Intermittent Fasting: Lifestyle for Dietary and Health Maintenance 


If you are not already aware of Intermittent Fasting ,then you might be interested to learn about this diet method for detoxification, healing, health maintenance and prevention as well as weight management. The present cultural style of eating encourages consuming meals frequently throughout the day which taxes the body, specifically the digestive system. By eating so frequently, the body expends too much of its energy on the digestive functions, which undermines other crucial functions in the body, such as the immune system. Intermittent fasting is a great way of getting rid of undigested foods in the digestive tract, rejuvenating the entire system, and resetting original functions of enzymes and healing genes.

Intermittent fasting is well documented in Japan and there are numerous healing stories regarding its effectiveness. There are two essential components to the Intermittent Fasting method that make it an effective lifestyle diet. Fasting gives your body time to both digest the foods you ingest and  allow the digestive system to rest. In intermittent fasting approach, we divide a day roughly into three timeframes: digesting period (11 pm – 7 pm); absorbing period (7 pm – 4 pm); and elimination period (4 am – 11 am).

So how does it work?

There are two main approaches to introducing intermittent fasting lifestyle into your daily diet patterns:

1. Daily Intermittent Fasting: To be most effective, it is recommended to fast for at least 16 hours (this includes your sleep time). According to Dr. Mercola, this could mean eliminating breakfast, except for liquid foods if any, and only eating between the hours of 11am and 7pm. This allows your body to complete digestion before consuming additional foods, which requires additional digestion. Eating every eight hours or sooner may introduce obstacles to your body and can overwhelm your digestive system, especially if you have weak or slow digestion.

2. Weekly Intermittent Fasting: On a weekly schedule it is suggested to eat for five – six days and fast for one or two. However, there are practices of fasting every other day for a more rigorous and effective diet maintenance. Like the daily schedule, the body is given time to burn all of its sugar, carbohydrate and fat stores on the days you fast.

Guidelines for Intermittent Fasting 

It is important to note that fasting is not a “free pass” to eat whatever you would like during non-fast periods. Because the body will be going through periods of fasting it is even more essential to make smart choices when it comes to meals. Therefore, before you undergo intermittent fasting it is helpful to address your overall nutrition to ensure you are receiving all the necessary dietary requirements you need to fuel your body.

General recommendations when starting intermittent fasting are to remove sugars and sugary foods from the diet, which includes most processed foods and wheat products. Please read another article of mine on wheat on my blog for more information (http://loveandcompassion.com/blog/archives/103). Quality over quantity can go a long way. However, it is important that you create a program that works for your lifestyle and adjust according to your body’s needs. If you are hypoglycemic or diabetic you should be extra cautious. This is not a plan for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Remember your health and nutrition come first!

Additional benefits of an intermittent fasting lifestyle are:

・Same benefits as calorie counting diets

・Can boost the human growth hormone “aka fitness hormone”

・Improve brain function and is linked to improving neuro-muscular system which is seen  in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

This article is just an introduction to intermittent fasting. To supplement the information provided, please find suggested articles below that give more in-depth information on the intermittent fasting approach:

How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Live Healthier, Longer

What the Science Says about Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Infographic

How Intermittent Fasting Stacks Up Among Obesity-Related Myths, Assumptions, and Evidence-Backed Facts

Mika Ichihara

Mika Ichihara is an integrative master practitioner, master teacher, and the founder/owner of Love & Compassion Integrative Healing Center located in Manhattan, NY. Her Center offers unique quality holistic care and total body – mind medicine. Built on her 18 years of experience, she developed integrative programs that incorporate Eastern Medicine/Japanese-style acupuncture, Reiki Energy – Soul Healing, and Conscious Medicine for for physical, emotional and spiritual issues, self-awareness and life style changes for transformation. For more information on her practice and the Center, please visit www.loveandcompassion.com.

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