What is Intermittent Fasting?


Intermittent fasting (IF) is one of the most popular patterns of eating in modern day culture, not to mention a tool that has been used by our ancestors for generations. Intermittent fasting is a practice that is easily adaptable to your lifestyle and filled with a variety of potential health benefits.

If you are looking to explore the health benefits of fasting, intermittent fasting offers the perfect place to start. At the Sanctuary, intermittent fasting is something that our guests effortlessly engage in. We rise with the sun and sleep with the moon, allowing us to naturally cultivate an intermittent fasting practice.

Intermittent fasting is an excellent practice to enhance your health and wellbeing. For those that are seeking further benefits, we also offer tailored juice cleanses and water fasts.

What is intermittent fasting? 

Intermittent fasting is not a diet, but a pattern of eating. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a popular eating strategy where you alternate between set periods of eating with set periods of completely abstaining from food. At the sanctuary we follow the schedule of 16/8. This means that we eat during an 8-hour window and fast for 16 hours. 

How does intermittent fasting work?

Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat. When we are constantly digesting food, our bodies are using energy. When we give our body a break from digesting, it allows our bodies to direct energy to cellular regeneration and repair.

Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Mark Mattson has studied intermittent fasting for 25 years, he explains that our bodies have evolved to be able to go without food for many hours, or even several days or longer. In prehistoric times, before humans learned to farm, they were hunters and gatherers who evolved to survive — and thrive — for long periods without eating. 

At the Sanctuary this way of eating is inspired by nature and our ancestors. The purpose is not to view this as a diet or restriction, but as a way of connecting to a natural circadian rhythm. 

Benefits of intermittent fasting:

Reduced Inflammation: Several human studies demonstrate fasting’s effectiveness at fighting oxidative stress and inflammation—two drivers of aging and chronic disease.

Improved heart health: fasting individuals also experienced a drop in homocysteine levels—a major cardiovascular disease risk factor—and improvements in their total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio.

Improved gut health and diversity: researchers say intermittent fasting may elicit changes in the gut that are protective against metabolic syndrome. 

Improved brain health: Anecdotal claims abound regarding intermittent fasting’s ability to boost mental energy, focus, and cognitive function.

Beyond physical benefits, intermittent fasting has immense mental benefits. When we eliminate the energy that it takes to plan meals, prepare meals, and so on, we free energy to implement in much more profound areas.

How to Intermittent Fast at home:

  • Begin with a 12-hour eating period and 12-hour fast. Perhaps you have your first meal at 8am, and finish your last by 8pm. Gradually increase your fast as you feel comfortable.
  • Tap into energy sources outside of food: Ask yourself, what other modalities energize me? Meditation offers an incredibly energizing outlet. 
  • Food for thought- have you ever had an experience where you were so joyous that food was the last thing on your mind? Find ways to tap into this energy in your daily life.

Final takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a very accessible and customizable way to improve the quality of your wellbeing. Intermittent fasting allows you to become more in-tune with your body alongside welcoming many physical and mental benefits. Join us at the Sanctuary to share this practice of intermittent fasting, or practice in the peace of your own home.

With Love,

Sen Wellness


Davia is our Retreat Specialist and manages enquiries and bookings for those interested in visiting us at the Sanctuary. Her in-depth knowledge of the wellness programmes we offer means she will be able to answer any questions you may have, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Davia is also Clinic Manager at Sen Wellness London, ensuring the smooth running of our holistic hub in the medical district of Harley Street, where we offer osteopathy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation and community events as well as retreats in the UK and Europe.

