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Intermittent Fasting for Healthy Aging


When you’re young, your body is busy building itself up, but after the age of 45, we’re no longer building, we’re protecting and preserving what we have and this requires less fuel, meaning, less calories.


Studies show that when we cut back calories, we live longer and avoid some of the age-related diseases that we associate with normal aging.


Studies that have looked at the impact of calorie restriction have found that limiting calories enhances so many different areas of the body:

· It helps the cells remove more waste that would normally cause cell damage.

· It has a positive effect on the genes that promote longevity and prevent disease

· Decreases inflammation in the body

· Prevents free radical damage

· Lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer

· Helps you lose weight


All of this contributes to, and is essential to aging healthy.


Just restricting calories is extremely difficult long term, and especially boring. So, we do something called intermittent fasting.


Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that switches between periods of fasting and eating on a regular schedule.


There are a few different ways that this can be done:

· The eat stop eat method is when you fast for 24 hours once or twice every week.

· The 16/8 method is when you limit your eating period to a window of 8 hours each day and then fast for 16 hours.

· There’s the 12/12 method which is to eat within a 12-hour period and fast for the other 12 hours.

· The 5:2 method is when you consume 500 – 600 calories on 2 days of the week that aren’t back-to-back and eat normally on the other 5 day.


When you’re limiting your periods of eating to certain times, you naturally consume fewer calories.


I know this all sounds difficult and the thought of restricting calories and the word fasting conjures the idea that you’ll go hungry, but this isn’t true. There are ways to ease into intermittent fasting so that it’s not so uncomfortable.


These are some of the things that I’ve done:


The first thing I did was stop eating after dinner, that was a hard one for me because I loved an evening snack. Once I got comfortable with this, which took about a month.


The next thing I did was to finish dinner at least 3 hours before I went to bed.


This brought me to the 12/12 method of intermittent fasting. I would finish dinner by 7 and not have breakfast before 7.


Once I got comfortable with that, I moved breakfast back an hour. My normal routine would be to eat something first thing to “fuel” my morning workout, but then I found out that it’s even better to work out on an empty stomach because by that time there will be no glucose in your blood and your body will start to burn glycogen which is stored glucose, once those are gone, you start to burn stored fat, and yes, this is something we want.


As it got easier to stick with, I moved breakfast back, by a half hour, very slowly, as I got comfortable with it.


Am I perfect with intermittent fasting – Hell No!


I live in NYC where we have amazing restaurants that are open to all hours of the night and yes, sometimes I’m having dinner late, and that’s ok, I start again tomorrow.


Sometimes I’m so hungry when I get up that I eat early, and that’s ok too, I’ll do better later.

If I really start to fall off the wagon, I’ll fast for 24 hours and start all over.


I don’t beat myself up about any of this, I just do my best most days of the week, and don’t stress the rest of them.


And you shouldn’t either.


If intermittent fasting becomes difficult or stressful it’s not worth doing.


If you’d like to give intermittent fasting a try and would like support, please feel free to contact me at donna@donnajskincare.com

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