

We’re constantly being told that if we just kick harder and run a little further and think better thoughts and be more grateful and mindful and walk 10,000 steps a day that we’re gonna be healthier and we’re gonna burn body fat. 

Does eating and thinking ‘healthy’ automatically guarantee being able to burn body fat? No. Any of those ‘healthy actions’ could work but only if insulin is quiet.

How Do We ‘Dine In’?

We can easily and pleasantly support our body ‘dining in’ when we know how. It comes down to utilizing dietary fat… in a quite specific way. Consuming low or no carbohydrate but with just enough of the right fats  keeps us happy and rolling along.


Life is like a game of chess.  It’s not the most robust or the most motivated or the most creative or the nicest player who wins, is it? 

No, it’s the smartest player. It’s the one who knows how to strategically set things up to align all the pieces so that the game tips in their favor. They win.


The Additional Healthy Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting


When you’re fasting, you’re turning on your body’s natural detox cell renewal mechanism. 

Yes. Your body is designed not only to survive but to thrive. 

The word autophagy  means ‘self-consumption’. Your body consumes or absorbs cellular parts that are deteriorating or not functioning properly. 

That’s Your Natural Anti-Aging Mechanism 

Cell- renewal. Detoxification occurs naturally within you. 

You don’t have to take a pill or mix a powder or drink a potion to detox. Your body does it for you, automatically, on its own. 

But it only does it when you’re not eating for periods of time. 

What autophagy turns on naturally, because your body is making new cell parts, is production of human growth hormone. It is released during fasting. 

Think about every night when you’re sleeping. If you get a good 12 hours stretch of time where you’re sleeping and not eating, that’s enough time for autophagy to kick in.  

That’s why we sometimes refer to a ‘good night’s sleep’ as beauty sleep.  We look refreshed and renewed. Well…we are. Not just rested but renewed by cellular turnover. 

How fortunate we are that some of our best health defense takes place when we’re sleeping.  


Within autophagy is the powerful anti-cancer mechanism, apoptosis. 

Apoptosis is cell- programmed self suicide. What does that mean? 

If a cell is misbehaving it should naturally self-destruct. 

Cancer is a former healthy functioning cell that, for some reason, is now operating off plan and is in unchecked growth mode. That’s the simplified, fifth grade explanation of cancer.  

Every cell in our body could become a cancer cell, growing out of control and taking over. For some reason it began misbehaving (the Hdac possibility mentioned earlier) and for some reason it’s self-destruct, apoptosis, didn’t happen. 

Why Would Apoptosis Not Happen? 

One reason is that apoptosis is turned off when we’re eating.

Apoptosis is enabled when the body is not processing food. That’s why I cringe when I hear health and weight loss trainers telling people to eat six meals a day.  We’ve been programmed to over-nutrition. Over eat. Eat too often. 

We need to create spans of time of not eating so that apoptosis is enabled. 

Brain and Nerve Health

We talked about BDNF already. Your body’s self-generated brain and nerve health compound. Your body’s natural ability to regenerate and rejuvenate both brain and nerves. 

BDNF is excellent anti-Alzheimer’s and anti-neuropathy action. Brain degeneration and nerve pain hard-wiring can both be avoided. 

We ensure BDNF release when we eat less often. 

Clean Powerful Energy

Ketones are energy particles naturally created when body fat is metabolized or burning. 

How much of a win is this? 

You’re dining in’ on your body fat and, at the same time, you’re getting this surge of physical and mental energy that you haven’t felt since you were 12 years old. 

Maybe We Should Call It The Fasters High?  

That’s what ketones are. 

They’re clean burning molecules of energy you get to enjoy when you are burning body fat. 

But, when you’re burning sugar, guess what. Your body isn’t generating ketones. Instead it’s generating damaging free-radicals.   

Now, to be clear, your body will indeed burn sugar often. It’s simply part of living. 

However, It’s Critical That You Reclaim Your Ability To Burn Your Body Fat Too

Once re-adapted to body fat burning you will enjoy more energy, less weight (duh), and less free-radical damage.  

Burning sugar is oxidative, rusting. 

