Gwyneth Paltrow is touting her newest health obsession, intuitive fasting, saying the combination of intuitive eating and intermittent fasting is ‘designed to optimize our well-being.’
‘Intuitive Fasting’ by functional medicine expert Will Cole is the first book to be published by Goop Press as part of the lifestyle brand’s new publishing partnership with Rodale Books, a division of Penguin Random House.
‘Of all the different ways of eating I’ve tried on over the years – from macrobiotic to vegan to I’ll-spare-you-the-details cleanses – here is what has worked for me: eating intuitively,’ Paltrow, 48, wrote in the book’s forward. ‘When I eat what feels right to me, I feel my best.’
Eating good: Gwyneth Paltrow took to Instagram to tout her new health obsession, intuitive fasting, which she said is ‘designed to optimize our well-being’
‘Magic’: The Goop founder, 48, claims that the diet will ‘not punish or restrict you’ but instead encourages followers to ‘listen’ to their bodies
What IS ‘intuitive fasting’?
Intuitive fasting is essentially the combination of two dieting practices: intermittent fasting and intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating has been described as the ‘opposite’ of a traditional diet because it encourages people to feed themselves, rather than restricting.
Devotees of this practice are urged to eat whatever their body is craving, while avoiding strict habits like calorie counting and restriction of any kind.
Those who follow an intuitive eating plan are told to learn what their body wants; they should eat when they feel hungry, but learn to know when their body is full and satisfied.
A key principal of the practice is recognizing the difference between physical hunger – when the body needs food – and emotional hunger – the idea that you are eating to satiate an emotion.
Intermittent fasting means going without food for specific periods of time during the day; rather than focusing on what you eat, it places the emphasis on when you eat.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, intermittent fasting will encourage the body to ‘exhaust sugar stores and burn fat’ while helping to prevent unnecessary calorie intake.
Cole’s book features a four-week ‘Flexible Fasting Plan’ that combines multiple intermittent fasting protocols and a customized food plan to ‘reduce inflammation’ and ‘reset the body.’
Neither intermittent fasting (going specific times without eating) or intuitive eating (eating based on your body’s hunger signals) are new practices.
For example, the celeb-loved 16:8 method of intermittent fasting merely involves eating all of your calories in an eight-hour window.
However, as Paltrow explained in her foreword, the idea of intuitive eating can be confusing, especially after years of following diets rather than your body’s needs.
‘If there’s anything difficult in these pages, it is Will’s request that you be willing to listen to yourself, to your own body, to your intuition,’ she wrote. ‘While this might seem simple, it is usually not easy, at least not at first.
‘But with Will’s voice guiding you to recalibrate yourself and the newfound understanding of what your body is asking for and how you can respond, it becomes doable – and, I’d go so far as to say, exhilarating.’
Cole refers to himself as ‘Dr.,’ which would lead many to presume he went to medical school. In actuality, the functional medicine practitioner has a doctorate of chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences, a private school that focuses on alternative medicine.
Paltrow interviewed Cole on her most recent episode of The Goop Podcast, revealing that she has been following the four-week program and feeling amazing.
They went into more detail about the food portion of the book, explaining that the recommended ‘Ketotarian’ diet is a plant-forward meal plan that puts the body into a state of ketosis to burn fat and not sugar.
The Goop founder also promoted the book in a recent Instagram post, writing: ‘This year, I’ve been working with my dear friend and functional medicine practitioner @drwillcole and experimenting with the program from his new book, Intuitive Fasting.
Self-care: Paltrow recently wrapped up the first of four weeks – which was essentially a bone-broth diet designed to give her digestive system a rest and begin rebuilding a healthier gut
‘Will’s clear, but flexible, four-week plan combines intuitive eating with intermittent fasting and Ketotarian foods.’
Gwyneth told her legion of health-focused devotees that intuitive fasting is ‘designed to optimize our well-being and set us up to feel our best for all the other weeks to come.’
She recently wrapped up the first of four weeks – which was more or less just following a bone-broth diet – that was designed to give her digestive system a rest and begin rebuilding a healthier gut.
The actress turned mogul posed makeup-free in her kitchen for the social media post while holding a copy of Cole’s latest book. The pair have worked together for years and he is a semi-frequent guest on her popular podcast.
‘This is not a book of dogma. It will not punish you or restrict you. If there’s anything difficult in these pages, it is Will’s request that we be willing to listen to ourselves, to our own bodies, to our intuition,’ she wrote.
However, in her podcast episode, Gwyneth cracked a joke about her book-prescribed dinner of jicama fish tacos with ‘nothing f**king on them’ before adding that they were, in fact, delicious.
The Iron Man star revealed that she decided to try out the intuitive fasting program after she was having some health issues. Like most people, the lifestyle guru admitted to spending much of quarantine enjoying pasta and alcohol and knew her body needed a reset.
Reset: The Iron Man star revealed that she decided to try out the intuitive fasting program after she was having some health issues. Like most people, she admitted to spending much of quarantine enjoying pasta and alcohol
Mogul: Gwyneth launched Goop from her London kitchen back in 2008 as a weekly newsletter and over the last decade plus as grown the brand into a wildly successful multimedia juggernaut
Cole sent Paltrow for some tests so he could tailor a program specifically for her but for those who don’t have Gwyneth-level access to functional medicine doctors, the pair swears the book will do the trick.
She penned a personal thank you to the good doctor on social media: ‘@drwillcole, thank you for guiding me and for helping me feel my best in a long time. I can’t wait for you all to read Intuitive Fasting and experience Will’s magic, too.’
Paltrow launched Goop from her London kitchen back in 2008 as a weekly newsletter and over the last decade-plus as grown the brand into a wildly successful multimedia juggernaut.
The company has a thriving e-commerce business, podcast series, wellness summits, books and a Netflix series.
Both Goop, and by extension Gwyneth, have drawn criticism over the years for some of their more fringe opinions like the benefits of vagina steaming.
However, they’ve also worked to normalize things like postpartum care for new moms, being sex-positive for women and a strong emphasis on mental health care.