29 October 2022

What is Intermittent Fasting & WHY is it healthy for you

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Different Types of Intermittent Fasting

I should think you have heard of IF – Intermittent Fasting.  If not then hopefully this post will educate you on it and it’s overall health benefits.  Yes, it is fasting which of course means we don’t eat for long periods of time.  Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern during which you refrain from consuming any calories for an extended period of time. Usually, this period lasts between 12 and 40 hour

Some people swear by the eating pattern, finding that it helps manage their appetite & weight & to support their overall health.

However,  intermittent fasting might not be right for everyone — either for medical reasons or because it doesn’t match their picture of a nutritious and sustainable diet.

Here are the different ways of doing it:

  • Time-restricted eating. Involves fasting every day for 12 hours or longer and eating in the remaining hours. A popular example is the 16/8 method. It features a daily 16-hour fast and an 8-hour eating window wherein you can fit in 2, 3, or more meals.
  • The 5:2 diet. The 5:2 diet involves eating as you normally do 5 days of the week and restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 on the remaining 2 days.
  • Eat Stop Eat. Eat Stop Eat involves a 24-hour fast once or twice per week.
  • Alternate-day fasting. With alternate-day fasting, the goal is to fast every other day.

Time Restricted Eating

I am going to focus on this form of ‘IF’ because it is one of the easier ways to fast and there has been a lot of research into it.

I listen to Dr Chatterjee’s podcasts when I can, and one excellent one is with Professor Satchin Panda.  He has actually been on Dr C’s podast before and now he is specifically talking about how fasting can actually help your sleep & mood and why it is so good for the gut and body.

Here is the podcast:  https://drchatterjee.com/how-to-sleep-better-boost-gut-health-and-get-more-energy-with-professor-satchin-panda/

If you don’t get time to listen to it, here are the main points  on WHY it is so beneficial for our health.  BUT always remember, if you are on any medications or have low blood pressure or anything where fasting will not be good for YOU then please talk to your GP 1st.

Dr Sachin’s research has shown:

  • 10 hours is the optimum window to eat our meals in
  • Having long periods of time NOT eating is essential for repairing, resetting and rejuvenating all of our organs and tissues – & ultimately releasing anti-inflammatory signalling molecules that strengthen our immune system.
  • People sleep better, their digestion improves and their energy increases – this positive feedback loop motivates them to stick to the routine.
  • Further proven benefits over time include weight loss, improved gut health & kidney function – not to mention some incredible results when it comes to reducing pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes symptoms.
  • By getting your circadian rhythm into a pattern, this is how we can eat better and sleep better which in the long run can help our overall health.

If you are trying the fasting – listen to this as I thought I was doing it ok, but apparently even having milk in coffee in the fasting period is adding ‘stress’ to your body.  Similarly, he talks about NOT eating or consuming any calories for 1 hour after we wake up – again our body is not ready for it & it adds more stress to the body.

Have a listen – it is very interesting

Also have a read of my other blogs similar to this one on overall health:


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