How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Look & Feel Amazing

As a naturopathic physician who has practiced intermittent fasting (IF) for the bulk of my adult life, I am uniquely positioned to speak both scientifically and anecdotally to intermittent fasting's profound benefits.

As well as its potential drawbacks.

Intermittent Fasting - Have Your Cake & Eat It Too

Before I even had a name for it, I have been following some form of intermittent fasting since my late teenage years.

My adoption of intermittent fasting paralleled the increased autonomy I obtained over my dietary habits.

As I moved out of the parental nest to begin undergraduate engineering, I was struck by the realization that - for the first time in my life - I was completely responsible for what I ate.

And - perhaps even more critically - when I ate.

Experimentation with various dietary strategies soon demonstrated that intermittent fasting provided me with vast benefits in cognition, energy, productivity, time-management, and quality of life.

In the intervening years, I have experimented zealously with many other dietary strategies.

Those varying what I ate.

Including raw, paleolithic, ketogenic, and caloric restriction with adequate nutrition (CRAN) diets.

And also those affecting when I ate.

Including by shifting meal frequency and/or timing of caloric intake.

Some of these - notably the aforementioned raw, paleolithic, ketogenic, and CRAN dietary strategies - undoubtedly produced significant benefits.

And yet ...

... none could match the pronounced, sustained, and all-encompassing benefits offered by intermittent fasting.

Clear Brain Fog With Intermittent Fasting

Mental confusion, tiredness, and/or clouding of consciousness - otherwise known as "brain fog" - is a frequent side effect of impaired food digestion or absorption, as well as inappropriate selection or volume of food.

Foods which may bring on brain fog are highly individual.

That said, frequent culprits include:

  • Fungi (mushrooms)
  • Fermented foods
  • Easily fermentable, carbohydrate-rich foods

Intermittent fasting provides one of the fastest, most effective methods for clearing such brain fog.

Unlike simple fasting, intermittent fasting provides the body with the nutritional precursors - including glutamine and other essential amino acids - necessary for digestive repair and health.

And unlike eating patterns involving frequent meals, intermittent fasting allows the gastrointestinal system time - away from not only potentially-irritating foods, but the simple diversion of energy required for digestion itself - to rebuild itself stronger than ever.

Get Energized With Intermittent Fasting

Fasting - and particularly intermittent fasting - can profoundly infuse your life with energy, passion, and creativity.

While this may appear to fly in the face of much conventional wisdom, it is in fact a natural corollary of several well-understood evolutionary and biological principles.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the popular link between overindulgence and sleepiness.

This link is highlighted in the popular mnemonic - "rest & digest" - for the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system.

And while famously associated with melatonin-producing tryptophan in Thanksgiving turkey, such soporific effects of food are actually universal.

Digestion diverts blood flow, energy, and resources from the muscular, cortical, and nervous functions required to operate at one's peak state.

Digestion also promotes insulin and glucose volatility, leading to highs and - ultimately - lows of energy.

Such blood-sugar effects can be partially mitigated by food choices, such as by:

  • Increasing fibre, fat, and protein-containing foods
  • Decreasing foods with high glycemic indices, and
  • Increasing natural, unprocessed, raw foods

However, even with the best food choices, the enervating effects of digestion are universal.

Consequently, limiting digestion to well-defined periods can lead to dramatic increases in energy and well-being.

Increase Productivity & Time-Management With Intermittent Fasting

Increased productivity and time-management are one of the most immediate and profound benefits of intermittent fasting.

Just as digestion physiologically diverts blood, energy, and other physical resources away from higher muscular and nervous functions, the preparation and consumption of frequent meals diverts time, energy, and other psychological resources away from focusing on what truly matters to you.

The total amount of time spent preparing food and eating may - if weight loss is not desired - be similar with intermittent fasting or frequent meals.

However, by permitting extended periods between meals in which food preparation and consumption are not required, intermittent fasting frees up your psychological resources.

Allowing you time, space, and energy to focus on what truly matters to you.

Moreover, hunger can be profoundly positive - fueling your drive, motivation, passion, and dedication to your higher goals and deepest purpose.

Why Isn't Everyone Practicing Intermittent Fasting?

Those who follow my writing know that I'm a tireless advocate of individualization in all aspects of health.

Including diet.

And, one may reasonably ask - "if intermittent fasting is so great, why isn't everyone doing it?"

There are many reasons.

Some legitimate.

Others less so.

Social Barriers To Intermittent Fasting

Social norms.

These represent some of the most prominent barriers to widespread adoption of intermittent fasting.

Social interaction is undoubtedly an extremely important part of success, health, happiness, and life itself.

And one who profession revolves around business dinners and cocktail parties may find some, more extreme versions of intermittent fasting more challenging to adopt.

More obstinate social barriers, however, are often presented by those closest to us.

Our friends.

Our family.

Our cultures.

And even ourselves.

In fact, any dietary change away from familiar, habitual patterns often incites fear and rejection.

Despite - or perhaps because of - profound potential benefits.

By creating seeds of doubt that the tried and true of the old ways may be tired and through.

As such - to paraphrase Arthur Schopenhauer - such truths are first ridiculed, then violently opposed, before being finally accepted as self-evident.

Fortunately - unlike dietary patterns restricting what you eat - intermittent fasting is less likely to promote such social opposition.

As it can be adapted to virtually any lifestyle and social situation.

Allowing you to partake in the meals which truly matter to your career, your loved ones, and - ultimately - to yourself.

Who Should Avoid Intermittent Fasting

As noted above, I am an advocate of individualization in all things.

Accordingly, there are legitimate reasons why intermittent fasting may not be for a given individual.

