Intermittent fasting is a dietary method in which you divide your days, on a 24-hour clock, into periods of eating and periods of fasting. There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting including alternate-day fasting, periodic fasting and a daily time-restricted fasting. The periods in which you are fasting versus eating can and will depend on your goals and your body type. If you’re considering fasting, it’s a good idea to discuss it with your GP before starting.
How does it work?
When you fast, several things happen in your body on a cellular and molecular level. For example, your cells initiate important repair processes, including autophagy, a natural process in which the body's cells clean out any damaged components to make room for new, healthy ones. In addition, levels of human growth hormone increase by as much as 5-fold, which has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain.
What are the benefits?
According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, intermittent fasting has been proven to boost heart health, healthy blood pressure, physical performance and maintenance of muscle mass, whilst preventing obesity, diabetes and supporting tissue health. While intermittent fasting can be used to burn unwanted fat and lose weight, it can be prescribed to those who are attempting to improve their health in a holistic way.
Is it safe?
Yes, however there are people who should avoid fasting. This includes if you’re under the age of 18, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and those with a history of disordered eating. If you are fasting talk to your doctor immediately if you start experiencing unusual anxiety, headaches, nausea, or new uncomfortable symptoms.
What can I eat while intermittent fasting?
During the fasting period you can drink zero calorie drinks of any kind, i.e., water, tea, and black coffee and during the times that you’re eating, you can eat as you normally would. This means balanced and anti-inflammatory meals and nothing that will upset your system like junk food or overly processed foods.
Can I drink alcohol?
Because alcohol contains calories, it should not be consumed during fasting periods. During meal times or when you are breaking the fast, moderate alcohol consumption is totally fine i.e. a glass or two of wine.
How does fasting positively impact skin health?
When we combat inflammation through lifestyle choices, including diet, it will show on our skin. Clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting improves health markers and raises the levels of galectin 3, a protein tied to inflammatory response. In turn intermittent fasting can improve the skin’s healing process addressing acne, dryness, roughness and lesions, protect against inflammatory conditions in the skin such as acne and eczema, and trigger autophagy. Intermittent fasting can also suppress oxidative stress, which can reduce the rate of visible aging and protect against chronic and degenerative diseases. It promotes regeneration of new immune system cells which can help protect the skin against UV radiation, microbes, environmental toxins, and other stressors. It can improve gut barrier function and gut flora which is essential to keep the skin microbiome healthy.
THE INTERMITTENT FASTING SET
I created the INTERMITTENT FASTING SUPPLEMENT SET alongside Functional Health Expert, Dr. Will Cole, to optimally support the body and mind during the fasting period with essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. The set contains four individual supplements; 1. ELECTROLYTES, which help your body regulate chemical reactions and maintain the balance between fluids inside and outside your cells prompting the body to fight inflammation, whichls. 2. VITAMIN, TRACE ELEMENT & MINERAL MIX, replenish the micronutrient depots after fasting to support the body’s renewal processes and strengthen the immune system, 3. OMEGA-3, obtained from Algae Oil, for an anti-inflammatory effect that can boost your metabolic rate, and 4. MAGNESIUM, which plays many crucial roles in the body, such as supporting muscle and nerve function and may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety, decrease stress and improve sleep quality.
The INTERMITTENT FASTING SUPPLEMENT SET is a new experience which reinforces my 360 molecular approach to wellness, and the importance of good nutrition and a balanced, anti-inflammatory lifestyle for glowing skin and a healthy body and mind.
WATCH FULL VIDEO: SKIN SCHOOL WITH DR. WILL COLE
An educational conversation between Dr. Barbara Sturm and Dr. Will Cole on functional medicine, ingredient science to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.