[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Fasting has seen much positive press over the last few years, with a big chunk of popularity coming with the 5:2 diet.

Most of the researched benefits are currently linked to the reduction in caloric intake, and therefore body weight, rather than the actual fast. Studies on fasting always seem to include a weight loss component – the benefits of fasting without weight loss haven’t been studied much at this point, although there are plenty of anecdotal stories of people seeing improvements without weight loss.

The main documented benefits of fasting relate to improved blood sugar control, improved digestion, reduced gut-related symptoms, potentially improved ‘clearing out’ effect of old cells, improved mood, constant energy levels, reduced food cravings, and a sense of ‘liberation’ from thinking about food all day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Benefits peak around 12-18 hours without food; and you can go this long every day quite safely as long as the meals you do eat are good quality and nutrient rich. This is called Time Restricted Feeding – you’re just restricting the time you eat each day into a 6-12 hour ‘window’.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”20620″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You can make your eating window whatever time you like, but if we align it with our natural daily rhythms, we see it optimal to eat earlier in the day.

As well as this longer fast overnight, it’s a good idea to stop snacking during the day too; so in each 24 hour period, you’ll go at least 12 hours overnight without food and then another two 4-5 hours between each meal.

Before you consider fasting though, you must make sure your diet is pretty good, and that the reason you’re looking to fast isn’t to fix problems which could be solved with simply improving your diet.

An important and often forgotten aspect of fasting is what you eat afterwards. You must make sure you eat plenty of nutrient dense foods rather than breaking your fast with doughnuts. A lot of the fasting magic happens afterwards.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Heather Smith is a fat loss specialist Personal Trainer. Get in touch for a free five-day meal plan via[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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