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The Simplest Way to Benefit from Intermittent Fasting

Let’s debunk Intermittent Fasting because we’ve heard all about it, however honestly, it can all just seem too complicated, and no pH testing happening here. 

In this journal, I’m going to share with you the simplest way to implement fasting easily and most importantly… safely, for everyday, so you can reap the amazing health benefits that have been scientifically proven.

The purpose of intermittent fasting: To remake your body.

Fasting isn’t just about restricting calories, burning fat and losing weight. Intermittent fasting can assist the bodies optimal repair mechanisms with replacement of unhealthy cells with new healthy ones, which is a natural inbuilt process within each of us, when we remove the modern impacts of 24/7 convenience and over- indulgence. 

In-built in each of us is a circadian rhythm. At different times of the day, different bodily and systemic processes are in full force, whilst others are waiting for their time to shine. Certain processes in your body occur during the day, whilst others occur at night. For example, insulin sensitivity is highest in the morning. Our cells are more sensitive to shunting glucose into them to make energy, therefore less is circulating in the blood. Therefore, if we listen to our body and its signals, it is implicated by how much you eat in the morning compared to at night.

The body repairs itself at night or when not eating. When we are eating, the body is in a ‘fed’ state, which lasts for a good 4-6 hours after a meal. During this time period the bodies digesting, not resting. Therefore, for up to 6 hours after a meal, the body is not in an optimal state for repairing and healing. 

For the body to have time to repair, there needs to be a period of fasting, not eating. 

With intermittent fasting, on a daily basis, this will leave a gap of time for the body to spend time in repair mode. When the body switches over to ketones it signals to the body to completely metabolize in a different way. You may have heard of the Keto diet, where one will starve the body of carbohydrates (the main source of fuel the body prioritises to use first), to burn as calories so it will innately turn to fat stores to provide the body with the required energy it needs for survival, therefore it’s a very popular option for people seeking fat and weight loss. Fantastic short term, however I wouldn’t recommend this long term to protect the function of the kidneys.

“Ketone bodies are not just fuel used during periods of fasting, they are potent signalling molecules with major effects on cell and organ functions” (Cabo and Mattson 2019), therefore fasting exceeds weight loss benefits, to improving a person’s health, aging process and reversing disease.

The study above identified that when body switches into fasting state which body recognises this state as ‘time to repair’. The body metabolises in a different way. There’s very little glucose around, so the body goes to metabolising fatty acids, they get shuttled into the mitochondria, where beta oxidation occurs.

Long chain fatty acids get utilised and go into Krebs cycles, producing ketone bodies which still produce energy for the system.

These ketone bodies signal molecules, potent signalling molecules, with significant effects on cell and organ genesis, which means rebuilding cells! This enhances health, enhances the body’s defensive on oxidative and metabolic stress, removes damaged molecules and slows aging.

Some Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

  • Lowers blood glucose and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes (Che, T 2021)
  • Decreases damage to immune cells during chemotherapy, therefore reduces risk of infection often seen during treatment (Cheng, C et al 2014)
  • Improves metabolic health via reduction in visceral fat, fasting insulin and insulin resistance (Barnosky AR et al, 2014)
  • Improves physical exercise via reduction in fat mass whilst maintaining muscle area of the arm/thighs and maximal strength (Moro, T et al 2016)
  • Reduces risk of breast cancer via fasting less than 13 hours per night was associated with a 36% increase risk in breast cancer recurrence (Marinac CR et al 2016)
  • Enhances hormones specifically Growth Hormone (GH), 3 days into a fast GH was 3 fold higher (Ho, KY et al 1988)
  • Benefits the microbiome, via shifting the gut microbiome to a more healthier population (Flaydson, C et al 2022)

Intermittent fasting enhances the functioning of a process called autophagy

The definition of Autophagy: consumption of the body’s own tissue as a metabolic process occurring in starvation and certain diseases.

Said differently, it’s a process by which a cell breaks down and destroys old, damaged, or abnormal proteins and other substances in its cytoplasm (the fluid inside a cell). The breakdown products are then recycled for important cell functions, especially during periods of stress or starvation. 

This process of autophagy is imperative for clearing the old, damaged or ‘dead’ cells from our body to keep our system functioning optimally, healthy and clean. 

Fasting allows autophagy to occur, this process of ‘self-eating’ and cleaning out old or damage cells, and then building it back up better than before. If in a fed state you never get this opportunity to build new and better cells!

