To Fast or Not to Fast…Is That the Question?
When you think of fasting, do you think of going into the desert for 40 days and eating nothing? Does it seem like something you could never subject yourself to? Do you think it’s only used as a part of a religious ritual? Maybe I can ease your mind and give you another way to look at fasting…at least the way I look at it.
I happen to be a fan of Intermittent Fasting (IF). IF comes in many forms. You can fast for a day or two or several hours within a 24 hour period. The first method can be 5:2 meaning you eat normally for five days then fast for two days, consuming less than 500 calories on your fasting days. The second method can be one of several different combinations like 4:20, 6:18, 10:14, etc. The idea is to have more hours of fasting than eating.
My favorite way to fast is to compress my eating into six hours of a 24 hour period. It usually ends up being 11:00AM – 5:00PM daily for me. That window sometimes shifts depending on the day but I try to stay to the 6:18 split.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
According to this article, there is strong evidence that IF is good for your body and brain. Here are five of those benefits.
- You will consume fewer calories – as long as you don’t eat more than you usually would during your eating hours
- It facilitates weight loss – reduced insulin levels, increased human growth hormone (HGH) and norepinephrine all help the body burn far for energy
- Short-term fasting increases your metabolic rate – this means as you consume fewer calories and you burn more, you will lose weight
- Cellular repair – this occurs during periods of fasting, cleaning up and disposing of waste materials. It also aids in apoptosis, the process of killing off damaged cells in the body.
- It lowers insulin resistance thereby lowering your risk for developing Type 2 diabetes
Read the article for more information on IF to see if it’s is a good idea for you. I like to go to bed with a somewhat empty stomach. I feel like I sleep better and wake up with more energy in the morning. Using this method of eating helps me to do that.
Let me know in the comments what you think about IF. Is it something you have tried or would consider? Reach out if you would like some support.
Hi Karen. I am not a fan of fasting but then I am not oppose to the idea. I have done a 12 hour fast but not sure of what benefits I got out of it. Perhaps I need to do it on a regular schedule for a period of time. I do like the mental journey of going into the desert during Lent. I suppose it is a spiritual journey.
Hi Lily…if you practice IF daily as 12:12 it will provide some benefit. It gives your body a chance to reset. I don’t think I could go into the desert for an extended period of time with or without food. I think you’re a stronger person than I am though. Thanks for stopping by
I have done up to three day fasts and as weird as it sounds I enjoy them. I sometimes fast accidentally, so I know I am capable – I keep thinking I ought to at least try it — thank you for inviting me to think!
I have a hard time not eating every day but if it works for you, a three day fast can be very beneficial. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water during that time though.
I tried IF for a few weeks to jumpstart weight loss. I ate for 8 hours and fasted for 16. The problem is that I’m a breakfast person and by 10:30-11, I was feeling shaky and not able to focus on my meetings. Oh well, back to Noom. 🙂
IF isn’t for everyone Elisa. You have to find the program that works for you and be consistent with it. At least you gave it a try.