WHAT AYURVEDA TEACHES US ABOUT INTERMITTENT FASTING
Intermittent fasting has been a lot in the news lately and for a good reason. The science is clear: humans thrive during periods of famine. Forcing the body to burn fat has been linked to numerous health benefits: decreased diabetes risk, decreased cardiovascular risk, improved longevity, protection against cancer, reduced risk of neurological concerns, decreased inflammation, decreased oxidative stress, and last but not least balanced weight.
Our ancestors reaped the benefits of intermittent fasting naturally as food availability was scarce. Particularly in spring what was harvested was low in carbs and fat, pushing the body to burn its own fat.
Ancient health traditions, like Ayurveda, suggest that the spring is the best season to fast. Whereas fall’s harvest is rich in sugars from fruit and starchy carbs, from roots and grains to build up an insulation to navigate through winter. Early spring will be the time of the year to burn the fat that we used to insulate us all winter.
The famine of spring is nature’s way to enforce seasonal intermittent fasting, nevertheless feel free to jump into intermittent fasting any time of the year and see how it works for you.
Most humans in modern societies don’t need to deal with scarcity or extreme conditions. That’s why we have come up with other fasting rhythms. These are some fasting rhythms you can try and explore to see how your body feels around the whole intermittent fasting subject:
Weekly fasting: Maybe you could start by trying this rhythm first. One day per week in which you only take water, herbal teas, green juices or broth.
Daily fasting: Eat a good nourishing breakfast, a nice relaxing lunch and skip dinner (skipping dinner is preferred to skipping breakfast because your digestive energy is bigger in the morning - what you eat after the sun starts to set will sit in your system compromising your sleep and your weight balance).
Daily 13 hour fast: Have a light early dinner, then fast from 6pm to 7am.