Fasting can be a controversial topic but I’m not writing this to argue for the cons or pros of fasting, I’m simply writing to illustrate how this tool has helped me and continues to work for me.
Fasting is a nutritional tool, just like counting calories, or your macros. Every body is different, that should really be the first step to talking about any nutrition plan. In my case trying to stuff down breakfast and space out my meals at perfect intervals really never worked for me for 2 reasons.
- Since I was a child I have never liked eating breakfast first thing in the morning, in fact it actually makes me sick. I’m usually not “hungry” until around 1pm. This just happens to be the way my body works. Again each individual digestive system is different.
- When I do eat earlier in the day I find myself sluggish and sleepy as my digestive system takes over and triggers all kinds of responses within the body. Hormones such as cholecystokinin, Glucagon, and amylin are released to increase feeling of fullness, blood sugar rises, and insulin is produced to allow this sugar to go from the blood and into cells where it’s then used for energy. In addition there are also hormones that can lead to drowsiness with food intake, one such hormone is serotonin and food can also influence the production of melatonin – our sleep hormone. There is a reason why some European countries following lunch have a siesta, because the natural function of your body following post eating should be rest to allow for proper digestion. Unfortunately in North America there is not such thing and we are go, go all the time.
I’m a business owner and a mother and my schedule has always been full so trying to juggle a “proper” intake of meals and not crash even with a balanced diet was a challenge for me. Until about 10 years ago when I tried Intermittent Fasting and for me it has been a great solution. I don’t break my fast till around 3 or 4pm and then I still eat a balanced diet filled with protein, veggies and fruits until about 9 or 10pm and by that time I’m ready for bed so my digestive system can finish functioning as I’m snoozing. Intermittent Fasting keeps my energy levels at optimal during the day. Calories in vs calories expanded out still applies regardless of your eating schedule. Fasting is not permission to binge as you’ll still be playing a losing cycle if that’s how you approach this method.
Studies have indicated that fasting for short periods can slightly boost your metabolism, this increase can be due to the rise in the hormone norepinephrine – which promotes fat burning. However, be aware that fasting for long periods may have the opposite effect on your metabolism.
This particular method of eating isn’t for everyone but if you struggle with trying to wolf down your meals during the day and then you crash and are all out of energy even while implementing a balanced eating strategy ( this is key as well Balanced – You’re getting the right amounts of protein and are not spiking your insulin levels with unhealthy carbs and sugar) I highly recommend giving fasting a try.