Fasting and Diabetes Reversal
“The best of all medicines are resting and fasting.” Benjamin Franklin
Despite being reticent about fasting for healing because it was a strongly held belief that you need to be healthy to do something so extreme to your body, I am now convinced that a lot of people can really benefit from it. In fact almost all of us would benefit from some form of it and it’s time to get real about the fact that we were made to fast, we’ve just forgotten the why and the how.
With temptations to eat on every corner, everywhere we turn we’re being lured in ‘you deserve it, you’ve had a great/awful/stressful/winning/losing/ day’. However your day has been, you can justify a snack. Or two. Any time of the day. It’s the norm.
But it plays havoc with our bodies, our blood sugar, and it’s aging.
There are so many studies are now showing that fasting time does not have to be extreme to be beneficial. However, it is ‘next level’ and therefore it really helps to be eating a clean diet in the first place to really benefit from this.
There are lots of different way to fast. The easiest for most is intermittent fasting. This is how it works: I generally get my clients to start with 12:12, eating inside a 12 hour window helps to kick the evening picking or snacks that are habit for many of us. Not too difficult!
Next go to a 10:12 eating window and see the difference. Now you are eating in a ten hour window, perhaps 8am to 6pm. For some this may look like a late breakfast eating between 10am and 8pm.
For others, particularly those that have a tendency towards higher morning sugars it may be best to have an early breakfast and a very early evening meal. This must be scheduled according to what benefits you most and all things being equal what regime you are most likely to stick to.
Depending on your blood sugars, how much weight you want to lose and how beneficial you find it you may like to decrease the eating window to 8 hours, many people report that to be optimum for them in terms of weight loss and blood sugars.
24 hour fasts are frequently reported as being hugely beneficial and some people do this once a week generally fasting between lunch times of 2 days. Clearly if you are on medication this must be done with your doctors help. It’s more extreme but many people incorporate it into their weeks and claim enormous benefits.
Fasting between meals in another obvious method and while it seems simple, most people do not adhere to this simple but golden rule. For the majority of us it is not necessary to eat every few hours or graze through the day, resting your digestive system is good. 3 meals a day is plenty, do your best to not eat between them. This is a good place to start!
Finally you may fast from specific food groups i.e. totally cut them out for a defined period. I generally recommend a month, you should recognise a significant improvement it you have a sensitivity to that food or if it’s simply not serving your health well. Sugar is an obvious place to start, dairy products, wheat or gluten fasts can also be hugely beneficial.
Let’s look at four major benefits of fasting:
- Weight loss: Fasting has been shown to be very beneficial in fat burning which is particularly good for losing internal abdominal fat that is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes. If you are constantly grazing your body runs on this energy. If you are fasting it will break down your fat stores to make energy. It’s that simple!
- Improved Insulin sensitivity; many studies have shown blood sugars to significantly improve and this may work very well as part of a diabetes reversal program.
- Reduced Inflammation; People with diabetes, prediabetes heart disease, high triglycerides, cancer, arthritis and many more chronic illnesses all have high inflammatory markers. And many studies are now showing that fasting or ongoing intermittent fasting can have a dramatic effect in reducing this inflammation and improving or reversing symptoms.
- Enhanced energy; many people will report to have better quality energy and feel more mentally energetic also (I particularly notice this myself). This will only be obvious to those that are eating a fresh real food healthy diet.
If you are trying this for the first time I strongly suggest a stepped approach. First no eating between meals, then a 12 hour window eating and reduce that gradually.
Always consult a health care practitioner, you may need to adjust your medications if you are taking any.