Growing up in a medical family and being a holistic health enthusiast I don’t believe there’s a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to our health and well-being. What works for one person may not work or feel right for another. At the end of the day, we are all very different individuals. That’s why I believe it’s so critical to listen to your body when trying to determine what feels best and is sustainable for you, despite how popular an approach may be. From juice cleanses and detoxes to “caveman” versus vegan diets. One strategy that’s been trending on and off for a while is intermittent fasting (IM), I’ve seen and experienced very different results. Now, I know what you are thinking. “Is intermittent fasting good for you?””Does intermittent fasting actually work?””Will intermittent fasting cause long lasting effects?””How long do intermittent fasting benefits take to see?”
Health Benefits of intermittent fasting
This is one way to both supercharge your gut and aid fat loss. Studies are coming out all the time supporting the benefits of intermittent fasting (IM) and interestingly, health reviews suggest that intermittent fasting may also play a role in :
- Limiting inflammation
- Reducing blood pressure
- Helping prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes
- Causing significant reductions in body weight, especially in obese individuals.
- Improving metabolism
- Reducing LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein. i.e. bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels
IM is really great for digestion and one of the main reasons why I fast. It gives the body a break for a set number of hours so that your gut can rest, repair, and reset. The benefits to your gut and overall inflammation are amazing.
Ayurvedic doctors have always encouraged people to rest their gut and improve health through intermittent fasting. They state that it is an effective way to help the digestive fire and burn away accumulated toxins from the body and mind. It also eliminates gas, makes the body light, improves mental clarity, and preserves overall health. Ayurveda favours regular, short-term fasting over infrequent, long-term fasting 
Intermittent fasting is not for everyone
Just because I love giving both sides of the argument:
- Limiting food intake to just eight hours each day or severely restricting calories a few days a week are two popular fasting approaches. People have experienced intense cravings, obsessions with food and rebound binge eating.
- Overall nutrition could be affected by limiting the intake of vegetables, fruit, lean protein and healthy fats. You need to be organised to make sure on the hours you choose to eat that you get all of your daily nutrients.
- Poor sleep whether it’s a struggle to fall asleep or just stay asleep.
The Myths of intermittent fasting
Despite the popular myth that you need to eat frequently throughout the day, science is now confirming that eating less can actually improve your health and longevity. In fact, there are no studies supporting the recommended “eat every 2-3 hours” statement. Another myth is that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Who says? The blame, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, should be shared equally between scientists, the media and the public .
We have even ingrained ourselves to believe that breakfast should be in the morning and it should generally consist of toast and cereal. The meaning of ‘Breakfast’ is to ‘Break Your Fast’ so whenever that occurs (for me its around 12/1pm) is when you eat and that food may vary. If you’re not hungry in the morning and you are going to be sitting at your desk most of the day, do you really need to eat!
For more information on myths like ‘eating every 2-3 hours’ and ‘starvation mode stores fat’, read of this blog – https://www.mindpumpmedia.com/blog/the-meal-frequency-myth. These three American guys are brilliant and they have a podcast as well which is all about holistic health and wellness – MindPumpMedia.
How to Fast
I fast nearly everyday for a minimum of 16 hours. I work the 8,8,8 rule. This is where I sleep for 8 hours, fast for 8 hours and eat for 8 hours. Not eat for 8 hours straight but I have an 8-hour window. It works well for me not eating until 12pm then stopping at 8pm and repeating. Some days I fast for longer and other days I fast for less but I always allow my body 12 hours on empty. It works well for me. I find that not only has my digestion improved but I also have amazing energy levels.
Another way to fast could be having 2 days a week on 500 calories max. This didn’t suit me well. I found on the 5 days I could eat I would over indulge and it was counter productive. I also hated counting calories and eating only 500 in a day. My uncle and some of my clients however found this more beneficial for them. You just have to test what works for your body and your lifestyle.
If you have never tried fasting before, start slow with a few non-consecutive days. This is when you don’t eat between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Once you master that length of time, you can extend it to 11 am and so on. Always drink a lot of water when fasting. This will help keep you hydrated, aid in the removal of toxins and keep your energy levels up.
Always remember that it’s OK to be hungry! Our bodies are very clever and allowing that time gives our gut a window to repair. Another thing to remember is fasting is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. If you are suffering from gut issues and would find working with a health coach beneficial then get in touch on www.larajezeph.com or email [email protected] for more information. I look forward to hearing from you.
Are you fasting intermittently?
Are you fasting intermittently? How have you found IM so far? What are you views? Have you seen results? Please let us know in the comments below!