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Claire White
Claire White
I have just completed a 10 day retreat at Sen Wellness and having researched many options, I was drawn to this but it was way beyond my expectations, it was amazing. The yoga by Frances and the monk was incredible, the doctors were kind and helpful and all the staff could not have been more helpful. Special mention to treatments from Tanisha and the manager Sanath who got me out on the beach one evening to see the mother turtles. A dream come true in so many ways, left feeling refreshed,so much healthier in body and mind!! I would highly recommend to anyone who needs a reset.
britta barth
britta barth
I had a wonderful stay and participated in the Signature Retreat. The resort is located in a very beautiful nature reserve. There is a beautiful beach for long nice walks and you also can see turtles.Meditation and Yoga were very also so good as were the ayurvedic treatments. I love it.The Signature Retreat led by Sam is a great, inspiring journey in itself - I can highly recommend.The ayurvedic food was delicious and the staff is great.I hope to go soon again to this wonderful place.Mandy thanks to Sam and his team at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. Britta
One of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life. The 10-day retreat is the ultimate in relaxation. They feed you all your meals (delicious homegrown/homemade food), schedule yoga and daily spa treatments and hold special ceremonies throughout the week. The staff go above and beyond to make your experience deep, meaningful and heartfelt. The sanctuary is located in a jungle so be prepared to be immersed in wildlife! Monkeys, reptiles of all kinds, turtles on the beach, eagles/birds and more! I stumbled across this place researching Sri Lanka and it was truly meant to be. The faculties are stunning, comfortable and reasonably priced. Don’t miss an opportunity to come here!
Melanie Farfel
Melanie Farfel
A wonderful stay! The staff was so incredible and thoughtful throughout. I left feeling very rejuvenated. Thank you !
I had really nice experience at Sen Wellness for 8 nights. Here is in the middle of nature, we can feel that we are a part of nature and it is very natural to live with all kinds of animals and plants. I am now mentally and physically fit.What I really appreciated is food - healthy, everyday different menu, some vegetables that I have never seen… I felt that my feeling of taste transformed through my stay and skin condition and body condition became better.All people here is really kind and peaceful.Yoga teacher, Stefania, is a wonderful teacher, she is really knowledgeable and so kind to care all participants. I had enjoyed conversations with her at breakfast, lunch and dinner.Doctors, therapists are nice, I could ask questions and request whatever I feel comfortable.There are different types of rooms, I experienced the most luxury cabana and eco-cabana with Air Conditioning, too. Luxury cabana was awesome but I liked eco-cabana as well. It was an old facility but authentic, compact and I felt cozy. I was alone in the room so the space was enough for single use. If you wish to have luxury stay, I would recommend you to go for Luxury cabana.Everyone has different purpose and expectations. My purpose was feel nature, have simple life and feel appreciation of life. And it was fulfilled. Thank you so much for all Sen wellness team.
sunil damodar
sunil damodar
Went to Sen Wellness with family for a retreat, it was a nice spiritual and healthy experience. Fantastic team who were friendly and did everything possible to make it us feel special, great doctors and therapists and of course the daily yoga and one on one interaction with Sam was icing on the cake. Would recommend this to anyone looking for a great mix of spirituality, yoga, treatment and healthy eating. Look forward to my next one at Sen Wellness.
Jessica Crozier
Jessica Crozier
Sen Wellness is the perfect place to go to when you are exhausted by life and need a rest to get back to yourself and work through any difficulties you may be experiencing.There’s lovely yoga and meditation classes every day plus a set schedule which is a great way to structure your day of rest alongside tailored Ayurvedic treatments and healthy food.The place is for me perfect but it’s not like a 5 star hotel so if that’s what you are looking for it may be the wrong place for you.If you are lucky you’ll see some turtles as well.Samath and Francis are great managers and will make sure everything goes well.
Kumail Syedain
Kumail Syedain
Beautiful experience, beyond my wildest expectations. Would recommend to anyone interested in Ayurveda and healing
Neil Wadhawan
Neil Wadhawan
I was fortunate to lead a yoga retreat in early February of 2024. Everything was absolutely spectacular. Sen is a very special place with a beautiful energy that is perfect for retreat and healing.What really makes Sen so special are the people. Every single one of the staff members as well as the ayurveda doctors and all the managers were so kind and always trying to make each experience special. The entire team was led by Sanath and Frances and they were both absolutely wonderful. I can't possibly find enough kind words for both of them. Their leadership and warmth really allowed me to lead the retreat in the best way I could and they were always there for me whenever I needed. Thank you!
helen wright
helen wright
Sen wellness is a perfect sanctuary. The Ayurvedic retreat was insane - I loved every minute of it . Thank you
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