Why I like Fasting...
I'm writing this as I sip my morning bulletproof coffee. Which I have every morning pretty much as soon as I wake. I don't break my fast until 11am everyday (bulletproof doesn't break a fast just fyi and that'll be explained in a minute). I'v been doing this ritual for about 6 months now. It started after I heard a podcast by Dr. Andrew Huberman (Huberman Lab) on the benefits of fasting and I thought I'd give it a go. I was actually interested to see if I could do it, since I've always been an eat first thing in the morning kinda girl, plus Scott is a huge proponent of intermittent fasting as I'm sure you'd know if you follow him.
So for starters, since I am no expert, I thought I'd get Scott to break down some of the benefits of fasting and bulletproof coffee (while he does the ironing one handed with Anouk in the other). And then I'll tell you some of the changes I've noticed from implementing this into my life.
Matilda: So let's start with the basics. In a nut shell, why is fasting considered healthy?
Scott: It's actually lack of food that puts out body in an up-regulated state because we evolved from hunters and gatherers and we didn't have food whenever we wanted it - like we do now. Who would have thought it was scarcity of food that actually fires up our biology, but it is. In very simple terms. An example of that could be a reduction in inflammation and up regulation in cell cleansing. The act of fasting paves the way to truncating our feeding widow, which speak to our biological clock. There's gold to be had on both sides of the coin. So having a feeding window of around 8 hours, leans into our circadian rhythm and promotes metabolic health. Similarly there's gold to be had in the 16 hours of fasted state.
Matilda: For people who don't know what a feeding window is, what is it?
Scott: It's calculated from the first time you ingest calories that break your fast (calories that elevate insulin) to the last time you eat or drink. For example: Matilda eats breakfast around 11am and has her last meal around 6pm. Which means her feeding window is 7-8 hours give or take. So she is in a fasted state for about 16-17 hours within that 24 hours. Worth noting that we don't enter into a fasted state immediately, it takes about 5 hours to transition into a fasted state. This time depends on volume of food and type of food.
Matilda: Why doesn't bulletproof coffee break my fast?
Scott: Generally speaking foods that trigger insulin, ie sugar, carbs and to a less extent protein, will bump you out of your fast. Bulletproof coffee is predominately caffeine and fat with insufficient amounts of protein and carbohydrates to bump you out. The fats in a bulletproof coffee help our bodies to manufacture ketones, useful in mitigating inflammation and improving cognitive function, whilst also increasing satiety and therefore extending the fast.
Matilda: Great. That's probably enough information to get people started. Thanks babe. You can continue the ironing in peace now. :)
Scott: Just a tip, a really good place to start is to not eat for one hour after waking and finish two-three hours before bed.
I'll let you get back to your Sunday now, but I just thought I'd say what I've noticed since I've been fasting. I'd say overall, I eat less, which means a reduction in body fat. It basically knocks a whole meal out so I'm probably only eating two meals a day, one main one (around 11 or 12) and then a light dinner, with a few snacks in between. I probably eat between1400-1600 calories a day but I rarely think about this anymore as I know with fasting I will rarely over eat. I dont even think about breakfast upon waking anymore. It would feel really strange to eat a meal that early in the day and I love the feeling as I approach 11 when I get to have a really delicious, heathy big breakfast. Usually comprising of mostly protein, veggies and fermented foods which probably looks more like your dinner.
Anouk is gnawing and clawing at me now and the boys are demanding a surf so I'll love you and leave you. Have a beautiful Sunday.