Intuitive fasting and Intermittent Fasting
February 10, 2023
What is Intuitive Fasting?
Intuitive Eating: a new-age trend or a health-focused practice? With the rise of mindfulness in the health industry in recent years, intuitive eating has become a pretty hot-topic.
But we’re not complaining! Anything to help people to create a healthier relationship with food and their bodies - we’re all for it. At Fastic, we aim to help people to achieve their goals through applicable holistic health and intermittent fasting.
So can intermittent fasting be combined with mindfulness? Or is the structured nature of timed-eating contrary to this conscious and flexible eating style? Let’s find out.
Intuitive eating vs. intuitive fasting:
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, intuitive eating is the practice of trusting your body to tell you when and what to eat, based on your unique needs. Letting go of self-judgment and conditioning from diet culture, this practice can help people to reconnect with their body and find an eating style that feels right for them.
Intuitive fasting works on similar principles, listening to your body and allowing your genuine hunger sensations to dictate when you intentionally eat or fast. Intuitive fasters do not stick to a set fasting schedule, rather eating when they’re hungry and fasting once more until they are prompted to eat again.
Intuitive fasting is part of the intuitive eating movement, with both having the same principles:
- Ditch the diet mentality
- Honor your physical hunger
- Make friends with food and your body
- Respect your fullness
- Honor your emotions without food
- Focus on your health
“What does ‘intuitive’ really mean?”
Your intuition is your greatest gift - a sixth sense if you like!
Intuition is defined as the ability to understand something instinctively and without conscious reasoning.
When it comes to applying intuition to eating, we mean kissing-goodbye to any pre-existing beliefs you may have about eating certain food groups, eating at different times of the day or eating in a particular way.
Throughout our lives, we unconsciously soak up ideas about food groups, body types, lifestyles and so on. This is social conditioning, and can lead to a disconnection from our inner-wisdom and our body.
The science says:
Many of us have been on diets throughout our lives, and some with success, and others, still seeking our goals. Studies have shown that typical dieting methods often lead to a partial or full regain of weight.
But what if there was another way? A way that actually helped individuals in the long-run… Hello intuitive eating!
While the research on intuitive eating is still very new, one study has shown a direct link between intuitive eating practices and healthier psychological attitudes.
Another study showed dramatic improvements in the self-esteem, body image and overall quality of life of all participants involved. This study also showed that this boost in well-being helped participants to adhere to their healthy lifestyle, leading to greater weight loss, improved blood pressure and a better relationship with food.
Intuitive Fasting for Women:
Many women have struggled with body image, with 90% of women having tried some form of weight loss diet. But it doesn’t stop there. “Horrifying new research” shows that 80% of girls have been on a diet by the age of 10.
Long term calorie restriction and intense dieting has been seen to slow metabolism, impede menstrual cycles and even affect female fertility.
So what can we do to support our lovely ladies?
Here at Fastic, we believe that eating can be empowering! We know that with healthy and intuitive eating styles, we can improve mental and physical well-being. And the science backs us up, with one study showing that with improved attitudes towards food, women were less likely to develop disordered eating behaviors, such as extreme restriction or binging.
Alongside an appropriate intermittent fasting plan, many women have found success in their health goals, from weight loss to disease management and reversal. If you’d like to learn more, read our article about intermittent fasting for women!
“Can everyone benefit from intuitive eating?”
We certainly think so! And as you have seen, there are many benefits to using your intuition when it comes to eating. All it takes is a connection to oneself, anyone can do it!
Taking the time to tune into your body and develop that inner-trust can bring incredible benefits:
- Improved relationship to food
- Boosted body image and self esteem
- Increased connection to your body
- Greater sense of overall well-being and quality of life
- Increased adherence to weight loss programs
- Decreased disordered eating
Amazing, right? But wait, intermittent fasting can offer even more benefits to bolster your intuitive eating habits!
- Improved memory and cognition
- Improved heart health
- Reduced blood pressure
- Regulated blood sugar levels
- Reduced risk of stroke, neurological diseases and cancers
- Management and reversal of diabetes
- Reduced risk of obesity and obesity related disease
- Extended lifespan
Phew, sounds too good to be true! But it’s not… check out some amazing stories from our Fastic Heroes on our blog!
Intuitive Eating Tips:
For many, switching to intuitive eating may seem daunting. Afterall, you have to let go of the control you once knew and in turn, lean into trusting your body.
It can be uncomfortable to battle the beliefs that you may have about food groups, meal timings or even your body, but in simply trusting that it’s possible, you have already overcome the hardest step.
It can take time to build trust, so be patient with yourself and follow these steps:
- Without self-judgment, start by acknowledging and understanding your sensations around food. Ask yourself, “Is this physical or emotional hunger I am experiencing?”, “Am I full yet?”, or even “How do I feel in my body when I eat?”.
- Keep a food journal of what may be triggering your emotional hunger.
- When eating, check-in with yourself and your body. Notice when you’re full and respect this sensation.
- Gain support from friends and family, or a professional such as a therapist or dietician.
- Be patient and celebrate the small wins!
If you would like to combine intermittent fasting with intuitive eating, you can do so very naturally. Apply all of the tips you have just read, but with these bonuses:
- Find a style of intermittent fasting that feels flexible to you and your lifestyle
- Find a fasting buddy who can help you stay on track through the tough times
- Use a tool, like Fastic, to help you track your fasts, gain expert advice and get tasty recipe ideas
You’re about to start a very exciting and rewarding part of your health journey. Reconnecting with your body to improve your health and progress on your intermittent fasting journey could be one of the most valuable things you will ever do for yourself.
The benefits are endless, and with a little trust, you will soon feel the empowerment from this lifestyle.
No matter your goals and lifestyle, there’s an intermittent fasting plan that’s right for you. With Fastic, you will have the tools and support you need to make intermittent fasting simple and sustainable. Interested in giving it a go?
Download Fastic today to join the Fastic Family to start your intermittent fasting journey!
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