Healthy or Hype? The Truth about Fasting - TLC The Littleton Clinic

Healthy or Hype? The Truth About Fasting

It may seem unnatural to fast, but fasting has been commonplace among many cultures and time periods. At the start of human history, mankind would forage and hunt. Prehistoric people’s eating schedules depended a lot on food availability. Ancient Greeks believed that human health related to nature. Greeks would fast when they were sick because they saw other animals fasting when they were sick. As a modern society, food has become more available and it is has become easy to eat a variety of foods.  Though it is exciting to be able to eat foods from all over the world without caring about seasons, this luxury was not always available to us.

There are many benefits to fasting including:

  • Weight loss
  • Lowered insulin levels
  • Increased growth hormone (stimulates fat burning and muscle fain)
  • Cell repair
  • Improved heart and brain health
  • Reduced risk of cancer
  • Auto-immune illness

There are many different ways to fast. Some people try the 16/8 method. This means that they fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window. It may seem like a long amount of time to fast, but most people to the fast through the night so it is not as noticeable. Some people try a 5:2 diet where they eat normally 5 days out of the week and eat a small amount of calories on 2 days of the week. These types of fasts are normally classified as intermittent fasting. This means that you fast for a few hours at a time. Intermittent fasting can be sustained for longer than a full fast normally.

If you try to fast, make sure you are staying hydrated. It is best to keto adapt for several weeks before you start fasting. This means lowering your carbohydrate intake and increasing unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Do not try intermittent fasting if you have prior eating disorders or are under 18 years old.

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