Intermittent fasting makes the most of mealtime
Intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the hottest health trends at the moment. Current research reveals the benefits to both your wellness and waistline when you restrict the amount of time spent eating. Canadian MD, Dr. Jason Fung, discusses IF in detail in his books The Complete Guide to Fasting and The Obesity Code. According to Fung’s article “Intermittent Fasting for Beginners”, IF is the “voluntary withholding of food for spiritual, health, or other reasons” and is very different from starvation.
How does intermittent fasting work?
When we eat, especially carbohydrates like sugars, our body creates insulin so that sugar can move into our fat cells and it stays there. By restricting when you eat, the insulin levels in our body drop, meaning our body must rely on the stored food energy available. If we are constantly eating all day long, our body never burns off that energy, which unfortunately for us, becomes fat.
With IF, you can eat for a restricted period of time and fast for the rest of the day. It’s that simple. There are a few different fasts you can follow, such as the 16:8 or 20:4, in which you only eat 8 or 4 hours a day and fast for 16 or 20 hours a day. Other fasts tend to be longer, such as a 24-hour window in which you refrain from eating altogether.
Mealtime can be more enjoyable
For many, it can be taxing to consciously stop eating during fasting periods. However, by focusing on the positives, IF brings a heightened sense of enjoyment to mealtime. First, IF leaves you genuinely looking forward to breaking fast (or breakfast). Each bite feels fulfilling in a way that habitually waking up and consuming food may not.
Second, you have a heightened awareness of what you’re going to consume and motivation to make smarter choices. Do you really want to spend your limited amount of time eating fast food that may leave you feeling lousy in a few hours? Instead, you’ll want to reach for a thoughtful meal of protein, fat and carbs to keep you fuller longer.
Lastly, IF gives you a greater appreciation for how you spend meal periods. Dining with family or friends over a meal gives more long-term value than mindlessly eating in front of the TV or at your desk while working.
Intermittent fasting can be challenging at first, but paired with a positive, mindful approach, it can make mealtime a more enjoyable experience.