Fasting is a hot topic thanks to popular diets like keto. How do you know if fasting is right for you? Do you have to follow the keto diet? We asked Kate Orlando, one of NutriChem’s Registered Holistic Nutritionists, to answer some commonly asked questions about fasting.
#1 Why fast?
People fast for a variety of reasons ranging from religion to weight loss, from energy to mental clarity. When we eat, our pancreas produces insulin that tells the body to store glucose in the liver, muscles and fat cells to use later for fuel. When fasting, blood glucose levels drop which causes insulin levels to drop, which causes the body to start using this stored glucose for fuel. After 12 hours of fasting your body will run out of stored glucose and turn to fat for fuel.
#2 Do I have to go full days without eating?
Not all fasting require all day fasts. There are a variety of ways to include fasting as part of your lifestyle, one of the most popular being intermittent fasting. Even intermittent fasting has different methods to follow: 16-24 hours without food, alternating days with normal and reduced caloric intake, and 5 days normal caloric intake with 2 days reduced caloric intake. Experimenting with these methods will help you find the right fit for you.
#3 Can I eat whatever I want, or do I have to follow a keto diet?
No, you don’t have to be keto to implement intermittent fasting. I recommend eating a whole food-based diet full of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean protein, and healthy fats. Sugar and refined and processed grains should be eliminated because of the rollercoaster ride they take your insulin on.
#4 What benefits can I expect from fasting?
People have reported a variety of benefits from intermittent fasting. Some of the scientifically proven benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar stability
- Improved insulin sensitivity and lowered insulin levels
- Reduction in body fat %
- Reduced inflammation
- Increased levels of ketones
- Increased levels of human growth hormone
- Reduced free radical damage
- Improved use of fat stores for fuel
#5 Can anyone fast?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people might feel great when they fast, some people might feel terrible. If you are interested in fasting, it’s a good idea to talk to your primary health care provider if you: are pregnant or breastfeeding, have type-2 diabetes, have hypothyroidism, have adrenal dysfunction, have disordered eating, have low body weight, or have low sex hormones.
Fasting might not be the right option for some people, so I recommend checking in with your primary health care provider before introducing it. With all the information out there about fasting it can be confusing knowing what the best approach for you is. NutriChem’s Registered Holistic Nutritionists can help you sort through the misinformation and find a plan that’s best for you. Contact us today to book your initial consultation.
Written by Kate Orlando, NutriChem Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Sports Nutrition Expert
Kate graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2010. As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Sports Nutrition Expert she is passionate about helping people on their journey to health. Kate recognizes that there is no one-size- fits-all approach to wellbeing. She uses education, lifestyle assessment and meal planning to create a personalized approach to help her clients achieve their goals.
As a marathon and trail runner, Kate understands first hand the important correlation between food and performance, and works with clients to support digestion, optimal energy and recovery. She is a certified Sigvaris fitter and is currently enrolled in the Health and Fitness Promotion Program at Algonquin College. Kate has special interest in digestive health, weight loss, energy and sports nutrition.
Call: 613-695-5405 to book an appointment with Kate.