"Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit."
Ezra Taft Benson
I have received a lot of questions on intermittent fasting.....and thought I will write a little about that especially during this time, when we can maybe experiment with this concept, and see how it works with our system.
Human beings need fuel to function....with intermittent fasting, our liver converts fat into fuel and helps with losing weight over time. Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating, wherein there is cycling between eating and fasting.
Studies have shown that the energy compartments in our cells called mitochondria are regenerated during fasting and hence slow the aging process. Recent article in New England Journal of Medicine, December 2019 also showed that intermittent fasting improves multiple heart related indicators such as BP, heart rate, cholesterol and decreases risk of diabetes. Ongoing trials are also showing tumor growth suppression and extended survival!!!!
Before considering intermittent fasting, please discuss with your medical team if this is a safe approach for you. Typically, I suggest to start with fasting for 12 hours and scheduling your "eating phase" during the other 12 hours, and gradually increase to 14 hours fasting and maybe even 16 hours fasting. The transition from 12 hours to 14, and to 16 should happen over 6-9 months, since in my experience, slow transition seems to be better tolerated by patients. However, if 14 hour fasting schedule is helping and not causing any symptoms, I recommend to stay with that and not go to 16 hour fasting schedule. A typical regimen maybe eating schedule between 8 am to 4 pm, or 10 am to 6 pm.
Each individual has a different metabolism, different schedule, and different body composition. It's very important that intermittent fasting is done with caution, and plenty of fluids should be consumed during the fasting duration.
Symptoms to watch for include hair loss, dizziness, headache, extreme fatigue, shakiness, etc. Please discontinue intermittent fasting if any of these symptoms start showing up.
Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, protein, fiber and good fat during the "eating phase". Try healthy carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, oats, etc.
In conclusion, intermittent fasting is indeed something to consider.....but use caution and talk to your healthcare professionals before beginning. This is a fabulous time to experiment with what works best for us and what doesn't, so don't hesitate to experiment with different types of foods to achieve that healthy body mass index!! And always remember.....stick with something that you will enjoy following for a long time.....and as always have FUN!