Hello and welcome to the Wholistic Living Podcast, Be The Hero Of Your Health series. My name is Elena Bensonoff. The purpose of this series is to help empower you to take charge of your health, especially when it comes to the foods you nourish your body with.
Today we are going to talk about intermittent fasting - a nutritional strategy I enjoy as part of my own healthy lifestyle. We are going to take a look at how our eating habits have drifted away from listening to what our body needs because of big companies telling us when and how much we should eat. Then we will explore how you can take back your power, nourish yourself, and enjoy healthy foods with intermittent fasting. I’ll also be sharing a host of research-backed benefits of intermittent fasting that will help you transform your health.
It’s time to question everything you’ve been taught about “normal” eating. I think it's important to discuss how we ended up with the 3-meals-a-day model, because this may be your first time questioning your meal timing.
The current mealtime and meal size norms, especially in the United States, are a result of the Industrial Revolution and marketing campaigns. The Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th Century was a major influence on eating patterns because employees needed a meal before work to fuel their hard labor and an afternoon meal to sustain the long work hours.
Although most of us are not powering through 12 hour shifts in a factory, we continue this eating pattern over a hundred years later. Big companies have a lot invested in keeping consumers from questioning the 3-square meals a day status quo. In 2022, the global food marketing industry is expected to reach $2.1 trillion. (1) Companies want us to eat more often because that means we will spend more money on food. Their messaging repeats, "don't listen to your body, we will tell you what you need!"
The key players that line our grocery store shelves want to make us think we are getting a good deal, so they supersize portions. Companies prey on our natural instinct to avoid starvation and condition us to want easy access to a large variety of calorie-dense, convenient, inexpensive foods.
Ads convince us to stock up our pantries with processed, chemically laden, shelf-stable foods. Targeted marketing exploits children, teens, communities of color, and lower-income families and essentially puts empty calories on the table, contributing to the uptick in chronic illness and disease. (2)
Big corporations have designed the current breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snack structure of our eating routine - there is no innate benefit to eating this way. The way we are conditioned to eat has led to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. Companies grow their profits and we grow our waistlines. Excess is the norm and we buy and consume more than we need without thinking twice. (2)
We may be buying things that don’t even have the nutritional value we need to actually thrive. People are being coerced to overeat while simultaneously starving themselves of nutrients. If you haven’t listened to my previous podcast episodes highlighting some of the worst offenders in the food world (donuts, fried food, charcuterie, etc) - please go check those out! You will rethink a lot of choices that seem totally harmless.
How can you break free from corporate exploitation and prioritize quality over quantity in your meals? I want to share the host of biological benefits of intermittent fasting with you because I feel it is a perfect solution that will help you feel and look your best. Your body deserves better!
Intermittent fasting is a nutritional strategy I personally use as part of my healthy lifestyle. There are a few different methods out there, but I subscribe to the Time Restricted Eating method. I eat during a 6-8 hour window each day. I fast for the other 16-18 hours and give my body a break from digestion. Giving your body more hours of rest from digestion helps free up energy to optimize many internal processes.
Here are the top 10 research-backed benefits you can experience when you adopt intermittent fasting:
Contributes to healthy aging and longevity - fasting supports cell repair and beneficial changes in several genes and molecules related to longevity and protection against disease
Supports a healthy body weight - when you fast, insulin levels drop and human growth hormone (HGH) increases which facilitates fat burning (3)
Activates the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase, also known as AMPK - a master regulator of energy homeostasis that promotes DNA damage repair and cell growth
Positively impacts multiple cardiovascular risk factors including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes - furthermore, intermittent fasting has been associated with improved outcome after a cardiac event (4)
Enhances energy homeostasis - by alleviating neuroinflammation and improving hypothalamic sensitivity hormones (5)
Prevents type 2 diabetes - intermittent fasting leads to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels and studies have shown this nutritional strategy to be highly protective for people at risk for developing type 2 diabetes (6)
Helps with cancer prevention - clinical trials have shown favorable effects of intermittent fasting including decreased fasting glucose, insulin, and leptin levels and increased adiponectin - all of which help prevent cancer (7)
Reduces oxidative stress - studies show that intermittent fasting can reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the body - partly by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body (8)
Results in brain benefits - fasting increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - a key molecule related to learning and memory (9)
Boosts mindful eating - when your eating window is reduced, it gives you more time to plan nourishing, satisfying meals that you will enjoy every bite of! You will find you are much more present and mindful during your meals (10)
I hope this information will inspire you to take a deeper look at your nutrition and consider if this strategy could be an asset on your path to achieving body, mind, and soul balance.
My mission is to help as many people as possible access the powerful information and natural techniques that can awaken the healer within. I'd love to share all about that and more with you in my FREE Masterclass!
Click the link below to learn more about the daily habits that can significantly boost your long-term wellness!
Thank you so much for listening.
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