The Three most effective approaches to Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is just what it sounds like. You take breaks from eating and then you enjoy eating. The easiest way to give this a try is to fast one day a week. You can have water or broth, just no food for 24 hours, once a week.
If you feel that this would make you go crazy, do it with a friend or family member and go crazy together – or not. Keep in mind that Humans have evolved through the worst famines in history, so trust your Ancestor's genes.
Make it an event. Journal, meditate and stretch out the cobwebs of your Soul.
My personal favourite form of IF is called an 18-6 Method. In this version, you basically eat at noon and at 6 PM. Said another way you can eat during a 6-hour window and then fast for the next 18 hours. I usually follow this approach 6 days a week and then go out for a yummy Sunday morning brunch. Mmmmmmmmm…
This is the most extensively used method around the world. Some people use an 8 – 16 0r 10 – 14 split to get started, but this is about fasting. If you are trying to lose weight and fix your metabolism, and you are healthy enough, you may want to stick to this for at least 24 days in a row before starting a weekly brunch break. Some people just eat one HUGE meal a day to really give their metabolism and mind a boost.
Again, you can eat a normal amount of food, so calorie restriction is not the point. The more Nutrient Dense your food is the better your long-term health outcomes will be. But, have fun getting there.
The third approach to IF is to fast for 3-4 days per month or season. This form of Intermittent fasting not only balances your metabolism and gives your brain a boost, it also has amazing benefits for your immune system. Fasting for this long is not easy and it is not for everyone. If you have any serious diagnosed medical condition, have a chat with your clinician to make sure this makes sense and will help you more than hurt you. It is perfectly safe for 90% of people, but you should always make sure if you are being treated for something. On a 3 Day fast, you can have broth with some seaweed and a pinch of sea salt.
RECAP: Get Started with a 24 hour per week fast. Water or broth is allowed.
If you want to change your metabolism, work your way up to a 16 – 18 hours a day fast – (6 days a week)
If you REALLY need to change things up and get some momentum started, try a 3 day fast per month. Water or broth are allowed.
The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous. As de Cabo and Mattson explain, they include
- Healthier Blood Pressure
- Better Heart Rate Variability and Resting Heart Rate
- Improved LEvels of LDL and HDL (Cholesterol Lipoproteins)
- Lower Triglycerides
- Better Glucoise Tolerance
- Reversed Insulin Resistance
- Reduced Inflammatory Markers
- Lowered Oxidative Stress
- Reduction in Arthereosclorotic Plaque
Once you have had a meal, let’s say supper. After you have eaten, for the next four hours you are in a ‘Fed State.’ That essentially means that your metabolism is VERY busy turning your meal into usable nutrients and calories. For the next four hours, your metabolism is in an ‘Assimilative State,’ which means your body is VERY busy putting all of those nutrients into your organs and cells. If, after eight hours, you have not eaten anything, your metabolism shifts into a ‘Fasted State.’
If you had supper at 6:00 PM, you will be in a Fed State until 10:00 PM, then an Assimilative State until 2:00 AM. From then on you are in a Fasted State until you eat Breakfast – a word which comes from break your fast. The basic theory is if you stay in a fasted state for longer, your metabolism will have to adapt to life with deeper resources and processes that you have inherited from your early Ancestors.
If you are interested in the bigger picture and precise changes in your metabolism, listen to the podcast below.
Glucose Tolerance Self Test - link<?>
Here is a link to a podcast where I Geek Out on the science of how it works.