If you haven’t heard of Intermittent Fasting before, no doubt it won’t be long before you see it more often; this dieting pattern is making waves in the wellness world as more people strive to feel better.
I’ve been practicing this health strategy for almost 4 years now and over that time have done a lot of research around it, and also played around with various levels of fasting. I regularly do a 24 hour fast, once a month I’ll do a 48 hour fast, and regularly I will do the 16 hour window – where I’ll have dinner at 7pm, and the following morning will fast until 11am.
I know what you’re thinking.. How can you go without food for that long? Don’t you feel tired? How do you function? Doesn’t it slow your metabolism?
These are all the normal thoughts that people have when they are first exposed to this concept, until they understand the fasting process, and then see that the results of fasting are actually more energy, more clarity, and more fat burning!
The thing is, when we fast, our bodies are given a break from digestion, and it allows the body to initiate important repair processes and regenerate new cells. When insulin levels drop, human growth hormone increases and this helps us breakdown more fat to use for energy. Because of this, short term fasting can increase metabolism. The drop in insulin also has major benefits for insulin resistance and protection against diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes.
As an Osteopath, I’ve always had a really strong interest in Inflammation as I see how it impacts my patients (can manifest with pain, achiness and tenderness) – I know addressing it nutritionally has endless benefits. A few years ago I spoke at the National Osteopathic Conference about this, and one thing that kept coming up in my research of this as a way to reduce inflammation was intermittent fasting – so that was the instigator for my own experimentation with it.
Intermittent fasting not only reduces inflammation (and pain), reduces risk of Diabetes, increases energy levels, improves mental clarity and helps you burn more fat, but evidence based research has shown that it can have a significant positive impact on cardiovascular health, on brain health, it reduces oxidative stress (free radicals), improves appetite control, and has been shown to be incredibly anti ageing. It truly is transformational.
If its something that you want to experiment with, I suggest seeking advice from a health care professional such as a Nutritionist or Naturopath, and finding a way that works for you, your lifestyle and your body. And while at first it may seem daunting to go without food for a few hours ;), once you get through that first time, and you start seeing and feeling the benefits, you’ll be converted in no time.
Ashlee Good is an osteopath at Health Space Bondi Junction, call 9389 0890 to make a booking.