Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
You may be hearing about intermittent fasting everywhere. Your kids, grandkids, neighbors, and friends may be partaking in this trending lifestyle and perhaps even your doctor has suggested it for an array of health issues. Although this may sound like a new phenomenon, fasting is actually an ancient practice that has been used for both physical and spiritual reasons. Popular health gurus promote intermittent fasting as an effective way to biohack your health and life. Dave Asprey is one and he wrote an entire book on these amazing benefits called Fast This Way. Let’s explore some of the top benefits of fasting and why it might be a good choice for you.
Intermittent fasting is time restricted eating. Most adherents eat within a window of 8 hours (12PM-8PM) daily and fast the rest of the time. The idea is to get all of your meals in within this timeframe. In doing this, many experience the following benefits:
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved mental clarity and energy
- Effortless weight loss while eating whatever you please within your eating window, even as you age.
- Autophagy- the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells
- Balanced hormones
During your fasting window it’s important to only consume things that will not break your fast. This can include black coffee, or plain green or back tea. One biohack many fasters use is bulletproof coffee. This allows your brain and stomach to feel satiety without actually breaking your fast and giving you the energy kick you need to make it to your eating window. To do this, take 1 cup of black coffee and blend with 1TBS butter in a blender until creamy and frothy. Drink immediately. The idea of butter in your coffee may sound very odd but I can tell you from personal experience it tastes like a creamy latte and fills me up until I start eating for the day.
As with any diet, it’s important to always check with your doctor if intermittent fasting is right for you. Anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery will want to hold off on this practice. Also, women oftentimes benefit from a shorter fasting time. If you find an 8-hour window is too difficult to eat in, try fasting for at least 10-12 hours only. You can then work your way up from there. Starting where your body is at and slowly pushing that window longer and longer can make the transition easier no matter who you are. Many others pair fasting with a walking and gentle strength training practice to cover all their bases of a healthy lifestyle. Consider getting your spouse on board for a fun and encouraging way to work on your health together.
I highly recommend checking out the book Fast This Way for more ideas and options for fasting. There are so many ways you can customize this practice to best suit you and your personal needs and goals. And don’t forget to always check with your doctor first. Happy fasting!