Mini-Fasting: A Super-Strategy for Health and Beauty

As a nutritionist, I know that eating the right foods is a powerful way to stay slim, young, and strong. But here’s something else I know: Sometimes, you get even more powerful results by not eating.

I’m not talking here about those starvation diets that leave you weak and sick (and don’t work). Instead, I’m talking about an incredibly effective strategy called mini-fasting.

As you may already know, mini-fasting is the quickest way to safely take off extra pounds. In fact, participants in my 10-Day Belly Slimdown, which involves eating only during a seven-hour time period (my “SLIM Window”), lost as much as 13 pounds during the 10 days. But did you know about all the other benefits of mini-fasting? Here are some of them:

Mini-fasting heals and detoxes your body.

Human beings are meant to eat when it’s light and sleep when it’s dark. Over millions of years, our bodies evolved to use the nighttime for rest, repair, and rejuvenation.

These days, however, we’re often grabbing breakfast before dawn and still watching the late show and nibbling on snacks long after the sun goes down. When our bodies need to spend that much time processing what we eat, they don’t get the restorative time they need—and this makes them inefficient at balancing hormones, flushing out toxins, fighting disease, and burning fat.  

When you do a mini-fast, you give your body the gift of healing time. You also follow your body’s natural circadian rhythm, rather than battling against it. This helps to explain why mini-fasting has so many benefits, including these:

It increases your insulin sensitivity, protecting against diabetes.

It improves your cholesterol levels.

It helps optimize your immune function.

It improves your thinking and concentration and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

It may lower your risk of cancer and, if you have had breast cancer, it may reduce your risk of recurrence.

It may increase your lifespan.

Given all these benefits, it makes sense to make mini-fasting a regular part of your lifestyle. That’s especially true if you’re at high risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease.

Mini-fasting beautifies your skin.

Along with making you healthier, mini-fasting can make your skin more radiant. That’s because it reduces inflammation—and lower inflammation translates into younger, brighter, less blotchy skin.

In addition, mini-fasting cleanses your body of the toxins that can make your skin dry and dull. This powerful detox also helps to clear up psoriasis, eczema, or acne.

Moreover, fasting increases your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), which helps rejuvenate your skin by increasing its elasticity. And unlike HGH supplements or injections, which aren’t proven to be either safe or effective, mini-fasting is natural, healthy, and backed by science.

Finally, during mini-fasts, people fill up on water, tea, or bone broth. Typically, they’re more hydrated when they’re fasting than when they aren’t—and good hydration translates into strong, firm skin.

Mini-fasting is easy.

Often, people tell me that they’re afraid to try mini-fasting because it sounds scary to go without food for long periods. This is especially true for “grazers” who are used to eating every two or three hours.

However, there’s nothing scary at all about doing a mini-fast, especially if you do a bone broth mini-fast. Bone broth—which is much richer and more satisfying than watery broth in a can—keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and banishes cravings, making fasting pain-free. And it’s very low in calories and virtually carb-free, so it’s nearly effortless for your body to digest.

Here are the two types of bone broth fasts I recommend in my practice:

  • Time-restricted eating, or TRE. In this type of fast, you simply reduce the number of hours you eat each day. Aim for a maximum of 12 hours, and (if you need to lose weight) as few as seven or eight. When you’re outside your eating window, have nothing but water, tea, coffee, or bone broth. Remarkable research shows that simply reducing your eating window can make you slimmer and healthier, even if you don’t change your diet.
  • A 24-hour mini-fast. In this strategy, you fast for one or two days per week. Again, while you’re fasting, you can drink water, tea, coffee, or bone broth.

Either one of these strategies will burn fat off your body, make you healthier, and make your skin more beautiful—and either one is easy to do. Pick the one that works best for your lifestyle, and enjoy the amazing results!

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, a board-certified naturopathic physician and certified nutrition consultant, is a weight-loss and anti-aging expert. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet and the upcoming book The 10-Day Belly Slimdown. She also is the host of the PBS specials 21 Days to a Slimmer, Younger You and The 10-Day Belly Slimdown. In addition, she is a regular contributor on the Dr. Oz show.

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