Recall the apple slice we discussed above. 

Internal rusting accelerates when we operate primarily in sugar burning. But body fat is clean, long burning fuel.  

Those of us who understand how to nudge our body into ketosis, fat burning, whenever we choose, don’t have to spend money on antioxidant supplements like the sugar-burners do.  We’re not in unchecked free-radical production like most folks.

Immunity Boost

Your immune system gets a boost because you give it a break. 

Think about that. 

You give your body a break when you’re not eating. That’s a powerful mind shift. 

Virus and infections and candida and cancer, every other kind of lousy feeds on ……… glucose. Sugar. 

When you’re fasting  you are putting stress on the very thing that is trying to thrive in you. Not on your watch!  

When you shift from primarily sugar burning (sickness feeding) to fat burning and naturally eat less often because of your shift, you discover that you get sick far less often.  

I have the pleasure of coaching many, many teachers who no longer get every cold that sweeps through their school. We have nurses who stay healthy despite the exhausting schedule and close contact. 

How cool is it to lose weight, not be hungry, AND stay healthy while the rest of the office is crying the flu-season blues? Talk about preventative measures, am I right?

Slowed Aging

AGEs or Advanced Glycated Endproducts happen. But they happen far more and far faster to sugar burners. 

Fat Burners Stay Younger, Longer 

Sure, we’re all susceptible to AGE formation and we will all age, but we can determine the speed. We can choose to generate far less of them by shifting away from sugar burning and engaging in fat burning more frequently. 

Let’s take a look at the timing. 

Intermittent Fasting Benefits Based On Length Of Fast

What Benefits Can We Expect Based On The Length Of Our Fast?  

12-Hour Fast…

If you went for 12 hours or what’s considered our daily sleeping fast, our anti-aging, HGH, Human Growth Hormone is stimulated. This hormone supports the generation of new cell parts that your autophagy process demands.  

Lots of rejuvenation, renewal, and lots of repair going on. Very good.

How About An 18-Hour Fast?  

If you fasted for 12 hours then extend by another 6 hours by pushing back your first feeding. 

This amount of fasting supports brain degeneration reversal.  AGE generation is significantly slowed. 

Alzheimer’s, which to me is simply a glucose-crusted brain, is called type three diabetes for a reason.  And the amyloid plaque, the telltale marker of Alzheimer’s brain cells,  begins to dissolve or break apart. De-plaque-ing. 

By fasting we unknowingly do a lot of plaque-ing. Let’s engage in some de-plaque-ing. 

24-Hour Fast

You can choose to go a full day or 24 hours. 

While writing this article, our SHIFT community is all set for a 24 hour fast tomorrow. 

This fasting length quiets inflammation and initiates gut healing. The heart strengthens thanks to your ketone production. 

Between 18 and 24 hours of fasting your body begins ‘dining in’ and ketones are generating from your body fat burning. Yay!  

Your brain and heart love running on ketones. Lots of energy with little oxidative damage. 

BDNF, your brain ‘miracle grow’ and your nerve rejuvenation elixir is also in production.  Give me some of that, am I right?  

This is why people who fast, last. You’ll be both smarter and stronger. 

36-Hour Fast

If you decide to extend your insulin suppression/fasting for another day or a few more hours, that’s where risk-reversal really dials in.  

At about 36 hours, those in an urgent health crises, can wield some powerful risk-reversing action.  

Heart Disease, debilitating fibromyalgia, advanced diabetes, cancer…. these serious conditions demand serious attention. And we have the formula. 

Curtail the cause, cut back on the fuel, remove the support. Fasting or IS (insulin suppression) is your greatest weapon against these dark forces. Not only do you reap the 12-hour, 18-hour, and 24-hour intermittent fasting benefits but you gain two more power moves. 

1.) New stem cell production 

2.) Cancer/tumor stressing action.

Cancer and tumors are really impacted. Why? 

Because they’re being starved of glucose. That’s blood sugar. 

Because you’re not putting in any carbohydrate during that time you are depriving cancer cells of their favorite feeding….. blood sugar surges from carbohydrate-focused meals. 

