Now you have already read IF 101, right?! If not, shame on you and go read it now :). I do a lot of listening (and reading) to scientists talk about research around IF. There are so many benefits that it’s hard not to jump on the train.
I never thought about this before, but I recently listened to this podcast on Mindbodygreen and it blew my mind. The average American is eating roughly 15 hours a day! Not in the act of eating (aka shoving food in yo’ face) for 15 hours bahahaha! Wouldn’t that be something? But, between the first meal and the last may be around 15hrs of meals and snacks. One may wonder if you even get a chance to get hungry. If you’re like me, you’re often planning the next meal in the middle of the one you’re eating. Anyone else?
Currently, what is fascinating me about intermittent fasting is it’s ability to produce autophagy. “Auto-what?” you may say. Pronounced Ah Ta Foe Gee, they are learning more and more about how crucial this process is. Autophagy in a nutshell is when your cells clean themselves (it means self-eating, gross ha!) by getting rid of the damaged or yucky parts and allowing the good to remain and even produce new healthier cells.
Why is this process so important? Well, these younger, cleaner cells help slow down your aging both inside and outside your body! Say what?! Yes, yes, yes! So, this may mean, better looking skin, better functioning organs, and clearer thinking. Scientists believe through their research that this process helps fight against many types of disease including some cancers and Alzheimers. Sign me up!
How does this relate to IF? Well, research is showing that IF can encourage the body’s ability to undergo autophagy. Our bodies are all different, so there isn’t an exact time frame in which this begins to happen within your fast. However, scientists believe that it is definitely taking place as you edge towards a 20-24 hour long fast. Also valuable to note, is that working out towards the end of your fast encourages autophagy to take place. I know that seems hard to do, but my husband and I have been experimenting with this a little bit. The hubs often goes from dinner Sunday to dinner on Monday. I don’t do it as often, but it’s easier than you think… especially if you have a pretty big meal beforehand :). As noted in my previous post, it is encouraged to end your eating by about 5pm at least once a week. Go check out why if you haven’t read that post yet.
Does this sound impossible to pull off? I know, it can seem tricky to get started, but I’m here to help and there are a ton of great resources. If you are currently eating until 8pm and waking up to eat again by 8am, simply try moving those times apart by 1 hour. Stop eating at 7pm and eat at 8am. After a couple of days, stop eating at 7pm and don’t eat until 9am. See how that works? Always give your body a couple days to adjust while you experiment with what works best for your body.
We are bombarded with new research every day on what to eat, when, how many times to chew, what food is suddenly toxic, etc. It’s all pretty tricky, isn’t it? I find it all fascinating to learn about, but there is so much conflicting opinion and even conflicting research. Ultimately, we are all different. Our bodies are different. Our hormones are different (especially us ladies). It is not possible to find one type of eating or one type of workout that is going to work for every person. That being said, fasting here and there appears to be something we should all work towards doing a little more of. Give those cells a break from processing all the things we’re putting into our bodies. Give your blood time to move away from aiding the digestive process to really circulating through your organs and brain… and skin. Maybe, just maybe, your skin will have a new glow too.
Have you tried IF? What is the your longest fast? How did you feel afterward? I can’t wait to learn from you!