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Give Digestion a Break

Welcome again to another one of my Top 100 weight loss tips. This post is article number 19 in the series and as with all the others, provides another great tip to help you lose weight.

In this post, I want to take a look at why many nutrition experts and even some doctors are recommending extending the time between eating once a day to give the digestion a break from working.

This may appear to contradict earlier posts where I actually recommend eating a good breakfast, but there are some very surprising positive health benefits to be gained from Intermittent Fasting (IF) as this strategy has become known as well as the side-effect of it helping a person to reduce their body weight significantly over time with very little additional work.

A Big Sacrifice?

resting the digestionMany people that hear about intermittent fasting for the first time are put off the idea because it means going without any food at all for in excess of 12 hours, with 16 hours being the optimum timespan. If you're already throwing your hands up in horror at the very idea, then maybe this strategy is not for you.

It is certainly not for everyone!

I personally gave it a try several months ago just to see for myself what would happen and if I could manage to even do it. To my great surprise, I found that not only could I do it, I have kept it up to this very day and fully intend to make it my daily routine for as long as it keeps me feeling good.

Yes, there is a mighty sacrifice to be made, but when you work it around your body's natural rhythms, it is actually not as restrictive as it sounds.

My Own Story

I'll give you the abridged version here as I'm completing a full post on this very subject to go in the main part of the website.

My main reason for trying IF was from the health angle more than any need to really lose any weight.

So I started to make sure I stopped eating for the day by 8pm. I could then go to sleep and get up again next morning feeling great. I did not eat breakfast at the habitual time but waited until 12 noon before allowing myself to eat a small "breakfast" of either some oatmeal with walnuts and a little honey, or just a couple of handfuls of walnuts with a few dates and pumpkin seeds. That would see me though until lunch at 2pm (lunch is later here in Spain than in the UK or the US).

I didn't even feel hungry in the mornings after the first few days and found it easy to keep going until 12 or even later. Going for a long walk along the beach in the late morning also helped the process and after just 3 months of doing this, I not only felt tons better, but I'd even lose a few kilos in weight that I never really intended to lose!

A combination of the daily exercise and the daily IF has definitely changed my physiology. I don't get any aches and pains (I'll be 60 this year), my blood pressure and cholesterol levels are perfect and I feel I have more energy than I had in my 20s!

How Fasting Affects the Body

I now know that the body is equipped to burn ketones for fuel as well as glucose and in fact that seems to be the original design, as our ancestors did not have access to a continual supply of food. They would feast in times of plenty and fast when there was no food, using their store of fat from the last feast to keep them going until more food could be found.

Our physiology has not changed much since our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived that way. So if or when anyone tells you that it is dangerous to skip a meal here and there, they don't know what they're talking about or merely echoing something someone else (who also didn't know) told them.

Our bodies are actually designed to miss meals, sometimes for days on end. And we manage to stay alive perfectly well in those cases.

In fact, we do better than just stay alive.

When we're not eating for a prolonged length of time, our digestive system shuts down. When that happens, the body's healing system kicks into action. Our cells can clean out toxins, repair DNA and our immune systems can strengthen and purge the body of unwanted invaders.

We don't starve to death even after several days of no eating. We simply survive on our fat store, depleting it as we need energy. That energy is derived from ketones (from the stored fat) and the body actually burns that fuel source more efficiently than glucose.

Not only that, but it reduces the need for insulin to be released into the system as there is no longer any sugar to be taken out of the blood stream. This results in reduced instance of insulin resistance, which is a big problem for people that are pre-diabetic or are already suffering with type 2 diabetes.


Since the body is perfectly designed to NOT be in a state of digestion all of the time, the physiological aspects to doing IF are desirable. Giving the body several hours each day to rest from digesting food allows it to heal, detoxify and fight off infections and bacterial and viral attacks much more effectively.

For anyone looking for a really effective way to lose weight without resorting to the gym and a strict diet, IF represents a viable strategy as long as you are sensible about what you eat during your "eating window" of about 8 hours or less each day.

If in doubt, consult your doctor before starting any form of fasting. Be prepared to hear from your doctor that you should not do it, as most doctors do not know much about nutrition or about the positive physiological benefits of "digestion resting" better known as Intermittent Fasting on a regular basis.

100 Weight Loss Tips number 18 follows in the next post!


Posted on Wed, 19 Jun 2019 in Top 100 Weight Loss Tips | 0 Comments

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