Think first before you fast
A lot of people fast, but do we know the long term effects?
What are the best times to fast and who is best qualified to dish our fasting advice?
I spoke to Kim Pearson – a qualified nutritionist (Dip ION, FdSc, BANT, CNHC, lots of fancy letters so she must know her onions) and weight loss specialist.
Since graduating in 2008 she’s worked with over 300 clients to help them lose weight (from a few pounds to over five stone), fit into the clothes they love and feel comfortable with their body.
She’s recently been announced as the new brand ambassador for ProLon – a five day plant based diet programme.
We asked Kim if she could offer any fasting advice and why she has endorsed ProLon.
If you want to know more about the programme I’ll leave some links at the bottom, if you’d like to know more about Kim simply click on her image. Don’t forget to comment in the bottom if you have any fasting advice of your own.
Kim, what do people get wrong the most when it comes to nutrition. What question do you get asked more than anything else?
One of the biggest mistakes we make is believing that foods are healthy when they’re not, usually due to clever marketing by big food companies! Classic examples include big-brand cereals and breads.
They use language like ‘whole grain’ ‘provides energy’ and ‘contains essential nutrients’ which all sound good, but the fact is these are normally highly processed foods that contain a range of undesirable ingredients.
The question I probably get asked the most is, ‘how can I lose weight?’ Excess weight is an issue for so many of us.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there – people are often confused about the best way to eat to achieve and maintain their ideal weight whilst not feeling hungry, tired and miserable.
We are all different and what worked for your friend might not necessarily be the best thing for you.
It appears to me that people are more into nutrition now than they’ve ever been. Are you finding that the case and if so why?
I definitely agree. When I was studying 10 years ago, there wasn’t a great deal of interest in nutrition.
My friends all thought it was a bit geeky! But things have changed a lot since then.
I think that people understand now, more than ever, how relevant nutrition is when it comes to looking and feeling good – as well as it’s role in our long term health.
The press and social media have definitely played their part in increasing interest in nutrition.
I hear mixed reviews on whether bananas are good for you or not. What kind of fruits should we be eating and is there such a thing as an unhealthy fruit?
Bananas are high in sugar, with your average banana providing the equivalent of between three to four teaspoons of sugar.
That said, they’re also a source of fibre and potassium so they’re certainly healthier than a Mars Bar. I tend to recommend eating lower sugar fruits like berries and if you are having banana, have it in a smoothie with some protein and fat, ideally after a workout.
You’re now the brand ambassador for ProLon.
What can you tell us about ProLon and why should we invest our money and time into the program?
I am really excited to be brand ambassador ProLon.
This five day diet programme is the result of two decade of research and development by world-leading researchers in the field of nutrition and ageing.
ProLon is an innovative, practical approach to gaining all of the benefits of fasting, without having to go without food.
I’ve been fascinated by the research studies carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California demonstrating the positive impacts ProLon has on biological ageing and health risk factors.
ProLon been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels, systemic inflammation and dangerous visceral fat just to mention a few of it’s many benefits.
From a practical perspective, ProLon’s five day, plant based diet programme couldn’t be more simple to follow. It’s the best fasting advice I can give as it fits easily into everyday life.
The food tastes good and delivers the added benefit of providing the body with nourishment (unlike traditional fasting) yet without triggering nutrient sensing pathways.
What are the common misconceptions about fasting in general?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to put your life on hold whilst you fast. Most people who have done ProLon agree that it’s best to do it during the week whilst busy at work.
This not only keeps your mind occupied and off food, it also means you can avoid fasting over the weekend when socialising is more likely.
There’s also an idea that you will be exhausted. Some people do experience mild fatigue but not everyone does. By the end of the five day fast, many people report that their energy levels are better than ever.
If there one book on fasting advice or one book on nutrition that we should all read which one would that be?
I often recommend The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. It’s a fascinating book which explores the dietary and lifestyle habits of the oldest living people in the world.
There are five ‘Blue Zones’ across the world, home to the highest number of centenarians (people who live over 100).
Author Dan Buettner led teams of researchers across the globe to uncover the secrets of inhabitants of the Blue Zones.
In your field, who do you look up to? Who is the most revered nutritionist in your field and why are they flying high?
I have to say Professor Valter Longo and his research team at USC are definitely up there. Their work on nutrition and ageing, and in particular fasting, is truly ground breaking.
I also have a lot of respect for Ian Marber. Ian is one of the UK’s most well established nutritionists and I have looked up to him since I was studying a decade ago.
One thing in particular that I really respect about Ian is that his recommendations are always based on science and sense, not fads or passing trends.
Do you have a secret smoothie recipe that you can tell us?
My go-to smoothie recipe is:
– One handful of frozen mixed berries
– A large chunk of cucumber
– A scoopful of Pulsin’s brown rice protein powder
– Half an avocado
– Organic almond milk
– One scoop of Nutri Advanced’s strawberry flavoured superfood powder
Prior to purchasing ProLon online, you will need to fill out a health questionnaire in order to ensure that you do not have any health conditions that would prevent you from being able to do ProLon.
Make sure you’re getting the best fasting advice possible by speaking to a nutritionist and a GP. Visit Kim Pearson’s website and contact her directly with any questions.