You’re probably aware that going too many hours between meals can cause a drop in blood sugar that leads to headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
While that’s true, new research shows that planned periods of Intermittent Fasting (IF) or Time Restricted Feeding (TRF) can be good for your health.
This is not about starving yourself to lose weight. Instead, TRF aims to give the digestive system a break from food, which allows the body to cleanse itself. To be truly restorative, TRF is matched with a similar break from mental and physical activity. I like to do a10 hour feeding schedule and a 14 hour fast as I don’t like to eat until I have exercised.
Though clinical research is still in the early stages for both animal and human studies, several health benefits have been identified. Autophagy Cellular cleansing is one of the benefits.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Increased sensitivity to insulin and leptin, which can lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and even cancer
- Better regulation of hormones associated with appetite
- Enhanced metabolic use of stored fat
- Lower triglyceride levels, which decreases risk for heart disease
- Reduced inflammation
- Enhanced awareness of appetite and cues for eating
Intermittent Fasting – How to Do it Right
During an Intermittent Fast, drink plenty of water, keep exercise to low intensity, and avoid stress such as the kind created by work deadlines or care-taking for family.
For best health practices, choose unprocessed, whole foods including grains, fresh fruits and veggies, and best quality fish, meat and dairy.
Intermittent Fasting Regimens
The 16/8 Method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours (e.g., Noon – 8 PM), then fasting for 16 hours (8 PM to 12 PM the next day).
Weekly/Bi-Weekly 24 Hour Fast
The Weekly/Bi-weekly 24-hour Fast involves a 24 hour period of fasting for one or two days per week or every other week: Last meal at 6 PM Monday, no food but plenty of water until 6 PM the next day.
The 5:2 Method
The 5:2 Method involves choosing any two non-consecutive days of the week and eating only about 600 calories on those days: Tuesday 600 calories; Thursday 600 calories, rest of the week eating regular, healthy meals.