Inflammation is a term that gets thrown around a fair bit, but what exactly is it, and why should you want to keep it as low as possible?
Inflammation is the process by which your body is harmed by infections, toxins, or injuries. It’s essentially at the root of all illness.
And here’s the real issue – in a world of processed carbs, eating non-stop, and chronically-high insulin levels, we’re at greater risk than ever of high inflammation levels.
The Intermittent Fasting diet, when executed correctly, may just be your saving grace when it comes to getting your inflammation levels down to zero, and KEEPING them there.
What Is The Intermittent Fasting Diet?
Everyone already fasts to some extent – while asleep. The Intermittent Fasting diet simply extends this period and simultaneously reduces the period of time spent eating, which comes with some powerful health benefits.
A good diet is a requirement to stay healthy; everyone knows this. But what you eat may not be enough anymore. You may need more time spent NOT eating anything.
There are many simple fasting strategies you can implement to achieve this. The most common variation is the Intermittent Fasting 16:8 schedule, which means 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating. It’s the most common because it simply involves skipping one meal (usually breakfast).
Other variations include 18:6 (my personal favorite), OMAD (one meal a day), alternate-day fasting, and extended fasting. The best one is going to be the one that fits into your lifestyle both now AND in the long run.
And here’s the great thing – ALL of them will help to promote autophagy and reduce inflammation. But here’s the one that may be slightly more effective than the rest if your primary goal is to keep inflammation levels low:
1. Try OMAD (One Meal A Day)
This Intermittent Fasting variation truly is as simple as it sounds – you eat once a day and no more. And if you want to put some numbers on this, it’s pretty much a 23:1 fasting to eating ratio.
So as you can imagine, 23 hours in a fasted state every day is going to ensure that you have several key factors working in your favor:
- Low insulin levels
- Autophagy (pretty much all day)
- HGH (human growth hormone)
- Fat burning
ALL of which are going to help you to keep inflammation levels nice and low.
OMAD really is the Intermittent Fasting diet on steroids, plus it’s sustainable when you eat the right foods during your one meal and drink the right herbal teas during your fasting window.
Speaking of which.
2. Drink Herbal Teas While Fasting
Herbal teas are a fantastic ‘supplement’ to your fasting schedule, because not only do they fill you up and make the fasting period easier, but they also reduce inflammation.
You should definitely check out green tea for its metabolic effects. But in addition to this, I highly recommend chamomile tea, ginger tea, and lemon balm tea. All three can be effective and should be consumed while fasting.
What I personally like to do is rotate teas every day. One day I’ll have cups of green tea, another day I’ll have cups of ginger tea, etc. Keeping things varied is key to enjoying your fasting journey.
3. Perform Fasted Cardio
Bodybuilders have been doing this for decades, and for a good reason – it torches the fat like nothing else and really maximizes your workouts.
But it’s not just effective for aesthetics; it’s also an excellent strategy for keeping inflammation levels low and promoting autophagy.
Well, you’re already in a calorie deficit. That’s a good start. But quite often, your body needs a bit of ‘convincing’ to really dig into its own energy stores and start the cleansing process (autophagy).
Fasted cardio is very ‘persuasive’ in this regard.
Whether it’s walking outside in the sunshine, cycling, swimming, or lifting weights, all of these activities will promote autophagy. Even as little as 20 minutes per day could be life-changing.
The only thing I would caution against is HIIT in a fasted state. Stick to lower intensity training, especially if you’re following OMAD, and make sure you’re taking your electrolytes in the morning to simply cover your essentials.
4. Eat More Leafy Greens
‘Leafy greens’ are a great addition to your Intermittent Fasting meals, from a micronutrient standpoint, a satiation standpoint, and also an inflammation standpoint.
Foods like broccoli, kale, and spinach are all going to be powerful weapons in your anti-inflammatory arsenal, and they’re really easy to just throw into the pan on top of your meat or fish meal.
So if you’re following the OMAD diet, you could have a large portion of salmon, potatoes, and broccoli, or you could feast on steak, eggs, and kale. Either way, adding the veggies is the simplest thing in the world and will work wonders for your health.
Another point to consider is that anti-acidic property that vegetables, in general, tend to have. In a world of junk food and sugar, most people NEED something to lead them away from being overly acidic.
Long-term health is all yours if you can keep your inflammation levels low. You’ll reduce your risk of being affected by viruses, infections, cancers, etc., and Intermittent Fasting can be a useful tool for achieving this.
Optimizing your fasting schedule by only eating one meal a day, drinking herbal teas, doing fasted cardio, and eating your veggies will help tremendously.
If you would like more information and in-depth analysis, feel free to read my Ultimate Guide To Intermittent Fasting.