Fasting for health | Dr. Sarah Goulding, Naturopathic Doctor

I have always been pretty reserved when it comes to recommending fasting to my patients as it can be a pretty challenging intervention for most people, and medical practitioners tend to shy away from aggressive treatments that are unsupervised (mostly for liability reasons). However, the evidence for the positive impact of fasting on long-term health markers is so strong that I would be negligent to not include it in my tool kit of beneficial interventions when appropriate.

Fasting, in its various forms, is a fascinating, inexpensive, natural and do-able medical/lifestyle intervention that many of us can add to our health-promoting choices. You can choose to adopt one, or multiple styles of fasting based on your lifestyle, and likely even a small shift will have a significant long-term positive impact on your longevity.

Of course it is best to consult your MD or ND to be sure this is the right path for you.

Here is an example of a shotgun approach that may work in your life:

  • Daily time restricted eating: limit your eating to 8-10 hours per day (giving you a 16-14 hour fasting period for your body to heal).
  • Weekly fast day or the 5:2 fasting schedule: eat normally for 5 days of the week, and 2 days of the week reduce your caloric intake to 800-1000 calories per day.
  • Annual 3-5 day periodic fasting: to enter into autophagy and really reset your cells and mitochondria
  • Annual 1 month period of a diet that mimics fasting (like the ketogenic diet)
Dig into the research to peak your curiosity: