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Davis Journal

Intermittent fasting has host of benefits

Nov 04, 2022 10:11AM ● By Kerry Angelbuer

Unlike our ancestors who went long periods of time without food, the modern world is plagued by overabundance of calorie-rich foods available night and day. While a variety of nutrient dense foods has its advantages, a health cost is very clear. Heart disease and cancer, both considered diseases caused by overabundance, have soared to be top killers in developed nations. While no one wants to go back to our ancestor’s lives of feast or famine, it might not hurt to take steps to allow the body the benefits of going without food for periods of time. Research suggests, intentionally fasting can decrease inflammation which according to the Mayo clinic can reduce heart disease, development of tumors, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

Recently, the COVID virus has swept the country leaving in its wake a host of physical and mental casualties. Those who survived may have lingering memory or attention issues and physical weakness. Intermittent fasting can boost verbal memory and increase physical performance. Hormonal changes occur which can result in slightly increased metabolism along with lowered insulin levels which invites fat burning. 

Over time intermittent fasting is as effective as calorie restrictions for sustainable weight loss even slimming that disease-causing belly fat. Many people find intermittent fasting easier to navigate than calorie counting and restriction. Eating for an eight-hour period each day and allowing the body a recovery period of the remaining 16 hours can be a game changer. Simple, yet effective.

Jessica Gunn, a resident of Wood Cross of gunning4fitness Instagram fame, encourages her clients to use intermittent fasting if it feels good and gives them the results they are looking for. To be successful, she recommends combining the three macros, proteins, fats, and carbs, with every meal. The proteins and fats make you feel full longer, while carbs can move through your system quickly making you feel hungry a short time later. She is a fan of improving your diet in small obtainable steps. If your current eating window is 12 hours, you may try shortening it an hour a day until it is comfortable to give your body a longer rest from calories. “Changing Habits is the key to long-term fitness,” said Gunn. “No one wants to live constantly trying to eat as little as possible to meet some goal on the scale, so rather change your goals to being able to move and feel your best.” 

Gunn especially wants to help women view fitness in a different light. She became a certified personal trainer in 2017 as well as a nutrition coach. Her passion is fueled by her own transformation from “lazy, irritable” mother who was not taking care of herself, to a fit woman who met small fitness goals over a period of time helping her become a more positive influence on those around her. Thousands of followers, worldwide, take advantage of her free workouts and nutritional advice on her Instagram account, gunning4fitness. She also offers more personalized training to interested people.

Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, so consulting a physician may be a good plan for some at-risk individuals. Recognize that intermittent fasting can become a good fitness goal, but can also be flexible. Life throws complications that might result in a late supper or the need for a late-night snack to fuel after hours of play, work or school. Just let that day go and continue limiting food intake during an eight-hour window the next day. Eating in an eight-hour window gives the body a chance to recover, rest and bolster its immune system supporting mental and physical health. λ