Intermittent Fasting: Who It Could Help and Who It Could Hurt
You have probably heard the term “intermittent fasting” or “fasting in the morning” more and more within the last few years. I personally have tried this approach and reap the benefits that support proper digestion alongside it. However, this approach can be done in many ways- some successful ways that can support your health and some that can “hurt” it sort of speak. This article will cover:
- What is intermittent fasting?
- What is the purpose of intermittent fasting?
- Who is fasting good for? Who is it not recommend for?
- How can you practice intermittent fasting most optimally (and safely)?
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is fasting at a particular interval or time (a time of “inactivity). Most people will fast from night to morning, but with a prolonged morning of not consuming any food.
During the fasting period, people will consume only liquids such as water, herbal tea and for some, coffee due to its ability to suppress the appetite.
What is the Purpose of Intermittent Fasting?
The purpose of fasting, from a nutritionist perspective, is to decrease the digestive load on your body; to allow your body to fully rest at night while not focused on digesting food; and to minimize your eating window.
Fasting can be a great method to help overcome digestive irregularities, support weight loss (if done properly – read below if this could be a useful tool for you), decrease digestive stress and improve the sensitivity of your hunger hormones.
People may use intermittent fasting to support weight loss because it shortens their eating window. For example, instead of eating from 7am to 7pm, a person may eat from 10 am to 6 pm. Below you will learn how to practice intermittent fasting safely and effectively.
Who is Fasting Good For? Who is it Not Recommended For?
Who Fasting is Recommended For:
Fasting could be good for people with digestive upset or irregularities. This can include things like: gas, belching, bloat, general digestive discomfort, constipation. This does not “treat” or “solve” the root cause of these issues, but it decreases digestive burden.
Fasting could also be good for people with their weight loss goals. If done correctly, it can shorten their window of eating, which ultimately decreases total calories in a day.
Finally, it can help people re-develop the sensitivity of their hunger hormones (and hunger cue’s); for those with endometriosis or excess estrogen (normally livers are overburdened and this takes some of the stress off by decreasing overall digestive and toxic load). It can help those with added inflammation by decreasing inflammation caused by food (certain dietary triggers) and poor digestion. This is accomplished just by minimizing a person’s eating window. This correlation is made with the theory that better food choices are made and dietary triggers are removed. The shortened window of eating ultimately reduces the time of social eating and snacking.
Who Fasting is Not Recommended For:
Intermittent fasting would not be recommended for those typically with thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue (or elevated cortisol levels). It would not be recommended solely for the purpose of weight loss or for those dealing or healing from eating disorders (or in remission). If you are dealing with a chronic health issue, it is always advised to check with your doctor to see if this would be a useful tactic for you and your health needs. You can also speak with one of our licensed practitioners who would best be able to guide you. Book a free consultation here.
How can you practice intermittent fasting most optimally (and safely)?
We have several suggestions for you in our CE 7-Day Detox Guide to help support fasting safely and removing dietary triggers. The CE 7-Day Detox would be a fantastic starting point for anyone wishing to overcome a “hump” in their health (or weight loss).
You can practice intermittent fasting safely by:
- Listening to YOUR hunger cue’s rather than allocating a specific “time” that you could eat. Eat when you’re hungry.
- Wake up and drink room temperature water or herbal tea to support your digestive tract (AKA wake it up!)
- Decide when fasting is best for you. Maybe you’ll “fast” longer in the evening compared to in the morning. A busy early morning may not work for you. Remember, more energy output will require more caloric input (and an increased appetite).
- Overall, listen to your body. Do what works for your lifestyle and routine. Starting the day with a smoothie may be a better option than a full-fledged heavy breakfast. Fresh smoothies is another way to support your digestive tract by eliminating digestive stress while still providing it with an abundance of fiber and micro-nutrients.