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The Secret to Weight Loss, Reversing Aging and Healing Your Body Naturally

In modern culture, we are accustomed to having three meals a day, seven days a week. But is this actually beneficial for us? Do we factor in downtime to allow our bodies to rest, digest and heal? The truth is, unless you are physically active for a large portion of the day – your body could probably benefit largely from some space in between each meal to fully digest and properly absorb nutrients. Intermittent fasting is a way in which we can get the most out of our food while supporting weight loss, preventing heart disease, balancing blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation & cravings, improving cognitive function and energy levels, as well as slowing or reversing the process of aging.

So what is intermittent fasting?

Put simply, it is the practice of going without food for some (undefined) period of time. During this downtime – a reduction of inflammation, stress and insulin occurs. Many of the beneficial effects come as a result of lower levels of insulin. The function of insulin is to promote energy storage. When insulin is increased, fat is stored in fat cells, and other cells take up glucose from the blood. Eating causes insulin to rise, the amount of the rise is dependent on a number of factors, such as type and amount of food eaten and the insulin sensitivity of the person. Insulin increases and stays high for several hours after eating. Therefore – the absence of food during fasting lowers insulin.

Autophagy is the cellular self-cleaning process that breaks down and recycles damaged cells. During a fast, as insulin drops, autophagy increases dramatically – increasing the body’s ability to focus on cell rejuvenation thus reversing the process of aging while helping to reverse diseases of all kinds. In other words – fasting gives your body a break from digesting and allows it to focus on other things.

So how does it work?

  • The 16/8 method involves fasts of 16 hours for men and 14-15 hours for women. On each day, you restrict your eating to an 8-10 hour window where you can fit in your regular balanced meals. You can start with 1 day per week and work your way up.

  • The easiest way to incorporate this method into your lifestyle may be to consume your last meal by 7 pm and don’t eat again until after 11 am the following day. Easy.

  • The 5:2 method involves eating 500-600 calories for two (non-consecutive days) of the week, but eating normally the other 5 days.

  • Alternate-day fasting involves fasting every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.

  • The 6:1 method involves one or two 24-hour fasts per week. Not recommended for beginners.

A good way to introduce fasting into your diet is to simply skip 1 or 2 meals when you don’t feel hungry or don’t have time to eat. This will allow you to break the cycle of scheduled eating and allow you to delve into a more natural flow.

During your fast, you can consume liquids that won’t disrupt the process of fasting. It is important that they don’t contain any fibre as this will switch your digestive system on – breaking the fast. Drinks like herbal tea, black coffee and a little cold-pressed juice are ok.

To break your fast, ease your way back into solids with gentle whole foods, fibre and clean protein such as fruit, vegetables, soup, salads etc. It can be tempting to dive into a bowl of something naughty after not eating for multiple hours but this will do your body more harm than good.

Intermittent fasting does not suggest that you reduce the number of calories you ingest on a regular basis, more so the number of hours between each meal. It is simply a schedule, not a diet. A typical diet states what you can and can’t eat. Intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict any foods but rather provides a schedule or pattern for eating with windows of eating or fasting. Of course, eating a diet rich in whole foods is ideal.

In many ways, following a fasting protocol re-connects us with the way our ancestors lived before there was food at every single checkout counter.

Please always talk to your doctor/naturopath before starting a fasting plan, especially if you have any kind of chronic health condition.


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