Why You Should Try Fasting
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not a diet. It doesn’t cut calories or starve you. It changes “when” you eat not “what” you eat. It’s about cycling between periods of eating and periods of not eating. We all fast overnight while we sleep. That is how the name breakfast came about. It means break-the-fast. Unfortunately, many people eat well into the evening and night and then wake up to a big meal first thing in the morning. This is a very short fast that does not give your body time to get any “clean up” done. When you fast, you start to slowly increase the period of not eating to 12, 16 even 24 hours at a time. There are many benefits and we as a human race have been doing this for centuries.
Why should you try it? What are the benefits?
First off, it’s an easy way to lose fat. When your body is constantly being fed it is very hard to burn fat because there is a constant source of glucose coming in. That's what our body burns for energy when we continuously feed it. It may take 8-10 hours for your body to get into the “fasting” state depending on how fast your digestion is, so fat burning is difficult when eating more regularly as we will burn fat more readily when glucose is not around.
Fasting has been shown to improve insulin resistance because our body has time to use up excess glucose in the blood. Fasting may lower the risk of diabetes and improve cardiovascular health because of the reduction in blood sugars and fat. It may even be a way for diabetics to lower their blood sugar effectively and help reduce their diabetes symptoms.
It has been shown to improve memory and increase clear thinking. There is even some who believe it improves the immune system and increases energy!
How should you start?
For most of my clients I recommend simply eating dinner at their normal time and then to stop eating. Drinking unsweetened herbal tea, unsweetened coffee and water is fine but NO EATING while fasting. I suggest that the fast start after dinner and to aim for a 12 hour fast overnight. I know this seems simple but, so few people stop eating or snacking before bed. So, once the 12 hour fast is mastered, I ask them to extend it. Push for 14, then 16 hours. If they are struggling with not eating breakfast in the morning, then I encourage them to eat an earlier dinner the night before.
Rarely do is suggest pushing the fast to 24 full hours right away. Why? Well, first off, I think you can see many benefits of fasting by just doing the 12-16 hour overnight fasting. Second, it’s easier to keep it shorter as most of the time you are fasting you will be sleeping. I want my clients to see success and pushing the fast too far too fast can set them up to fail. We are constantly bombarded with food, images of food and smells of food. It’s our culture, it’s the way we celebrate and the way we grieve and some of us are forced into lunches at the office and for business meetings. 24 hours without food can be difficult for most people so I recommend that if you decide to try fasting you schedule it in, take it slow and make it simple. I mean how much simpler can it get? No food prep, no snacks to pack, and no thinking about what you are going to eat next, just your water bottle and off you go for the day!
Do you want to get even healthier? Would you like to know more about what fasting can do for you? Let’s chat about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes so that you can work fasting into your life. Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. I work with women from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!