Is Intermittent fasting Healthy? The answer is YES! I’ll explain why..
The difference between fasting and starvation!
First of all, let’s make something clear!
Fasting is a voluntary choice of ‘not to eat’ which is very different to starvation. Starvation happens when there is no food available like we see in underdeveloped countries or during wars.
When you are fasting, you are in control!
I am a big fan of the IF 16:8
The IF 16:8 is a combination of 16-hours ‘no eating’ followed by an 8-hour window in which you can have 2 meals and a decent snack OR 3 smaller meals. It is still important that you eat healthily. We need all the macro- (protein, carbs and essential fats) and micro- (vitamins, minerals and polyphenols) nutrients to reach optimum health. You won’t lose weight or get healthier if you eat high calorie junk food and treats.
Health benefits of fasting
This type of fasting will result into losing weight but has several other health benefits as well:
- Reduced blood glucose levels
- Reduced Insulin levels
- Reduced hemoglobin A1c levels
- Reduced inflammatory factors
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Increased energy
- Improved mental clarity and concentration
Fasting stimulates autophagy which helps cleanse waste from the body, provides energy and can stave off chronic illnesses.
So, let’s imagine you start your fast at 7pm (you can still drink water or herbal tea), you will be sleeping through most of your fast. After waking up, have a coffee or tea (without milk) and start breakfast (breaking your fast) around 11am. This should be a filling meal like a bowl of porridge or muesli with yoghurt, nuts and seeds and fresh fruit.
Have a small meal in the afternoon, like a banana with nut butter or raw vegetables with hummus. Dinner should be served at 6.30pm so you finish by 7pm. It should include a good source of protein (lean meat, fish, chicken, quinoa, lentils…) served with a large portion of vegetables and a small handful of carbs. Finish dinner with a pudding, like a piece of fruit, 2 dates with nut butter or yoghurt with a few berries.
What happens in the body during the 16-hour fast?
In the first 12 hours, you will digest all your food from your last meal and burn up glucose, then the body will start digging into your glycogen reserves as well as start burning fatty acids. Fatty acids convert into ketones and energy as you are starting to burn fat now. The ketones are appetite suppressants so you will feel less hungry. Your blood glucose levels will stay much better in range which, as mentioned before, will bring inflammation down.
On top of that, autophagy (a natural ‘hoovering up’ process in the body) is more enhanced, inflammatory factors will decrease which goes hand in hand with improved health.
The 16:8 Intermittent fasting lifestyle has many other benefits.
- You can combine IF 16:8 with any diet like gluten-free, vegan, lactose free.
- Any food groups are allowed but I, of course, would like you to choose the healthy options. The Mediterranean Diet is what we should aim for which mainly includes many vegetables, some fruit, fatty fish, legumes, nuts & seeds, olive oil and wholesome carbs like brown rice and rye bread.
- It’s flexible. Do adapt the 16 hours fast if needed. You can start 1 or 2 hours earlier to fit into your lifestyle.
- No extra costs are involved as you are not restricted in WHAT you eat but restricted in WHEN you eat!
The 16:8 IF is not recommend for young children and adults, pregnant women and people with underlying health issues like diabetes and other chronic conditions.
Join the ‘IF16:8 course’ !
If you would like to start eating this way, please contact me or join my 5-day ‘IF 16:8 course’ which will start on 26/4/2021 until 30/4/2021. We will ZOOM every day from 1pm until 1.30pm. Learn the theory about IF, keep you excited and motivated with added support. And new recipes are included!! Cost: £25