Intermittent Fasting: Is it right for you?
Intermittent fasting is the practice of alternating between regular periods of fasting and eating. While people do this for a variety of reasons, I’ll start by explaining how and why I became interested in intermittent fasting myself. I have been battling a metastatic neuroendocrine tumor for almost 15 years and have been stable for over 2 years on Afinitor, a drug characterized as an mTOR inhibitor. I came across an article that spoke about intermittent fasting and how it suppresses mTOR. Hearing intermittent fasting suppressed mTOR was all I needed to dive right in!
But this is just one of the many benefits of intermittent fasting. It is also assists in lowering cholesterol, reversing insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, weight loss, preventing Alzheimer’s, and decreasing inflammation. It does this by decreasing insulin levels to improve fat burning and insulin sensitivity, allowing your body a break from digestion to rest and repair, and reducing overall caloric intake.
There are several variations of intermittent fasting. Common fasting durations are 12, 16, and 20 hours. It is very individual. Do what feels right for you! Fasts lasting less than 24 hours are generally done more frequently,as much as 5-7 days a week. But, they can also be done as little as 2-3 days a week. Fasts lasting longer than 24 hours are done less frequently. Often individuals choose to mix and match fasting durations.
I’ve consistently been doing 16-18 hour fasts most days for the last several months. I recently have dabbled in 24, 36, and 48 hour fasts as well. I feel great; I’m energized, mentally clear, and after getting used to it, not hungry at all. I’m not doing it for weight loss but I do feel it allows you to be less restrictive when you eat. Some other fasting variations are using water only, doing a “Fat Fast” with a spoonful of ghee or coconut oil here or there, drinking only non-calorie drinks (without artificial sweeteners), or consuming only bone broth for the duration of the fast.
Generally I try to follow the rule of non-calorie drinks only. If I’m doing a longer fast, I do allow bone broth and coffee with a tablespoon of ghee. But, there is no one right way. Try different variations. Do what feels best. Experiment.
I hope this gets you interested in intermittent fasting so you can discover its many benefits like I have!