If you’ve heard the drumbeat about intermittent fasting but aren’t sure if this is the right way of life for you, read our guide on what to consider before starting.
Take a look at the below points to get ahead of the game and optimise your health.
If you're new to intermittent fasting, download the WeFast - Intermittent fasting app to get started.
In a typical 21st century lifestyle, there is an ‘always on’ culture. From always being on the move, through to friends and colleagues always being able to contact us and probably most destructively, always having food at our fingertips.
Don’t get me wrong, that way of living is all well and good and most of us lead fortunate lives. One where we don’t have to hunt and gather like our ancestors did. In fact, we just log on to order our next meal, or the product we just remembered we needed that’s going to arrive the very next day. However, along the way we’ve lost the art of simply waiting and that right there, is the underlying theme of intermittent fasting.
In order to get the very best from our intermittent fasting journey, there are certain factors we need to first take into consideration. For example, are we getting a decent night’s sleep? Do we have a handle on our day-to-day stress? Do we have good eating habits? Are our hormones in balance? If the answer to any of the above was a resounding no, then that issue needs to be addressed first.
Although we’re in need of further studies to investigate the pros and cons of intermittent fasting there are some overarching reasons why you should incorporate intermittent fasting in your daily routine as we’ll discuss (1).
If you're new to intermittent fasting, download the WeFast - intermittent fasting app to get started.
Fasting has been used as a therapeutic tool for thousands of years but it’s only recently that studies have shed the light on it’s beautiful benefits.
For one, it’s fantastic at reducing damage in our bodies. Damage that can lead to chronic inflammation and diseases we are now unfortunately all too familiar with (2). The key to a healthy life on the outside, is to create a thriving environment on the inside and when we give our bodies a period of time without food, it has the chance to clear out all the debris in our bodies. Think of it a bit like the dustmen coming along and taking away all the bin bags - all the dead cells we no longer need - in order to make room for new and fresh cells.
Many people come to intermittent fasting for weight loss but end up staying once they discover all the other benefits.
Some studies have seen early effects of fasting on people with depression and the improvement it’s had on their moods, their alertness and their sense of peacefulness. This relaxing thought goes some way to show its incredible effects on mental health (3).
In another study, intermittent fasting was shown to improve insulin sensitivity - good for those amongst us who are battling with diabetes - as well as health markers in conditions such as breast cancer and heart diseases.
The same study showed that if you don’t eat anywhere from 10-16 hours, your body will use it’s fat stores for energy. This protects our memory and ability to learn. It also slows any disease process in the brain (4).
Each of our bodies has an internal clock known as the very fascinating circadian rhythm. This rhythm is a natural cycle of physical, mental and behavioural changes over a 24 hour period. There are quite a few examples of these that kick into action daily - think about your sleep/wake cycles, the body/temperature cycles and the menstrual cycle (5).
If we don’t pay attention and consistently disrupt the circadian rhythm, it can have a negative impact on the development of certain diseases. Think about when we’re jetlagged, eating too late or on our phones or computer late at night - rather than getting your body ready for bed, all that blue light sends the message to stay awake thinking it’s daytime! Don’t underestimate the importance of matching your daily habits with your built in clock by applying intermittent fasting to your routine (6). In essence, eating in line with our own circadian rhythm can have a positive impact on our blood sugar levels, better sleep and weight management.
Yes, intermittent fasting CAN BE good for you if you approach it in a healthy manner. Consistency is key and in order to benefit from this way of life, build daily habits that you can use in your everyday life. Once you start to see improvements and find peace around your life, you’ll want to continue…. What are you waiting for? Other than your feeding window to open of course.
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Fasting can stimulate the immune system and help to fight infection. Learn more about how fasting affects the immune system.
Intermittent fasting is a popular method for weight loss and improvement of overall health. Read on to learn why intermittent fasting is healthy.