Intermittent Fasting

This is something that really interests me and I am going to embark on to see how it effects me. Following on from chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment I was acutely aware how my gut microbiome had been effected. I am once again having milk kefir daily and water kefir and kombucha regularly – things I wasn’t allowed to have during treatment because of their powerful probiotic powers.

There are numerous studies showing that intermittent fasting can have benefits for our bodies and brains. For me, the main reason I want to do this is to improve my gut health. One particular species of  bacteria (Akkermansia) thrive when fasting occurs and they strengthen the gut wall and reduce inflammation.

When we don’t eat for a while our bodies initiate important cellular repair processes and changes hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible. Insulin levels drop and human growth hormone increases. Studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body.

There seem to be 6 different popular methods and which one fits best will depend on the individual.

  1. 16/8 – fast for 16 hours a day. Generally recommended that women only fast for 14-15 hours. On each day eating is restricted to an 8-10 hour window.
  2. 5:2 – eat normally for 5 days of the week and restrict calories to 500-600 on two days a week – popularised by Dr Michael Mosley.
  3. Eat-stop-eat – do a 24 hour fast once or twice a week
  4. Alternate day fasting – either not eating every other day or restricting calories to 500-600.
  5. Warrior diet – only eat small amounts of raw vegetables and fruits during the day and then eat one huge meal at night.
  6. Spontaneous meal skipping – simply skip 1 or 2 meals a day when you don’t feel hungry.

For me, the 16/ 8 …or because I’m a woman -14/10 style of intermittent fasting is the type that I feel will fit with my lifestyle. So from now on my breakfast will really be breaking the fast 🙂  Of course, during the fasting hours drinking water/herbal tea is to be continued as normal.

Would love to read about your experiences of fasting.


16 thoughts on “Intermittent Fasting

  1. Interesting to hear about the different types of fasting. So if Akkermansia thrives when fasting occurs, will following each one of the different fasting methods cause a different amount of Akkermansia (and I guess other good bacteria) to thrive? Perhaps trying each of the different fasting methods is something for an individual to consider if so, depending on which bacteria is deficient in the gut. What do you think, Jo?

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  2. I have had great success with the 14/10! I don’t even think of it as a chore or a “method” anymore. I just quit eating after 6:00 pm and that’s that. I find that my stomach is so much happier that way. It really needs that “down time” to digest. It becomes a bit tricky when you’ve made dinner plans with friends for a 7:00 pm reservation–but usually remedied by not eating again until late the following morning. It works! Best wishes, as always Jo.

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      • No I really can’t say that I’ve lost weight. But I do feel like I GAIN it if I don’t follow this way of life. Eating in the evening just doesn’t do my body good. Also, with my relatively recent diagnosis of celiac and not getting the proper nutrients for who knows how long–I don’t have a lot of weight to lose. Oh I suppose I could shed 4 or 5 pounds–but anything more I’m afraid would not be a good & healthy look! 🙂

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  3. Interesting. My natural eating pattern is brunch then supper. I rarely eat between 8pm and 10am.
    Do cups of normal tea count as food in this pattern?
    If so I can switch to fruit tea

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  4. Great post! I’ve used IF in the past and am now using it again to lose some weight that I regained. I’m also blogging about it to document my progress. I’ve had great results and truly believe it can be life-changing!

    Liked by 1 person

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