Diabetes & Intermittent Fasting (IF)

Like all diet trends, it may or may not benefit what your body truly needs, fit into your lifestyle or give you the results to help feel your best. However, Intermittent Fasting (IF) is something many of us do without realizing it has this term attached to it.

An intermittent fast is a brief fast, where for 12–15 hours (or more) you don’t eat anything, except clear liquids and of course some water. And while that may sound incredibly difficult to achieve, like I mentioned you might already be fasting without even knowing and realizing how your body is benefiting.

For example, if you eat dinner at, say 7 p.m. and break your fast in the morning between 7—10 a.m., then you're fasting between 12-15 hrs. It's recommended that you continue drinking water to stay hydrated, black coffee or tea in this phase of fasting time.

Functional medicine Dr. Mark Hyman, shares information on introducing fasting into an eating plan and the many benefits it has on reducing insulin levels and blood pressure. Fasting can also reduce inflammatory belly fat and further improve insulin sensitivity in those with prediabetes, type 2 and type 1 diabetes.

For others who have been conditioned to eat three meals a day, even snacking in between to “keep our metabolism up,” it can be an arduous and seemingly contradictory feat to go 12-plus hours on liquids alone. But science actually backs this ancient practice that fasting can have on reducing blood sugar levels in those living with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes

Medical studies have shown that intermittent fasting:

  • Increases energy

  • Improves cognition, memory and clear-thinking

  • Improves blood sugar

  • Promotes weight loss

  • Makes us less insulin resistant, staving off fat and insulin related disease by reducing levels of circulating IGF-1 and increasing insulin sensitivity without lowering the resting metabolic rate.

  • May improve immunity, lower diabetes risk, and improve heart health

  • Increases production of brain neurotropic growth factor — a protein that promotes neuron growth and protection — making us more resilient to neurological stress and thus staving off neurodegenerative diseases

Intermittent fasting may sound like a lot going on, but it actually gives your body and digestive system a break, a chance to rejuvenate and to do its job easier.

Have you or anyone you know said, "I've been up all night with gas, heartburn, acid reflux after eating late or to close to bedtime?"

This is the body letting you know how difficult the digestive process is, how much energy and time it takes to properly metabolize food throughout the day. Intermittent fasting allows the body a healing period of time, an overnight rest from food, to help function more efficiently around the clock.

I'll talk more about the topic of Intermittent Fasting and how it can fit into your lifestyle to gain control with diabetes on my upcoming Zoom Webinar "TYPE EMPOWERED Mini-course on Feb 13th, 2020 from 7:30 -9:00 PM EST

Just like this example, as a diabetic I sometimes do a 12-14 hr. fast between dinner and breakfast. This of course always depends on my bedtime blood sugar. If and when you decide to try IF, then it's vital that you stay in tune with your blood sugar numbers. Very important to first check with your healthcare provider for advise. Proceed with caution and be sure to treat any low blood sugar during any types of fasting with food.

As with anything new, proceed with caution if you decide to try fasting, especially beyond 12 hours. Listen to your body and of course keep drinking water to stay hydrated.

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