Cleaning Up December – 7-days Intermittent Fasting
I don´t know about you but December has been a crazy month in terms of celebrations, events and general party vibes. Between my birthday in the beginning of the month and all the Xmas dinner parties my body got to New Year´s eve and simply didn´t cope!
This was a clear sign that was time to reset! I found very effective to spend 1-day full fasting (only herbal tea and water) and then engage on a 7 Day Intermittent Fasting process.
How does Intermittent Fasting work?
The philosophy for fasting in general is simple: if you had a period of indulgence (eating and drinking too much for example) you need to balance that with less, which fasting is a great solution. Intermittent fasting is a way of doing that every day.
Every time you eat, you increase your insulin levels and therefore you also store the excess of sugar (energy) in your liver. There is a limited amount of storage that your liver has, so once that capacity is reached your liver starts to turn that excess sugar (glucose) into fat. This fat is both stored in the liver and in other fat deposits in your body.
When you stop eating for longer hours (in the case of intermittent fasting 12h to 16h) you reverse this process by decreasing insulin levels and burning the excess stored glucose and fat. So if you are interested in losing weight or get rid of any excesses of the holidays this is a very gentle way of doing it.
How to do it?
You eat 2 good meals and day (instead of 3) and you fast the rest of the time. Your 2 meals can be 11h00 and 18h00, 12h00 and 19h00 or 13h and 20h. After 20h I don´t advise eating, as your sleep is not so sound and your body instead of regenerating during your sleep is actually processing food. With these schedules you have a period of 16 hours of fasting and an 8-hour period of eating.
How to start?
It´s simple – just start! 7 days go really fast and remember you´re not dieting, it´s simply shifting the times of your meals and pack everything into 2 meals, instead of 3 or 4.
If you get really hungry in the morning, drink water or herbal tea. Some people drink coffee too, but to be honest, coffee on an empty stomach is a terrible recipe, too much acidity first thing in your stomach in the morning, so water and herbal tea is a better option.
Commit to the 7 days even if you don´t feel so great the first couple of days, that´s part of the detoxing process, toxins need to go out and that’s not the most enjoyable feeling.
Also make sure you drink plenty of mineral water both in the morning and in between meals to help the process.
8 Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Effortless burn of body fat
- Stimulates growth hormone
- Lowers cholesterol
- Promotes cellular cleansing
- Improves mental focus
- Increases stamina
- Lowers blood sugar levels
- Increases flexibility
An extra benefit!
In the yoga texts, Fasting is considered a spiritual practice, where one gains mastery over the mind and body natural urges, like hunger. Your mental powers, focus and concentration increase so your meditation practice is improved.
Taking it to the Next Level!
This part requires much more discipline and will power, but why not? radical self-care requires self-effort, so if you want to take your 7-days Intermittent Fasting experience to another level try also to cut fried foods, fat greasy foods, alcohol, caffeine, white flour products, white sugar, Ionized salt, red meat, tropical fruits, dairy, barbecued and smoked foods.
Wish you a great and successful week with your experience, and remember is only 7 days, if you like you can continue and if you don´t, go back to the way you were eating before. Remember you´re doing this by yourself and for yourself! If you have a regular working schedule, is optimal if you do your full fast on a Sunday where you can rest and then start the intermittent fasting on Monday.
Disclaimer: If you suffer from any eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia or orthorexia nervosa this advice is not for you. Please look for a professional to help you with those conditions!