We’ve heard of them all. Intermittent fasting, the maple syrup diet, and everything under the sun. But all of these are restrictive in the way in the sense that they give us a fixed eating schedule, whether or not we feel hungry. The truth is, this doesn’t really reflect how our bodies actually function, in fact, they’re quite the opposite. Even the old school three meals a day and snacks feel sort of counter-intuitive.
According to Dr. Will Cole, functional medicine doctor, eating three meals every day can cause metabolic inflexibility, which can easily lead to inflammation, weight gain, fatigue, and chronic health problems. Our bodies actually function in the best way when we have periodic fasting. He actually relies on what he calls intuitive fasting. He says that approaching metabolic flexibility is actually the best way that we can gain optimal wellness and know when is the best time for our bodies to eat. We did a little bit of research on the topic to give you more insight. Keep reading for more!
What is Intuitive Fasting?
Dr. Will Cole knows a lot about food and nutrition. He’s learned the optimal ways to nourish the body and support its healing functions. Intuitive fasting helps to reduce inflammation, restore balance, recharge metabolism, and reset gut health. There are four weeks of fasting to get through for this type of reset.
Week 1 is about a total body reset. According to MBG, it’ll create a foundation that “allows for greater metabolic flexibility and training your body to access fat for fuel. Start with a light time-restricted window because it allows you to get the benefits of fasting without completely upending your daily routine.” Here, you should be having a 12 or so-hour gap between your last and first meal. This is not as restrictive as regular fasting.
Now you have your foundation. You should now extend your fasting window to regular fasting, which is about 14 to 18 hours. Your body will go into a deep state of ketosis. Here, you’ll have a better blood sugar balance and less inflammation.
By week three, you will be doing a fast of about 20 to 22 hours, every other day. When you do this, you’ll support cellular repair, stem-cell activation, and provide yourself with more pathways for longevity.
By now, you will return to fasting for a period of 12 hours. You’ll now have “clean carb-up” days, where you’ll increase your nutritious carbohydrate levels. Think sweet potato, fruit, yummy veggies, etc. Having a bigger eating window with shorter fasts can help support thyroid hormones and progesterone.