Fasting simply refers to not consuming any calories for a certain period of time, there are plenty of benefits to the occasional structured or even spontaneous fast.
Benefits of occasional fasting:
- You’ll most likely live longer
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Fat Loss
- Lower Blood Glucose (if high)
- Improved Detoxification
- Reduces inflammation
- Improved energy
- Gut Healing
- Cell Regeneration
Common myths about fasting:
Your metabolism will slow down. Studies have shown that even after a 36 hour fast there is no drop in metabolic rate.
You’ll pass out – very unlikely. With no food intake it’s actually a lot easier for the body to maintain consistent blood glucose levels. If you feel faint when fasting you may have reactive hypoglycaemia which is most likely caused by either a biotin, vitamin B6 or Carnitine deficiency.
You’ll feel weak and unable to concentrate – usually quite the opposite. With no food intake the mind is often clearer and the increased sympathetic nervous system activity will make you feel wide awake.
How long should I fast for?
I recommend fasting anywhere from 16 – 24 hours. So, an example of a 24 hour fast would be to eat your last meal on Monday night at 7pm and then don’t eat again until Tuesday night at 7pm. I don’t recommend going to bed on an empty stomach, this will compromise sleep which impacts fat loss.
Drink lots of water whilst fasting. You can also have up to 4 cups of green tea or 1- 2 cups of black coffee.
When are the best times to fast?
- The day after you have overeaten
- Either side of the weekend
- On a day you are kept busy
- Whenever you feel like it
Occasional fasting is healthy, great for fat loss, easy and often enjoyable to do. Avoid under eating on the days you don’t fast and you’ll get on great.
If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, have amenorrhea or generally have a poor relationship with food then fasting is not for you.
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