With the New Year many of us are considering a variety dietary changes from diets to lose weight, to the types of foods we eat, to supplements. One dietary discipline that you should try is intermittent fasting. I have been fasting intermittently for five years and it is been a boon to my health and well-being. I fast every 7-10 days; but have done it as much as 2 times a week.
Intermittent fasting is about periodically not eating for a few hours (usually 16-24) or for a few days. You consume only water and tea if you like while on a fast. I drink green tea and dandelion root tea to help with the functioning of my liver.
While many tout the weight losing benefits of intermittent fasting I never found that to be the case.
Some of the benefits are:
Ultimate detox/rest. You need to give your liver a chance to rest and do its job of cleaning your system. Over time as your liver begins to clean itself you may find a host of benefits from feeling better, to improved vitality to a reduction in the symptoms of whatever ails you.
Last fall I stopped intermittently fasting for a few months and found myself feeling lethargic. So I fasted for 20 hours and the following day I felt more energetic; more importantly I felt clean and had improved mental clarity. While you may initially experience some benefits from fasting it will take some time, several weekly fasts for months, to see the full benefits of intermittent fasting.
At a minimum you should develop the habit of not eating after dinner and try not to eat for 12 hours afterwards. So for example if you finish eating dinner at 6 PM don’t eat again until 6 AM the following morning.
A Fountain of Youth. Fasting has been shown to dramatically increase your production of human growth hormone that many associate with anti-aging and increased muscle mass. Studies have shown that rats that fasted did live longer.