Introducing Intermittent Fasting Into Your Life + 7 Benefits of Time-restricted Eating

Have you tried intermittent fasting?

I'm a huge advocate of this simple and extremely beneficial lifestyle practice.

Now, there are several approaches to intermittent fasting, which can cause confusion over which is the best one for you.

New to intermittent fasting? Then the time-restricted eating method is a great and safe way to start.

If you already practice intermittent fasting, then I'd love to hear which fasting method you use, and what benefits you've experienced as a result, in the comments below this post.

Introducing Intermittent Fasting Into Your Life + 7 Benefits of Time-restricted Eating

Intermittent fasting benefits

What Is Time-restricted Eating

Time-restricted eating is a form of intermittent fasting where meals are consumed within a specific period of time.

It typically consists of confining all your eating to at the very most, a 12-hour window, and fasting for the remainder of the day.

Although a 12-hour window in theory is classed as overnight fasting, it's still time-restricted.

Time restricted eating also allows you to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the day.

Personally, I prefer to fast for longer than 12 hours.

But if you're new to time-restricted eating you could extend your fasting period to 14 or 16 hours as and if you feel ready to do so.

It's the 14/10 hours and 16/8 hours method that really are classed as time-restricted eating.

How To Do Time-restricted Eating

1. Bring forward or push your breakfast out an hour or two

You could also bring your dinner or tea time forward if this suits you better than adjusting your breakfast time.

Or you could do both to narrow that time-restricted window down further.

As time goes by and your body adjusts, it will become easier to extend your time-restricted eating window.

It's like exercise. For those who are sedentary - it can feel painful and difficult at first, and then once your body adapts it gets easier and more enjoyable.

2. Drink plenty of water and non-caloric beverages

Fasting means abstaining from anything with calories. Water, herbal tea, and black coffee are okay because they don't contain calories (or only trace amounts).

Anything with calories is off-limits.

Coffee and tea in the morning can make fasting considerably more enjoyable. Avoid the artificially sweetened drinks though.

3. Intermittent fasting isn’t an excuse to indulge in unhealthy food.

Always be mindful of your food choices. Stick with whole natural foods with good nutrient density and avoid highly processed foods.

4. Fasting should always be guided by your intuition.

Listen to your body and align your time-restricted eating window with your goals and state of health.

Intermittent fasting shouldn't feel stressful or miserable.

The right way to do time-restricted eating is to fast for as long as feels comfortable for you.

When you start intermittent fasting you may feel hungry and a drop in energy, so begin with “baby steps”.

Pay close attention to how you feel, including mood, sleep, and cravings, as these are all indications that your time restricted window or eating plan associated with it may be putting too much stress on the body.

And, of course, if you notice any changes in your menstrual cycle, it's an indicator that your body is out of balance.

Don't force anything just because it's "supposed" to work.

We are all different, and what works for one person doesn't always work for another.

Where to Place Your Time-restricted Eating Window

The ideal placement of your eating and fasting window will likely depend on a number of factors:

  • your work schedule
  • your family commitments
  • your exercise routine
  • your health and what feels best for your body

Research seems to suggest that an earlier eating window may be better.

Intermittent fasting benefits of an earlier eating window schedule - tend to be:

  • lower blood glucose levels during a 24 hour period,
  • lower insulin levels,
  • an ideal cortisol pattern (with levels higher in the morning and lower at night), which better supports your natural circadian rhythms and adrenals.
  • an increased expression of genes associated with healthy aging, longevity and autophagy.

Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells). Yes please!

7 Intermittent Fasting Benefits

Intermittent fasting benefits how you look, feel and function in many ways.

Here’s 7 health benefits to show that for relatively little effort and absolutely no cost intermittent fasting is definitely worth doing.

1. Intermittent fasting supports weight management (read on to find out how...), but that's not all!

2. Burns Excess Fat

Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely enter during a normal eating schedule.


Because intermittent fasting is a strategy for exercising and strengthening the body’s ability to exist in the fasted state, burning fat instead of continually burning sugar (glucose).

When you eat, your body uses glucose (sugar) as its primary source of energy. It then stores whatever is left over as glycogen in your muscles and liver.

If you don’t give your body a steady stream of glucose, it begins breaking down the glycogen to use as fuel.

After the glycogen has been depleted, your body seeks out alternative sources of energy, such as fat cells, which it then breaks down to help power your body.

A study that focuses on the 16/8 time restricted eating method (8 hour eating window) of intermittent fasting showed that it significantly reduced fat mass while retaining both muscle mass and strength. This is fantastic for hormones like estrogen, where estrogen dominance exists.

3. Regulates Appetite & Energy Production

Leptin, also known as the satiety hormone, is a hormone produced by your fat cells that helps signal when it’s time to stop eating.

Your leptin levels drop when you’re hungry and increase when you’re feeling full.

Because leptin is produced in the fat cells, if you are storing excess fat you likely have higher amounts of leptin circulating in the body.

Too much leptin floating around can cause leptin resistance, which effectively makes it harder for it to turn off hunger cues.

Lower levels of leptin can translate to less leptin resistance, less hunger and potentially even more weight loss.

4. Improves Blood Sugar Levels

The benefits of intermittent fasting extend far beyond weight loss.

It can also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes because it improves the regulation of your blood sugar, increases your resistance to stress, and suppresses inflammation.


Even where weight loss doesn’t occur - so if you don’t need to shed excess fat, fasting can still improve your blood sugar levels.

It's crucial for you to maintain a healthy diet while you're fasting though to avoid a blood sugar yo-yo effect.

And you don't want to put your body under any stress and negate the benefits of intermittent fasting.

5. Reduces Inflammation

If you're concerned about inflammation then you will be pleased to know that a core intermittent fasting benefit is a reduction in inflammation. Specifically chronic inflammation.

Basically, intermittent fasting cycles lasting less than 24 hours can reduce the number of pro-inflammatory monocytes in your blood.

High levels of monocytes have been associated with some chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Other studies show the effects of fasting on the body’s inflammatory immune cells (macrophages), and found that fasting may help to reduce that kind of inflammatory response.

For example, it can lower gut inflammation to help improve  inflammatory gut disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and colitis.

6. Improves Detoxification

Time-restricted eating gives your digestive system a proper rest from breaking down and absorbing food.

This frees it up to focus on eliminating toxins that have built up in your cells.

The elimination of toxins from your digestive system is important because a build up of toxins in the intestinal tract can disrupt the fragile balance of your intestinal flora.

These microorganisms are vital to your digestive health and the protection of your immune system.

7. Promotes Mindful Eating Habits

Do you ever reach for a bag of crisps or chocolate bar without even realizing what you’re doing?

This is essentially mindless eating, and most of us do it to some extent.

But do it often enough, and it can cause you to fall out of sync with your body’s hunger cues.

If you have a tendency to emotionally eat, especially snacking outside mealtimes, time-restricted eating will force you to establish clear eating windows.

If you found this blog post helpful, or would like to share your own fasting experiences, do comment below.

Nicola x





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Meet Nicola - blog posts

Meet Nicola

Hello, I'm a Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner, Breathwork Instructor and Pain & Stress Management Therapist with heaps of experience of helping others tweak and transform their health and life. 

Let's work together to optimise how you look, feel and function for better health and wellness.

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