Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
Debate to eat breakfast or not…..Some feel that eating a nutritious breakfast sets the tone for the day and helps gives you the energy to get things done. Others skip breakfast and eat a few hours later. l often don’t eat breakfast and have not for many years. I practice intermittent fasting and don’t eat for at least three or four hours after l wake up and I have more energy and focus when l skip breakfast. Today we consume lots more food that we used too. If we start eating the minute we roll out of bed, and do not stop until we go to sleep, we spend almost all our time in the fed state. Over time, we may gain weight, because we have not allowed our body any time to burn stored food energy. Intermittent fasting is a great way to kick start your health. Research has shown that fasting stabilizes insulin levels, improves brain health and dramatically reduces the risk of chronic disease and obesity. Digestion takes up a lot of energy and when we fast this surplus of energy can be used for healing and repairing cells in the body. Fasting has been around for centuries and used to heal the body for many chronic health conditions. Intermittent fasting offers plenty of flexibility.
Some of the most common ways:
Time Restricted Feeding – Fasting period is any where from 16 to 20 hours and feeding period is 4 to 8 hours daily. During this fast you have set fasting and eating windows. For example, you fast for 16 hours of the day and are able to eat for only eight hours of the day. The 16/8 method is popular, since most people already fast while they sleep. It’s convenient as you extend the overnight fast by skipping breakfast and not eating until lunch. We naturally are hungry at a particular time due to ghrelin. This is also called the hunger hormone that is produced in the stomach before we eat, we can override that by drinking a glass of water to extend and offset the time that you usually eat. Your eating window can be adjusted to your schedule but works best if you stick with a similar eating window. This is the method that l practice and usually eat my first meal around noon and finish my last meal around 6 p.m. I don’t eat for at least 3 hours before bed. When trying intermittent fasting for the first time it takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for your body to adjust when you eat your first meal.
One Meal A Day is another example of intermittent fasting, usually you eat a late lunch or early dinner. Research has shown that this method can also be done several times a year to help many chronic health conditions. This method can be repeated as often as you’d like or even done once or twice a week – whatever your personal preference is.
5:2 fasting method is eat every other day or 500 calories on fast day, or about 25% of your normal intake. On non-fasting days, resume your regular, healthy diet. Alternate days, for example you consume food one day on and the other day is a fasting day. There are also strict variations to this approach that include consuming 0 calories on alternate days instead of 500. On the 25 percent day, you eat strictly protein, vegetables, and some healthy fats—but no sugar or starches.
Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years for everything from weight management to cognitive function. One common issue with intermittent fasting is that without careful planning, fasting individuals can end up under-eating.
It’s important to note that intermittent fasting can have unpleasant side effects, but they usually go away within a month or so. Side effects may include:
Intermittent fasting is safe for many people, but it’s not for everyone. Finding the right eating and fasting windows for this method might take time to figure out, especially if you’re very active or if you wake up hungry for breakfast.
Fasting is not a magic pill. It all comes down to the quality of your calories and how much you’re consuming.
Where to begin?
Consider a simple form of Intermittent Fasting when starting out. Start by cutting out night time eating and snacking and then start to limit your ‘eating window’ each day – such as only eating from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As you progress and monitor how you feel, you may choose to gradually increase your fasting window. The Time Restricted Feeding is a safer bet for many people who are interested in trying Intermittent Fasting for the first time. Start with 12 hours. If you find your hungry at a particular time you can drink a glass of water and add a pinch of mineral salt that will help with the hunger. If you have any questions or concerns speak with your Dr. before starting a fast and or health professional who is knowledgeable about fasting. I have been using Intermittent Fasting for many years. Reach out if you have any questions and want to try Intermittent Fasting. Be Well! Jennifer