What I Learned About Intermittent Fasting: Deirdre’s Diets

Diets? I have tried them all. So, welcome to the first in my series called ‘Deirdre’s Diets’. This is all about Intermittent Fasting.

In a recent blog I mentioned that I have tried many diets, so this week I thought I would write a list. Have you done any of these? Do you have any you can add to the list?

Let’s Start with Intermittent Fasting

Fasting very simply means ‘not eating’, but it’s a lot different to ‘starving’.

Fasting is a choice – voluntarily choosing not to eat for health and sometimes spiritual reasons.

It’s an entirely natural process – your body does this every night while you sleep – and when you extend the period of fasting, the benefits are even greater.

There are many different ways you can fast, some of them easier and more practical than others. You can choose to fast for hours (between dinner and breakfast the next day), alternate days, two days a week or days on end.

You might have heard about intermittent fasting before. Along with vegan or ketogenic (high fat, very low carbohydrate) diets, it is one of the nutrition topics there’s great deal of buzz about right now.

Are There Any Benefits to Fasting?

The most obvious benefit of fasting is weight loss, but there are many other positive benefits reported by those who fast regularly.

These include:

  • More energy
  •  Improved concentration and feeling more alert
  • Lower insulin and blood sugar levels (including reversing type 2 diabetes)
  • Lowered cholesterol Reduction in inflammation
  • Better stress management
  • Better digestion
  • Faster recovery after exercise
  • Better immunity
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Slower ageing Improved brain function and lower risk of dementia

Does Fasting Work for Everyone?

Fasting may not work for everyone. If you are diabetic or very stressed, it is important to get your blood sugar levels on to an even keel first and fasting is not recommended.

Start with a 12-hour fast on just two non-consecutive days per week to see how you get on.

If you have thyroid issues, speak to your nutrition practitioner before trying fasting.

Also, some people with digestive symptoms may fare better on smaller, more frequent meals. They should seek professional guidance before attempting a fasting programme.

It’s not appropriate for children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women, anyone very underweight (BMI less than 18) or recovering from eating disorders

Fasting Is Not A New Fad

Fasting is nothing new. Human beings have fasted for millennia without detrimental consequences to health. There were times when food was plentiful and there were times when food was scarce. Fasting has been somewhat forgotten until relatively recently, yet it’s probably the oldest and most powerful dietary intervention with huge therapeutic potential.

  • Atkins
  • The Cambridge Diet
  • The Mediterranean Diet
  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • Weight Watchers
  • Slimming World x 2 (red/green)
  • Unislim
  • WMR
  • The SIRT Diet
  • Whole Food
  • Plant Based
  • GL/GI Diet
  • TheDukan Diet
  • DASH Diet
  • FAST 800
  • Eat right for your blood type
  • Jason Vale Juice Diet
  • The Body Coach Lean in 15
  • Slim Fast
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • 5:2

As I mentioned I have had my own journey of yo-yo dieting and feeling I would never achieve a comfortable weight. Both this experience and my training in nutrition and lifestyle change has led me to finally finding peace and I would love to help you do the same.

If this is something you would like to discuss please do book a complimentary conversation and let’s see how I can help.