Over the next few days, I will be sharing old posts from my old blog that still have some pertinence to my journey now. This is to catch any new readers up on what my past experiences were and to help get my journey all in one place.
Today I want to talk about a little bit of what I am doing to get myself healthy. It is intermittent fasting.
About 10 years ago, I got fed up and decided that I was going to get healthy. I started walking every other day. Then I started running. But I also did something else- that at the time- was considered taboo. I fasted. I would only eat once a day for 60 minutes. For those 60 minutes, I could eat whatever I wanted, and I did. However, as the weight started to come off I started to choose healthier fare. I ended up losing 30+ pounds, and I could run a 5K. However, I ended up falling off my "diet plan." I was a member of multiple weight loss sites and people on each one told me I was destroying my metabolism by eating this way.
So, I stopped and gained all the weight back.
I didn't know at the time, but my "diet plan" had a name. It was intermittent fasting. It is now all the rage.
Intermittent fasting is a period of time where one alternates eating and not eating. There are many different ways to do this. Some people do the 16:8 plan. You eat for 8 hours a day, and you fast for 16. Others do the 20:4, where you eat for 4 hours and fast for 20. Experts agree the bare minimum amount of time we should be fasting is 12 hours.
Why should we fast at all?
It turns out our bodies were made to fast. Fasting expert, Jason Fung, MD says, "This [fasting] isn't a passing fad: It's a 5,000-year-old fad. All mechanisms of fasting are deeply, intrinsically, human." Have you ever wondered why you lose your appetite when you are sick? This is the bodies way of saving its resources from being spent on digestion, and being sent to fight the invaders that are causing the issues. Digestion uses a lot of blood and energy. The body needs these resources to help fix other areas of the body that may need repair. This process is called autophagy, and it is the process where cells clean up, weak cells die off, and healthy cells are generated. This process is extremely important. It helps slow aging and may reverse diseases. Dr. Fung explains, "The brain needs huge amounts of blood flow. Digestion is incredibly energy-expensive and we divert all our blood flow to our digestive system." This is also why you may feel sleepy or cold after eating a meal, as your blood rushes to aid in digestion. Fasting gives your body a break from this taxing chore so it can focus on other things.
There are many benefits to Intermittent Fasting:
The first is weight loss. Fasting can even be combined with other diets, such a low carb or keto, to help spur on faster fat loss.
Fasting protects your brain. It has been proven that fasting improves cognitive function, and helps get rid of annoying symptoms such as brain fog. It is proven to increase your mental focus.
Fasting slows aging. Fasting helps lower inflammation which leads to diseases in the body and premature aging. Fasting also mimics calorie restriction which is the single most effective way to increase longevity. Fasting gives your cells a chance to detoxify and regenerate. Fasting also leads to increases in energy.
Fasting fights Cancer. Studies have shown that fasting can prevent and even slow and stop cancer growth. This is due to the autophagy we discussed above.
Fasting increases your immune system, so your body is better able to fight off any bad bugs that come your way.
Fasting balances your blood sugars. It increases insulin sensitivity, leading to a reduction in diabetes.
Fasting helps prevent cardiovascular disease; helps obesity, Type 2 diabetes, PCOS, Fatty Liver disease, and arthritis. It improves your gut health.
...And if your an athlete, it helps boost athletic performance.
So for all these reasons, I have embarked on an intermittent fasting journey. Currently, I am doing 16:8 fasting. I have to admit I already feel better, I haven't had any cravings, and I have more energy.
Wanna join me? Leave me a comment! I could use the support!
"Where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them, he was hungry. The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone." Luke 4:2-4