I’m sure you’ve heard of intermittent fasting at this point and I’m sure if you’ve heard of it you’ve heard of all of the contradictions surrounding it!
So let’s get to the facts:
Intermittent fasting is great because it lets your body have a break in order to break down all the food and toxins your body accumulates from food, air pollution, tap water, alcohol, antibiotics etc. However it comes with a point of diminishing returns. More is not always better. If you fast too much/too long it will slow down your metabolism and put your body in a “stressed” state.
The duration best for everyone varies due to sex, body type. weight, age height etc.
What I recommend is a 12-14 hour nightly fast usually 7pm to 7, 8 or 9am. (The more hours before midnight the better!) The general rule is once you start to deal with stress, getting the kids ready for school, traffic, work stress starting, etc it’s time to eat.
The problem with a longer extended fasts are if you don’t put enough of a break in between each meal or snack, your body can’t break down each meal/snack. I personally use and recommend 3 to 4 hours between each meal/snack.
That being said I also recommend a quarterly longer intermittent fast (I do this through a functional medicine liver detox) to stimulate what’s called “autophagy” while inhibiting the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) protein synthesis pathway to an even greater degree. Autophapgy, is a natural regulated mechanism of the cell that breaks down and removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components (toxins/ necrotic tissue/cancer cells etc).
If you aren’t in a majorly stressed state it’s also OK to do a 24 hour fast once a week (I personally struggle with this during the winter stuck inside). A great way to do this is an early dinner Sunday night and do a liquid only fast (I use a vegan protein powder) until dinner Monday night!
To summarize, intermittent fasting is a great tool in your health toolbox but remember more isn't always better and the duration varies for everyone!
As always if you ever have any questions about fasting or anything else health and fitness related, I'm here to help!