Contributor: Lori Bush and Dr. Ritu Chopra, Co-Founders of Solvasa
Health and beauty are not well measured by numbers on a scale. As far too many of us have discovered, fad diets and get-thin-quick programs not only don’t work, but they can also be highly stressful for our bodies and our minds.
Today, more of us are discovering the benefits of paying attention to what our bodies are telling us and adopting more holistic and sustainable approaches to what we eat and how we eat. Among the leading trends in mindful eating and the “un-diet” is intermittent fasting.
While many people initially turn to intermittent fasting for weight management, most quickly discover that it’s really about overall health and wellbeing. For the health and beauty of skin, intermittent fasting has multiple indirect benefits that result from better regulation of blood sugar levels and the improvement in the microflora in the gut, both which help to control the inflammation that is at the heart of many skin conditions and accelerated skin aging.
Success Factors for Intermittent Fasting
Are you one of those people who have been warned for most of your life that, by skipping breakfast, you’re missing out on the most important meal of the day? Redemption! Our bodies tell us what the best time of day is for us to eat. Some of us wake up hungry and just can’t get going without food in our stomachs, but for others appetites kick in much later in the day. For all of us, our brains operate best when energy is not continuously being diverted to our digestive systems and that’s the key evolutionary principle behind intermittent fasting.
Whether you’re doing a 5:2 fasting program in which you greatly restrict caloric intake on two non-consecutive days of the week, or a time-restricted eating fast such as the 16:8 program, your food choices during your eating window are a key success factor. What’s most important for intermittent fasting is having the right macronutrient components in your food, especially the foods that start your fasts and your eating windows. Foods that are high in protein, fiber, and even some healthy fats, but low in sugar will help turn off hunger hormones as well as help to squelch inflammation. We all know that hangry and inflamed is never pretty!
Is intermittent fasting right for you? Give it a try and see how you feel. Being true to what your body tells you is a beautiful thing.