Intermittent Fasting – What’s In It For You?

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a great way to burn fat, lose weight and generally improve health. It can also dramatically help reduce the risks of chronic diseases including gut illnesses, Alzheimer’s Dementia and Diabetes.

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent Fasting is a pattern of eating and scheduling meals so that you do not eat for specific periods of time. It does not specify WHAT you eat, just WHEN you eat.

The ancient secret to health?

Our human species evolved with patterns of feasting and famine. Traditional hunter-gatherers came home with food and everyone would feast. In between feasting, they would fast – sometimes for long periods of time.

Fasting for religious purposes has been an important part of many cultures and a way to connect body and mind with spirit and higher powers.

How Can Intermittent Fasting Potentially Help You?

  • Weight loss and fat burning
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Better blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Lowered blood sugar and insulin levels to reverse or improve diabetes
  • Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body
  • Anti-aging benefits

What happens when you do intermittent fasting?

Digestion is one of the highest energy-consuming tasks your body does. When your body is busy digesting, it is not burning fat efficiently, repairing or replacing damaged cells, or fighting off illness or disease.

Chronic Fatigue and energy production

It is thought that people who suffer with Chronic Fatigue may have poor mitochondria function or even mitochondria failure, as their bodies cannot produce energy correctly from a cellular level. Fasting could be one way to kill off unhealthy cells and replace them with new healthy cells, which happens when we fast.

Optimise Gut Health

The timing of your meals and snacks makes a big difference to digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating constipation and diarrhoea.  Your gut needs some “time off” to cleanse, detox and repair.

For example, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth  (SIBO) is a disorder that often relapses, despite treating the bacterial overgrowth.   Nerves that stimulate bowel activity are responsible for moving bacteria down into the large intestine during fasting at night and between meals, clearing them from the small intestine on a daily basis. These nerves are turned off in the presence of food, even with snacking in between meals.

The Different Types of Intermittent Fasting

Daily intermittent fasting.  

The 16/8 method involves choosing an 8-hour window in which to eat all your meals, then fasting for the rest of the 16 hours a day.  Typically you would start your 8-hour meal window at midday and eat until 8pm. During this time you would have two to three meals.

Weekly intermittent fasting

Fasting once a week is a good way to start this approach. You can fast from lunchtime one day to the next morning giving you a 12-hour fasting window. This can be increased up to 24 hours.

5:2 Fasting

This calorie restriction fasting diet has been popularised by Dr Michael Mosely.

In essence, the 5:2 plan involves eating normally for 5 days and fasting or restricting calories for 2 non-consecutive days each week.

On fasting days, it is recommended that women consume 500 calories and men 600 calories. This may equate to limiting your daily intake to two small very light meals, on two days of the week.

What this means to you

There is more to health than simply great food choices. Timing can also make a huge difference to many areas of your health.

See me for more information if you would like to boost your health and energy.

Dr Pete