Intermittent fasting is all the rage in health and wellness circles. But similar to Crossfit and extreme juicing, it can be a bit … restrictive? Exaggerated? Or just … too hard?
Never be afraid! Dr. Will Cole is here. Functional Medicine Expert and Health Advisor Gwyneth Paltrow has just published a new book entitled “Intuitive Fasting,” which shows that the practice doesn’t have to be excruciating. In fact, it can help you get in touch with your instinctive eating habits and build a better relationship with your body. A bit like chopping your own hunger.
Ultimately, you cannot be ashamed to obsess about your path to health.
“You cannot heal a body that you hate.”
Sounds cool? It is! This four-week fasting plan is flexible and easy to follow. The results include resetting your metabolism, rebalancing your hormones, and repairing your relationship with food.
We had a (socially distant!) Meeting with Dr. Cole to examine his approach.
OA: It’s a common misconception that intermittent fasting protocols are extremely strict. Should intermittent fasting feel like torture?
TOILET: Absolutely not. The last thing we should bring to wellbeing is a shame-based, laborious, punitive approach. Ultimately, you cannot be ashamed to obsess about your path to health. As I say in the book, you cannot heal a body that you hate.
I think a lot of this approach can be disrupted by eating disorders disguised as a wellness practice, and I think that’s the opposite of what true, authentic intermittent fasting looks like. Here it is gentle, it is flexible, it moves with the day. It moves with your feeling and it moves for women in their cycle. Not every day is the same.
“Flexible intermittent fasting and a clean way of eating, as I advocate in this book, are really two great tools to support and gain metabolic flexibility.”
You should give your body the flexibility to have a time to eat and a time to rest from eating to repair. That is the message that I really want to get across.
OA: Many people have followed the eating rules over time because it’s easier than listening to their own bodies. Why do you think it is so difficult for so many people to eat intuitively or to listen to your body?
TOILET: To the average reader, it might look like a paradox: How damn fast can ever be intuitive. The idea of not snacking and taking a break from eating seems like the complete opposite of intuition.
And the reality is, that’s relatively true … when someone is metabolically inflexible or metabolically rigid. By that I mean that your body is just in a sugar-burning mode, so your blood sugar is everywhere and you only have to rely, so to speak, on the next snack for the next kind of fire and to generate that next short-lived burst of energy. And they are usually hungry when they don’t, or when they have reactive hypoglycemia, or when they experience hormonal imbalance. At this point, fasting will no longer be intuitive at all.
“You eat the same amount of calories; you eat abundantly, you eat very nutritious, stabilizing, and nutritious food. You only do it in a certain window.”
So the option and method in the book is that there is another way to strengthen your body. Metabolic flexibility is the ability to burn fat for fuel and sugar for fuel.
OA: And is fasting the key?
TOILET: Flexible intermittent fasting and a clean way of eating, as I advocate in this book, are really two great tools to support and gain metabolic flexibility. Metabolic flexibility creates fertile ground for intuitive fasting and intuitive eating, as you have the right hormonal signals. You will have proper transmitter signaling across the board. This will appropriately signal the feeling of satiety, and your cravings will subside and you will be more nourished.
Obsessive or emotional eating is not intuitive eating.
When someone is dealing with blood sugar fluctuations, hunger, and insatiable cravings, this stuff drowns out true intuition – is it craving or intuition? Because obsessive or emotional eating is not intuitive eating.
OA: What do you think people most commonly understand about fasting as a concept?
TOILET: So much. There is so much that people get wrong. But I find it quite triggering for some people to think that you advocate eating disorders. It’s dangerous and they don’t look at the context at all.
We are talking about changes in the windows of food. That’s it! It’s not the same as chronic calorie restriction. We don’t limit our calories during limited-time feeding, which is a specific type of intermittent fast that I explain throughout the book. You eat the same amount of calories; You eat abundantly, you eat very nutritious, stabilizing and nutritious food. You just do it in a specific window.
OA: People often believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Why do you think we believed this for so long, and what would you say to someone who still believes this?
TOILET: It’s one of those things that really took hold in the grain industry. It was actually marketing more than anything.
But there is nothing wrong with breakfast. If people want this lovely breakfast and it is a ritual for them to enjoy, there are plenty of healthy breakfast foods available. Part of the intuition that I talk about in this book is that you can move the dining windows wherever you want throughout the day. I just find that most people feel better on days when they wake up in the morning and don’t eat right away so that at least a few hours pass before they break their fast in the morning.
OA: Is there anyone you would not recommend fasting for?
WC: If someone has a history of eating disorders, whether current or in the past, then I advocate this in the book that they discuss with their eating disorders specialist and doctor, not because the protocol is extreme, but because each one of them Changing food can be a trigger for some people. So it’s better to stand on your side: keep going.
What I have found, however, is that once people in this category are approved by their doctor and eating disorders specialist, invariably feel much better because their blood sugar is more stable and the level of inflammation is low, better for the brain, their hormones have more optimal signaling pathways; You are more balanced.
OA: Imagine someone is considering buying your book but decides that the fast is just too hard. If you had just a second to convince someone to try, what would you say?
TOILET: Ultimately, I would say you have to try something different to see something different. So when they take this book off a bookstore shelf or have it in their Amazon shopping cart, they ultimately have a little bit of intuition in them to know they want to mess things up. they want to lean into something bigger. It really is for everyone.
Based on bio-authority
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