Does Intermittent Fasting Help Digestion?


Intermittent fasting (IF) is the diet that everyone wants to know about. There have been so many success stories that showcase how effective IF can be, whether it’s in the name of weight loss, more energy, or better digestion. Emily Skye, Australian fitness personality, Reebok global ambassador, and soon-to-be mom, told POPSUGAR that IF has been very useful for her in the past as well. And as someone who is a beacon of wellness and health, we can’t help but listen to what she has to say.

“I love intermittent fasting, such as the 16-hour fast,” Emily said. “It can actually help boost your metabolism, so it can be great for fat burning as your body has a chance to burn off some of those glycogen stores (carbs which can be converted to fat if not burned off as energy).” But IF boasts many more benefits other than shedding fat and losing weight.

“My gut was able to work on healing rather than trying to digest all the time.”

Fasting has a positive effect on your insulin levels, which can aid in muscle growth as well as “gut healing.” Emily shared, “Fasting gives your digestive system a break from digesting food, which I found helped me a lot with my sensitive tummy.” She said IF has improved her irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.

“My gut was able to work on healing rather than trying to digest all the time,” Emily told POPSUGAR.

Although 16 hours may seem like a long time to not eat, it’s really not that bad in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the fact that you’re asleep for seven or eight of those hours. Think of that window as a rest period for your body — especially your digestive system.

Dr. Luiza Petre, board-certified cardiologist and weight-management specialist, confirmed to POPSUGAR that IF can have amazing effects on your system, which is why she practices it herself. Not only does fasting put you in a “fat-burning state,” but it gives your body ample time to properly digest and process all the food you’ve been eating. In many cases, that means less bloating, better elimination (yes, we mean pooping), and fewer stomachaches.

However, while Emily was pregnant with her daughter Mia, she gave up intermittent fasting — for the duration of the pregnancy, anyway. “I did not practice intermittent fasting while pregnant,” she said. “I have always listened to my body. If I wasn’t hungry, I wouldn’t eat just to eat. But more importantly, if I was hungry, that means my baby is hungry, so it’s important I give myself and my baby the nutrition we both need.”

“It’s important to remember that everyone is different, and what works well for one person might not work as well for another,” Emily advised. “Make sure you do your research before you start any type of fast or any other popular diet craze. While they can be highly effective and safe, if done incorrectly they can quickly become unsafe.”

If any of this sounds appealing, speak to your doctor first before giving it a shot. You never know — you may have overwhelmingly positive results like Emily did.

Image Source: Dylan Evans Photography



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