Fasting is an ancient, tried, and true practice that can be an efficient and effective means for taking your health to the next level.
Longer forms of fasting have been used for centuries by various cultures and organizations worldwide, and technically, most of us fast every day – from dinner to “break fast”…
But the Standard American Diet (also appropriately termed “SAD” for short) has ruined metabolic flexibility for many – meaning the normal pathways for metabolic processes such as utilizing food for energy, or conversely drawing energy from fat stores, are broken or dysfunctional and this causes problems when attempting extended periods of fasting. These pathways can be retrained and made efficient, but it takes time and the proper approach to diet and lifestyle.
Fasting can cause negative effects if you are already metabolically imbalanced. So what causes imbalances?
Improper nutrition, blood sugar dysregulation, environmental toxins, imbalanced circadian rhythms and poor sleep quality, excessive blue light exposure, continuous EMFs, etc.
All of the above tax the nervous system and can lead to metabolic dysfunction.
First things first, before you attempt any type of fasting, you need to address the influential factors that affect your body’s ability to function optimally:
- Blood sugar
Then, your body will be best equipped to fast and reap the benefits, rather than adding another major stressor to your already overflowing bucket.
I recommend starting with 12 hours as your fasting window, overnight. Stop eating a couple of hours before bed – let’s say around 8 pm latest to give your digestive system a break and allow your body to properly repair and detoxify, and wait until 8 am to have your “break fast”. Be sure to hydrate well, first thing, and consider adding a pinch of mineral-rich salt or a mineral drop/electrolyte supplement to your water in the morning for added energy and hydration. It’s usually a good idea for most to focus on protein and fat for the first meal of the day in order to avoid the potential for blood sugar roller coaster effects later on.
If you decide to lengthen the fast, be sure to continue to hydrate. Minerals and electrolytes can help you maintain energy and focus, as well.
Other types of fasting:
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period (typically a 6-8 hours) and fast the rest of the time.
- Alternate day fasting: You fast every other day, and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- One meal a day (OMAD): You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day and fast the rest of the day.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you.
The biggest takeaway here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fasting. Everyone has different dietary needs based on personal factors like activity level and body composition.
One last note: fasting is not for everyone… and that’s ok.
If you’re curious to learn more and explore the best approach to fasting for your unique bio-individuality, schedule your free 15-minute consult with our Nutritional Therapist. Give us a call at (727) 362-6866 or browse our website for more information.
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