If you’re struggling with your New Year’s resolution to get healthy and lose weight, have no fear. There’s a growing diet trend that should NOT be overlooked as a passing phase and it’s called intermittent fasting.
I’m sure most of you have heard about intermittent fasting, and maybe even tried it. But if you haven’t dipped your toe into the fasting pool, don’t count it out. It’s actually a lot easier to do than you think, and the health benefits well outweigh any mild discomfort (i.e. hunger pains) you’ll experience.
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. While there are several methods of intermittent fasting, the eating pattern that I find most “user friendly” is the 12/12: 12 hour eating period, 12 hour fasting period. It’s a great method for those who are new to intermittent fasting because you can do the bulk of your fasting while you sleep.
Now, just because you have a period of eating, doesn’t give you a hall pass to go crazy on overly processed, crap food. Our bodies still need nutrients to function properly and eating clean is essential to good health. Intermittent fasting, along with proper nutrition and exercise, helps to lower insulin levels, slow down the aging process and best of all, it helps rev your metabolism.
In this YouTube video, Dr. David A. Sinclair, a world renowned biologist and professor of genetics, who authored the book Lifespan: Why We Age–And Why We Don’t Have To, explains how intermittent fasting plays a role in our longevity of life. By reducing caloric intake and limiting the time when you eat, it sends a signal to our body to slow down the aging process. While it’s not the “fountain of youth,” it comes pretty darn close.
If fasting seems like an overwhelming, daunting task for you, I recommend starting with an 8 hour fast. Once your body gets used to that and your hunger pains subside, you can gradually begin to increase your fasting period.
As always, before starting a new diet and/or workout, you need to clear it by your doctor. Intermittent fasting, while highly beneficial, may not be for you, especially if you have health issues that require medical supervision.
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