Updated: Jan 4
What is fasting?
Fasting was a regular part of human society throughout all of human history. Many people now are re-discovering this dietary intervention. Fasts can range from twelve hours to three months. Short-duration fasts fit easily into family life schedules easily and longer-duration gives quicker results. Fasting becomes easier the more you do it. When done correctly fasting can provide significant health benefits while saving you time and money.
The term IF or intermittent fasting means that periods of fasting occur regularly between periods of normal eating. There are many different variations to IF, remember you can always switch from one fasting method to another, but keep in mind the first few days are always difficult. My personal favorite is the 16:8 method where you have a fasting window of 16 hours with an eating window of 8. For example, you stop eating at 7 p.m. and eat again at 11 a.m. daily. This method is worked for me because it's simple to incorporate into your everyday life. Weight loss on this method is slow to start, but once you are consistent the weight loss is steady.
Fasting is effective, simple, and guaranteed to enhance the quality of life, just don't ask Big Pharma.
Through the power of propaganda and advertising, big food companies have changed the way we think about fasting and our relationship with food. We eat for comfort, not for fuel. Instead of fasting being a purifying, spiritual, healthy practice and tradition it is now seen as something to be feared at all costs or at least not taken seriously.
“Why would you want to starve yourself” During short duration fasts you are still eating daily, which minimizes the risk of malnutrition. We here in America, do not know hunger.
“But I really love food” Me too! Big foodie over here. You don’t stop enjoying the food you eat, you just eat healthier foods at a smarter time.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” All meals are created equal, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. I had to look into the origin of this claim and was quite surprised by my findings. Hearing the slogan over and over again has created the illusion that they are true and scientifically proven. In an article in Good Health Magazine back in 1917, Lenna F. Cooper stated that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day because its the meal that gets the day started." The editor of this magazine was a medical doctor by the name of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg... I'm not saying that his intent wasn't well, but they made this phrase sell his products, similar to a hashtag on Instagram. In 2013, Kellog ranked $10 billion in sales, according to the New York Times.
Benefits of Fasting
It's a free and minimal guide to wellness.
Improves overall health.
Improve cholesterol and sugar levels.
Possible reversal of Diabetes 2.
Steady weight loss.
Sugar Burners Vs. Fat Burners
Do you always need a snack, get sugar cravings, and struggle with belly fat? You might be a sugar burner, meaning you burn carbs(sugar) for energy. Fat burner on the other hand can go hours without thinking about food, are energized, and focused all day long. Your body is getting its energy from burning fat.
When you fast for at least 12 hours, you begin to burn stored inaccessible fat for fuel rather than sugar. Think of it this way- you have at least 40,000 calories worth of fat on your body right now, but only 2,000 worth of sugar. If you’re a sugar-burner your body is burning through 2,000 calories until it's all gone, triggering hunger more often.
My First Attempt
The first days are brutal, you have to literally tell your mind to f*ck off. I also would chug water to trick my belly into thinking we’re full. It would scream at me to eat, especially late at night. The first week, overall I felt a bit slow and spacey because my sodium levels were low. I still exercised through fasting and I noticed I was pooping more (you've been warned) and always in the mornings! I didn’t supplement at first, but I do now. The first year I lost 40 lbs, and now I fast subconsciously. Not every day is a perfect 16 hours, but I’ve learned:
Organs specifically the stomach and liver need to rest.
When we eat is just as important as what we eat.
In general, the first thing in your stomach should be nutritional.
How To Start?
Identify your goals.
Meal Plan (you must cut out sodas/sugary drinks and foods/snacks that increase hunger and cravings).
Start with a week of IF.
Who should NOT fast?
If you are underweight or have eating disorders, pregnant, breastfeeding, and under 18. You could fast but may need medical supervision under these conditions: you have diabetes mellitus, you take prescription medication if you have gout or liver, kidney, or heart disease.