Intermittent fasting can increase lean muscle mass, shed body fat, improved sleep, clear skin, stimulate natural hormone production, improved mental capacity and clear thinking are just some of the wonderful benefits of intermittent short fast.
During a well managed fast, the eliminative and cleansing capacity of the eliminative organs- lungs, liver, kidneys, and the skin – is greatly increased, and masses of accumulated metabolic wastes and toxins are quickly expelled.
Intermittent fast is the process of abstaining from eating food for a short period, regularly; for example one or two days a week.
There are Three Important Stages of Fasting:
- Preparing for the fast
- The actual fast
- Breaking the fast.
Successful or a failure of your fast will depend largely on how you prepare and break your fast as much as what you do during the fast. The beneficial effect of fasting could be totally undone if you are not well prepared and you break the fast incorrectly.
There are many benefits from practising a well managed intermittent fast and a few pitfalls, first let’s cover some of the pitfalls, and then explore the many benefits.
Finally we will check out the how to successfully practice Intermittent Fasting for Rejuvenation of your total health and wellness.
Pitfalls of Fasting
If not properly prepared and broken fasting can actually cause weight gain and obesity. How this comes about is a little complex, but the simple version is:
If your body is not getting ideal nutrients day to day, abstaining from food for a period will ‘fool’ it into ‘thinking’ that it is starving even more than normal, leading to a build up of Adipose Tissue (body fat) and a decrease in the body’s Basal Metabolic Rate.
There is also the risk of losing lean muscle due to the lack of sufficient macro nutrients (quality protein, carbohydrate, good fats).
There may be an energy slump due to lack of micro-nutrients (lack of essential vitamins, minerals and trace elements due to faulty diet)
Incorrect fasting can also lead to headache or migraine.
Important Note: People who are Fasting should not consume Paracetamol as it increased the risk of liver damage caused by Paracetamol poisoning.
Now we have covered what can go wrong if the fast is not done correctly, let’s explore the many wonderful benefits:
Well Managed Intermittent Fasting Benefits
Fasting exerts a normalizing, stabilizing and rejuvenative effect on all the vital physiological, nervous and mental functions, mental powers are improved; glandular chemistry and hormonal secretions are stimulated and increased; the biochemical and mineral balance of the tissues is normalized.
Your digestive system is given a ‘rest’ and after the fast digestion and absorption of nutrient will be greatly improved.
Fasting in preparation for Chemotherapy for cancer patients has been shown to decrease the toxic effects of chemotherapy on the healthy cells and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy on cancer cells.
Intermittent fasting can increase insulin sensitivity on the whole body level as well as in Adipose Tissue leading to improved metabolic function. This means a reduction in Insulin resistance and increased total body fat loss, in particular a greater loss of visceral fat (belly fat).
Oxidative Stress is involved in the Ageing process –excessive oxidation accelerates the Ageing process by escalating the shortening of Telomeres. ‘Bad things happen when Telomeres get short’
Recent clinical studies show that a well controlled intermittent fast reduces the Oxidative Stress Makers –
Making fasting a wonderful youthful ageing practice.
Now The How To’s:
I began practising Intermittent Fasting nearly 30 years ago (yikes time flies!) following the best Naturopathic principles of the time. I was lean, muscular, energised and strong. I was also a lot younger! The practice slipped by the way for many years, and perhaps this catches up with us as we age.
Now I practice and recommend an intermittent fast that is powerful, manageable and getting outstanding results. I follow and recommend a well managed intermittent fast.
Preparing for your Fast:
We begin by saturating all your cells with high quality organic macro and micro-nutrients (quality protein, carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements). Which enhance the digestion and elimination with water soluble fibre, pro-biotics, herbs and enzymes. This process actually begins the cleansing process in the gentlest way. The preparation stage is also the time where we get your Acid/ Alkaline balance back toward the ideal alkaline balance. The herbal /mineral, Adaptogen tonics help your body handle stress whether it is emotional or physical. This process takes from 3-5 days, 3 days is suitable for most people. Contact me if you have questions.
I advise a 1 day fast (24 hours) if you are new to the process and if you desire you can move to a 2 day fast after a time.
The actual fast means not eating for a full 24 hours. We use specially prepared juices that are packed with what are traditionally known as blood cleansers in herbal texts, herbs and nutritients that assist elimination. This juice is taken 4 times during the day. Filtered water is key and the more the better, this flushes the kidneys and helps avoid headache.
Some snacks can be taken 3 times during the day if needed, suggestions are: a small handful of natural organic almonds, a small apple, we also have a couple of highly effective nutritious snacks that can really help if hunger becomes dominant.
The process resets the appetite, digestion, metabolism, acid/alkaline balance.
Breaking the Fast
This is critical, after all the good work you have done for your body, and this process will help maintain the improvements to your appetite control, digestion, elimination, metabolism and acid/alkaline balance. Therefore how you break the fast is of the most importance. Shaky shake!
For the most part I do not recommend manufactured shakes and developed my own shake to help supplement my diet and avoid dairy as I am and many people I see are lactose intolerant. UNTIL I came across the supreme shake, now it is based on organic undenatured whey protein, high in macro and micro nutrients, packed with pre-biotics, probiotics, enzymes and fibre. This is far better than anything I can make in my kitchen even if I had access to high quality organic ingredients. The alkalising, nutritious shake is filling and tastes fantastic. This is how to break your fast, there is nothing like it!
Kathy Edwards is a Naturopath who specializes in Women’s Health and Hormones.
Contact Kathy now for a Freebie 15 – a 15 minutes telephone consultation to discuss your wellness concerns.