Fasting has been a popular internet topic over the past few years. Fasting has a long history in many spiritual traditions, a way of purifying the body as a way of purifying the mind and soul.
In more recent times, fasting has been studied as a way of losing weight and as a contributor to optimal health, and it scores well on both counts.
The body is using up energy 24 hours a day. Even when we’re sleeping, the heart still needs to beat and the lungs to breathe. Furthermore, when we’re asleep, the body can focus its energy on completion of digestion and on repair, while the brain has active periods of dreaming, during which emotional issues can be worked upon and deep sleep, during which memories are consolidated.
Most of us have a mini-fast every night, lasting from the last calorie consumed in the evening until the first one consumed in the morning. This mini-fast can be extended by avoiding further food or drink (other than water) after an early evening meal, and by delaying breakfast and even the first milky coffee in the morning.
This extension of the night time ‘fast’ has been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways. From the point of view of weight loss, we use up much of our glycogen store during sleep and will then tend to burn more fat for energy. Research has also shown benefits on insulin and leptin levels, glucose metabolism and lipid markers. From personal experience, I can confirm weight loss benefits, but also significant psychological benefit in getting comfortable with being empty for longer each day and reconnecting to a good kind of hunger.
If you are interested in finding out more, I would recommend watching 2 excellent interviews by the wonderful Rhonda Patrick https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qlrB84xp5g&autoplay=1 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-R-eqJDQ2nU
So I recommend experimenting for a month with a time restricted feeding programme, aiming to consume all your calories in a 9-12 hour ‘window’. Let me know how you get on!