What is Intermittent Fasting?
A type of scheduled eating plan where you restrict the time you consume food. The typical protocol involves only eating within a window of 6-8 hours per day.
*while maintaining you caloric needs per day
What are the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
- Improved Sleep
- Helps promote insulin sensitivity – Insulin resistance or poor insulin sensitivity contributes to nearly all chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular disease etc.) (1)
- Normalizes ghrelin levels, A.K.A your “hunger hormone”
- Increases the rate of HGH (human growth hormone) production, which has an important role in health, fitness, and slowing the aging process
- Lowers triglyceride levels
- Helps reduce inflammation in the body
- Fights free radical damage and induces autophagy (4)
What Intermittent Fasting Is NOT?
- Not a form of extreme calorie restriction – You should feel good while practicing intermittent fasting. If you have low energy, brain fog and start feeling weak, then you need to re-evaluate your strategy.
- It is not an excuse to eat a diet high in processed foods. It is critical to avoid processed and empty calorie foods, including refined carbohydrates, sugar/fructose, and grains.
Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting?
- ALWAYS pay close attention to your body and your energy levels. People who are hypoglycemic, diabetic, or pregnant (and/or breastfeeding) should avoid any type of calorie restriction until your blood sugar or insulin levels are regulated.
Common 16-8 Fasting Protocol
Step 1 (Day Before Beginning Fast):
- Have your last meal no later than 8 PM
Step 2 – Begin Fast (fast/sleep time will depend on individual schedule)
Fasting: 8 PM to 10 PM
- Sleep Fast : 10 PM to 5 AM
- Active Fasting: 5 AM to 12 PM
- Eating Window: 12 PM to 8 PM
- Repeat Cycle
There are a many variations of fasting protocols including The 5:2 Diet, The Warrior Diet, and Alternate Day Fasting. It’s important to first understand your body, and what it needs prior to undertaking any fasting protocol. Whatever diet plan, or lifestyle plan that you take on, always listen to your body. With that said, fasting has huge health benefits that go way beyond simply weight loss, and can be an effective health practice. If you have any interest in learning more or starting a program, please feel free to reach out to me.