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Intermittent fasting

There are many different ways of fasting & it can be very helpful for weight loss.

Why don't you skip a meal if you are not hungry, like I did in my sample-eating week? Or have a late breakfast, or skip it altogether if you simply don’t feel hungry when you first get up?

  1. 12 hour fasting

A 12 hour fasting period done every day used to be ‘normal’. That is, eating 3 meals a day from, say 7 am to 7 pm and avoiding eating anything from 7 pm to 7 am.

At that point, you ‘break your fast’ with a small breakfast. This was what I remember it as a young child in the 1960s.

If you eat unprocessed foods, avoid excessive added sugars, and do not have significant insulin resistance to start, this 12 hr daily fasting is probably good enough for many people to avoid obesity. However, it is not strong enough if you have insulin resistance.

2. 16 hour fasting

This regime involves using a daily 16 hour period of fasting and an 8 hour ‘eating window’. For example, this would mean eating from 11 am – 7 pm, and fasting from 7 pm to 11am. This generally means skipping the morning meal every day. Many people naturally like this if they are the sorts of people who cannot face breakfast in the mornings. I do it on days when I start work at 7am.

3. The ‘Warrior’ diet – Eat like a Roman or a Spartan!

Eat only during a 4 hour window. The fasting period of 20 hours consisted of most of the day. There is also an emphasis on natural unprocessed foods and high intensity training.

I know a woman who does this any day when she is going out for an evening meal. She used to be obese and for many years has been a normal weight. Also note that she does not do an exercise programme and maintains her weight purely by altering her eating regimes.

It allows the body to lower insulin levels very low for a specified period of time longer than usual. This is precisely what helps to break, or prevent the development of insulin resistance, which will help you keep your weight down and avoid or reverse diabetes.

With thanks to Dr Jason Fung who writes prolifically about Intermittent Fasting

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