Intermittent fasting is essentially the cycle of when you eat, and when you don't eat - an eating pattern. You eat the same food you would on a daily basis, just within your desired 'eating window'.
Taking a break from constantly eating all through the day has been shown to have so many health benefits and adds a deeper awareness into your real hunger cues. This enables you to become more aware of when you are actually hungry or just eating from boredom or comfort. Intermittent fasting helps to rebalance your body so that you can really start to listen to your body and learn exactly what it’s telling you.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase ketosis which is where your body uses ketones for fuel- our body naturally makes ketones as a form of fuel - and means that we aren’t living on a blood sugar rollercoaster and reduces insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a huge problem for our health and has been shown to be the root of many diseases, health complications and obesity. Click here to read my article on insulin and our hormones.
The world around us is constantly changing and there are an abundance of epigenetic stressors all around us, whether it’s the food we are eating or the environment around us. Intermittent fasting has been shown to help our body recalibrate itself, enabling you to tap into your own inner doctor that we all have inside ourselves.
Gaining metabolic flexibility from intermittent fasting enables us to move from sugar burning to fat burning therefore aiding in weight loss, heightened brain function, consistent mood and fewer, if any, cravings. When we become fat adapted our body uses our natural fuel, ketones, to burn sustainably throughout the day meaning we have stable blood sugar levels and energy levels.
Most of us are metabolically inflexible meaning we are bound by imbalance and it’s hard to eat from a place of intuition when there is imbalance in the body. The excess noise physically and metaphorically from the dysregulation of our gut/brain axis, being bound by cravings, fatigue and mood swings makes it virtually impossible for us to connect with our intuition and what our body is telling us.
Our body is so resilient and we can incorporate intermittent fasting into our routine without being too extreme and still reap many of the benefits. Women should work with their health professional with intermittent fasting as being too extreme can cause hormonal imbalances and dysregulated monthly cycles.
Intermittent fasting could be added into your routine by doing 12:12 where you eat for 12 hours and fast for 12 hours, for example eating between 8am-8pm and fast between 8pm - 8am. Once your body has got used to this way of eating, you could then incorporate a few days a week where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8, for example eating between 10am - 6pm and then fast 6 pm - 10am. We want to be changing the way we fast and eat every couple of days to sustainably tap into the benefits and to enhance our longevity.
Intermittent fasting has also been shown to help with tissue regeneration, creates cellular resistance, autophagy and is also a good way to break down inflammation in the body. By incorporating intermittent fasting into your routine you start to create stillness in the body, beginning to root yourself to gain metabolic flexibility, getting off the blood sugar roller coaster and becoming aware of what your body really needs.
When you pair intermittent fasting with a nutritionally dense diet, the benefits you will receive are multiplied!
Intermittent fasting should be done in a way that works for you. Each one of us is so unique it’s important to find the style of eating that works best for you and your lifestyle. Working with a health professional to sustainably incorporate fasting into your lifestyle is recommended.