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THE FIX

Intermittent Fasting Explained


Intermittent Fasting Explained


A large number of you have undoubtedly heard about intermittent fasting.  Intermittent fasting has been linked to various health benefits such as the regulation of insulin, cellular repair, a boost in metabolic rate, reduction of weight and belly fat, promotion of longevity, reduction of inflammation and has even been shown to boost brain and mood function.  

Below we have outlined exactly what intermittent fasting is, how to prepare for it and the do's and don'ts you should bear in mind when it comes to eating in this way. 

We like this approach, because it gives the opportunity for the body and it's cells to take a period of time to just rest and rejuvenate. 

What is Intermittent Fasting 

Intermittent fasting is in essence, a window of fasting, followed by a window of eating. It's an alternate diet in that it centres around when we eat as apposed to what. Whilst the timeframes can fluctuate, the design remains the same: separating the day into eating periods and fasting periods. The idea behind intermittent fasting came from the historical background of human development, before the introduction of supermarkets - people hunted and frequently went through periods of longer fasting than we do today, suggesting the body isn't designed to constantly be eating, all of the time. 

Does our digestive system, like all other systems need a period of rest in order to recover? 

The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

There has been a wide range of advantages reported as a result of fasting, many centralising around a decrease in weight and an increase in metabolic rate.

Intermittent fasting has also been shown to causes an adjustment in chemical levels. It explicitly expands the arrival of norepinephrine which is known as a fat consuming chemical. Because of this adjustment in chemicals, the metabolic rate is raised. This arrival of chemicals has additionally been connected to improving mental wellbeing and longevity. 

There are several approaches to intermittent fasting. Fist, prepare.  Set the eating and fasting periods of intention and prepare accordingly. It is best to eat nourishing and enriching foods in lead up to and between fasts. Avoid refined sugars and processed foods. There are various approaches to help get you started, with the most well-known strategies to begin intermittent being:

  • The 5:2 technique
  • The 16/8 technique: Fasting for 16 hours, eating for 8 hours.
  • Check out the app Zero for more guided, intermittent fasting options. 

The Dos of Intermittent Fasting

  • Tune in to the body
  • Consider tasking supportive electrolytes to support your fast
  • Prepare your body for the fast by consuming nourishing foods and adequate water levels in countdown to the fast
  • Opt for nutritionally dense foods between fasts 
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Set your intentions and prepare the mind ahead of each fast

Eat Fibrous and Fatty Foods 

In-between fasts, choose nourishments that are higher in fibre content - these are typically filling foods and when combined with food sources that are higher in good fats; they will help to keep cravings and hunger away during periods of fast.  Consume complex carbs and fats, such as those found in avocados. 

The Don'ts

  • Try not to overeat during the eating time frame.
  • Keep empty calorie and processed foods to a minimum during the eating window.
  • Try not to overexert the body while fasting.  Listen to your body and do not go past it's limits.  Depletion is not the aim of this game. 

TAKE AWAY: Remain aware of what you are eating and when. Tune in to your body and give yourself the best chance for fasting success through preparation, both body and mind.  Consume nourishing foods between fasts and consider apps like "Zero" which can help encourage you along your intermittent fasting journey.

We hope that you enjoyed your daily Health and Nutrition Fix. 
With love, Beautifully Nourished x 
Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr

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