Blood Sugar and Intermittent Fasting

In general, intermittent fasting is quite beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar, as well as avoiding or even treating diabetes.

However, Type 1 diabetics, underweight individuals, and those who find eating more than very small portions at any given time induces nausea may find it difficult to eat sufficient quantity or quality of food under an intermittent fasting regimen to satisfy their nutritional needs.

That said, most calorie-related or nutrient-related obstacles to intermittent fasting can be overcome by varying caloric intake and fasting / feeding cycles in accordance to need.

Individualized Responses to Intermittent Fasting

The above notwithstanding, however, individual reactions to anything - including intermittent fasting - vary.

As a result, I encourage those interested in intermittent fasting to consider experimenting with such a regimen to determine whether it can be beneficial for them.

However, those with chronic or advanced conditions - particularly those revolving around blood sugar regulation - are advised not to make any dramatic changes to their diets without the support, advise, and supervision of a qualified and experienced healthcare professional.

There are many varieties of and nuances to intermittent fasting regimens, and such a professional can permit you to find the best one for your individual nature.

I would be overjoyed to assist anyone interested in finding, refining, and sticking to their optimal diet - via intermittent fasting, or otherwise.

Whether myself or another qualified healthcare professional, I wish you the best in your healthcare journey, and remain here to offer support and advice to any who may desire or require it along the way.

Naturopathic Medicine & Homeopathy Testimonials

For about three years, I was suffering from unpleasant symptoms with my digestion which eventually triggered my social anxiety that was going to the extent of periodic panic attacks occurring in crowds, before going out of home or with no apparent or trivially discoverable reason.

At first, the remedy Andy gave me made some gradual, slow changes, but we weren't quite there, yet. Later on, Andy found some interesting homeopathic solutions that improved my quality of life big time. 

Like with any sensible approach, I didn't become absolutely okay overnight (and I still have some issues) but it looks like my social anxiety came down to a much more tolerable level and I forgot when was the last time I experienced a panic attack like I did before. Suffice to say, I am not obsessed with my condition anymore — and that's a huge step forward.

Also, the probiotics and various herbal medicines Andy gave me to improve my digestion were working quite well, albeit at times those solutions were rather temporary.

I don't normally take any of these things regularly now and yet my stomach is doing much better than before.

Thank you, Andy!

Yurii, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

I started working with Andy to get some help with my son, who has had issues with anger, attention, aggressiveness for some time.

With Andy's help, my son has made a huge turn around in all areas of his life.

Seeing the success my son had, my wife and myself started seeing Andy with great success for the both of us.

Andy is very passionate about what he does, along with his compassion and kindness.

I would recommend Andy to anyone.

Brian Dierolf, Vancouver (Kerrisdale), BC

My husband and I both had fertility difficulties for years before meeting Dr. Somody. The few times we managed to conceive, we'd lose the pregnancy. But then three weeks after Dr. Somody's homeopathic treatment, I became pregnant again, and we now have a beautiful baby boy!

G.A., Coquitlam, BC

Years ago, I slipped in my bathroom, fell and fractured my tailbone.

I think it got worse after childbirth too.

Then I injured my shoulder and got whiplash from a car accident, and hurt my hip running.

The combination of Andy's homeopathic remedy, neuroemotional releases, and Bowen therapy helped my whole body feel better.

Now I don't get pain any more when I walk, run, or drive.

And I don't seem to get so easily injured either.

Diane B, Richmond (Steveston), BC

Distance had been created between myself and my wife - in our sex life and our marriage in general - when I came to see Dr. Somody. The naturopathic counselling and homeopathic remedy quickly helped me to overcome my ejaculatory control issues. and my marriage and sex life are doing good now.

Brian C., Port Coquitlam, BC

I had a constrictive sensation in throat – like someone was pushing on it with a nail – and stabbing pain where the jaw meets the ear.

The left side of my head went numb and I had a really really loud & tinny sound in my ear.

Then I started having bursts of vertigo. Andy's homeopathic and naturopathic treatments, and all the neuro-emotional work we did, made my throat pain,  much less, and after a couple of months, they went away totally.

A.P., Richmond, BC

I can see much better than I have in years thanks to Dr. Andy's homeopathic treatment.

Anna, Vancouver (Dunbar-Southlands), BC

I'd had ingrown toenails and fingernails for my whole life, but they were getting worse, and it was getting to be a major problem.

They'd get infected, and I'd need to keep getting antibiotics to clear them up.

It was painful and was kind of disgusting and pissed me off.

Your homeopathic therapy and the bowen releases made my nails seem less fragile and breakable.

Over the next couple of weeks, I noticed that the infections hadn't happened so much and weren't so bad.

I appreciated that I didn't have to stop running or playing tennis.

When you asked me about my jaw after the 2nd or 3rd treatment, I realized that I hadn't been grinding or having any jaw pain for weeks.

D.S., Port Coquitlam, BC

My moods aren't nearly so volatile now and I don't get the sudden spinning attacks of vertigo since Dr. Andy's homeopathic treatment.

The biofeedback has helped cure my hormonal problems, which has allowed me to conceive finally after years of trying!

The pain in my temples and big toe also went away after the Bowen therapy sessions.

G.M., Abbotsford, BC

My jaw had been frozen shut by a bony fusion, and nerve damage from many destructive surgeries.

I had such severe and destructive scar tissue in my mouth.

Andy's homeopathic remedy, neuro-emotional work, and especially the Bowen therapy helped to unlock my jaw and break up this scar tissue.

My nerve pain is also less intense than it's been in years, and is still getting better with every treatment.

Brent G, Burnaby (Whalley, North Surrey), BC

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