Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? I’m sure you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who swears that skipping breakfast is helping them feel better and slimmer! Why is fasting all the rage right now? Though ancient religions have been doing it for thousands of years (Ramadan in Islam, and many fast days in Judaism), the science is finally coming in to support Intermittent Fasting (IMF).
From my own personal experience, IMF is an amazing option for my health because it allows me to eat the food I want (within certain time periods) while I have lost inches from my waist and hips, have tons of energy, and have crushed a lot of cravings.
IMF is proven to fight against insulin resistance and also decreases inflammation, which together are the prelude to many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. PLUS, fasting helps with weight management, provides mental clarity, more energy, and more. Fasting changes hormones (leptin) that help you feel full for longer, so it becomes easier to fight cravings and choose the options you know are healthier.
Disclaimers: If you are pregnant or nursing, fasting is generally not recommended. For anyone with blood sugar issues, especially Type I Diabetes, we highly recommend that you discuss fasting with your doctor and keep a close eye on your blood sugar. Other reasons why IMF may not be right for you include: thyroid disorders, gallstone problems, or low blood sugar. Lastly, if you currently have or have a history an eating disorder, check in with your doctor before fasting.
However, if you would like to try IMF, an easy way to start is 16:8 fasting, ie. Eating your food in an 8-hour-window every day. For most people, skipping an after-dinner snack and waiting to eat until lunch time is the easiest and most sustainable way to IMF, for example: Lunch at 12 N, snack in the afternoon, dinner at 6 or 7, and finish any snacks and drinks other than water or tea before 8. Starting a few days a week, or starting by eating in a 10-12 hour window may be the best way to prep for IMF. Join us next week for tips on how to begin to fast.
Dr. Sheena grew up in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota and completed her undergraduate studies in Architecture, Chemistry, and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus.