Intermittent Fasting, or IF, is simply not eating for a period of time, usually around 16 hours and then having an eating window of about 8 hours.
There are many different methods of fasting, all beneficial to most people. At the bottom of this article I've created a list of scenarios for whom fasting may not be healthful.
Why would you want to fast?
Fasting can have a huge range of benefits, most popular for fat loss. But it goes beyond this. Fasting is such a primal way of eating that we would have intuitively tuned in to, and environmentally be forced into practicing, 1000's of years ago when we didn't have the luxury of a fridge, pantry and supermarket an arms length away.
In fact our body's are not designed to be constantly snacking. It disrupts our hormonal patterns, circadian rhythms and the ability of our digestive systems to work efficiently.
What are the benefits of IF:
Increases Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor; essential increases the production of new brain cells
Resets your circadian rhythm, or body clock. This is especially helpful for certain hormonal conditions like PCOS
Stimulates Fat Loss
Improves Cholesterol and Triglyceride Markers
Encourages antioxidant production
Stimulates Phase 1 detoxification
Is brain protective
Should I exercise during my fast?
"Exercising during a fasting state increases lipolysis in adipose tissue while also stimulating peripheral fat oxidation, resulting in increased fat utilisation and weight loss."
It depends on your metabolic efficiency. Can you go 5 hours without eating and feel great? If yes, then exercise in a fasted state will likely be beneficial for you.
However, if you feel light headed, dizzy, nauseas, and overall not great when you're fasting, then exercising may not be healthful. Wait 2-3 hours post meal before exercising for best results.
I coach and encourage all my clients to get their body to the point where they can go longer periods of time without eating, this shows a healthy hormonal pattern and means the body can effectively dip into its body fats stores to use for energy.
When you shouldn't fast:
- During times of stress
- If you're not sleeping well
- If you have menstrual Irregularities
- When you are pregnant and/ or breastfeeding
- If you are on certain medication
- If you are underweight
- If you have a health condition; please check with your trusted health professional before commencing IF
The body needs to feel safe in order to drop body fat, if you are stressed, not sleeping or your hormones are out of balance then fasting may not be for you at this point in time.
If you are unsure, book in a consultation here to discuss whether fasting is a good fit for your body.
Please always seek guidance from a trusted health professional before implementing IF.
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