Hey beautiful people ♥️
I hope you’re all doing well.
It’s Sunday morning as I’m writing this; I’ll probably finish this post and publish it in a few days, however, I was just now asked about fasting on my IG account and I had some thoughts I’d like to share with you all.
FASTING has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and I myself have tried it and saw some benefits from it. As I’m sure you know, FASTING is the defined as the time of day when you do not consume any calories.
FEEDING WINDOWS are different to fasting in that your feeding window starts every day when you start your intake of calories and closes every day when you have you last intake of calories.
Today, I thought I would share some insight about both and how to use them to your benefit.
Let’s start with feeding windows. Manipulating or shortening your feeding window is not a trend. It is not something that is gaining popularity online because it’s a new fad or anything of the sort. Feeding windows have long been discussed in nutrition science.
It is very important that we take note of this and follow some basic guidelines that may improve our health, digestion, help maintain a healthy weight and improve energy levels.
Many of nowadays are quite busy, which may mean that we wake up really early and sleep rather late. This may result in very long feeding windows for many of us.
Taking myself as an example, I wake up at 5am and sleep at around 10pm normally. If I were to have breakfast first thing in the morning, my feeding windows would start at around 5.30am let’s say. Now, seeing as I, like many, tend to have busy days which often may end in a late-ish dinner and perhaps a snack on the sofa at the end of the day. It I have my last small snack at around 9.30pm, then, my feeding windows would be 16 hours long.
A 16 hour feeding window is too long – it is advised that one’s feeding window is no longer than 12 hours. So I could either have an earlier dinner and avoid having snacks post dinner or postpone breakfast.
Either way, a shorter feeding window would benefit digestion, help avoid heartburn, help maintain a health weight and improve blood sugar levels.
So, fasting for 12 hours a day (including the night) and feeding for the other 12 hours is advisable. This is where feeding windows and fasting intertwine.
Fasting for 12 hours, and therefore having a 12 hour feeding window, is not considered “fasting” – it is considered the normal way of eating and not fasting in the way it is spoken about in the media. It is considered a healthy eating pattern with an appetite feeding window.
On the other hand, fasting as a practice for (mainly) weight loss is different. Mostly, intermittent fasting is used to maintain a healthy weight, for weight loss and it has been found to help certain medical conditions – however the research is anecdotal and therefore not as yet reliable.
Intermittent fasting can take many forms; some people advise fasting for 16 hours a day and eating for 8, others advise fasting for 20 hours a day and eating for only 4 hours. There are fasting programs that advise fasting for 72 hours (3 days) – that I would certainly NEVER recommend.
I too have experimented with intermittent fasting in the past and shared my experience here:
I do try to make sure my feeding window is no longer than 12 hours but I do not use intermittent fasting currently. I see no real issue in using it sensibly or occasionally, however I personally do what feels right for me at any given time, and right now IF is not for me.
Nutritionally, I see no issue with reducing food intake and shortening feeding window by a few hours, say eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 if you feel good doing that. However, as with anything, do keep in mind that anything extreme, like fasting for 20 hours at a time or more, is potentially very harmful and certainly not necessary!
If you do decide to shorten your feeding window or even try fasting, monitor the way you feel and do not restrict yourself unnecessarily.
Any form of obsession or severe restriction with food can be incredibly harmful for both body and mind. Our relationship with food can be very complex and one that is difficult to manage. So, experiment if you like, see what works for you but always do so mindfully and let go of any form of eating that is causing and form of anxiety or stress ♥️
If you’d like to learn more about disordered eating and eating disorders, click on the links below:
I do hope you’ve found this interesting and helpful – get in touch and let me know what else you’d like to hear about 🙂
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Until my next post, be well xXx