Intermittent Fasting

Nov 20, 2022

The Ultimate Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Intermittent Fasting!!

Who should practice Intermittent Fasting?

This is an often debated and not totally agreed upon topic in the wellness world. But, as with most things wellness, it has more nuance than hard and fast rules. In all honesty, mostly anyone can practice Intermittent Fasting (IF)! As we know, most health studies are done primarily on men, and men and women could not be more different! We not only have different hormones that affect almost everything, we have different cycles.

  • Men: run on a 24 hour cycle and have the freedom to enjoy IF as they please, so long as it is working for them!

  • Women: run on a 28 day cycle. Enter the nuance. It is not recommended that women fast for extended periods of time throughout their cycle. Post menopausal women, you are less restricted by these nuanced rules and can likely just go for it! IF is a tool, one of many in a fully stocked wellness toolkit. If practiced too often, especially for women, our metabolism can down regulate to meet the energy needs and can throw off our menstrual cycle while causing other problems. So, remain mindful and read on!

  • Who should NOT practice IF? Anyone with a history of disordered eating and pregnant women should abstain. Those with thyroid conditions should check in with their functional health practitioner before incorporating IF.

What exactly is Intermittent Fasting?

IF is an intermittent break from consuming calories. IF works to decrease the amount of time you are in a fed vs fasted state. When in a fed state, insulin is high, fat storage is optimized, and sugar is the primary fuel for the body. In a fasted state, once the body has burned up the glycogen (stored glucose), it switches to burning stored fat for fuel by liberating fat from fat cells. This creates metabolic flexibility, where you have the ability to burn both sugar and fat for fuel. Burning the fat takes a bit of practice, but it’s a pathway you want optimized! There are a few different ways to incorporate IF into your life

  • Time-Restricted Eating: What we typically refer to as IF is actually more appropriately called Time-Restricted Eating. This is when we eat during a condensed window of time. The most common one we hear about is 16/8….which simply means 16 hours of fasting (typically including the hours of sleep) with an 8 hour eating window. So essentially, if you eat dinner at 6:00, you would not have your first meal until 10:00 the following morning. Or you could follow the 18/6 timeframe and abstain from eating until 12:00 noon the following day after a 6pm dinner.

  • Eat Stop Eat/24 Hour Fast: Every so often going a full 24 hrs without food. This can be practiced weekly by eating one day and abstaining the next. A weekly 24 hr fast is also an option.

  • Longer multi day fasts: engaging in 3-5 day fast once or even a few times a year.

  • OMAD: One Meal A Day is just that, essentially skipping breakfast and lunch and only eating dinner, or one meal a day!

Trendy as it seems, IF has been around for quite sometime as most religions practice some form of fasting as part of their faith traditions. It is widely recognized in the functional medicine field as a potent tool to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, fatty liver, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides. As a matter of fact, in 2016 a Japanese cell biologist won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on autophagy (cell death and renewal), one of the main benefits of IF.

Where should one Intermittent Fast?

Everywhere! Truly, one of the benefits of having a flexible metabolism, which is achieved when you can go from burning sugar for fuel to burning stored fat for fuel, is that you can go longer periods without eating. This proves hugely beneficial for those of us who have been “hangry” while on a road trip, or been stuck at a conference with nothing appealing to eat. It’s easy to just pass on the less than desirable food and wait for a better option. Yes, this is a privilege, but so is having access to so much food! So you can IF at home, on the road, on a trip….where ever you should find yourself! Enjoy the freedom and liberation that comes from not always being focused on food!

When should one intermittent fast?

Again, there is nuance to this point.

  • Women: The most ideal time for a longer fast is at the start of the luteal phase (typically around days 12-15), and practice a more regular time restricted eating window of no more than 8 hours perhaps a few days a week for the rest of the cycle. Keep that metabolism guessing!

  • Men: Can intermittent fast daily, weekly, monthly, etc. It’s a fully customize-able tool available to you.

Why Intermittent Fasting?

Why Is Intermittent Fasting all the rage? Here are just some of the countless benefits of IF:

  • Promotes fat loss

  • Improves Insulin sensitivity

  • Can reverse diabetes

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Promotes longevity

  • Helps to improve neurodegenerative diseases

  • Optimizes autophagy (cell renewal and repair)

  • Improves immune function

  • Reduces allergies

  • Improves blood pressure

  • Rests the digestive organs

  • Promotes metabolic flexibility

Are you convinced yet? Do I need to keep going?

I see some practitioners in the wellness space knocking IF as a trend or fad that is simply skipping breakfast to loose weight. While it is that simple, it is so much more than a weight loss tool. Again, if there is a disordered eating past, proceed with caution. But if you are looking for a way to optimize most functions of the body, IF is a simple way to do just that. It is quick and effective in reducing chronic conditions, and adding it to your wellness routine is a great way to get over a weight loss plateau, kick start metabolic syndrome treatment and readily improve your lipid and metabolic blood work. Who’s ready to give IF a try?

Any more questions? Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.

Call To Action

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.