Tips And Tricks About Fasting
#1) Dont freak out! Stop wondering: can I fast 15 hours instead of 16? or what if I eat an apple during my fasted period, will that ruin everything? Relax. Your body is a complex piece of machinery and learns to adapt. Everything is not as cut and dry as you think.
If you want to eat breakfast one day but not another, thats okay. If you are going for optimal aesthetic or athletic performance, I can see the need to be more rigid in your discipline, but otherwisefreaking chill out and dont stress over minutiae!
Dont let perfect be the enemy of good when it comes to your intermittent fasting plan.
#2) Consider fasted walks in the morning. I found these to be very helpful in reducing body fat, and also gave my day a great start to clear my mind and prepare for the day.
Simply wake up and go for a mile walk. Maybe you could even start walking to Mordor?
#3) Listen to your body during your strength training workouts. If you get light headed, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you notice a significant drop in performance, make sure you are eating enough calories during your feasting window.
And if you feel severely off, pause your workout. Give yourself permission to EASE into intermittent fasting and fasted workouts. This is especially true if you are an endurance athlete.
#4) Expect funny looks if you spend a lot of mornings with breakfast eaters.
#7) Track your results, listen to your body:
This is just one tool that can contribute to your success.
Set Clear Guidelines To Follow Post
As I mentioned in #7, dont see fasting as a one-stop solution. Rather, see it as the start to living a better life. If youre just trying to fast to lose weight/detox/etc. without intending to change your diet/lifestyle post-fast, then you cant hope to maintain those benefits post-fast. The path to a better and healthier life is a journey, not a one-time event. You can only achieve that by continuously making it happen.
If you have conducted your fast properly, you would have reversed the negative effects of your pre-fast lifestyle . You would also have developed a renewed perspective on the role of food in your life.
Like any change agents, water fasting is just a platform to jumpstart the process. The most important thing is what one does after the fast to maintain the positive benefits. Without proper follow-up plan and commitment to change, everything will simply revert to the way they were in the past. Some people use fasting as a quick fix for their problems, and end up looping through the same issues after their fasts are over. These people would no sooner become fasting junkies, and this isnt what we want.
Now, the question to you is How can you maintain these benefits post-fast? What do you need to do differently? How can you ensure that things will be different this time round? See your fast as a reset button to live a better life. Dont go back to your past eating habits and bad lifestyle habits. Make a list of guidelines youre going to stick to post-fast.
Fast For 12 Hours A Day
The rules for this diet are simple. A person needs to decide on and adhere to a 12-hour fasting window every day.
According to some researchers, fasting for 1016 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream. This should encourage weight loss.
This type of intermittent fasting plan may be a good option for beginners. This is because the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day.
The easiest way to do the 12-hour fast is to include the period of sleep in the fasting window.
For example, a person could choose to fast between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. They would need to finish their dinner before 7 p.m. and wait until 7 a.m. to eat breakfast but would be asleep for much of the time in between.
Read Also: What’s The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
What Are Some Signs You May Need To Break The Fast Sooner
- Tongue turns back to pink? Time to stop.
- Hunger returns? Time to stop.
- If you stop losing weight for 1-2 days? Time to stop.
- When breath stops stinking and detox reactions are gone? Time to stop.
- Fatigue that lasts beyond a single day? Time to stop.
Innate intelligence knows when to tell you to stop!
Are There Health Benefits From Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting can teach us some important lessons when it comes to crafting intentional eating patterns and building healthy eating habits like:
- Reducing your consumption of sugars and refined grains
- Eliminating mindless snacking during the day and before bed
- Avoiding making unwanted food choices and planning a healthy diet
Along with building healthy habits, some studies suggest that adopting this practice may help with weight loss, improve memory and mental performance, cardiovascular health, type 2 diabetes, and the effectiveness of cancer treatments .
Is it Safe?
Fasting may not be appropriate for individuals with type 1 diabetes, pregnant and breastfeeding women, elderly individuals with eating disorders, and those who need regular food intake to take medications .
If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting as long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches and/or nausea.
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Water Fasting Benefits Vs Risks: A Guide
May 24, 2020
Water fasting is a practice that has been around for centuries. In addition to being a mainstay in many cultures and religions, it is also commonly used to improve certain aspects of health, including inflammation, blood sugar levels and heart health.
With the recent surge of water fasting before and after pictures popping up across the Internet, you may be wondering just how healthy this common practice can be. In this article, well take a closer look at the benefits and risks of water fasting, along with some simple tips to ensure that youre doing it safely.
