I tried Intermittent fasting for a year and what happened surprised even me...

Intermittent fasting is everywhere and everyone’s talking about it at the moment. So as part of my profession its important that I explore some of the nutritional strategies that are out there and have real world experience as well as my researched based qualifications. By this I don’t mean that I try fad diets or anything dangerous but look at ways of eating that have a lot of evidence behind them. So I intermittently fasted for just over a year and found that not only were some of the claims true for me but found a few gems of my own. Intermittent fasting is simply having windows where you eat and windows where you don’t. The idea is that by allowing the digestive system to fully complete its job. You can switch hormonal pathways from growth to regeneration otherwise known as autophogy. This is where the cells start to clean up the garbage and dregs of the cell to initiate a clean rebuild. A buy product of this is a healthier system followed by weight loss usually down to reduced calories and a more efficient running engine. Sounds nice hey. So I tried both the 16-8 and some 24h fasts. The 16-8 is where you fast fro 16 hours usually through the night and then till lunch followed by an 8 hour eating window. This isn’t just skipping breakfast, its intentional. the 24h fast is fairly self explanatory. I would have dinner and then fast around to dinner the next day. They both had fairly similar results with a few differences that I won’t go into here to keep this newsletter nice and concise. So what happened? Flavour came back to good whole foods, peppers started tasting like candy and broccoli was a pleasure. Once I had fully adapted to a fasting schedule my clarity of mind and speed of thought started to increase as well (had a low bar to start from, to be fair!) My hunger dropped and my relationship with food, although fairly healthy anyway, got better. It was easier to make better food choices due to lack of hunger. An example of which would be if I was hungry and found there was nothing in the kitchen for me to eat I was more than happy to wait and pop to the shops rather than cracking open the curry from the fridge (nothing wrong with curry just making a point!) Body wise, I lost weight, lots of it and quickly. It took a while to readjust and get the right balance which is why this type of approach needs a proper well thought-out plan and not just a lose weight quick scheme. My energy levels were actually really good as well and as for my training I didn’t find it hindered me too much. Inflammation plummeted, Ive had a few back and ankle niggles over the years but I found that that pain decreased even more while I was giving my body a chance to do its thing with out pilling in the next meal. There must be some draw backs? Some nutritionists are wary of fasting, however fasting its self isn’t necessarily the problem, its how people use it and what their intentions are with it, a bit like money and social media (deep!). If your goal is performance based and put on weight or muscle then although its possible with intermittent fasting you may find it hard to cram calories into that short window. It may not be for you. I'm currently not fasting but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love the benefits and will certainly revisit it again. Absolutely don’t try it if you are concerned you have an eating disorder. The emphasis is still on the eating part of the approach. It’s about eating the right things at the right time not, not eating at all. Finally, it can take a bit of getting used to, you may get grumpy mid morning, have the odd headache and be a bit lethargic early on, but rest assured these will pass as your body adapts to its new rhythm. Theres much more I could actually say about fasting but let's leave it there for now. If you’re considering trying this approach please do your research, speak with people that have done it successfully and most importantly do it for the right reasons. If you need any help, fire away. Scotty

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