And because you are also suppressing insulin release, cancer cells suffer a further blow. They have a hard time being able to grow. First, because you’ve curtailed their fuel and second because you’ve curtailed their growing assistant, insulin.

Insulin Is a Cancer Supporter

Insulin is one of cancer’s best friends for the same reason we call someone a best friend….it’s so supportive. 

Insulin supports cancer by stimulating the cancer’s TAF. Tumor Angiogenesis Factor. 

Insulin supports a cancer cell’s ability to grow a wider and more far reaching blood vessel network. 

This expanded blood supply network provides the tumor easy access to more and more glucose which it extracts from your blood. 

Blood Sugar Feeds Cancer Tumors  

If you’re keeping insulin suppressed for 48 hours, which is far easier than it may sound and something we engage in weekly if not daily, you are doing everything in your power to create an internal environment that is hostile to cancer. 

All the nutrition and nourishment directives out there can mislead a person to providing an internal  habitat that’s quite friendly to cancer. 

Eating six small meals daily, eating more nutrient dense, eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a lateral move that still supports cancer growth. 

Not eating or eating to keep blood glucose and insulin low is the power move from victim to victor.

Besides making it really tough for cancer to be able to take hold inside of us, at about 36 hours of  fasting  (no new glucose influx and subsequent insulin suppression) our mitochondria become stronger and more efficient energy providers. 

Add Energy & Slow Aging

Your mitochondria are the energy production unit in every one of your cells.  When you interrupt the near-continuous delivery of sugar (blood glucose from carbohydrate consumption) your mitochondria must work a bit harder. 

That’s a great thing. Your body adapts to using fat rather than glucose and not only do your mitochondria become stronger, but they generate energy for you that is longer lasting. 

Your vitality and biological age are determined by the robustness of your mitochondria. Want to be younger? Boost your mitochondria.

Watch: What To Eat During An Intermittent Fast

The Mechanics of Intermittent Fasting

Okay, let’s go to the mechanics of active fasting, you know, how do we actually do the thing?

There are certainly lots of ideas and opinions on fasting. Right and wrong. Good and bad. All or nothing. SHIFT entertains none of these.

We operate on the sole focus of suppressing our body’s fat storage hormone, insulin. When we have that dialed in, every other aspect falls into place naturally.

This is the fasting secret. This is what those who SHIFT enjoy.

We Don’t Fast By Not Eating. We Fast By Eating. Strategically. 

We bypass the torture, the sacrifice, the suffering. 

We reap all the benefits of fasting by mimicking fasting. 

Fasting, as a science action, is strictly a state of minimized insulin. When insulin is minimized, body fat is mobilized. 

Fasting gets a body into the body fat burning state called ketosis. A person can nudge their body into ketosis by suppressing insulin. 

And, you can suppress insulin mighty powerfully even when you’re eating. That’s cool. Don’t you agree?

This is precisely what SHIFT is all about. Learning how to eat to minimize insulin so we body fat burn and find ourself pleasantly not hungry for more and more hours. 

Get Our FREE Program – HERE.

Our approach is reasonable, doable, and pleasant. 

Like stretching our muscles or improving our backhand it takes incremental gains against resistance. Fasting skill is acquired through repetition.

SHIFT Formula Journey

Besides all the intermittent fasting benefits we covered, the underlying variable that you’ll be addressing is insulin resistance. 

Every one of us, as we age, develops some degree of insulin resistance. This means your body is producing even more insulin. Gah! 

Middle age spread is insulin resistance. More fat storage hormone being produced, more body fat being accumulated. Insulin drives weight, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer. 

The less insulin your body is putting out the younger and healthier you’ll be. Don’t let insulin dominate your life. 

About Barbara McDermott

Regarded as America's #1 Insulin Suppression Coach, Barbara is the co-founder of SHIFT Health & Wellness Solution, and the best-selling author of the groundbreaking book, ‘FOOD B.S.’, With SHIFT, Barbara brings common sense to nutrition, weight loss and health gain. Her refreshing, no nonsense approach to uncovering the truth using non-negotiable rules of science demystifies food and how to defeat chronic disease once and for all.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply