Transform your health with intermittent fasting

Transform your health with intermittent fasting

It’s no secret that what you eat (and what you don’t eat) can have a lasting impact on the quality of your life and health. But it might surprise you to learn that when you eat may be just as important.


Intermittent fasting (IF) has generated a lot of buzz in recent years—not just as a tool for weight loss, but as a strategy for managing metabolic health and boosting overall wellness, too.


Still, there’s a lot of room for confusion where the subject of fasting is concerned. So today, let’s take a closer look at what it is, what it isn’t, and how you can put this safe, simple practice to work for your health today.


The basics behind fasting


First things first: We’re not suggesting that you should go days on end without eating or drinking.


It’s true that caloric restriction—that is, cutting daily calorie intake—is one form of fasting. But the kind of fasting that we recommend involves limiting your meals to certain hours of the day rather than limiting calories (also known as time-restricted eating, or TRE).


This might mean, for example, that you eat your meals during a twelve-hour window (say, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.) or an eight-hour window (say, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.) and then fast for the remaining hours of the day.


Other strategies involve fasting for two or three days out of the week. (Which, in this case, typically means eating 500 or fewer calories a day on your fasting days, and eating as you normally do the rest of the week.)


Whichever way you choose to approach it, the benefits to your body are impressive.


Research on intermittent fasting has shown remarkable improvements in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, for starters. It also appears to fortify the immune system, reduce inflammation, and slow biological markers of aging.


But maybe most impressive is the role it can play in fighting cancer. Specifically, studies show that fasting can increase your body’s ability to find and remove unhealthy cells while reducing levels of insulin growth factor (IGF-1)—a marker for heightened cancer risk.


Getting started safely


It’s important to keep in mind that even when fasting, the quality of your overall diet matters. Think whole, fresh foods—including plenty of veggies and low-glycemic fruits, and healthy protein from plants or fish. And of course, ample daily hydration is key.


As for your fasting days, you may find it easier to start with a less rigid approach (say, 12 hour fasts) and work your way up to shorter eating windows from there. Once you have adjusted to this routine, you can begin to incorporate 24-hour fasting periods into your week, if you choose.


Just remember: Like any dietary adjustment, fasting should be a tool for greater health, energy, and vitality—not a source of stress or deprivation. As always, find the path that works best for you. Stay consistent. And let your body do the rest.


Until next time,

The XY Wellness Team

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