What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is simply an eating pattern. Fasting, normally water fasting, so consuming water possibly with salt (and a black coffee!), for a certain amount of time. As a start it is recommended to slowly increase this fasting window to 16 hours. This leaves an eating window of 8 hours in our 24 hour day.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

There are many benefits of IF and the time in the fasting state determines what the main benefits your body will experience. There is so much research still going on in relation to IF.

Some benefits are:

  • A healthy body!

  • Weight loss

  • Clean eating

  • Clear thinking

  • Moves body into ketosis, where body produces ketones as its main energy source

  • Improved regulation of blood sugar, therefore improving insulin resistance

  • Cleansing of old cells into new cells (autophagy)

  • Relieves digestive upsets

  • the list goes on…….

More technically, a major reason for fasting is to reset hormones and in particular insulin. Every-time we eat we can spike insulin and over many years we then become insulin resistant and this can be the beginning of a plethora of alignments and discomforts the body feels. We won’t get into the technical aspects here.

How does Intermittent Fasting look in a day

If you stop eating at 7pm, and normally you would have breakfast (break your fast) at 7am then your fasting window is 12 hours and your eating window is also 12 hours. To start moving to an IF lifestyle start by lengthening the fasting window hour by hour each day.

Day 1- From when you stop eating the night before, let’s say 7pm, only drink water or black coffee until 8am. This 13 hour window by eating breakfast at 8am has increased your fast from 12 hours to a 13 hour window.

Day 2- From 7pm, your next meal to break this longer fast will be 9am. A 14 hour fast and a 10 hour eating window.

Day 3- Let’s now extend to a 15 hour fast. If your last meal is at 7pm you will now eat at 10am.

Day 4- Now our first goal of a 16 hour fasting window where you are eating your last meal at 7pm and your next meal at 11am.

You have now fasted for 16 full hours. Your eating window is now at 8 hours. It is recommended here that you have lunch and dinner with no snacks in between. This is commonly known as the 16:8 fasting pattern.

 

Tips for intermittent fasting beginners

  1. Water, will some good quality salt such as Himalayan Salt or Celtic Salt and a little lemon, ginger or mint can go along way to helping you if you are struggling.

  2. Black coffee will not break your fast. This of course means no sugar, or sweetener and no milk.

  3. Herbal tea again nothing added is ok. Be sure though to make your drink of choice good quality water.

  4. You may have heard the terminology – BULLETPROOF COFFEE. It does seam like we live in a coffee society!!! This is where you are able to add in some MCT oil. (medium-chain triglycerides) from the coconut. This can be very helpful to keep you feeling satisfied until you break your fast.

  5. If you worry about being too hungry a hack is to slightly increase the calories of your last meal. Have high quality food and add a little good fat like avocado or nuts and seeds to your meal. (If you need help on that last meal please let me know

*First Meal Matters*

So what do you break your fast with. Believe it or not this is one of the most important things to be aware of. You body during a fast will have started repairing cells in your body. From here we need to look closely at your microbiome. Wow, we could talk about microbiome (one of my favourite topics) for many hours. But for now let’s just know that this first meal needs to feed and replenish your microbiome.

Foods to consider as you reintroduce food following any fast.

  • Organic Bone Broth

  • Fermented food such as sauerkraut (any traditionally fermented vegetable) or milk kefir – probiotics will make you dance

  • Fibre! (avoid fruit as many are hybridised to contain high amounts of sugar which my spike your insulin level) so nuts, seeds, berries, in some greek yoghurt..

  • Yes! Avoid break – fast cereals. This concept of breakfast being the most important meal of the day was developed by KELLOGGS. Don’t be fooled. We do not need to start our day with these so called healthy boxed cereals.

 

What next?

This is a great and exciting beginning to improving your health and wellbeing. By applying this simple concept and doing nothing else you are very likely to have moved into a much healthier stage.

There is more!!

These first concepts can be tweaked to add in concepts such as KETO diet, different forms of fasting and adapting these concepts to your individual needs and stage of life.

Want to know more?

Just ask….

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