Nature speaks to the idea that there is an ebb and flow to all creation. The sun rises; the sun sets. The seasons come; the seasons go. The tide comes in; the tide goes out. The waves crash on the shore; they gently recede.
Our bodies are made to embrace this same type of ebb and flow. We are to push into stress, and then pull back. Intermittent fasting fits very nicely into this model. There’s a time for plenty, and a time for fasting.
In This Post:
- Why intermittent fasting packs a lot of bang for the health-building buck
- How to get started with regular fasting…
The Most Bang for the Buck
Research is showing that intermittent fasting is extremely healthy. It’s easy to see why. There’s no health-building practice that gives us more bang for the buck. By fasting, we unload the body from the chore of digestion
Most people experience an increased sense of calm and more peaceful thoughts. This nourishes the soul. In addition, we are to fast for spiritual reasons as well. When we’re fasting, it’s a great time to spend some extra time in prayer.
Fasting clears out the static between God and us, and allows us to hear from him more clearly. So, fasting benefits our bodies, our souls and our spirits. There is no other health-building practice that offers that kind of utility.
Why Fasting Works
It’s very much a health-building practice to abstain from food occasionally. For obvious reasons, our bodies must make digesting food a priority. The body has no choice but to spend a great deal of available metabolic energy in this process.
By unloading the chore of digestion, we facilitate other important bodily functions such as: immune regulation, detoxification and cellular repair.
The reason our first meal of the day is called “break-fast” is we’re breaking our daily fast. You can practice daily fasting by skipping breakfast and making your first meal of the day around lunchtime, then eating another full meal again in the mid afternoon and again at dinner.
This way you keep your 24-hour food intake the same. You’re just stretching the amount of time you go without eating. If you stop eat- ing around 6 p.m. the day before and resume eating around noon, that’s 18 hours every day without food.
Many people find this type of intermittent fasting quite useful. If you’re more adventurous, you can also choose to fast one day per week, or a couple of days per month.
Most people find that consuming a protein shake every few hours during a fast helpful. It assists with detoxification. Some people can benefit greatly from juicing vegetables.
If you choose the vegetable route, focus on green vegetables such as cucumbers, celery and spinach. Go easy on the root vegetables, such as carrots and beets, because they can easily spike your blood sugar.
A few words of caution:
• Children should never fast. A growing child needs to stay on a regu- lar eating schedule. They especially need to keep up their protein and fat intake.
• Consume extra fluids when fasting. The regular guidelines for wa- ter consumption (1/2 body weight in fluid ounces per day) do not apply when fast- ing. Drink extra water during a fast.
• Avoid water-only fasting. For anything other than the 18-hour daily fast, I do not recommend water only. The body uses up nutrients in order to ac- complish phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification. A water-only fast challenges our nutrient stores. Since most people are struggling to get enough nutrients into their systems, water-only fasting is not recommended.
• Fasting is a form of stress, and can engage our fight-or-flight reflex. If you have adrenal fatigue and the resultant low daily cortisol, you will find fast- ing challenging. If this is the case, you must go slow and enlist the advise of a com- petent healthcare practitioner experienced with intermittent fasting.
Fasting is the only practice I’m aware of that can benefit the whole person – body, mind and spirit – simultaneously. One truly receives a lot of “bang for the buck” with fasting.
- Intermittent fasting unloads the body of the chore of digestion
- Intermittent fasting benefits the whole person: Body, Soul and Spirit
- Start slow. Try the daily fast for starters. Work your way into longer fasts as your body adapts.
- Don’t do water only fasts. It’s too taxing on your nutrient reserves. Use protein shakes, green juicing or bone broth liquids.
- Drink extra water when fasting. See my post on Smart Hydration.