5 BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING.
WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE FASTING
More and more studies are proving that intermittent fasting can lead to a whole host of benefits from improved digestion, to an increased metabolic rate, stronger immunity, and much much more. Which is why we created our 5 Day Intermittent Fasting Plan- an offering that is designed to ease you into intermittent fasting in the easiest and most enjoyable way. Discover our top 5 reasons for practicing regular intermittent fasting.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is allowing your body a shorter window to eat during the day, and allowing a break of at least 14 hours between your last meal and your first. Dr Mindy Pelz refers to fasting as ‘the deliberate abstention from food and/or fluids for a period of time, for therapeutic purposes’. Each person is different and will find a window that works for them and their body, but it is suggested that the ideal intermittent fasting window is 8 hours during the day, with 16 hours of fasting in between.
Why practice intermittent fasting?
Here’s a breakdown of the 5 top benefits of intermittent fasting according to medical research:
- Burn fat more effectively. If we hark back to our hereditary genetic profiles, in the past our bodies switched over to the ketogenic system to provide energy and burn fat so we could hunt. As we are now programmed to stop accessing that secondary fuel source by eating soon after we wake up and late in the day, we are going against our natural fat burning system. Our metabolic rate will therefore be more efficient as we honour our original genetic profile and fast to allow our bodies that timeframe to switch over into a ketogenic mode. Modern research is showing that not eating for 16 hours and eating for 8 will help us become immune to this metabolic damaging diet.
- Improve your digestion. According to nutritional therapist Phoebe Liebling, our probiotic bacteria outnumber us by a casual million or two. Their actions range from nutrient absorption/creation to waste removal and mood stability to touch on just a couple of key roles. With the continuous presence of fresh foodstuffs entering our bowels to be digested, they get overwhelmed and never get to finish their cycles of activity correctly. This can lead to imbalances between different forms such as excess fermentation, intermittent bowel movements, inflammation, bloating, etc. By giving our gut a rest by fasting, we expect our probiotic bacteria to complete their cycles and therefore become more efficient.
- Experience a surge of energy. 50% of our energy every day is used for breaking down our food therefore that energy goes towards healing our bodies. Fasting enables the body's enzyme system to concentrate on detoxifying and breaking down toxins in the body quickly and efficiently without the job of heavy food digestion. Switching over into our natural fat burning system helps give us that extra boost of energy and alertness. Plus, finishing dinner earlier means your digestive system is not working away when you go to bed. This is actually the period of time your internal support team are most active, because they aren’t concerned with supporting your wakeful needs. This will then feed into a far more restful sleep cycle, allowing you to wake with more vitality. This further enhances metabolic efficiency because your energy is coming from a true place rather than a reliance on quick energy stimulants.
- Become more attuned to your bodily intuition. According to nutritional therapist Phoebe Liebling, if we have a tendency to graze, it tends to mean that our insulin levels never quite fall in between periods of eating and the more we graze, the less sensitive we become to its actions. An extended period of not eating, intermittent fasting, gives the body the opportunity to become sensitive once more to that energy uptake mechanism. You differentiate between true and habitual hunger.
- Heal faster. During the fasting window, sinesit cells (which includes cancerous cells) are recycled out of the system via autophagy. Going into an autophagic state means that we turn on survival mode inside our cells and trigger them to clean themselves, pushing infections out. Viruses can’t replicate in an autophagic state. Therefore, with nothing inside for the virus to take over, it dies. The fasting window to activate autophagy is 17 hours.
How often should I fast?
Ideally as much as you can. Though, if you still have a period, it is recommended that women fast predominantly on days 1-17 of their cycle to support their progesterone levels and healthy hormone production. Read more here on advice on fasting with your cycle. However, if you struggle to intermittently fast each week, we recommend doing an intermittent fasting reset at least once a month to help reconnect, improve gut health and all the other health benefits listed above.
We suggest easing into intermittent fasting with our 5 Day Intermittent Fasting, designed to help you rest and reset your gut, and reconnect with your body and mind in the most enjoyable way. Our 5 Day Intermittent Fasting menu has been created in the specific way that ticks the aforementioned boxes for how to break your fast, and also comes with a supplemental snack, again protein rich to prevent blood sugar fluctuations, and then a lovely light dinner. It arrives all at once for an easy, flexible service and are available with free delivery nationwide.
For long-term, sustainable healthy habits, we recommend our meal plans, with as short an eating window as you can manage with your lifestyle. For example, breaking your fast with breakfast at 10.30-11am and finishing your dinner at 6.30-7pm.
*Disclaimer: If you have experienced or are experiencing an eating disorder, please do consult with a professional before experimenting with fasting.