For those who are new to intermittent fasting or time restricted eating, there may be numerous questions including when is the best time to fast?
The greatest benefits of fasting come from cellular rejuvenation during sleep so the easiest way to get started with fasting is to not eat after dinner.
It takes your body 3-4 hoursto achieve a fasted state ( lower blood glucose levels to allow cells to resort to other means for energy ). Thus not eating 3-4 hours before bedtime is very beneficial to enter sleep already in a fasted state. Then upon awakening, the fast can continue if one chooses upon awakening for full benefit.
I do love the health benefits of even a twelve hour fast as part of a healthy lifestyle.
While most people hear about Time Restricted Eating (TRE) with an 8 hour eating window ( 16:8), a 12:12 eating window has amazing health benefits as well. This type of eating follows our circadian rhythm and the short duration makes it easier to complete.
Benefits include :
*Maintaining a healthy body weight *Reducing cholesterol levels
*Controlling blood glucose levels
*Reducing inflammation in the body.
*Possibly increasing longevity as it is followed by many centenarians
Tips to extend a fasting period:
*Eating dinner earlier in the evening
*Having a small healthy snack immediately after dinner instead of later on in the evening
*Going to bed instead of reaching for a snack for no reason later in the evening
*Prolon makes products to extend your fasting period by 4 hours including the Fast Bar and Fast Shake. I enjoy both on occasion when I want to extend my fasting window.( Affiliate link)
I started fasting several years ago by not eating after dinner. By eating earlier in the evening, I usually fall about 14 hours between meals. If you are feeling you are having difficulty getting to 16 hours; there are many health benefits to 12 hour fast as shared above!
I also recently shared that although there are numerous health benefits of longer fasting periods, I know my body does not respond well to extreme fasting .
Fasting may also not be appropriate for you if you have a low body mass index, if you are pregnant or breast feeding or are elderly or under the age of 18. Additionally if you are diabetic or have a chronic illness seek medical advice before incorporating fasting into your routine.
Fasting may also be a trigger for disordered eating. While there are numerous health benefits to time restricted eating, please listen to your body and do what is best for you.
Lisa King Rph The Fulfilled Pharmacist