3 things to learn from the world of fasting

Every teacher knows that you don’t really learn a subject until you have to teach it. This is exactly what happened to me with the subject of fasting.

As a nutritionist, I’ve known all about the metabolic benefits of fasting for decades. I have never done it. And when I finally tried it, it was more by accident than by design. I play tennis very early in the morning and have got into the habit of not eating before tennis and doing very well. Before I even realized it had become a “thing”, I was having my first meal of the day around 1:30. And since I go to bed around 9:30-10:00 a.m., I was actually (inadvertently) following the classic 4:08 p.m. intermittent fasting schedule, where you don’t eat for 16 hours (including sleep time) and consume all of your calories for the day within an 8-hour “consumption window”.

I was getting into this eating schedule about two years ago and loving how it felt. My weight – which was always hard to control – suddenly became a non-issue, and I stabilized at my “ideal weight” (and stayed there for over two years!)

So I started digging a little deeper into the world of fasting, studying a little more, playing around with fasting schedules, and…because I’m a teacher at heart and soul…I decided to write a course introducing people to the basics of intermittent fasting. (The course is free and it’s pretty cool. You can sign up on my website homepage, www.jonnybowden.com.)

In this article, I want to give you three of the best takeaways in the world of fasting. You don’t have to fast to benefit from these three tips, and you don’t even have to change what you’re currently eating (although for many people that would be a very good thing to do and give you additional benefits beyond what you will get from following these three suggestions). You can do what I’m about to suggest you do and always eat the exact same food you are eating right now. These three teachings from the world of fasting do not deal What you eat, they address How? ‘Or’ What you eat.

And How? ‘Or’ What what you eat can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your waistline, body fat percentage, energy, and overall health!

  1. Finish your meal in 60 minutes.

Why it matters: When you eat, sit down, put in front of you all the foods you are going to eat at that meal, as well as any calorie-containing beverages you are going to drink, and eat it all up in an hour. (Thirty minutes is even better, but 60 will be just fine.) This simple trick will help you get into fat burning mode faster.

  1. To permit at least four hours between meals.

Why it matters: It takes at least four hours after a meal for insulin to return to normal. If you snack between meals, you are constantly sending insulin back into the bloodstream to take care of the new sugar in your bloodstream that your constant snacking has created. That’s why “grazing” during your meal window is such a bad idea, and why specific meals, four hours apart, are such a good idea.

  1. Do not eat nothing between meals.

Why it matters: I can’t say it enough: fasting is all about controlling the hormone called insulin. The insulin will at the top every time you eat. (It’s true that some foods cause it to rise more than others, but that’s a topic for another topic.) If you eat between meals, you’re constantly breeding your insulin when you really want to be lowering this! So don’t snack at all! Wait at least four hours after your previous meal (see number 2) and then sit down for another meal.

In conclusion…

Most of us have tried to lose weight – or have more energy, sleep better, detox, get rid of brain fog – by focusing on What were eating. In a nutshell, fasting teaches that How? ‘Or’ What you eat, more precisely, when and how many times— can have as much of an impact on your health as what you eat.

Changing the time of your meals — and the number of hours you put between them — seems to be a lot easier for many people than changing what they eat. These three great takeaways from the world of fasting are a great start to getting your health and weight back on track!

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