Which Intermittent Fast Is Best for Me? 3 Different Ways
Intermittent fasting has been one of the most popular health trends in the past decade, and you may have heard of it, but have you tried it?
Today we're going to talk about ways that you can implement intermittent fasting into your daily routine. Now, of course, some people will say that intermittent fasting has really changed them in terms of their weight or even just their general overall health. And then, of course, other people have tried it and felt that maybe it wasn't a sustainable way of eating for them.
But nonetheless, we're going to discuss ways that you can implement intermittent fasting into your daily diet. And, of course, intermittent fasting is not going to be great for everybody or even the right choice for everyone. And before we kind of dig into that, I do want to say that there are specific groups of individuals that shouldn't do intermittent fasting.
So people like children and adolescents, anyone who's pregnant or breastfeeding, and of course, anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder. And we want to keep up good eating in different habits for them. Intermittent fasting might not be the right choice.
My name is Marcie Vaske, and I am a functional medicine nutritionist working with Oswald digestive clinic. And I specialize in gut health, but I do see a lot of individuals with many other things, such as thyroid disorders, insulin resistance, or type two diabetes individuals that are maybe struggling hormonally as they're moving into that age of menopause.
And so not only people with gas or bloating or diarrhea or constipation but really a whole spectrum of individuals. And sometimes those things are worse because we have bad gut health.
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So today, I want to jump back into a good, a favorite topic of mine, which is intermittent fasting. And I'm just going to go through, as I've said, three different ways of intermittent fasting.
What Intermittent Fasting Means?
So first, just a quick review on what intermittent fasting is, and it is a pattern or style of eating where you are fasting for several hours, and then you open your window, and you eat within a timeframe. Now, during that fasting period is where you're not consuming any calories or foods.
So you want to stick to things that are calorie-free, such as coffee and water, like lemon water. You can do some teas, herbal teas, things of that nature. But as soon as you start putting anything in those drinks, maybe it's some coconut oil in your coffee that does break your fast because that will increase your insulin.
So fasting is fairly straightforward and pretty simple. The hardest part is maybe fasting during those hours and only drinking liquids. But first of today, as I've mentioned, I'm going to go through three different types of fasting.
3 Different Ways To Intermittent Fast
12-Hour Intermittent Fast
Our number one eating pattern that you can kind of get into fasting with is just simply doing a 12-hour fast. What you're doing is you would begin your fast after dinner.
So let's say you had dinner at six or seven at night, and then you do not eat anything until breakfast the next morning, which would be six or seven the next morning. That's a 12-hour fast. Now that's a pretty simple, straightforward way of fasting, but it does have a lot of positives.
And the biggest positive is that it helps your gut just calm down, digest the food, and give you a little extra energy. So, and a lot of people use that as a step into a longer fast, I don't recommend just jumping into doing a 24-hour fast if you've never done one before.
I like people to kind of work into it. It's much more sustainable, and you feel a lot better. So one way of fasting is just doing a simple 12-hour fast from dinner to breakfast the next morning.
Time-Restricted Intermittent Fast
Now, the next way of doing a fast is what we've heard a lot about, which is time-restricted eating. And the most popular form of that is that 16-hour fast, eight-hour feeding window.
And really, you can pick any time that you want to do that, but a lot of people will end at their dinnertime and sleep during the fast and then fast maybe until 11 or noon the next day, opening your window at noon or however, it works out best for you. And then eating for an eight-hour time period.
And what I love about intermittent fasting is that you can add it in. You can be very fluid and flexible with it in terms of your hours. So sometimes we finish late at dinnertime, and so you would just tack that onto your next day, and maybe you have a little bit of a later opening your window a little bit later.
Or if you have a pretty common day and you do get done with dinner at six, then you're opening your fast around 11 or 12 the next day. And things stay pretty consistent. You can always increase the fasting hours slowly.
So if you're feeling once you get to 16 hours that maybe you can go a little bit longer to maybe 18 or 19. Absolutely. And there are a lot of benefits that research has shown when you get to that 18 hours, 19-hour window is when your body begins the autophagy phase, where it gets rid of dead cells in your body.
Usually around this time, too, we also can increase a lot of brain clarity, and your body is really getting into fat-burning mode. So I think that beginning, like I said, maybe with a step firmer one with that 12-hour fast, working into maybe a 16-hour window, eight-hour fast.
Alternate-Day Intermittent Fast
And then the third way that you can do some fasting is going to be alternate day fasting. So this is where you would fast for 24 hours, and then you would eat your regular meals.
And I think that this can definitely be used one or two times per week if you feel comfortable doing that. And you're not starving. I mean, there's a lot of body listening that you need to do when you're fasting, but definitely adding in a 24-hour fast, maybe at least one time per week.
And those three ways of doing intermittent fasting are going to give you a lot of benefits. I think you'll feel that you find yourself feeling a lot better, and as long as you can move into it slowly and not feel super hungry or you're getting into really low blood sugar, I feel that also you can look at intermittent fasting as you know, we don't need to do it every single day.
You could maybe take a look at your week and say, this might be a good day to do a couple longer fast, that 16 eight-hour days. Maybe you do some regular 12-hour fast in there, and then you throw in a 24-hour fast. That's the beauty and the fluidity of intermittent fasting. There doesn't need to be perfect every single day.
I think that using it as a tool for better mental clarity, maybe some weight loss, fat loss really in general, can be super helpful. And it really does really give our gut a break when it's not constantly having to work. We can give it some time for it to do its job and then just rest.
And I think if you're struggling with gut issues, intermittent fasting might be a way that you can really speed up healing for yourself.
Again, I think that you can add it in, but if you're unsure of where to start and you're feeling like maybe you need a little more direction, definitely visit our website at Oswald digestive clinic because I've worked with a lot of people who do intermittent fasting. I do intermittent fasting myself, and I've done it for several years just in different ways. So I love it.
I think it can be a great tool, and I hope that this gave you a little bit more information on where to begin and see if it works for you.
If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.
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