Fasting – is it good for your health and wellbeing?

A white alarm clock and white cup and saucer on a wooden table

This week’s Thrive in Five is an idea around getting more energy, and even a little bit of weight loss, as well as getting a bit of detoxification going in the body on a frequent basis – it’s this whole idea around fasting.

There’s lots of talk out there about fasting, but the type of fasting I’m doing is called time-restricted eating. It’s not a calorie-reduction exercise, it’s purely around eating in a much shorter window than you might normally do.

How am I doing this?

I’m eating my three meals a day (so I’m not cutting out any calories), in an eight-hour window. I’m having breakfast between 9:00 and 10:00, I’m having lunch around 1:00 or 2:00, and I’m eating my evening meal between 5:00 and 6:00pm. Then from 6:00pm to 9:00/10:00am, I’m fasting. So I’m not having any calorie intake at all, and that includes fluids as well as solids. I’ve been doing this for about two weeks, and what I’ve noticed is I feel a little less bloated, and I feel a little bit trimmer and tighter around my waist.

There is some good science behind this, but like anything, as you might know from my previous content, personalization is absolutely key. What’s worked for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you, but I do think this approach is worth giving a try. If nothing else, it’s just good for the body to not be consuming calories or processing food every few hours.

One of the big things for me is that in the evenings I would come downstairs to sit and watch something on television at 9:00pm and I’d go to the fridge where there might be some cheese or dark chocolate (which are my favourite snacky foods), and then maybe sit down and watch TV and get a bit of reflux or heartburn.

So rather than doing that, I’m stopping eating at 6:00pm, but even if it’s 7:00pm then I’m still having that 15-hour fasting window. There’s no snacking, nothing until the late breakfast, and I am finding that I feel better on that.

Give it a go, play around with it – it’s an easy thing to try and if you can’t get back to eat a meal at 5:00 or 6:00pm, which I appreciate many of you won’t be able to, just give yourself 12 to 14 hours between dinner and breakfast (for females), and you could push it a little bit further if you wanted to for males. If you do eat your dinner later at night around 8:30pm for example, then you’re looking to have your breakfast around 10:30am.

Fasting is a hot topic in the health, fitness, and wellbeing space, so you’ve probably heard lots about it already. That’s as far as I’m personally taking it for fasting, but I’d love to hear what you think, what’s worked for you and are you up for trying this.

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