Addiction Treatment

Should I Consider Intermittent Fasting in Recovery?

Written By:

Becky Babb

Should I Consider Intermittent Fasting in Recovery?

One of the best things you can do in recovery is to take care of your health. Intermittent fasting may sound intense but it is something to consider if you are sober and ready for a challenge. Daily fasting takes place while we sleep. By taking control of periods of ‘fasting,’ we are better able to manage our cravings, see benefits in our skin, and also intestinal health. Find out more about intermittent fasting and if it is something you should consider for overall health.

Benefits of Fasting

Fasting has an element of human life, and has been there, since humans have been in existence. Some people do it for religious or spiritual reasons, some go hunting for food, or some are not able to find enough to eat so are forced into a fast due to limited resources. When your body has food, it is digesting and absorbing it. Insulin levels spike while your body is processing food, which takes 3 to 5 hours. This is also the reason you should not eat close to bedtime. In a fasting state, the body does not begin to really fast until your body is finished processing food, around 12 hours post last meal. Lower insulin levels at this time protect you from type 2 diabetes and promote production of protective proteins in the brain.

Intermittent Fasting 101

If you are looking at intermittent fasting schedules, the best thing to do is consider how it fits into your lifestyle. Every person responds differently. Deciding when and how fast will help you figure out how you are going to pursue this for your recovery. Some types of fasting include:

  • 16/8 period (16 hour fasting period followed by an eight hour feeding window)
  • 12/12 (12 hours of fasting, 12 hours of feeding after)
  • Restricting calorie intake (between 5:00 and 8:00, depending on doctor recommendations) two days a week while eating normally the other five days

Fasting is not a diet. It is a regular eating schedule and rhythm you get your body into that helps you digest and process food better. It also brings clarity of mind and body when it has times of rest.

Fasting in Recovery

One of the challenges of recovery is you may have periods of time where you don’t feel like eating at all. You may not feel like having food in your stomach for a while after detox. One of the keys to intermittent fasting is that you are doing it for your overall health, intentionally, with the support of a doctor. If you are struggling to figure out what to do with your recovery and food intake, it is a good idea to speak with your treatment team about some ideas for your overall health. The last thing you want is to add another to-do on your long list that feels hard to accomplish. What you need is a way to accomplish goals that makes you feel good about yourself and helps propel you forward in recovery. Fasting has many health benefits, if done in moderation, but is not a replacement for eating more healthy overall.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery, feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us now!

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