Fasting is about timing more than calorie restriction.
The word fasting makes me think of trendy diets that help followers loose weight quickly but are either hard to follow and/or hard to stick with. The fasting process described in Intuitive Fasting is a little different. It’s more of a flexible process for resetting your diet.
Diet is a really personal element of life. It’s often shaped by where you were born, how you were raised and how you continue to live life as an adult. Making prescriptive changes is hard and even harder to stick with. If you’re struggling with healthy changes, Intuitive Fasting might be a good option. Here’s why.
Five things to know about Intuitive Fasting:
The book lays out a plan and resources to support the plan. However, everyone starts their health journey at a different place so you’re encouraged to make changes as needed. The Intuitive Fasting plan is about breaking some of your bad habits. Tackling one or two at a time might be better than making a radical change.
2/ Eating Windows
Eating windows is a term used in the book to describe when to eat. It sounds restrictive. However, the goal of the eating windows is to give your digestive system time to rest and to give your body a chance to use stored fuel.
If you’re used to eating lots of small meals or snacking all the time, having a limited amount of time to eat all your meals may seem restrictive and difficult. If that’s the case, you can stick with the longest eating window. Twelve hours will not feel that different. Remember it’s about restricting time and not necessarily calories.
Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel.
Ketosis is commonly associated with the Keto diet. Keto diets are high fat and high protein diets that eliminate “quick carbs” and rely on low glycemic carbohydrates. It helps your body adjust to burning fat for fuel.
Quick carbs is my term for everything easy to make and easy to eat. Cutting the “quick carbs” is the tricky part of the diet for those who love bread, pizza, pasta or more simply put, all things made with flour and sugar. Carbohydrates or “healthy carbs” including grains, vegetables and fruits are allowed.
4/ Plant Based Diet
Some Keto diets are based on animal proteins which often eliminates essential nutrients. The Intuitive Fasting plan promotes plant based diets which have been proven to be the most healthful. Think about what you’re adding to your diet rather than everything you are eliminating makes the change easier – especially if you start slow. There are a variety of plant based diets and likely one that will work for your preferences, biological needs and lifestyle.
5/ Reducing stimulus
Most people are hooked on something whether it’s coffee, sugar, alcohol or something else that helps them get through the day and/or night. Reducing your reliance might be better than trying to eliminate it all together. Meeting friends and/or colleagues for a coffee, drink or meal is such a big part of modern life. It’s what many have missed the most during Covid.
Cutting everything out of your diet makes it harder to share those rituals. Plus connecting with people is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
More research is being done to understand the health benefits of fasting. I’ve highlighted some of the key components of intermittent fasting using the Intuitive Fasting program. Do what makes sense to you.
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