Occasional, scheduled fasting has become a popular trend in the health and fitness industry since decades ago. From juice fasts to the Master Cleanse, the many benefits of fasting have been touted. However, recently, regular intermittent fasting has become something many have adopted as a lifestyle.
The main three types of regular fasting include:
- 24-hr fast once a week, fasting from dinner to dinner the next day
- 24-hr fast every other day, eating regularly every other day.
- 16-hr fast every day, feeding during an 8 hour window
Of the many benefits of regular fasting, giving rest to the digestive system is key. When the blood supply is targeting digestion, the body doesn’t have time to perform essential bodily functions, such as removing waste. The time given to your cells to repair during fasted periods, allows cells to remove waste and function optimally.
Also, daily periods of fasting changes your body at a cellular level by helping to regulate hormones like insulin and HGH to make the fat stores in your body more accessible energy sources. Intermittent fasting allows time for the body to utilize fat as its main source of energy, which means you not only lose weight overall, but will see an improvement in your overall body composition. Intermittent fasting allows you to maintain muscle mass which speeds up your metabolic rate, while helping you shed fat.
While the fat loss benefits are enough to convince most people to try intermittent fasting, one of the other “side effects” of regular fasting is that it boosts your immune system. Intermittent fasting allows our body to remove waste from our cells. This means that it can break down the waste that can build up over time, which can lead to a decrease in susceptibility to both cancer and Alzheimer’s. There have been reports of better sleep, more energy, greater mental clarity, decrease in inflammation and improved digestion.
Through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss®, we engage in the 16/8 protocol and thus fast for 16 hours daily (most of which are overnight while we are sleeping) and feed during an 8 hour window. This can start and end whenever is most convenient for each individual but most people find that skipping ‘breakfast’ – and breaking fast later in the morning or early afternoon seems to work the best. When I first adopted this lifestyle- or eating schedule, I broke my fast around 10 and finished dinner at 6pm, however, eating between 12 noon and 8pm seems to be easiest for most, and since I started intermittent fasting, break fast closer to noon, sometimes 1pm and usually done eating by 7pm.
There are some precautions when considering intermittent fasting. The importance of eating breakfast, and then small meals throughout the day has been taught in the nutrition industry for decades. I myself have been trained with with ideology and have successfully reversed the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and thyroid issues; however, I have come to learn over the years that eating more often may create a problem of dependency – as may look like low blood sugar. How often one eats is not as important as how much one eats in a day.
Every body has a minimum caloric need for basic systemic functions to take place. This is called the basal metabolic rate. It is crucial that this minimum caloric intake is met or the body will break down your muscle tissue and use it for energy. The hormonal balance that took place in my clients wasn’t a result of eating more often, but eating more- more wholesome foods.
How much of what wholesome foods? – stay tuned for the next component of the faster way program, macronutrient tracking – coming next!