Intermittent Fasting and Metabolic Health
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Intermittent Fasting and
In our culture today it’s common for people to eat a lot of food, and to eat frequently, and not eating food can be seen as (and sometimes is) unhealthy behavior. However, studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have excellent health benefits, including weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and improved body composition. After all, humans evolved without constant access to food and as a result, our bodies actually don’t function as well when under pressure to process food around the clock.
There are two main types of intermittent fasting: one is when you simply don’t eat for a certain period of time. The other is called modified intermittent fasting, where you consume a very limited amount of calories, usually 20-25% of your normal daily calories, during fasting times.
Many variations exist however on these two types of fasting. Some include fasting for a specific amount of time every day. For example, a twelve-hour or a sixteen-hour fast can be done daily, and you choose a twelve or sixteen hour part of your day to avoid eating any food. There are also intermittent fasts that involve choosing one or two days out of the week to not eat and eating normally on the other five or six days.
As an example, let’s say you wanted to do a twenty-four-hour fast for one day out of the week. A common way to do it would be to choose a day (let’s say Monday) and the evening before, eat a light dinner at 7:00. Then, on Monday, you would drink green tea or lots of water (which are both great appetite suppressants) at regular intervals such as 8am, 12pm, and 3pm, and then eat a light dinner at 7pm to end the fast. I want to emphasize eating lightly, especially to end the fast, because if you eat too much food or foods that are heavy and difficult to digest, it’s easy to make yourself uncomfortable or even sick.
To do a modified version of this fast, you could follow the same schedule but at those regular intervals, just eat a very small meal such as a small bowl of salad, six to ten nuts, or one to two pieces of fruit. I would especially recommend this version for anyone with blood sugar issues, such as diabetes or hypoglycemia.
A source that I found both interesting and informative when it comes to intermittent fasting is called “The Science of Fasting” and is available on Netflix. It helps break down the details of exactly what effects fasting has on the human body, and shows specifically how this practice can be remarkably beneficial to our health. If you’re considering trying an intermittent fast, I would encourage you to consult your doctor and as always, if you have questions or would like help with your health journey, don’t hesitate to contact me at www.healthandexerciseprescriptions.com.
Thank you for your time and energy. Be well.