No matter what type of issue you’re facing – whether it’s hormonal, gut related or weight loss, for example, then some form of intermittent fasting may well help you.

Although it sounds scary, and let’s face it some of these ongoing fasts seem pretty hair-raising, a lot of them are really, really easy.

Considering there are a lot of people benefitting enormously from these techniques let’s take a closer look at how and why they help, together with some simple techniques to try.

Here are a few simple techniques and FIVE HUGE BENEFITS to be had from allowing your digestive system to rest and reset.


Why do You Need to Give Your Digestion a Break?


If you think about it, it’s only recently that we’ve had access to round the clock food. In the past we would’ve had to have fasted for long periods, we just wouldn’t have had any choice.

Sometimes your healing plan should focus just as much on how you’re eating as what you’re eating.  Your Migrating Motor Complex (MMC) is a series of muscle contractions which propel undigested food residue through the small intestine. This only kicks in after you haven’t eaten anything for 90 minutes or more – so essentially, if you keep munching, your gut won’t be able to have a spring clean.

The root cause of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is often some kind of imbalance with this system, which allows bacteria to flourish in the wrong place.  Bacteria then multiply in the small, rather than the large intestine.

You can read more about SIBO here.

The important thing to remember here is that your gut clearing process, or MMC, doesn’t kick in until you haven’t eaten for 90 minutes or more.

Ensuring you’re eating a diverse diet can be a nightmare when you’re suffering with your gut, especially as so many of these ‘healthy’ foods are also big trigger foods. If this is the case for you I’d highly recommend downloading my online course The Ultimate Gut Health Programme to help you eat safely, whilst avoiding triggering symptoms.


It’d be impossible to include all you need to know in one blog, but the programme will have all you need to know to ensure you’re soothing your digestive system, whilst eating delicious and filling foods.


Intermittent fasting – a quick note on stress


Stress is really bad for your digestive system – you can read more about this here – so don’t restrict your eating so much that it makes you anxious. You really won’t do yourself any favours by putting the pressure on.

With that in mind if you’re just starting to experiment with making dietary changes, adding restricted eating into the mix is perhaps something best left until you’re well into the swing of things. You don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself.

Needless to say, fasting or restricted eating is only another tool in your toolbox, it’s important to eat healthily too.


Intermittent fasting – different methods


As I mentioned, the simplest way is to just go 12-16 hours overnight and into the next day without eating.
You can practice lengthening these timings as you get used to it.

Another popular choice is choosing an eight hour block to eat within – for example 1pm to 9pm. This works for a lot of people. Of course the fine tuning will all depend on your lifestyle and commitments.

An important point to note is that you don’t have to eat your first meal at ‘breakfast time’.  It’s often said that you have to eat breakfast before you leave for work, but really it’s best left until your digestive system has had a chance to wake up properly.  Or even leave it until much later in the day – whatever feels best for you.

Another popular method is the 5:2 Diet whereby you eat normally for five days of the week. On the other two days, calories are restricted to about 500–600 a day.

I wouldn’t, personally, recommend going overboard and fasting for days on end – although seasoned fasters can get great results from doing this. BUT aiming for not eating anything for 14-16 hours overnight is usually very doable and beneficial (unless you suffer from a health condition which prevents you from doing this).

I think a better way to look at it is to avoid grazing all day and evening. Grazing and snacking isn’t good for your digestion.


Intermittent fasting – some points to consider

  • Fasting may not help IBS in cases where long periods of fasting ultimately lead to the consumption of larger portions of food at the end of the fast.


  • If you’re actually genuinely hungry whilst fasting you absolutely must eat. Don’t torture yourself as this will end up stressing your body and you could be depriving yourself of vital nutrients.


Small, frequent meals


If you’re someone who finds that small, frequent meals are better for you and your symptoms, then restricted eating is possibly not for you. Remember we’re all different.


Benefits of intermittent fasting


  • As mentioned, it may really help your gut health.
  • Fasting may well lead to improvements in your levels of friendly bacteria, which may be a great help if you’re getting IBS symptoms. You can read more about IBS here.
  • Fasting is an excellent tool for weight loss.
  • It promotes human growth hormone – so helps you to build up muscle.
  • Improves your insulin sensitivity. Insulin resistance can cause a whole host of chronic health issues, including type 2 diabetes.
  • It can possibly even slow down the ageing process.

I hope that helps, give it a try and see if it works for you!


If you would like to speak to me about any aspect of your gut health, then please use this link to book into my diary for a FREE 30 minute chat so I can find out more about what is going on for you.  Alternatively please use the ‘Learn More’ link below.

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