The Truth about Intermittent Fasting

Click here to listen to Episode 19 of The Diabetic Toolbox Podcast: The Truth about Intermittent Fasting

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Intermittent fasting is all the rage now but is it safe, and can it help you in your quest to reverse or successfully manage your prediabetes or type 2 diabetes?  Well, let’s find out.  To be clear, I am not an advocate of this eating protocol; everyone has to find their own rhythm to eating and digesting food. Before you start any new eating plan, please check with your primary care physician to ensure that it is safe for you.   I, for one, need to eat three meals a day; I cut out snacks because I can’t handle eating in between meals it leads to grazing, so I include my snacks with my meals.  This works for many of my clients and me; we know what we are going to eat and usually what time we are going to eat it, and this helps to calm our anxiety around food.  This is especially important if you are an emotional eater like I am, and for those who don’t know what emotional eating is, to put it simply, it means using food to comfort myself when I am angry, scared, bored, or afraid.   I try to stop eating around 7pm, so my fasting time would be around 12 hours since I usually have a protein shake around 7 am after my morning workout. 

Fasting is nothing new, some religious sects include fasting to assist followers with deepening their spiritual connection or becoming more mindful of how they live.  But intermittent fasting has become all the rage for helping practitioners to lose weight, lower their blood sugar, and reduce inflammation, to name a few of its benefits.

What is intermittent fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is an eating plan that involves limiting your eating time.  To date, there are two popular types of intermittent fasting. 

In the 16:8 plan, you eat during an eight-hour window and fast for 16 hours.

In the 5:2 plan, you eat a recommended amount of calories five days per week, with two non-consecutive days of eating a reduced-calorie diet. On fasting days, you don’t stop eating altogether. You just cut the number of calories.

Some IF diets restrict eating during a certain time of day. Others limit the number of calories during a fasting period. And some people rotate between normal eating days and fasting days.

Research has shown that when you eat less, your digestive system has time to rest and recover; some form of fasting is good for heart health, brain health, and weight loss.  Researchers believe it is good at regulating important hormones, including insulin and the growth hormone, which impact how well you age.

If you want to try this, start with the 16:8 plan only because there are fewer moving parts.  To begin, choose two days of the week when you would eat dinner earlier than the next eat day and eat your first meal later, around 11 am.  Start your day with a large glass of water and a slice of lemon.  Lemon is great to add to the water anytime, not only because it adds a little bit of flavor, but some research shows that it will improve digestion and support your weight loss.

Avoid caffeinated beverages; if you need coffee or tea, drink it without milk, sugar, or honey, as this will only raise your blood sugar. 

Now, let me say it again before you start any new eating plan, chat with your doctor first, don’t beat yourself up if this is not the right plan for you; the truth is this will not work for everyone.  And just because it’s popular does not mean that you must try it; if what you are doing is working, stick with it.     

With Peace & Love,


Published by Renee Reid

Welcome to the Diabetic Toolbox, where we are helping midlife folks win the battle against prediabetes. If you are prediabetic or have a family history of type 2 Diabetes you will find tools and tips to help you to lose weight naturally, heal your mindset, and strengthen your body through yoga and walking. So, if you are ready to heal connect and grow, you are in the right place. Join the Movement! Hosted by award-winning podcaster, certified health coach, and yoga teacher Renee Reid.

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