An intermittent fast or abstaining from eating food for a period of time is a practice as old as humanity itself. Hunters and gatherers did not know when their next meal would come, going days without eating any food. Skip ahead 12,000 years to today, and the average human has an eating window of almost 16 hours, eating pretty much during all waking hours. What is problematic with this? Well, one is basically not giving the body and body cells any time to repair and recover. Blood sugar levels will constantly be in an elevated state, damaging the vessels that supply blood to vital organs. Eating for 16 hours per day induces weight and body fat gain. Eating during all waking hours could be a significant reason why two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one-third are obese. A possible solution? To Expand the fasting window and reduce the window of time you eat.
For this month’s 10-day challenge, the goal is to go at least 12 hours without eating. If this sounds crazy, remember you aren’t eating while asleep. Not eating after dinner and avoiding a late-night snack should make a 12-hour fast very doable, not to mention beneficial for your sleep too. Remember going from 7 pm to 7 am without eating would be a successful 12-hour fast. Drinking water, tea, coffee, and broths are acceptable and encouraged while fasting. If you are trying to shed pounds, moving or exercising in a fasted state has been shown to burn fat more quickly than exercising after a meal. So before eating your breakfast (which literally means to break your fast), go for a walk, spin, or weight lifting session for added weight loss benefits and muscle growth.
“Done correctly, fasting is one of the most painless high-impact ways to live longer and healthier,” says Dave Asprey, author of the book, Super Human. There are a myriad of advantages that come with fasting. Check them out in the image below.
Again if you are on the fence about fasting, a 12 hour fast is a great place to start. You can extend the fasting window to 16 hours, and even try full one-day, 24-hour fasts every once in a while. Like everything, the fast you choose will depend on your health goals and what feels suitable for you in the now.
It should also be noted that fasting is not for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people who have medical conditions, or people who have experienced eating disorders.
The multiple beneficial effects of fasting on various parts of the body.