You’ve put on a few pounds during lockdown and now intermittent fasting doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, does it? Until you start to get ‘hangry’ that is. Blame ghrelin. The hunger hormone made by the stomach when it gets empty. But if you can ride through it, you might boost your brain power, productivity and energy levels. Just ask Hannah, a high-flying PR and intermittent fasting convert…
What does a week of intermittent fasting look like in your life?
I am currently fasting for two full days each week as part of a nutritional cleansing system called Isagenix. For the cleansing (fasting) days I have liquid nutrition via four servings of Nourish for Life spread throughout the day. A blend of B vitamins, herbs and botanicals helps nourish the body, keep my sugar levels up, every high and fight food cravings away. I also drink water and peppermint tea. I tend to do these on Monday and Tuesdays each week when my day-to-day life is less busy. Isagenix also offers you light chocolate snack bites which you are able to snack on during cleanse days.
Doesn’t skipping meals make you ‘hangry’?
The cleanse drinks, chocolate snacks, drinking water and peppermint tea really does fill you up when you get those pangs. It’s strange at first, but your body gets used to it really quickly and weirdly I found myself so much more hyperactive when fasting compared to normal days. I’ve been told its because your digestive system takes most of your energy, so if you’re not using it, there’s lots left spare.
How are your energy levels at the gym?
Really good. I work out on the first fasting day and usually have a rest day on the second.
Do you find that you crave less sugar?
I am not usually a big sugar craver. So fortunately for me, these cravings have not been bad but I read about lots of others reducing cravings through this system.
Doesn’t it put you in danger of compensatory gorging?
When you have a goal in mind, doing something as ‘extreme’ as fasting is helping you get closer to your goals so as much as I think about eating all of the pizzas, I remember my goal and look forward to the next time I get to eat one. It makes you appreciate food so much more! Plus, once you feel the benefits you realise it’s worth it.
What are your tips for anyone who is thinking about fasting?
100% try it. The health benefits are amazing. It’s not for everyone and I have some friends who are also on the Isagenix program but only manage one day a week fasting. But for me, I am so much more switched on at work, my energy levels are high and I am much more productive. You look forward to and enjoy food more, and having a flat stomach after the second day of fasting feels pretty good.
Follow Hannah on Instagram: @hannahpurser1
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Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.