Hi! I'm Shana Hussin, RDN
I'm a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Intermittent Fasting Expert
For a long time I struggled to find success as a nutritional professional, and my clients struggled too. In recent years, I have taught my clients some of the oldest therapies known to man, and I have seen their lives finally change.
I worked as a dietitian and nutrition therapist for 15 years in the conventional medical field prior to my young son falling ill with a severe and chronic digestive disorder in 2016. Upon diagnosis, I was told by several doctors nutrition had no bearing on his illness, and he would need lifelong medications to manage his debilitating symptoms. I began searching for the root cause of many chronic disease states.
It is no surprise that many of them linked back to poor nutrition and flawed standard nutritional guidelines.
Confused and frustrated, I left work in conventional medicine. Through relentless research and trial and error, I healed my son with the help from Australian doctors and an unconventional antibiotic therapy. I had to look beyond the "standard of care" and question what I was being told. As a mother, I knew what was at the root cause of my sons illness, and I innately knew that if the interference was removed, he could heal.
Throughout the process, I gained extensive knowledge in
holistic health and natural healing approaches, including the hormonal key to burning fat rather than storing it. I discovered that if obesity and diseases stemming from insulin resistance can be traced to a cause which is nutritional, then they can be reversed with nutrition therapy!
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a lifestyle option that cycles between moderate to extended periods of time with no food, and periods of purposeful eating and feasting. It can also be thought of as time-restricted eating, when you are only eating during certain hours of the day. It is promoted to change body composition through loss of fat mass and weight. It is an excellent and sustainable method to improve markers of health that are associated with disease, such as blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There are many different approaches to intermittent fasting
that can provide lifestyle simplicity and flexibility. Depending on your goals and lifestyle, intermittent fasting can help you to achieve long-term weight loss and reverse chronic illness.
I have used intermittent fasting to help hundreds of clients put their chronic illness into remission. This is achieved by using natural and innovative nutrition therapies that are quite the opposite of what we have been recommended.
I help reverse:
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS)
I heard about intermittent fasting on several podcasts I listened to. At first I disregarded it and rolled my eyes when I heard it referenced. Surely skipping breakfast and not eating all day was unhealthy! Every dietitian and nutrition professional knows this. However, I kept hearing the benefits broadcasted from professionals I had a lot of respect for, so I opened my mind and started doing my own research.
In a nutshell:
fasting is basically defined as any time you are not eating.
Contrary to what we have been taught, it is not necessary to eat the moment we wake up. Our body naturally stimulates us as we wake.
Gradually pushing back the time I typically ate breakfast in the morning worked well for me. At first, it was challenging for me to jump right in and immediately fast 18-20 hours, I had to work my way up to that over several weeks time. Now, most weeks I follow a 5-1-1. I fast for 18-20 hours 5 days a week, I add 1-24 hour fast in most weeks, and I include 1 "feast day" most weeks when I fast less and feast more.
There are many different ways to fast, and many different strategies to try.
You will find a strategy that works for you and fits in your lifestyle!
The concepts are simple. Once you learn the science behind intermittent fasting and how to implement it step by step, you will realize how powerful this lifestyle is. I lay this all out in my book!
While researching natural approaches to healing chronic metabolic diseases and obesity, I discovered the fascinating and timeless healing powers of intermittent fasting. By studying the work of Dr. Jason Fung, MD, and other fasting pioneers, I learned as much as I possibly could about fasting strategies and how to implement them successfully with my clients.
About My Journey
I have worked with many people to help them lose weight and improve their health. Most have suffered from chronic obesity and related health challenges for decades. All have tried countless strategies and programs to lose weight with no long-term success.
Clients who implement my strategies most often experience weight loss and countless noticeable non-scale victories.
Clothes fit better, aches and pains go away, digestive issues resolve, energy and motivation improve, autoimmune issues vanish, blood pressure and resting pulse decrease, mental acuity sharpens, sleep improves and an overall sense of control is experienced.
I have witnessed many previously struggling with binge eating and emotional eating adapt normalized eating patterns after implementing time-restricted eating. Their decades long negative relationship with food becomes positive and healthy.
Best of all, clients are noticeably happier, with renewed hope their bodies can heal!
As a practitioner, I felt it my calling to bring these unconventional nutritional therapies to light, and Fast to Heal was born. Using my signature Nutritional PEACE program, I have developed a step by step, natural process for people to gain their health back. Restoring hope and health to those I educate is a rewarding gift I have been honored with. Best of all, no special foods or supplements are necessary to implement my program. The only thing you count are the pounds of weight you lose! You learn how to manage your weight and nutrition for life.
I have practiced intermittent fasting myself for many months. In my own life, I have seen my chronic bloating resolve and energy improve. Painful canker sores that plagued me for 11 years cleared after only 3 months of intermittent fasting. Although weight was not an issue when I started, I did lose those last annoying pounds and feel the healthiest I ever have!
It's hard to know what information to believe. I understand your frustrations, I struggled with my weight too.
Let me tell you my story...
Most people who have only known me in my later adult life have no idea how I once struggled with my own weight.
I was a 3-sport athlete and very active throughout middle school and high school. Until college, I was fit and at a healthy weight for the most part, although even in high school I constantly thought about what I was eating and whether or not it would cause weight gain. In the summers while I was off sports, I did gain weight, but would lose it again once I was back on a regular school schedule and practicing some type of sport all the time.
Then I went to college. By my sophomore year, I was about 20 pounds heavier and 3 sizes bigger than I am now. Even though it was not a large amount of weight, it was enough to make me very uncomfortable and constantly worry about my weight. It was at this time I also started to experience abdominal bloating, almost every day. I did not have a healthy relationship with food. As you can see in the picture, my skin was a mess.
