When I speak to my clients about fasting, I am always surprised to hear their initial reaction – a gimmicky diet, always feeling hungry, days without anything passing your lips. However, a growing body of UK research suggests that cycling super low-calorie days into your normal eating plan could potentially improve your health. Nevertheless, before you skip lunch and start your stomach growling, let us look at some of the facts:


Intermittent fasting (IF)

In very basic terms, IF is occasional starvation done in a strategic way. The idea is to cycle between periods of regular eating and fasting, during which you severely restrict your calorie intake or don’t consume any food at all. Some people fast for hours, while some may go for a full day or longer.


One of the more commonly known IF systems is the 5:2 diet, which involves restricting calories for two non-consecutive days a week and eating without calorie restraints on the other five days. The fasting diet I recommend to my clients is the 8-hour Diet. This diet limits your food intake to just eight hours of the day and is an easy diet technique that supports weight control. Here all calories and meals need to be consumed within just 8 hours of the day, for example, breakfast at 10 am, lunch at 1 or 2 pm and your final meal of the day by 6pm.  Interestingly, Hugh Jackman revealed that he fasted for 16 hours and ate within an 8-hour window to get in shape for his role as Wolverine in and Logan.


Other studies have shown that IF may decrease low-density lipoprotein or ‘bad’ cholesterol, as well as inflammation. Additionally, IF may improve insulin resistance, which, in turn, helps stabilize blood sugar levels.


A focus on what to eat

There is no one-size-fits-all fasting diet; I use highly individualized plans to help my clients. Some clients allow themselves to drink black coffee and homemade juice drinks during the outside of the 8-hour window, while others may give themselves a cap of 500 calories on fasting days. For instance, one of my clients’ fasting days might consist of peanut butter and an apple, the whites of hard-boiled eggs, or possibly a bowl of oatmeal. The rest of the week may consist of chicken, pasta, steak, and brown rice.



You should talk to a doctor before trying a fasting diet

Your personality is just one factor to consider before you try intermittent fasting; your overall health is another.


Whether you are thinking about trying a fasting system for preventive reasons or as a treatment, the doctor should be involved. There are many factors that must be considered, like your current diet, or whether you have diabetes or a metabolic disorder.  In addition, it is important to determine with a health or nutrition professional what sort of system makes sense for your lifestyle. I am always delighted to talk to talk to anyone about the subject, whether they are a client or not. If you are curious about incorporating fasting into your eating plan, just get in touch and I ’ll help you design a plan that ensures you are eating the right foods on both fasting and non-fasting days to guarantee you stay in good health.

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