Did you know that intermittent fasting isn’t new, but has been around for many, many years? In fact, some of the healthiest and longest-living people around the world incorporate intermittent fasting on a regular basis!
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a “pattern” of eating. It’s a cycle between not eating (IF) and eating. For example, during the 24 hour period of 6:00 pm (dinner) to 6:00 pm (dinner) the next day, you fast.
You might do 18-hour fast from dinner at 5:00 pm to lunch at 12:00 pm
You might shrink your eating window during the day that you eat, such as 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You might do 5-2, which is five days of normal eating and then two days of eating 500 calories or less
What Are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
This is from the Journal of Clinical Investigations and the Mayo Clinic
Hormones are adjusted to levels that allow the body to use stored fat more readily- Therefore, it is great for weight wellness
Autophagy. This is where the body repairs and replaces old cells in the body and generates new fresh cells. During IF it is initiated and facilitated more readily. Cell turnover = ageing backwards
Improves overall insulin levels
Helps protect against certain types of cancer
Brain health, more mental clarity, and less brain fog
Inflammation is lowered throughout the body
Builds your immune system
Is it OK to Eat?
One might think that if you are fasting, you just don’t eat. But for women, this isn’t a good idea because fasting can cause stress on the body and this, in turn, can raise cortisol. Eating just a little food spaced out through the fasting period, even a few times is perfectly fine throughout the fasting day. If you are only fasting a short amount of time, you don’t need to concern yourself with eating at all.
My suggestion would be a very thin slice of apple with a smidge of organic peanut butter or a few almonds. This is enough to stabilize your blood sugar and drop your internal stress level. If possible, avoid vegetables, which tend to disrupt the fasting process.
On fasting days it is important to keep exercise light, no heavy lifting which can be taxing on your body when there is no fuel to pull from and no fuel to recover with. Walking, light yoga, a casual bike ride are all perfect options.
After You Fast
Break your fast with a protein source and pay close attention to your intake of protein throughout the day. To keep your body in fat-burning mode, you should eat around 20 grams of protein with each meal spread out over four times per day.
Want a quick and easy hourly breakdown for what this might look like for you? A huge thanks to Cheryl for sharing an hourly breakdown with the group!
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