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

I didn't think alternative medicine, naturopathy or homeopathy could make my eyes better, but they are!

Not perfect yet, but getting better with every treatment.

My back pain is also much less with the Bowen Therapy.

And the homeopathy, neuroemotional releases and biofeedback have also helped me lose 35 pounds and keep it off.

Dave Smith, Maple Ridge, BC

We were all very scared for my daughter before we took her to see Dr Andy.

She's so sensitive, she can be really loving and warm.

But she would also feel completely abandoned, ashamed and hurt from even small things.

It had gotten so bad that she had started cutting, drinking, using drugs to cope.

Dr Andy's homeopathy remedy seemed to make something shift in her.

I think the mental-emotional releases and perhaps the bowen therapy also helped.

It was hard to see the changes day-by-day at first, but the difference between the way she is now and how she was a few months ago is obvious to all of us.

She's still as loving and kind as ever, but the negative emotions don't affect her so much.

And the best part is that she hasn't tried to hurt herself in months and her moods seem much more stable overall.

B.E., Delta (Ladner), BC

The deep abscess and pustules don't bother me anymore - thank you!

My eyes and sleep are also better since the homeopathic remedy.

Katherine, Delta (Tsawwassen), BC

My 100 year old aunt suffered a bout of shingles after which she had severe neuralgic pain in her left arm and around her torso. The pain was so bad that even her clothing couldn't be tolerated.

Dr. Andy conducted a thorough interview and prescribed a wonderful remedy especially for her.

Within days the pain was forgotten by her body and mind and has never returned. 

Margaret Ball, Vancouver (Kitsilano), BC

After Dr. Andy 's treatment, my  skin stopped itching almost immediately, and the dry, inflammed irritated areas were cured very quickly!

I'm no longer bothered at all by dry, itchy, inflammed eczema or psoriasis!

My anxiety, fever, sinusitis, and sleep all got and stayed healed since Andy's remedy.

Erika A., Richmond, BC

Thank you for such a thorough homeopathic treatment.

My eyes feel much better already.

I've stopped having that irritating feeling of something always being in my eye.

I notice I'm only blinking or tearing up like how a normal person would.

The ophthamologist had recommended surgery last year, but a few months after your homeopathic remedy, he told me it's no longer necessary.

Christopher, Victoria (Metchosin), BC

My hands, fingers, elbows, and knees would just blow up every few weeks and get really red, swollen and painful.

Then I injured my achilles tendon, and ended up having bell's palsy somehow.

Dr. Somody's bowen therapy really helped my joints, and my attacks are more few and far-between now.

Even when they do come these days, they're much weaker.

Between the bowen, homeopathy, and neuroemotional feedback releases, my joints and achilles are feeling pretty great these days.

The Bell's palsy took a little longer to release, but once my joints got to the point of being mostly cured, things started moving in my jaw and face again.

Even my periods are more regular these days.

Catherine, West Vancouver (Lions Bay), BC

The homeopathic remedy treated all my sexual symptoms very well.

And I'm not constantly running to the bathroom.

Also, my MD told me my prostate is smaller now.

G.G., Coquitlam (Coquitlam Town Centre), 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

Back & sleep both are very good now - I don't feel pain or tight muscles any more! Mind is less anxious and worried too, and eyes don't blink without control as before.

Christine R., North Vancouver (Pemberton Heights), B.C.

Pages