The truth about fasting
Did you know that not eating and letting your digestive system rest is just as important as eating?
Extended periods of not eating are called ‘intermittent fasting.’ When the body fasts, magic can happen:
- fat loss
- better digestion, immunity, detox
- better blood sugars, cholesterol, blood pressure
- better appetite control
- lower risk for diabetes
- and much more!
Your digestive system gets the chance to “rest and repair” in a way that it can never do when you are constantly grazing on food, and you save time and money!
What I used to think: Fasting sounds so extreme! No starvation for me, thanks!
What I think now: It's not about starvation. Easy to start. It's an ancient healing practice that works beyond fat loss but you must do it with the right mindset and the right nutrition. Your meals must be balanced and nourishing at all times first otherwise you deprive your body of what it requires to heal and do what you want it to do long-term.
- healthy thyroid?
- efficient metabolism?
- fat burning?
It's not suitable for everyone and it must come from an abundance mindset as opposed to scarcity mindset or just short-term weight-loss goals.
But yes that's what I used to think, even as a qualified nutritionist, until I actually tried it, little by little and at my pace not that long ago.
So, what is intermittent fasting?
It is not a diet; it’s a way of eating. The most common is 16:8: you fast 16 hours while hydrating yourself with water and herbal teas and have an eight-hour eating window (eg: first meal of the day at noon, last meal finishing by 8pm, or 1pm-9pm, etc.)
What most people don't tell you:
You do not have to start with 16:8. I don’t recommend it as it can be too stressful. The longer you fast, you more benefits you get as long as you do it properly. The truth is you can still have some benefits without consistent 16:8.
𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗱:
- Beginners go for 12:12 (a 12-hour eating window, fast for 12)
- Go-getters go for 14:10 (a 10-hour eating window, fast for 14)
- Advanced go for 16:8 (an 8-hour eating window, fast for 16)
I started with the beginner option. Now, when I can/want to, I do 16:8. Otherwise, I don’t stress myself (going against the fasting principles) and oscillate between 12-16-hour fast depending on my exercise/work schedule and how I am feeling.
However, I do not recommend fasting if:
You are very stressed or diabetic, stabilise your blood sugars first. Start with a 12-hour fast on two non-consecutive days/week to see how it goes. For PMS, PCOS, menopause, trial first. If you suspect thyroid issues, speak to your nutritionist first— no fasting for kids, pregnant people or those breastfeeding, underweight or with eating disorders.
Do you want to learn more about healthy eating habits, sustainable weight loss and holistic health? Follow me on Instagram @audrey_wellnesssecrets.