What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern practice that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It’s not a diet but more of an eating pattern. There are many types of fasting patterns as there are people, and you can choose what is suitable for your body type. We are all different and unique and we can honour that by what we choose for ourselves.
Here are the common intermittent fasting methods that I practice myself:
• The 16/8 method: it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours and 16 hour fast. I will do this a couple times a week as I want to increase cellular autophagy and that only happens in longer fasting. However, It doesn’t work daily for me but I find men generally tolerate this better.
• Daily 12-14 hours per/day. So eat last meal at 8pm and next meal at 9-10am. I recommend this to my clients and I do this daily as a practice.
• Fasting for 24 hours, once a week depending on how you feel (I usually drink a broth to support my adrenals when I embark on 24 hours)
• For me fasting has also become a spiritual practice around new moon where I will do a 24 hour fast. It’s a good time to focus on intention setting and when we are clearer it’s easier to connect as the mind is quiet.
What are the benefits of fasting:
Fasting is very natural for us and been with us throughout human evolution. Hunter-gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available all the time. Fasting is more natural than eating all day long. I believe this is where most of our chronic disease starts from continuous snacking and grazing. If you continually eat your body is spending more energy on digesting. It is also about changing your relationship to food and what are your patterns and addictions.
If you give your body a rest from digesting:
1. Human growth hormone levels go up
2. Insulin levels go down
3. Your body’s cells start to regenerate (called autophagy) and initiate important cellular repair processes
4. Influence your gene expression in longevity & prevention of diesease
To be conscious when applying ’fasting’ practices. It is important to note that going over the 16 hours can cause unnecessary stress on your adrenals. It can have a negative effect on stomach acid production. Intermittent fasting is not a practice of not eating but more of a pattern around good eating habits and honouring cycles rhythms of our bodies. When we eat too much and continually graze, we are slowly disconnecting from our internal cycles.
Eliminate grazing all day and have 3 meals a days.
Trying out the 12 hour daily for a week, then gently go up a see how you feel at 14 hours.
Then start to see what 16 hours feels like
Check in see how you feel and maybe trying a 1-day broth fast