WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF)?
IF is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting and research shows positive benefits for both your brain and body.
The most popular fasting time ratio is sixteen hours fasting combined with an eight eating window, but fasting itself can last days.
A traditional way of eating is three meals a day and some snacks. By skipping just one meal and a snack, you are easily creating a calorie deficit necessary for fat loss with no extra effort.
SLOWS DOWN AGEING
Some studies claim IF can slow down ageing because Human Growth Hormone (HGH) increases during fasting. HGH also supports fat loss for energy and muscle growth.
The majority of our vital systems and organs benefit from a break! By giving your digestion tract a rest, you can reduce IBS and leaky gut symptoms. IF also can positively influence nutrients absorption.
BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
During fasting, your blood sugar drops which has a positive impact on insulin levels which then helps to utilise stored energy (fat cells) resulting in fat loss and preventing type 2 diabetes.
BRAIN HEALTH AND FUNCTION
Some studies claim that IF can increase the growth of new nerve cells. Many people who do IF experience better focus and cognitive function while fasting. We’ve all been a victim of a carb coma… IF helps clear the mind, awakens the senses and can improve brain functioning.
CHRONIC DISEASES PREVENTION
Intermittent hunger reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, which are common causes of many chronic diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s’s, Parkinson’s’s or Cardiovascular conditions.
Fat loss will not occur unless you achieve a calorie deficit, from my experience working with busy professionals; the last thing they want to do is counting calories, fasting can save you calories without extra effort.
Eating healthy is expensive, but so is good medical care and absence from work. By skipping breakfast and morning latte, you are preserving your health while keeping some extra £££ in your account.
FREES UP YOUR SCHEDULE
A busy schedule packed with meetings and commuting? Planned fasting period can give you less stress about what to eat. he great thing about IF is that you don’t have to do anything extra, you do less!
GIVES YOU CONTROL
Often I hear from my clients they can’t eat healthy when travelling, whether on a plane, train or automobile. If all they serve on your flight is overpriced junk food – don’t eat it! Who is in control of your food choices? You or the airline?
DOWNSIZE OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
BREATH – After extending fasting hours, lack of content in your stomach can cause an unpleasant smell, you probably won’t notice it, but other people may. Limit this with more water and good oral hygiene.
HANGER – This depends on your personality and how much you are used to eating. If you snack a lot and eat heavy carbs meals, you may feel more irritated initially. I suggest starting when you don’t have too many people around.
LOST CONTROL – I remember when I first started IF and broke my fast, I demolished half of the fridge! Don’t do that because you ruin the effect of creating a calorie deficit. To end your fast plan, a medium-size meal full of veg and protein, and eat slow!
!!! NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A HISTORY OF EATING DISORDER, INTERMITTENT FASTING IS NOT RECOMMENDED! ALWAYS CONSULT IF WITH YOUR THERAPIST OR GP !!!
WHERE DO I START?
You may be doing it already; well sort of…Waking up after hitting the snooze button for 7th time, and drinking double espresso with milk while rushing to work too busy to get breakfast isn’t exactly intermittent fasting… Always plan ahead:
Decide the day before and allow yourself to have your last meal around 7:30-8 pm.
Choose when and how (mindful and controlled!) you are going to break the fast. It’s smart to choose exactly what you will eat.
Drink water! 500ml first thing in the morning, then one glass every hour. This suppresses hunger, smelly breath and aids with a natural body cleanse.
Black coffee is fine, helps with hunger, but no sugar, sweeteners or milk. Tea is also fine, be careful with green tea; it may irritate your stomach.
Get busy! Your body and brain don’t have to use energy for digestion, perfect time to crack on with an important project!
16h seems too long? It’s ok, and you can start with 10 or 12 hours and build it up, keep in mind slight discomfort is desired and safe. Always start small when you are starting a new habit.
We are all individual and have different preferences, but unless you try new things, you will never find out what could make your life easier and get you more results. Give Intermittent Fasting a try for minimum 2-3 weeks to experience all benefits.