Top 5 Easy Ways to Intermittent Fast for Better Health
You already watch what you eat, you try to stay active, and you get plenty of rest. You drink lots of liquids throughout the day (sorry to say, but wine and beer definitely don’t count). You work hard at being healthy, so what is the motivation for changing up your 3-square-meals-a-day eating schedule?
Better health, that’s your motivation.
Intermittent fasting (IF) can deliver a lot of health benefits. I mean, why else would someone go several hours or even an entire day without eating, unless there was a serious upside? If you haven’t tried this dietary approach to mealtime, it may sound crazy.
Who in their right time would skip a meal, right? Well…I do!
To give you some context, let me tell you a little about why I decided to be crazy and try IF years ago, and why I haven’t looked back since.
When my daughter, Veyda, came into my life eight years ago, it was a blessing to say the least, yet it was also intense! Suddenly there was a whole other factor, a big factor, I had to plan for: my daughter. As she got a bit older and we stepped into the busy morning routine of dressing, making breakfast, and getting out the door so I could see patients at my office, there wasn’t much time for me get myself fed. I can’t stand eating on the fly, and refuse to eat if I feel rushed and can’t sit down to take that essential pause to nourish myself. So what was I to do?
This is when I started working with IF by skipping breakfast, more out of necessity than anything else. Yet through that change, I noticed something marvelous was happening: my digestion improved, I had more energy, and mental clarity.
Since then, I have explored many different aspects of IF. I like to spice it up with 24-hour water fasts, and fasting in the evening so I go to bed on an empty stomach. I do love eating dinner with the girls, so I have moved up dinner so we can all eat together and still maintain my window of having no food in my stomach late at night. This allows my body to truly rest and restore, rather than work on digesting, too.
What other benefits does IF bring?
Fasting intermittently has been used for centuries to lower stress and improve mental focus. How about making your brain sharper and your heart healthier? Fasting can reduce your risk of developing cancer and type 2 diabetes, and when is that ever a bad thing?
By the way ladies, IF can help you regulate hormone levels so you have fewer emotional ups and downs. For men over 40 or so, thyroid health is boosted by IF, and that means you could finally say goodbye to those man boobs! Cellular repair and insulin regulation, stress-relief, and less inflammation are other proven benefits of intermittent fasting.
Oh, and if weight management is something you pay attention to, you can get a slimmer waistline.
Now how does that 3-meals-a-day mantra sound? Let’s take a look at 5 of the most popular (and easy to follow) intermittent fasting plans.
1 – The Popular 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Plan
Think 16 off and 8 on. That’s not 16 hours of fasting, by the way! You take a 16-hour break from eating. Okay…I’ll wait until you have finished grumbling. Are you ready to continue? Great. This may sound tough, but people find it is a lot easier than they thought.
Here is the way to make this super-simple and easy.
When did you eat your last meal yesterday? Add 16 hours. That’s when you will have your first meal of the day today. A popular schedule is the 8 pm to noon fast. This lets you eat during normal waking hours when you might be used to eating your meals already. Make sure you drink plenty of water and herbal teas (without sugar and creamers) while you fast from food. Try a 14/10 fast if 16 non-eating hours is too tough to start.
2 – Do the 5/2
In this popular IF plan, 5 days of eating healthy meals is followed by 2 days of fasting. You don’t go entirely without food though: women can eat up to 500 calories worth of healthy food on the fasting days; men up to 600. The 2 fasting days can be back-to-back, or not.
3 – Eat-Stop-Eat 24 Hour Method
This method has literally been around forever. You take a 24-hour break from eating once or twice a week. As we said earlier, non-alcoholic beverages like water, tea and coffee are allowed. You choose one or two days a week to place a 24-hour window between your last meal and your next. This may be from 6 p.m. today and 6 p.m. tomorrow, or from noon to noon.
4 – Warrior Fasting
Fitness guru Ori Hofmekler was responsible for making this fasting method popular. You fast during the day like some kind of un-hungry vampire hiding from the sun. When the sun goes down, you rise from your food-deprived state to enjoy a huge meal! Actually, you can nibble on fresh, raw fruits, and veggies sparingly during the day, and then you can feast for 4 straight hours. Keep it healthy though, since you still want to focus on whole foods, plant-based grub, and unprocessed food as much as possible.
5 – Every Other Day Fasting
This is definitely not for the beginners, or for long-term use. You eat no more than 500 or 600 calories of food every other day. This is not recommended for doing more than a week or two, and as always, eat foods that are good for you.
What do you think? Want to give it a try to see if you experience similar positive effects like I did?
Have you tried intermittent fasting before and noticed a change in your well-being? Any tricks of the trade to share? Please comment below!
If you want more tips on how to best care for your health and that of your family’s, click here to download my FREE guide, ‘12 Simple Steps to Biohack Your Family’s Health.’
Wishing you well,
Hi! I'm Dr. Jessica
I’m Dr. Jessica Payne, Medical Intuitive, Doctor of Natural Medicine, and your go-to guide for living your life naturally…More
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