Fasting for Fitness – Yesterday’s News? Or is There Firm Science?

Fasting for Fitness – Yesterday’s News? Or is There Firm Science?

I’m probably a bit late (by a few years) in writing this post. It is however Ramadan and I’m aware that some of my Muslim patients are fasting. This post follows on from the ‘trendy’ fasts with equally trendy names like the 5:2, intermittent fasting, juice fasts, fasting cure etc (no, I haven’t read them all). Also I was at an event recently where we were all discussing the different ‘fasts’ we were on.

Personally, I do mini- fasts and I try to do them a few times a week. For me, it literally means prolonging the time between 2 meals. The longest period of not eating is naturally night time sleep. So what I tend to do is to prolong the time before I eat my breakfast; or as it so happens these days, its straight to lunch, after my morning tea. So strictly speaking, its not even a traditional fast as I have milk in my tea- but the benefits are still there and makes the whole ‘fasting’ easier to incorporate as a lifestyle choice. I skip this on days where I anticipate a particularly stressful day (not great if adrenally fatigued) or if I simply would like some breakfast. To me, the key is in the fact that its my choice and I don’t feel deprived. I do not subscribe to the ‘breakfast is the most important meal’ hypotheses. I mean, our ancestors certainly did not have that kind of luxury….

What I find is that I end up requiring less food throughout the day. I’m also fuller with smaller quantities of food. I’m careful about not breaking my fast with anything processed or high carb. It also makes life somewhat simpler and certainly cheaper. There is no mid-afternoon slump- a very interesting finding. There is more energy throughout the day. I also tend not to think of food quite so much as normal. That’s just me.

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