Should You Do Intermittent Fasting And The Keto Diet
We have a crazy extensive guide on the Keto Diet in case youre not familiar with it, so here it is in a nutshell:
This process is called ketosis, and there are two ways for a body to enter ketosis:
- Eating in a way that induces ketosis .
- FastingHey, thats what youre reading about right now!
We actually have an amazing success story here on Nerd Fitness, Larry, who followed our strategies, went Keto and start intermittent fasting. He ended up losing weight, getting stronger, AND overcame the challenges of rheumatoid arthritis !
Heres how the fasting portion of it works:
As your body enters a fast period when there are no sources of glucose energy readily available, the liver begins the process of breaking down fat into ketones.
Fasting itself can trigger ketosis.
Fasting for a period of time before kicking off a Keto-friendly eating plan COULD speed your transition into the metabolic state of ketosis, and fasting intermittently while in ketosis could help you maintain that state.
I personally love fasting for the simplicity: I skip breakfast every day and train in a fasted state. Its one less decision I have to make, its one less opportunity to make a bad food choice, and it helps me reach my goals.
WHY KETO + IF WORKS = eating Keto can be really challenging. And every time you eat, its an opportunity to do it wrong and accidentally eat foods that knock you out of ketosis.
Youre also tempted to overeat.
Your value may vary!
You need to decide what works for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Fasting
- What can you drink while fasting?
Generally, you can drink plain water, unsweetened coffee, and various teas. If youre not sure if you can make it, you can try dirty fasting and enjoy drinks that contain less than 50 calories during your fasting windows, such as water with lemon or bulletproof coffee.
- Should you mix intermittent fasting and exercise?
Combining fasting with exercise is generally a great way to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. Everyone should increase their heart rate for 150180 minutes per week or about 30 minutes per day to stay healthy. However, if youre trying more strict fasting regimens such as the Warrior diet, you shouldnt train too hard.
- What is dry fasting?
Dry fasting is a dangerous practice that eliminates not only food but also water from your diet. It isnt recommended for most people, as dehydration raises multiple health issues.
- What can you eat or drink while on intermittent fasting?
Fasting works best if you follow a balanced, high-quality diet. You can achieve it by following a simple proportion. Half of your daily food intake should include non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of it lean protein, and the final bit should consist of whole grains or starchy vegetables. You can easily follow it if you visualize this proportion on your plate.
- Can you chew gum while fasting?
- Can you drink green tea while on intermittent fasting?
- How to gain muscle while intermittent fasting?
What To Expect On Day Four Of Your Water Fast:
- Continued autophagy and new stem cell growth.
- The continued drop in glucose and rise in ketones.
- Increased levels of energy and better brain functioning.
- An overall sense of well-being.
- Cortisol increases glucose. Some ways to combat this? Dont overtrain, increase your intentional prayer/meditation, or focus towards healing.
Read Also: How To Lose Weight Fast While Fasting
The Proposed Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
When it comes to weight loss, there are two thoughts behind why IF has the potential to work. The first: Periods of fasting produce a net calorie deficit, and so you lose weight, explains Rekha Kumar, MD, a specialist in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYorkPresbyterian in New York City. The other concept is more complex: This approach may prevent whats called the plateau phenomenon from happening, she says.
You may remember the famous, so-called Biggest Loser study, published in August 2016 in the journal Obesity. The researchers followed up with participants after six years, and despite the initial impressive weight loss, they regained most of the weight, and their metabolic rates had slowed, such that they burned far fewer calories than would have been expected.
Though more research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of IF, one of the touted benefits of this approach is it may prevent this metabolic sputtering. Most people who try diet and exercise to lose weight tend to fall off the wagon and regain weight. Hormones that promote weight regain, like hunger hormones, are kicked into full gear, and the thought is that IF may be a way to prevent this metabolic adaptation from happening, says Dr. Kumar. Normal periods of eating in IF trick your body into losing weight before the plateau happens.
Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up During Fasting
While this does not happen with everyone, it can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during intermittent fasting. Your body is producing sugar in order to provide energy for your system. This is a variation of the dawn phenomenon and in general is not a concern as long as blood sugars are not elevated the rest of the day.45
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Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting: Next Steps
Intermittent fasting can potentially have some very positive benefits for somebody trying to lose weight or gain lean body mass.
Men and women will tend to have different results, just like each individual person will have different results. The ONLY way to find out is through a conversation with your doctor and self-experimentation.
There are multiple ways to do an Intermittent Fasting Plan:
- Fast and feast regularly: Fast for a certain number of hours, then consume all calories within a certain number of hours.
