Many of my nursing co-workers have asked about fasting.
What is it?
Is it hard to do?
Why do it?
For those of us in the medical field we routinely have to deal with irregular meal times, skipping meals, speed eating during short breaks, and feeling a bit of food insecurity because of our jobs. I propose thinking and dealing with these situations in a different, more purposeful and even healthy way. I want you to consider fasting while at work!
If you think this is a crazy idea then consider this. Think about how many of our surgeons operate non-stop the entire day with out eating. They are excellent examples of fasting during the day and obviously have loads of energy to get through their busy schedule!
Here are some core fasting topics and concepts for you to explore. I am using one of the best resources on fasting I have found to date by Dr. Jason Fung on his Intensive Dietary Management website.
- Fasting has been a human practice forever and is NOT starvation!
- Periods of fasting lower insulin levels and promote lipolysis allowing our body to “dine in” on our stored fat.
- The body has hormonally evolved to burn fat and not lean muscle during fasting.
- Both fasting and diets low in refined carbohydrates/sugar lower insulin levels.
- Fasting does not shut down our metabolism and other fasting myths.
- There is no one-way of fasting; the best fasting regime is tailored to your lifestyle.
- There are plenty of practical tips to deal with gentle hunger waves experienced during fasting.
- If you are not feeling well while fasting you can immediately feel better by eating food!
- Fasting can be done anywhere anytime on any diet!
This may shock you but you are already doing intermittent fasting if you sleep at night!
When I realized this I extended the time between supper and the following breakfast from 8 to 16 hours every day and lost 5 pounds in a month all without changing what I was eating.
Remember, “breakfast” means when we BREAK our fast and is not set in stone to be early in the morning. If your body is not hungry in the morning why eat and put on more stored fat?
Fasting can be another FREE tool in your weight loss/weight maintenance toolbox. Along with drinking water, sleeping 7+ hours a night, planning meals, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied you are set for life!