Intermittent Fasting

“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”

Fasting and or restricting the periods you eat in a day has huge benefits

Fasting may or may not be appropriate for you.  Check with a physician first (see disclaimer)

Fasting doesn’t sound very pleasurable or easy when first considered although it is becoming more mainstream now.  If you are “sick” you may wish to read up on the benefits of fasting to the immune system and the way fasting can be integrated into healing programs.

Why Fast?

fastSome quick facts –

  • When you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Your cells also initiate important cellular repair processes.
  • Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories, while boosting metabolism slightly. It is a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat.
  • Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. This should have benefits against aging and development of numerous diseases.
  • Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.

What does fasting mean?

There are many different types or definitions of fasting but in general it’s the absence of anything but water.  Personally I do not count coffee (with coconut milk only) and many references will allow broth and some “fats” for longer fasts.

fast plans

Intermittent Fasting or Restricted Eating Window

Again, this goes by many names, bust is essentially an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting.

For me it is limiting calorie intake and how many hours a day you allow yourself to eat in (and avoid snacks and drinks with calories).

How To

So try skipping breakfast and just having brunch and dinner… or skip dinner and have breakfast and lunch – you should end up with something between 14 and 18 hours a day not eating (just water).  

Be warned: It works best when you eat real food – you can’t fast off a Big Mac.

Depending on your appetite, exercise regime and current practices you may want to start slowly by, for example, just getting used to eating properly three times a day with 4-5 hours between meals and no snacks.

My Fasting Plans

My “usual” day is a late morning brunch – often a large mixed salad with seafood and egg, lots of oil.  Maybe a handful of nuts (macadamia, cashew and almonds) in the afternoon and then an evening meal (by 7pm if I can) – so my typical fasting window (or restricted eating period) is around 16 hours.

I have done one extended fast of around 68 hours and plan more of around the same period.  I am interested in learning more about the “immune system reset” that is supposed to accompany this type of longer fast.  I completed this at home with no supervision and worked, exercised as usual.