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Intermittent Fasting Program with 17-Hour Fasting Window and Two Meals a Day

Intermittent fasting reflects our ancestral approach to eating. Our genetic makeup is adapted to thrive with a cycle of fasting and feasting. In the days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, they would embark on long hunts, secure a kill, feast for days, and then sustain themselves with berries as they prepared for their next hunting expedition.

There are various lengths of intermittent fasting, with 17:7 being just one option. For example, there's the 16:8 method, popularized by the well-known BBC TV personality, Dr. Michael Mosley. It's crucial to understand that intermittent fasting is not a one-size-fits-all approach; effectiveness relies on variability. Consider fasting 17:7 for six days and then eating normally on the seventh day. Introduce a 24-hour fast once a fortnight, a 36-hour fast once a quarter, and a 72-hour fast twice a year, especially post-festivities. This diversified approach ensures a tailored and sustainable intermittent fasting routine, preventing the metabolic set point from lowering and helping in weight management.

Fasting for 17 hours, also known as a 17:7 intermittent fasting approach, can offer various potential benefits for some individuals. It's essential to note that these benefits can vary from person to person, and intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some potential advantages of a 17-hour fast:

1. Weight Management: through enhanced fat burning.

2. Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Intermittent fasting may enhance insulin sensitivity, which can be beneficial for those at risk of or managing type 2 diabetes.

3. Enhanced Fat Burning: With a prolonged fasting period, the body has more time to burn stored fat for energy, aiding in fat loss.

4. Cellular Autophagy: Fasting for 17 hours or more, stimulates autophagy, a cellular process that helps remove damaged components and may have health benefits.

5. Better Blood Sugar Control: Iimproved blood sugar control and reduced fasting blood glucose levels with intermittent fasting.

6. Reduced Inflammation: Fasting periods can lower markers of inflammation, which may contribute to better overall health.

7. Cardiovascular Health: Intermittent fasting may lead to improvements in heart health by reducing risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

8. Cognitive Function: Some people report enhanced mental clarity and focus during fasting periods.

9. Appetite Regulation: Extended fasting may help reset hunger and fullness cues, making it easier to control food intake.

10. Simplicity and Flexibility: The 17:7 fasting pattern is relatively simple to follow and provides flexibility in choosing mealtimes.

It's important to approach intermittent fasting with caution, as it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain medical conditions, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with a history of eating disorders should consult a healthcare professional before starting an intermittent fasting regimen. Additionally, it's crucial to focus on nutrient-dense meals and maintain overall dietary quality during eating windows to support your health and well-being.

Sample Plan:

Designing an intermittent fasting program with a fasting window of 17 hours or more and two meals a day requires careful planning to ensure that it is safe, sustainable, and aligned with your health goals. Here's a sample plan to consider:

1. Determine Your Fasting Window:

- Choose a fasting window that suits your schedule and lifestyle. For example, you could fast from 7:00 PM one day to 12:00 PM the next day, creating a 17-hour fasting period.

2. Select Your Eating Window:

- Within your eating window, plan for two balanced and nutritious meals. For instance, you can have your first meal at 12:00 PM and your second meal at 6:00 PM.

3. Staying Hydrated During Fasting:

- It's essential to stay hydrated while fasting. You can drink water, herbal tea, or black coffee during your fasting hours. For some, black coffee with no sugar may enhance fat burning. For others black coffee can switch off fat burning. To etermine if black coffee affects your fat-burning state, a glucose monitor or urine ketone strips can be useful."

4. Plan Balanced Meals:

- Ensure that both of your meals are well-balanced, incorporating a variety of food groups. Include lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and a mix of vegetables.

5. Portion Control:

- Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. Consider using smaller plates to help control portion sizes.

6. Nutrient-Dense Foods:

- Choose nutrient-dense foods to meet your nutritional needs. Include sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your meals.

7. Monitor Your Macros:

- Depending on your goals, you may want to monitor your macronutrient intake. For example, some people follow a low-carb or high-fat approach during their eating window.

8. Avoid Processed Foods and Sugars:

- Minimize the consumption of processed foods and added sugars in your meals.

9. Customize Your Meal Timing:

- If your eating window and meal times don't align with the sample plan, feel free to adjust them to better suit your daily routine. What matters most is the total fasting duration.

10. Listen to Your Body:

- Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. If you are extremely hungry or experience discomfort, consider adjusting your fasting window or meal composition.

11. Consult a Healthcare Professional:

- Before starting any new diet or fasting program, especially one with extended fasting periods, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's suitable for your individual health needs.

12. Monitor Progress:

- Keep a journal to track your progress, including how you feel, any changes in weight or body composition, and overall well-being. This will help you assess the effectiveness of the program.

Intermittent fasting can have different effects on individuals, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to adapt the program to your unique needs and goals and to make adjustments as necessary.

To all my fellow comrades in Perimenopause and Menopause, embrace your journey with resilience and self-care. Remember, you're not alone, and each challenge you face is a step toward a new chapter of strength and wisdom. Here's to navigating this phase with grace and supporting one another along the way! 💪🌸 #MenopauseWarriors

By Yours Truly

Dr Purity

GP & Menopause Doctor

Harvey, Western Australia

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