Hello everyone we are continuing straight on to the next tool in our list, the letter I.
I have changed this at the eleventh hour and we are glad I have. It was originally going to be Ice following on from the last one Heat.
Though to be honest I wasn’t that enthused by ice, I know many arthritis sufferers use it and it provides good relief for them, I don’t use it.
Sure it was used when I first had my accident to minimise swelling to the injured ankle, but that is how I picture ice being used in the event of trauma and injury.
I know people use it for arthritis swelling but for me elevation works just as well, especially as it is my ankle so it is fairly easy for me to get that higher than waist level. I do understand the need for it in body parts that aren’t as easy to elevate.
we are happier with this choice though…
I is for Intermittent Fasting
What is it?
Well intermittent fasting is essentially when you go for periods of time with no food, it can be from 12 hours, 16 hours a week.
Some people allow themselves a window of time in the day when they will do their eating, for example they may eat between 12pm – 8pm and nothing outside of this time will be eaten as this will be the fasting window.
Some people eat for 5 days and have 2 days fasting or the 5:2 diet as people may know it. Others may eat one day and fast the next while others will fast for longer.
In the modern world we live in we may be programmed to eating 3 meals a day, (including a protein, a carbohydrate and veg or fruit in order to get our 5 a day) but in reality this isn’t the way it will have always been.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors will have been regular intermittent fasters even if not by choice. We can’t believe that they would have managed to kill every day in order to have a constant stream of food.
There would have been periods when they would have had to go without food and therefore, fast.
There are a number of benefits to intermittent fasting if you think it is something you will be able to do.
A key benefit is obviously going to be weight loss, which for arthritis sufferers is going to be great as it alleviates pressure on the joints.
When we are eating ‘normally’ our body breaks down the food we eat such as carbohydrates and converts them in to glucose in order to provide the body with energy.
This process in turn raises insulin levels as there is now more sugar flowing around the body, obviously risk of diabetes and other health issues are heightened.
When we commence fasting we aren’t providing the body anymore we are essentially telling them to use what is there. Once they have used up all the carbohydrates and converted them to glucose it now has no choice but to search for an alternative.
Visceral fat (belly fat) is the alternative. The body starts burning the fat stores which of course results in weight loss. It is a state known as ketosis and is a staple of the ketogenic diet.
When I think of fasting I always compare it to hitting control-alt-delete on your computer, I feel it is like a reboot or reset.
When you are giving your body a break from breaking down food it essentially has time to do other things. One of these things is clearing out toxins through the body, which can lead to a reduction in inflammation.
During this time it not only improves cholesterol in the body but it also increases the level of HGH (human growth hormone) in the body as well.
This is what normally helps the body repair and regenerate whilst we sleep at night, having increased levels can provide us with more energy and as keen bodybuilders will know, HGH can increase muscle size.
Should we be fasting?
The answer here very much depends on you.
I think the benefits above could really help with our fight against arthritis and I do endeavour to fast from time to time.
As always you know your body and mind, you know whether it is something you think you will be able to manage. As I said we are programmed now to expect 3 meals a day and to have them at certain times.
Of course if you are diabetic or have other health concerns then consult with your doctor before commencing any dietary change.
I do believe that if you are able to give it a good go you will experience some real benefits. Let me know what you think below, maybe you have already tried it?