The fashion wave of intermittent fasting is amazing. Just try to google “intermittent fasting” and the results will blow you up. However, it would be a shame if fasting as a fashion trend would stop. Fasting is not a snap. The majority of the population has (mainly) been fasting mainly for religious reasons. It has a good reason – the fasts are physically and mentally deserving, and it costs nothing.

Fasting is a voluntary meal delay for a certain time, from 12 hours to several days. The shorter the fast, the more regular it holds.

Intermittent fasting can take place every day or every other day, when fasting is held for 16 hours a day, and the remaining 8 hours is reserved for meals. Some practitioners still extend the fasting window a little longer, in the ratio of 19 hours without food to 5 hours for eating. Logically, a significant part of the fast comes from sleep. Breakfast eventually announces the end of time without food: “break-a-fast”.

Fasting maintains optimal weight, reduces insulin levels and stabilises glycemia (blood sugar). It will give the digestive tract time to rest and regenerate. The body that is not burdened with digestion relaxes better, the sleep is deep, and after awakening you are fresh.

Longer fasts (24 hours and more) are cleansing. The body begins to deplete energy and generate material by consuming all excess (fat) or damaged (non-functioning cells) to provide energy and build new structures. As if instead of the endless repair of the old, dilapidated house, it was totally demolished and rebuilt.

Fasting does not cure. When people are confronted with a serious diagnosis and decide for long-term fasting, they unfortunately do not understand the possibilities and boundaries of fasting. Fasting provides the body with optimal conditions for self-healing – provided that the body is not yet weakened by a serious illness. Fasting will shorten your cure for colds, fasting is a great prevention of illness, but nothing positive can do with the ongoing serious illness.

Fasting is not for everyone.

Not suitable for acutely or chronically ill people (without doctor’s approval), underweight people and for pregnant and nursing women. It is not suitable for people with history of eating disorders and for chronic diets because their task is to find a balanced relationship to eating and to one another. Not suitable for people who eat unhealthy. Fasting is a superstructure that needs good basics and a healthy lifestyle overall. It may not be suitable for people who are hardly physically working or sporting. Losses slightly outweigh the benefits.

How do you start with interrupted fasting and what should you expect?

  • Start fasting after dinner and do not eat for the next 16 hours.
  • Drink regularly, clean water or very weak unsweetened teas.
  • If you feel a great deal of hunger, know it will ease. The hunger comes and goes in waves. Make your first meal light and eat slowly, you will not be hard on your stomach. Repeat the next day.
  • For all-day fasts, it is a good idea to supplement the salt intake with a mineral drink and count on the fact that the body can respond to stress, headaches, hives, etc. These symptoms should disappear or become very mild after few fasts.
Danica Dobisová
Psychologist and nutritional counsellor. I help people to lose weight without dieting and forever. I follow the principles of mindful eating and teach people what and when to eat and how to create healthy eating habits. Here is more information.
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