- Eat normally, then fast 1-2x a week: Consume your normal meals every day, then pick one or two days a week where you fast for 24 hours. Eat your last meal Sunday night, and then dont eat again until dinner the following day.
- Fast occasionally: probably the easiest method for the person who wants to do the least amount of work. Simply skip a meal whenever its convenient. On the road? Skip breakfast. Busy day at work? Skip lunch. Eat poorly all day Saturday? Make your first meal of the day dinner on Sunday.
After that, get started! Take photos, step on the scale, and track your progress for the next month.
See how your body responds.
See how your physique changes. See how your workouts change.
And then decide if its something you want to keep doing!
4 years later, I have no plans on going back to eating breakfast. Sorry General Mills and Dr. Kellogg!
If youre worried about all of this stuff, or arent sure when to eat and stop eating, try out our new app!
Tips To Achieve Fasting Success
This is the last part of my fasting series, including a detailed journal of my 21-day fasting experience and my personal tips on fasting. If youre new to fasting, get the full background here: Fasting Experiment. Access all articles: The Fasting Series.
Ever since I wrote about my 21-day fast in Feb 2011, many readers and clients have shown an interest in fasting too. I even had a friend quietly embark on a 17-day fast after he read about my fast. Some readers have used the PE forums for their fasting endeavors, by posting their fasting logs and using it as a platform to get accountability and support. As a result, theyve also successfully completed their water fasts, with some as long as 3 weeks.
Given that Ive gained a fair amount of knowledge on fasting with my fasts , I thought Ill create a guide on how to fast with success.
Disclaimer: This guide is only provided for informational purposes. Im not a fasting expert or medical doctor and Im only sharing my experience with fasting. Fasting has its risks. You agree that you use this resource at your own risk.
Enhanced Cognitive Function And Protection
An intermittent dry fast can have these effects on your brain:
- Increased neuron protection against dysfunction and degeneration
- Increased creation of new neurons
- Increased brain plasticity
One study found that a Ramadan dry fast increased the levels of a neurotrophin called BDNF . Neurotrophins are proteins that promote the survival and growth of neurons.
The roles of BDNF are maintaining memory and learning capacity, regulating neurogenesis and neuronal survival in the adult brain, and metabolic regulation. In fact, its one of the proteins responsible for the positive adaptations of the brain in situations when theres little food available.
Even a short-term fast can improve brain function by killing harmful or unnecessary cells through autophagy.
Another way a dry fast protects the brain is through ketone production. Ketone bodies reduce two things in your brain: glutamate and oxidative stress.
Aids Weight Loss By Limiting Calorie Intake And Boosting Metabolism
Many dieters pick up fasting looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds.
Theoretically, abstaining from all or certain foods and beverages should decrease your overall calorie intake, which could lead to increased weight loss over time.
Some research has also found that short-term fasting may boost metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, which could enhance weight loss .
In fact, one review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat over 1224 weeks .
Another review found that intermittent fasting over 312 weeks was as effective in inducing weight loss as continuous calorie restriction and decreased body weight and fat mass by up to 8% and 16% respectively .
In addition, fasting was found to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue (
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How To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier
Intermittent Fasting can be dangerous if not performed well. You could experience less damaging effects, such as getting bored with more serious issues such as headaches. Here are a few tips to help you skip meals safely through IF:
- Keep your fast periods short. The duration of your fasting is up to you. However, you can stick to the following popular regimens:
The 16:8 pattern. Consume food in eight hours window and then fast for 16 hours every day.
East, stop. Involves fasting for a whole day for 1 to 2 times a week.
The 6:1 pattern. Take reduced calories for only one day in a week. For the rest of the six days, you will normally be eating.
The 5:2 pattern. This pattern is similar to the 6:1. However, here you will take reduced calories for two days every week. That is less than 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
Fasting To Treat Disease
In his practice, Fuhrman tells WebMD, he has seen fasting — combined with improving the diet before and afterward — eliminate lupus, arthritis and chronic skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. He says he has also seen fasting heal the digestive tracts of those with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and lower blood pressure.
“Fasting followed by a vegetarian diet interferes with the immune system’s activities, especially if the immune system is overreacting, as it does with ,” and other auto-immune diseases, he says. He cites half a dozen studies published in medical journals ranging from the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism to the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology.
Studies published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Journal of Nutrition in 2003 showed that mice forced to fast every other day, while eating twice the normal amount of food on non-fasting days, had better insulin control, neuronal resistance to injury, and other health indicators than mice fed calorie-restricted diets.
Fasting may yield psychological benefits as well.
Many are so encouraged that they try longer fasts, she says.
Fuhrman cautions that certain people should not fast, including: