Food tastes good, and we like to enjoy good things in our lives. But, as the saying goes, sometimes too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Overeating is a major problem in our society today and sometimes people may have to take more serious steps to break this habit, especially if their health is being jeopardized.
One such step may be intermittent fasting, which has been gaining momentum in the healthcare community. Doctors are writing books and promoting different types of fasting programs to aid in everything from weight loss to joint inflammation to diabetes reversal to increasing longevity. As more people are looking for natural means to improve their health instead of adding more medications, this can be another tool for them to use that can be done as part of their daily routines to maximize their overall health.
Fasting can range from the complete absence of foods to an intermittent fast where one is either limiting the timing of eating or the amount of foods eaten. This is obviously a departure from normal everyday living where we have food readily available 24/7 and we can even tend to eat when we are really not even hungry. By restricting total calories or the range of eating, you are essentially giving the body a break from all the burdens of digestion and decreasing some of the wear and tear on the body from various metabolic processes. It also shifts your body from primarily using glucose as an energy source to becoming more efficient at burning fats for energy, which would be of benefit for millions of Americans dealing with obesity-related health conditions.
Other benefits include: increasing insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is key to reversing or preventing diabetes; normalizing the hunger hormone ghrelin to reduce overeating; decreasing triglyceride levels which helps decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease; and reducing inflammation and free radical damage in the body so that you feel less aches and pains. Sounds like a winning combination, right?
The key is being able to have the willpower and dedication to change how you may have been eating all your life to go back to the way that prior generations ate, with resulting lower rates of mortality from many of the diseases that we see commonly today. This type of lifestyle modification may not be for everyone though, be it due to personal preferences or health conditions that would prohibit certain types of fasting either totally or until the body is in a healthier state to handle it. Fasting is a stressful state to the body initially and the last thing you want to do is add more demands to an already overstressed system.
The benefits of intermittent fasting are many but there are health risks if not done properly. Your blood sugar management, adrenal function and digestive system all need to be working properly to prevent further health complications. If you are considering this type of approach to either improve your health or reverse your risk for some of the above-mentioned diseases, we advise you to work with a doctor who focuses on diet and the natural approach to helping build an optimal level of health.
Our programs utilize bloodwork to assess your current health status, and if fasting may even be an option for you. We can then assess what areas of your health would need to be improved first so that you could achieve maximum results from this type of lifestyle modification. If interested, just give our office a call for a complimentary consultation and we can help you assess if intermittent fasting would be right for you or not.