Leave a 12-hour window from dinner to breakfast.
Scientific studies are revealing evidence of benefits of giving your body an overnight rest from food for a minimum of 12 hours. Studies have shown that resting the digestive system overnight helps your body focus on cellular repair, plus research is now showing that this is very beneficial for your gut microbiome and your immune system, making the gut barrier (which plays a role in the immune system) healthier and more efficient. Overnight fasts are also good for controlling insulin resistance and preventing weight gain.
Leaving a 12-hour fasting window overnight can not only benefit your overall health in terms of your gut health, blood pressure and lowering your blood sugar levels, it can also be a very simple tool for helping your body to burn fat. If you do some exercise whilst in the fasted state, your body will turn to its fat stores for energy.
Try starting with a 12-hour fasting window overnight and see how you feel. Many people have the fear that they will faint or not be able to push themselves so hard at a workout session. You may find this is just an erroneous belief you are holding. Most are surprised to find that they feel fine and once they get moving they don’t feel hungry and even feel better working out on an empty stomach. If 12 hours is easy, you may want to experiment with how you feel with a 14-hour fasting window. Sometimes our bodies naturally don’t want to eat if we have over indulged and a longer fasting window gives your body a chance to reset and repair.
Please note that if you are not menopausal or post menopause, it is not recommended that you fast for over 12 hours the week before your period as it can put a stress on the body and reduce the production of progesterone. The week before your period is due, we need to encourage progesterone to rise, which means ensuring less stress and doing more gentle forms of exercise and eating more whole food carbohydrates as progesterone needs your blood sugar levels to increase slowly (ie. not with high GI and highly refined foods), plus the body needs extra magnesium at this time (which can be why we crave chocolate at this time). Dark chocolate contains a good source of magnesium, but other good sources of magnesium that are lower in fat and sugar than dark chocolate, include green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.