The Benefits of Autophagy

  • Anti-aging
  • Enhances immunity
  • Antigen presentation
  • Regulates T-cells and B-cells
  • Required to produce antibodies
  • Improves healing time by repairing cells and organs

There are different forms and techniques of intermittent fasting, and it can get quite scientific if we choose to start measuring and calculating. Whilst there are many different techniques for intermittent fasting, the simplest way that you can implement this is to get back to basics and once again what has proven superior for our health, is to mimic what our past ancestors did. Our ancestors weren’t out hunting and gathering in the evenings, they were sleeping as they had very minimal distractions available to them.

The 4 Types of Intermittent Fasting include:

Time-restricted eating (the 16/8 or 14/10 method): this is the simplest way to transition and create new habits in your daily routines with fasting. It’s my personal choice and helps to avoid that ‘hangry’ feeling, once you get into the swing of it, this routine just becomes second nature. 

1. Time restricted eating: limit on a daily basis your food intake to 6-10 hours a day. You may drink water, lemon water or herbal teas (without milk or sweetner added) throughout.
You scrunch all of your meals for the day into about 6 hours, so 2 hours apart, instead of spreading them out. There’s also no time for snacking as your generally still full or satiated. 

2. The twice-a-week method (the 5:2 method). 
Eat for 5 days, fast for 2 days.

3. Alternate day fasting – 
one day on, one day off

4. The 24-hour fast (or eat: stop: eat method) 

What’s the Best way to implement the Intermittent Fasting – Time Restricted Fasting Technique?

Sleep for 7-9 hours

No calories 1 hour after waking

No calories ideally 3-4 hours before going to sleep (takes 5-6 hours to transition from ‘fed’ to ‘fasting’ state)

Drop off breakfast or dinner

What Breaks a Fast? 

Anything that has calories!

What’s OK when Fasting?

Water (flat or fizzy is OK)

Lemon water

Herbal tea [we recommend the Heal tea & the BODY tea, which is full of vitamins and minerals], do not add milk of sweetners

Mixed opinion on coffee and caffeine (some say no) however, no current studies to refer to.

Taking medications in the morning? You can probably take a sugar free yoghurt, one spoonful, but remember that some nutrients/medications absorb better with food

When it’s time to break a fast, what’s the best way?

Something that won’t quickly spike glucose. Eg juices.

Who should avoid intermittent fasting?

Pregnancy (it’s ok to do 12/12 gently, eat during half the day, fast for the other half of the day)

Anyone with a history of eating disorders should be careful when it comes to fasting

Anyone with blood sugar imbalances (hypoglycaemia)

Always consult a physician.

Let’s implement this into a rough schedule for a 12hour work shift, 7AM to 7PM.

5:00AM wake up * 

5:00 – 6:00AM meditation +/or exercise

6:00AM eat breakfast

6:30AM leave for work

7:00AM work

12:00-12:30PM lunch (last meal) – go outside and get sunshine

7-7:30PM leave work

8:00PM get home

9:00PM go to bed (no lights) – have 8 hours until wake up time

*with night shift work implement SAD light – 10,000lux for 20 minutes

In conclusion, intermittent fasting can be a simple and safe way to improve overall health and wellbeing. By allowing the body to enter a state of fasting, we enable optimal repair mechanisms to take place, including autophagy, which clears old, damaged or dead cells, and replaces them with new, healthy ones. This process can improve metabolic health, enhance hormones, reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve physical exercise and benefit the microbiome. It is important to listen to our body’s signals and eat accordingly to maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting. Overall, this natural inbuilt process can help to keep our system functioning optimally, healthy and clean.


Barnosky AR et al, 2014, “Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings”, Translational Research, vol 164, no 4, pg 302-311

PMID: 24993615

Cabo, R and Mattson, M 2019, “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging and Disease”, The New England Journal of Medicine: vol. 381 pg. 2541-2551

Cheng, C et al 2014, “Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosupression”, Cell Stem Cell, vol.5 no.14 pg. 810-823

PMID: 24905167

Che, T et al 2021, “Time Restricted Feeding improves Blood Glucose and Insulin Sensitivity in Overweight patients with Type 2 diabetes: A Randomised controlled trial”, Nutrition and metabolism, vol. 18 no.1 pg.88

PMID: 34620199

Flaydson, C et al 2022, “Function Over Mass: A Meta-Analysis on the Importance of Skeletal Muscle Quality in COVID-19 Patients”, Nutrition Reviews, vol 80 no 3 pg 613-628


Ho KY et al, 1988, “Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man”, Journal of Clinical Investigations vol. 81 no. 4 pg. 968-975, PMID: 3127426

Marinac CR et al 2016, “Prolonged Nightly Fasting and Breast Cancer Prognosis”, JAMA oncology vol. s no. 8 pg 1049-105

PMID: 27032109

Moro, T et al 2016, “Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males”, Journal of Translational Medicine, no. 14 pg 290

What are the best SAD lights, 10,000LUX for night shift workers?

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