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Khanya Wellness

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Circadian-Synced and Hormone-Friendly Intermittent Fasting

It may seem as if it is the new trend in health, but fasting has been used by different cultures for many purposes for a long time. From a physiological perspective, it has many benefits.

Circadian-synced fasting encourages eating only during daylight hours. That means no eating before the sun comes up and no eating once it goes down. So, what does this look like?

Upon waking: If the sun is not up, stick with only water until the sun rises. About half an hour after the sun comes up, and once you’ve sky gazed, you may open your eating window.

If you want to work out around that time, have something light (a pre-breakfast meal), which breaks the overnight fast and signals to your hormones that you are awake, without being heavy in your tummy during exercise. I often have a protein drink, work out, shower, then have a hearty protein-rich breakfast that keeps me going for hours, without feeling tempted to snack. If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s better for your hormones to have the coffee later in the morning along with or after breakfast.

Lunch: Schedule lunch at a regular time each day. Again, go for satiating foods, not a measly sandwich or limp salad that’s going to have you feeling the munchies for a mid-afternoon muffin.

Supper: Try to schedule dinner for about an hour before the sun sets. My family has a regular supper time of 5pm. Ideally, supper should be the lightest meal of the day, but the social and family element may not allow for this. Do what works and don’t stress too much!

Sunset: Once the sun goes down, it is time to put the forks down. If you still feel the urge to snack after supper, that is a sign to eat bigger meals during the day. Make sure those meals are filled with healthy fat and satiating protein.

The earlier your last meal of the day is, the longer your overnight fast can be so you can reap the benefits of autophagy. Don’t force it though – you can go for longer fasts once or twice a week, instead of intermittent fasting every day.

As the seasons change, so will the amount of daylight. That means that your eating window will change depending on the seasons. Try to remain in sync with nature’s cues and soon your body will also learn to send you correct messages concerning hunger.

What do you think? Does this sound more doable than the popular 16:8 fast that has you skipping breakfast?

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