Don’t know how?
The concept of intermittent fasting (IF) involves alternating cycles of fasting & eating. Like famine & feasting many moons ago. At first thought, it can be quite daunting. I am sure your parents taught you from a young age that skipping meals is unhealthy.
Depending on your age, nutritional habits & health condition, intermittent fasting might not be for you – we are all very unique. However, I’ve found that this method can be suitable for people who have a great relationship with their food & have good habits already in play (I’ve never been about promoting a particular diet or meal plan) & they can just switch up their timings of meals for a benefit.
With intermittent fasting, you consume your usual meals, but on a different schedule. There are three different ways to go about it:
– The 16/8 Method: Here you may have lunch from 11am, an afternoon snack around 3pm & your dinner would be before 7pm. Giving you an 8-hour window to eat & a 16 hour period to fast.
– Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
– The 5:2: Limit your calories to 500-600 for two non-consecutive days in the week.
My preferred approach is the 16/8, which is the most popular & easiest one. Of the 16 hours, you are asleep for 8 & awake for 8. The 24 hour fast is also highly beneficial but only if you have stable blood sugar levels & have tried the 16/8 previously. The 5:2 is not a method I promote purely because it restricts calories & living a healthy balanced life does not mean worrying about every single calorie you consume. It is not healthy for your mindset or realistic for a lifestyle.
Our bodies can easily adapt to a fasting routine; we have been doing it throughout evolution. Our ancestors didn’t have supermarkets & weren’t eating 3 – 5 times a day. If they could do it, we can too!
But why bother? ♀️
What happens to your body when you fast?
To understand how intermittent fasting works you need to understand how your body manages the energy it receives. When your body receives food, your level of insulin increases & makes burning fat very difficult. Only 12 hours after your last meal is your insulin level low enough that you can easily burn calories, this is what we call the ¨fast state¨.
How often does your body enter the ¨Fast State¨?
This approach is becoming increasingly popular in the health & wellness circles. Besides the fact that you lose weight & have more time for yourself by eating only twice a day, clinical studies have shown that it’s excellent for your health for the following reasons:
– Diabetes fighter: By increasing insulin level & lowering blood sugar, It can protect you against type 2 diabetes & other conditions, such as cardiovascular risks
– Chronic diseases enemy #1: Studies have shown a reduction in markers of inflammation, which is the starting point of many chronic diseases
– Brain vitamins: It expands brain hormones & stimulates the growth of new nerve cells. AND, it provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease
– Cancer prevention: Because it helps your body control the growth of cells, intermittent fasting may even help prevent cancer
– Anti-aging: Studies have also shown that rats that have fasted live up to 80% longer
This list of benefits sounds amazing but tread carefully. Even though fasting has been successful for a lot of people, it is not suitable for everyone – again, we are all unique. While it helps prevent type 2 diabetes, this approach may lower your glucose tolerance. It could also increase the food requirements for those that are prone to eating disorders. Always consider your health state or seek professional advice before attempting any major nutritional shifts.
Whatever your goals & desires may be, don’t simply follow your friends or what’s trending. Always put your health as your highest priority, do your research & seek out a professional for advice.
Want to give it a try?
I wish you all the Best!
Interested, but not sure if it’s right for you?
Good on you for taking a moment to think on it & listen to your body’s needs!
If you want expert advice – unique to you, reach out today.