1997 - Junior Year of College
Worst of all, I was a fitness instructor and dietetics student studying nutrition, with surprising weight issues.
I remained very active in college, which made my weight struggle all the more maddening. I earned my group fitness certification and taught all sorts of fitness classes throughout my 20's. I walked around campus as I had no car. I sometimes even ran on the weekends. I was an avid exerciser. In fact, I was an over-exerciser for many years. I used exercise more as a means to control my weight, rather than enjoying the actual movement.
Throughout the late 90's and early 2000's while I struggled with weight, the low-fat craze was in full swing. I avoided fat like the plague.
In addition, the fats I did consume were inflammatory seed oils such as canola, soybean, corn, safflower and sunflower. I drank loads of Diet Coke, and some of my favorite foods were pretzels, Twizzlers and popcorn, because they were fat free. I stopped eating so many nutritious foods with natural fats, because I was afraid they would make me even fatter!
After college, I lost most of the weight I gained. I know now I was heavier in college because I was eating late at night, avoiding healthy fats and taking in too many starchy carbohydrates. This set me up for hormone imbalances.
It took decades for me to learn the truth about nutrition!
I wish I knew about these concepts and nutritional truths years ago, but I can only admit the system is flawed, and move on with fresh knowledge.
My husband and I now have 3 beautiful children, and even though it was a struggle to lose weight after my pregnancies, I am at a lower weight than I was in high school. I have remained very active. I have completed many half marathons and a couple of marathons, and I also strength train regularly. I exercise for enjoyment, stress relief, and because I WANT to.
Even though I have always been active, it wasn't until I started intermittent fasting that I lost those last pesky 6-7 lbs. I also went down another pants size.
I have been intermittent fasting for many months. I love how I feel. I am now very happy with my weight and I am the leanest I have ever been. I can distance run in a fasted state without cramping and bloating, I feel lighter. I eat healthy fats and whole foods in my eating window and keep processed foods very minimal. I focus on eating until I am full and count NOTHING. In my 40's, I am 20 pounds lighter than I was in my 20's and feel the best I ever have. My chronic bloating subsided within weeks of starting fasting and the chronic canker sores I suffered with for 12 years are mostly gone. I don't crave sweet foods anymore and my appetite control is natural. I sleep soundly. Weight maintenance feels effortless.
Most days I fast somewhere between 18-20 hours, depending on what I am doing. It is liberating and makes my day easier. One day a week I eat one meal a day, and every so often I eat in the morning to change things up. This works for me, but everyone is different.
I understand the core issues of weight management and metabolic illness.
I can help you feel better and find what works for you, too! It is my mission to do so.
Click HERE if you'd like read my complete story.
Read below to learn more
about Intermittent Fasting.
I would love to adopt a healthier lifestyle and try intermittent fasting, but I don't know where to start. How can I learn more?
Reading my book, Fast To Heal, which covers all the basics of intermittent fasting, is a great place to start. I explain the science behind fasting, review different fasting techniques, and walk you through how to get started with a healthier lifestyle. By joining the Fast To Heal Nutrition Support closed Facebook Group, you can ask me, and others following this lifestyle, questions directly. From there, you can decide if you would like to work with me further, or implement the learned strategies on your own.
How does intermittent fasting differ from calorie restriction?
Calorie restriction and increased exercise have been at the forefront of weight management for many decades, yet these approaches fail long-term 99% of the time. After several months of calorie restriction, energy output will decrease to match calorie intake, stalling weight loss. If calorie intake is decreased further, weight loss gets more and more difficult as the metabolic rate has slowed. The body responds with intense hunger, low energy and feelings of coldness in an attempt to conserve energy. The "dieter" becomes miserable. This is where weight loss attempts are typically abandoned, and weight is regained very quickly.
Intermittent fasting is refraining from eating for a certain time period, and then feasting when appropriate. Your body does not think it is calorie deprived, and the hormonal changes that occur while fasting stimulate fat burning. Weight gain and weight loss are controlled by hormones, not calories.
I have been overweight with health issues for decades, and have tried everything to improve my health. Will this strategy work for me?
The short answer is... yes, most of the time! When a person has had weight and health issues for many years or decades, their hormones have been out of balance for a long time. Both the food that is eaten and when it is eaten plays a huge role in bringing hormones back into balance. If you have been sick for a long time, it may take longer to see the results you would like as the body has more healing to do. Each person is unique and needs a tailored plan, but everyone I have worked with has seen some sort of improvements by eating in a timed window and improving their nutrition!
Can I exercise while fasting?
Absolutely, and you should! While exercise plays a smaller role in weight management and blood sugar balance than nutrition, it obviously promotes a ton of health benefits! It may take a few weeks to months to get used to exercising in a fasted state, but as your body adapts from continually burning glucose for fuel and gets better at utilizing fat instead, your workouts may actually improve. Many report better workouts and being able to train harder while fasting. This is because growth hormone and adrenaline actually increase while you fast. Start out with shorter, less intense workouts and work your way up as your body gets used to regular fasting. Some will cut back on exercise as they begin intermittent fasting until their body adjusts to the new change, and then slowly add it back in.
Who should not fast?
If you are pregnant or nursing, this is not a good time to start fasting as you need more nutrition to support your baby. Anyone with an active or past eating disorder may have issues implementing this strategy and should be recovered from their disordered eating prior to trying timed restricted eating. Also, most children should eat more often, especially if they are very active. Some teenagers do very well with intermittent fasting, depending on their issues and lifestyle.
I can help with specific guidelines if your child is struggling with obesity or other chronic health issues.