As many of my patients know, I am interested in intermittent fasting and often suggest it to my patients. Not many of my patients know that I have been doing differing types of fasting for over fifteen years. To many people the idea of fasting is kinda 'out there' or something they think they could never do. But people have been fasting for literally thousands of years. Many religions incorporate fasting as a means of devotion. And more and more scientists are studying fasting. To be honest I have never seen a study find anything but positive results. I often recommend patients first watch a BBC documentary on fasting that you can find by searching youtube called Eat, Fast and Live Longer. An interesting thing that this documentary opens with is that during the Depression in the 1930s, epidemiologists expected that the life expectancy in the US would fall due to a reduction of available nutritious food. They were surprised to find however that the life expectancy actually went up over this period! So, we know from movies like 'Supersize Me' that eating large portions is bad for us. But maybe eating very small portions, or fasting might do the opposite, make us really healthy. This seems to be the case. I like to eat, so I rarely do an all day fast. One type of fasting that I do often (around 4 or 5 days a week) is the popular 8/16 fast. The way this works is that you limit your eating to an 8 hour window of time. For instance I will usually eat my first meal around 11 and finish eating for the day by 7pm. Pretty easy and the benefits for that 16 hours of fasting are vast. More on the benefits in the next blog.
Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond