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Can fasting help me lose weight?

For many clients that I work with, fasting works really well. Not only does it speed up fat loss but it also makes life easier with less meals to prepare. It's good for the gut too, allowing it more time to clear foods and sweep itself through, helping to prevent imbalances such as SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth). Don't be scared of a few tummy rumbles but if you are feeling light headed, dizzy or shaky then it's better to eat something.

There are different types of fasting ranging from a 10 hour (overnight fast) to 24 hour fast.

I find the 16 hour fast is very popular and promoted by the likes of Wim Hof - finishing your evening meal by 7pm and not eating again until 11am the next day is fairly doable for many people, basically getting all of your food into an 8 hour window, on a daily basis.

After around 4 hours of eating, the hormone insulin (fat storage hormone) will be lower and the hormone glucagon (fat burning hormone) will rise so your body will switch into fat burning mode. The longer that you can stay in this state, the more fat you will burn. Insulin is released whenever we eat food (or drinks with calories e.g milk) and it is more difficult for the body to burn fat when there are raised insulin levels. Keeping insulin levels low for longer periods of time can also be anti-inflammatory.

One of the principles of the Metabolic Balance programme is to finish eating before 9pm to allow for at least a 10 hour gap between dinner and breakfast. Some people find that a 16 hour fast works better so that they don't need to prepare any breakfast. Others find that fasting for 24 hours a couple of days a weeks works better for them.

Drink plenty of water during fasting, around 2-3 litres per day and ensure that you are eating a good balance of proteins, fats and slow releasing carbs and avoiding processed foods and sugars, this will help to support healthy blood glucose balance and prevent blood glucose drops (shakiness, poor concentration, lack of energy) which can really hinder fasting.

People with poor blood glucose regulation, very low energy, pregnant women or those with chronic conditions are not recommended to fast but to have regular meals and small snacks to help maintain blood glucose


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