Thinking Fast: The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting on Your Stress Levels
Intermittent fasting is one of the hottest diet trends talked about today. In simplest terms, you eat only during a defined window of time each day – say, between 11am and 6pm for example. The exact structure of your approach will depend on your needs and preferences, but you are then largely giving up any kind of food during the rest of your hours, with the exception of drinking water. The benefits can be considerable for your body as it literally takes a fast from breaking down and absorbing food for longer stretches of time than you might have normally experienced.
It can be a challenging diet to embrace, so you are well advised to consult with a professional first and ease into it – say with a few nonconsecutive days a week to ensure that you can adjust to the feeling of waiting for a longer stretch of time between meals. You should average around 500-750 calories early in the day and stick to light exercises on the fasting days.
One of the best known benefits of this approach is increasing your metabolism and losing weight – an aspiration most of us share in common! But it can also do wonders for your stress levels by addressing blood sugar issues that negatively affect your hormones. This is one of the first dietary changes I recommend to patients with high stress along with weight packed on their midsection; the diet increases their metabolism and lowers their insulin levels all at the same time. It has also been demonstrated to positively affect hunger hormones and (somewhat amazingly) support dopamine levels in the brain too.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did it make you feel and did you see a visible impact on your stress levels?