Everyone says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But what if I told you breakfast stands for “break fast?” Sophomores Denva Clyburn, Charlotte Ferrier, Violet Ruby and I have taken this to heart, and have started alternate day fasting (ADF), which is a type of intermittent fasting – a practice in which you alternate between periods of regular eating and fasting.
It clicked with me – I’ve never thought the timing of when you eat is important. I’ve always eaten healthy. But I never realized, regardless of if you’re eating healthy, if you’re eating nonstop and not giving your digestive system a break, it’s actually not healthy at all. Many teen girls struggle with what to eat and how much to eat, creating unhealthy relationships with food.
“I feel more in control of my body and brain, I’m not forcing myself to eat when I’m not hungry anymore, and my relationship with food has changed drastically for the better after starting ADFing,” said Violet
To help us stay motivated to continue our fasts, we’ve been using the “Zero App.”After ending a fast, you’ll have a chance to edit your start and end times, track how you feel at the end of each fast, and add relevant notes.
“[The app] has been very helpful to keep tabs on our goals and long-term progress, including mental clarity,” said Denva.
Overall, alternate day fasting is an extreme lifestyle change from what we’re used to, and can affect people’s metabolic systems differently. Strict ADF is said to be one of the most disciplined diets, and many question whether going for 36 hours without eating every other day is healthy or just straight-up starvation. To understand if ADF is safe, complex studies were put in place to compare the “normal” eating schedule versus the ADF diet. According to the MinnPost and Science Daily, the results were outstanding, showing numerous benefits to have occurred in just four months, ranging from overall feeling healthier to lowered cholesterol levels. Most studied benefits related to a longer life span.
While the evidence is promising, researchers say they don’t recommend ADF for everybody. If you’re interested in trying this fasting method, the best thing would be to reach out to your doctor or a nutritionist. Thomas Pieber, head of endocrinology at the Medical University of Graz, and senior author of the international research team’s study, showed that alternate day fasting improves cardiovascular markers, reducing blood pressure and heart rate after only four weeks.
“The truth is that our organism is ready to fast for much longer,” Thomas Pieber told TODAY.
Overall, after a few weeks of maintaining ADF, I feel like my body has had time to heal. Allowing this break every other day, my soul also feels cleansed.
“The number one thing I can say is that I just feel really clean, like I’ve detoxified my whole body,” concluded Charlotte, “and I don’t see myself stopping in the near future.”Share