• Karen Murray Heffron

To Fast or Not to Fast, a Great Question!

I recently went on an week long Intermittant Fasting Challenge. Before my health journey, I couldn't imagine fasting for any length of time because I spent a lot of time being "Hangry," thanks to my love of carbs. As I've removed processed foods from my diet, I am able to sustain longer periods of time without eating automatically, which made this fasting challenge a natural progression. The great thing about fasting is it doesn't have to be a 3 day or 40 day fast as Jesus amazingly managed to do in the Bible.

The Digestive and Immune systems are housed in the same location in the body. When the Digestive system is working (which is almost constantly due to our easy access to food), the Immune system is put on hold. It's shining moment is usually at night when the stomach is empty, allowing for growth hormone to be secreted to repair and replenish the cells to prepare for the new day. Repair is an important process that should be done more often than at night; so the more space between meals you have, the better!

Intermittant Fasting can be done in many different ways. The best way is to start spacing meals to 3-4 hours without snacking. As the body adapts, try stretching the space by 30 minutes. The easiest intermittent fast I've been able to do is stop eating by 6-7:00pm then don't eat until 6-7:00am, allowing for 12 hours of empty stomach action to occur. As the body adapts, it's easier to push the time without eating into later and later in the morning. Adding full glasses of water upon waking can also help with this process. It's amazing how quickly the body can adapt, and before you know it, you'll be moving onto 24 hour fasts occasionally. As food becomes less of a focus point, more focus can be put on prayer and fasting.

It's important to mix it up a little so the body doesn't adjust it's metabolic set point. Try going on your own intermittent fasting challenge, or find a friend who can hold you accountable. Be Proactive and see what changes it brings!

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