I get asked about intermittent fasting probably once a week.
If you've read any of my other blog posts, I mention that I am a fan of fasting. It goes back to centuries, having both spiritual and health-related benefits.
I think it's great when done in the right way. I can feel my body detoxing all morning, and when it tells me I'm ready to eat, I listen and I fuel my body.
Growing up, we were told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is true, but it doesn't mean you have to have it as soon as you wake up! If you are starving, drink a glass of water, then see how you feel. I find my brain is the most alert and efficient in the early hours of the day when all I'm consuming is water and BCAAs.
So what is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a method of caloric consumption within a specific window of time. Essentially, you have a timeframe in which you must eat all of your calories for the day. I am not going to list all the variations because I think they get crazy. The most common version is 16/8 (fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window). I usually hear of people eating their first meal at 11am and finishing their last meal by 7pm. Some people do this unknowingly, while others who might need this restriction find it challenging but advantageous.
Personally, I only fast in the morning. I wait at least 3-4 hours, then I eat a fulfilling breakfast. Because I am so focused on my macronutrients, I can control my caloric intake and I don't need to restrict myself to an 8 hour window.
However, I definitely try to eat dinner at least 3 hours before bed. I want the majority of it digested before I lay down. We can all agree that when you eat right before bed, you don't wake up feeling your leanest. You can almost feel that you body still needs to catch up on some digestion in the morning.
In regards to intermittent fasting, if you are struggling with overeating, then go ahead and try it.
Otherwise, I do believe everyone should try out morning fasting. It doesn't have to be a challenge- just a couple of hours to let your body wake up, detox, and cleanse. Make sure to drink lots of water and eat once your body actually tells you you're hungry. Practice being mindful and listening to what you need, not what you want.