Lately, it seems everyone is talking about fasting. In today’s post, I’ll share 2 big truths to help you decide if fasting is for you, and if so which method is best for you.
And if you are currently fasting, I share some REALLY important information below that you’ll want to implement, otherwise you may no longer continue to get results from fasting.
I practice time-restricted eating most days of the week, while my husband follows intermittent fasting a few days of the week along with time-restricted eating.
Is fasting a fad or a legitimate trend?
Recent research shows that fasting is a practice that yields many worthwhile health benefits.
Some of the benefits of fasting include:
Improved heart health
improved insulin sensitivity
Reduction in metabolic disease
Bottom Line – fasting will improve most health markers and is well worth your effort unless you are underweight, under 18 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding.
How do you go about it?
There are different ways to fast, depending on what you’re trying to achieve. I’ll focus on time-restricted eating and intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
The 24 hour day is divided into two periods: a fasting period and an eating period.
This is a dual approach to reduce calorie intake and the period of time in which you eat.
The most common schedule people follow is a 16/8 hour schedule. A person will fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. This is done between 2 to 7 days a week.
Most people skip breakfast on intermittent fasting. days. For example, the eating window may be from 11 am to 7 pm or 10 am to 6 pm (or any other time that fits your schedule).
Intermittent Fasting is for you if:
you typically aren’t hungry in the morning
you have a significant amount of weight to lose
you’re prone to nighttime snacking.
Time restricted eating (TRE)
Time-restricted eating is a form of intermittent fasting that typically allows a longer eating period than intermittent fasting.
With time-restricted eating a person eats as much as they want during a predetermined eating window.
People typically eat between an 8 to 12-hour window.
Time-restricted eating is for you if:
you don’t like to miss breakfast. This method works for people who don’t like to miss breakfast (like me). I would rather miss dinner than miss breakfast!
you don’t have a lot of weight to lose and want to experience the health benefits that fasting provide.
if you’re new to fasting, TRE is a great way to ease into longer fasting periods.
BOTH INTERMITTENT FASTING AND TIME-RESTRICTED EATING ELICIT BENEFICIAL HEALTH EFFECTS INCLUDING:
improved heart function
enhanced aerobic capacity.
During the pandemic, I was pretty diligent in following the fast periods which meant I didn’t snack or have any alcohol after dinner. As a result, I lost almost 5 pounds whereas many people gained weight during this same period.
HERE’S WHAT INTERNET SEARCHES DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT FASTING:
Don’t follow the same fasting period every day of the week.
Studies have shown that over time, the body will no longer respond to fasting as it did initially. In fact, over a prolonged period of restrictive calories, the body may reach a state of stress. The body needs diversity to keep working well. It’s called metabolic flexibility. You want your body to be able to adapt to various demands placed on it.
In order to avoid this, you need to vary your eating window. For example, follow a 16/8 (fast -eat) window two times a week, a 12-hour window 2 or 3 times a week, and the remaining days a 13 /11 window.
Don’t follow the same fasting periods for long, extended periods of time.
Another concern, especially for women after menopause, is that extended long fast periods may promote muscle loss. You want to maintain as much muscle as possible. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be.
- Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan Cell Metabolism 23, no. 6 (June 2016): 1048–59. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001.
RESET, RENEW, RESULTS
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