There’s alot out here in the health community to take in; foods, supplements, diets, workouts, new reports, new claims, recalls, false claims and more. With so much being told, said and testified about it’s often hard to know what is real, true and what isn’t. Moreover in the world of health it can be overwhelming enough trying to learn what will work for you. As a Practitioner I try to stay abreast to all of the “newcomers” on the scene because its necessary to know the science or claim behind it and also because people who trust my expertise/integrity will ask me about them. We can recall years of new diets & practices that have come our way; from the grapefruit diet, cabbage diet, sleeping beauty diet & Dexatrim craze to the HCG diet and the list goes on. Remember any of those? This has been going on as early as the 1930s and in the 1980s the fast food chains got in on the ticket with McDonalds promoting a McLean Deluxe burger.
What most humans have in common is there desire to look good and/or feel good. Consumers will choose the moderate route or the extreme route. It’s important to have a safety marker and to learn your body well enough to know how it will respond to the claim of any diet or protocol you adopt. So with all of that being said let’s discuss fasting.
This blog is specifically regarding fasting for women because our bodies respond differently than men when taking on this regimen. First of all fasting has been around for ages; whether it had a name or not the early civilizations often adopted this method during strategic times of their lives. In the religious sector we learned fasting as a means to sacrifice food or something we deemed important in order to draw closer to God. Other cultures have adopted fasting as an annual practice in respect to an observance of some kind. Fasting has been around for ages. We hear an uproar or resurgence now because fasting has been adopted in the health sector as a means for getting ‘results’. Some people are using it as a means to just gain clarity and feel good mentally.
At this time there are over 6 ways to fast (with the intentions of achieving health results); 16/8 method, 5:2 diet, overnight fasting, alternate fasting, choose-your-day fasting and 14-16 hour fasting. Intermittent fasting will definitely bring results at the onset but can be dangerous for women in the long run as it can lead to extreme hormonal imbalance and fertility issues. Remember, the body is always trying to detect what’s happening in an effort to protect you and sustain your life. In that regard it will trigger your leptin and ghrelin (hunger hormones) in an effort to get your attention to “feed me something is going awry!” So you go from under-eating to overeating and it creates a dangerous cycle for your system. Women you want to remember that your body is extremely delicate and drastic changes can set off all types of alarms. While you’re experiencing immediate success a halt is coming soon. So you’ll want to be very careful when taking on these regimens; therefore, the healthiest route to consider if you desire to fast for health purposes is to consider crescendo fasting.
Here are the fundamentals of crescendo fasting:
- Choose every other day to fast not back-to-back days. (i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
- Let this fasting be done only for 12-16 hours.
- Go very light with exercise on fasting days (i.e. meditation, yoga, light cardio)
- Enjoy moderate to athletic exercises on non-fasting days (i.e. sports, weight training, circuits…)
- Stay hydrated with water. Consider adding the amino acid BCAA as you fast. (1-2 scoops in 10-12 oz water). You can also have unsweetened tea and coffee if you choose. (Do not add sweeteners, creams or milk)
- If you have kept this regimen for two weeks or so you can add one more day to the fasting regimen.
Benefits of this type of fasting:
- Body fat loss
- Body response
- Increase in energy
- Reducing inflammation
This style of fasting also tends to be an easier approach for new comers as well as those who have been challenged with eating disorders.
Side Note: Fasting may not be a need for you. Don’t feel obligated to do it. Eating using nutrient timing works just as well.
Always remember to implement a healthy diet, it’s necessary for a well life not just a goal. Employ fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Remember Well Life Community, eat well think well and live well!