Today, a new craze is intermittent fasting. Did you know that there are different kinds of fasting, and that certain types work better for your body than others? To discover the ideal fasting regimen for you, it’s important for us at BESANA Health & Wellness to consider several factors, including your physiology, health challenges, environment, and epigenetic expression. Here’s a closer look at major components of fasting, and how it may work for you:
So, why should you fast anyway?
Our digestion consumes huge amounts of energy to break down and absorb nutrients and other food metabolites. This also depends on quality of food, complexity (how much it’s processed), and how much we eat. Because of all these factors, our digestion could use a vacation, just like we do when working long hours. An analogy is Thanksgiving meals, during which the average male consumes 10,000 calories, which can take in excess of four hours to digest. When we consider snacking and additional meals on that day, many people’s digestion will be running in excess of 16 hours. And, of course, when digestion is working non-stop, so do the other organs receiving the products from the digestion. Fasting can be a kind way to give your body a break, and with over 60% of Americans being overweight, we could stand to miss a meal or two.
With the holidays coming, all filled with parties, dinners, sweets, and humongous amounts of food, now is a good time to prepare your body for feasting.
So what kinds of cleansing and resting methods are there?
Let’s name a few:
The 5:2 fasting diet involves eating five days a week followed by 1-2 days of fasting, and is most effective if fasting days only contain one meal under 500 calories eaten mid-day. This diet is shown to improve physiologic health, stress, blood pressure, and general symptoms, but was negligible for weight loss.
Time-restricted feeding fasting is fasting for 12, 16, or 20 hours a day with an eating window within 4-12 hours, and not eating later than 6 p.m. This can be a challenge for most Americans who consume their largest meal between 6 and 10 p.m. This fasting method only demonstrated a 3% weight loss over three to four months.
Alternate-day fasting is eating and fasting on alternate days. Eating Monday, fasting Tuesday, etc. Fasting days can include up to a 500 calorie meal eaten between 10 and 2 p.m.; however, the greatest weight loss and health benefits seen are with a water/unsweetened tea fast day. This fasting type was very successful for people with sugar, inflammation, and insulin problems.
Fasting-mimicking diet involves fasting for five straight days followed by 25 feast days per month. This is a great way to detoxify, and was beneficial in resetting the microbiome in people with chronic disease. During this diet, it is important to be on pre/probiotics and monitored by a doctor with experience.
The key point to remember with fasting is that your body needs to be supported properly with nutrients so it can safely detoxify, reset, and rebalance itself. The fasting method best for you depends on your current health status and goals (energy, weight loss, anti-inflammation, etc.).
BESANA is all about personalized health and wellness. If you would like to improve your health with fasting, let us help you find your best fit and implement it for success during the holidays! To learn more, please call 303.327.7300 or request a consultation online today.