Giada De Laurentiis Weighs in on Intermittent Fasting

Culinary queen Giada De Laurentiis recently released her book on healthy eating. The Food Network star provides advice, do’s and don’ts, and a full menu of recipes that incorporates a variety of delectable dishes. The Everyday Italian star also shared her take on the popular practice of intermittent fasting, along with some recommendations.

Giada De Laurentiis attends the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One
Giada De Laurentiis | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Giada De Laurentiis explains the benefits of fasting

In her book Eat Better, Feel Better: My Recipes for Wellness and Healing, Inside and Out, De Laurentiis gives some reasons why your digestive system sometimes needs a reset.

“Think about how you feel when you work through a weekend or go too long without a vacation,” she wrote. “In a way, your gut is the same. When its working its hardest to handle every new thing you’re sending its way before it’s had the chance to digest and dispose of what was already there, it doesn’t know what to attack first.”

Explaining that your body sometimes has to work overtime when too many unhealthy foods are consumed, De Laurentiis sees fasting as a way to get physically revitalized.

“Things slip through the cracks,” the Food Network personality remarked. “The small irritants and inflammations that your very efficient digestive system can usually deal with easily are allowed to rage unnoticed — until you can’t help but notice. Fasting is a way to give your gut a chance to clean out its inbox and marshal its energies before you start assigning new tasks.”

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Intermittent fasting seems to be ‘more manageable’ than a 24-hour fast

De Laurentiis described how fasting has been used for decades in giving your body a digestive rest, with a variety of methods for those wanting to reset their system.

“There are different ways to approach fasting,” she explained, “including true fasting — abstaining from any food other than clear liquids for 24 hours or more — and intermittent fasting, which many people find a lot more manageable.”

Part of the allure of intermittent fasting is that it provides your body with a restart without having to go an entire day without food.

“Intermittent fasting means you confine all your meals to a set period of time, usually eight hours, and don’t eat outside of that period of time,” De Laurentiis remarked. “That gives your body a good long stretch without food so it can repair and restore itself.”

Giada De Laurentiis has her own method of fasting

Though some may choose an extended fast, De Laurentiis revealed that physicians don’t see an increased benefit to longer periods without food.

“I find 16 hours is a long time to go without eating, even if much of that time is spent sleeping,” the chef wrote. “Doctors I’ve spoken to say you can get the same benefit from a shorter fast of 14 or even 12 hours — especially if you do a true fast every now and then.”

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For those who want to try intermittent fasting, De Laurentiis recommends finding your own comfort zone and not requiring too much of your system.

“Whichever feels comfortable and achievable to you is fine,” she said. “The important thing is to give your gut some downtime. And if you’re like me and sometimes find it’s already noon before you’ve thought about making yourself something to eat, this might be a good strategy for you!”

Eat Better, Feel Better is now on sale.