|For the past 2.5 years I’ve been coaching people on how to follow the most popular version of IF. Personally, I restrict (almost) all of my calorie consumption to an 8-hour window each day (thus doing a daily 16-hour “fast”). The benefits of this practice—for me and for my clients—are profound, and it’s probably the single most impactful dietary practice I’ve adopted in the past 10 years.
- That is part of the reason why I created the Simple Intermittent Fasting Journal because I wanted a step by step approach to help others who were looking to make IF a lifestyle change.
The endless debate over what-to-eat and what-not-to-eat could drive anybody crazy and confused. All the while most people ignore the time tested and ancient tradition of fasting. The practice of fasting developed independently among different religions and cultures, not as something that was harmful, but something that was deeply, intrinsically beneficial to the human body and spirit.
The ancient Greeks believed that fasting improved cognitive abilities. Think about the last time you ate a huge Thanksgiving meal. Did you feel more energetic and mentally alert afterwards? Or did you feel sleepy and a little dopey? More likely the latter.
Why You Should Be Fasting (a few reasons)
Improved Brain Health/Cognition
Fasting reduces oxidative stress (and thus, inflammation) in the brain both by stimulating the removal of damaged molecules and stimulating the production of endogenous antioxidants. 1 All of these translate to meaningful improvements in brain performance.
Improved Body Composition
Increases insulin sensitivity and adiponectin levels, two key hormonal factors that determine if existing fat gets oxidized (used for energy) as well as if incoming caloric energy gets used immediately or stored (as fat) for future use.2
Fasting acts as a “digestive reset” allowing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to relax for a bit leading to improved nutrient absorption and better bowel movement quality.
Reduces resting heart rate and blood pressure while increasing parasympathetic tone (an important indicator for health of the cardiovascular system). 2
Autophagy (Cell Cleansing)
Fasting has been shown to be, far and away, the most effective way to stimulate autophagy in both the body and brain which can help slow the aging process and promote a high-performing body and brain. To read more click here.
There is an undeniable physical and emotional high that comes with fasting.Fasting also requires us to be present with the initial discomfort of not stuffing our faces every time we feel like it.
It puts us in the position of consciously making the decision to eat or not to eat, rather than our stomach (aka hormones) effectively making that decision for us.
Almost all of us would benefit hugely from consciously redefining our relationship to food, and fasting is a powerful opportunity to do just that.
Have a great day and weekend!!
To a healthier you,
P.S. Want some guidance and accountability into Intermittent Fasting – Check out the journal here and I also offer coaching packages as well.
P.S.S. Join The Get Lean Club to be part of our awesome community and get your questions answered!