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
Stage 5 Fasting : Stem Cells And Immune Function
The final stage of fasting begins after a full three days without food.
Before you read about the benefits, note that a 72-hour fast is a serious undertaking. If youre going to try it, make sure you drink plenty of water, get plenty of electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium, and stop fasting if you feel lightheaded or otherwise unwell.
Less Feeding More Fasting
One of the best ways to achieve effortless and long-lasting fat loss in my opinion is to train yourself to eat two meals a day . The easiest and best way to accomplish this? Leverage your natural overnight fast by skipping breakfast .19
Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and for the next three to five hours your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. Insulin rises significantly, completely shutting off fat-burning and also triggering excess calories to be stored as fat.20
After the first few hours mentioned above, your body goes into what is known as the postabsorptive state, during which the components of the last meal are still in the circulation. The postabsorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It typically takes 12 hours after your last meal to fully enter the fasted state.21
When youre in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state. Because we dont enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, its rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise.22 Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely get to enter during a normal eating schedule.
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Frequently Asked Questions Concerns And Complaints
Im a woman. Should I do anything differently?
I havent worked with women on implementing an intermittent fasting schedule, so I cant speak from experience on this one.
That said, I have heard that women may find a wider window of eating to be more favorable when doing daily intermittent fasting. While men will typically fast for 16 hours and then eat for 8 hours, women may find better results by eating for 10 hours and fasting for 14 hours. The best advice I can give anyone, not just women, is to experiment and see what works best for you. Your body will give you signals. Follow what your body responds favorably to.
Also, if youre a female, there is an allfemale page on Facebook that discusses intermittent fasting. Im sure you could find a ton of great answers and support there.
I could never skip breakfast. How do you do it?
I dont. Breakfast foods are my favorite, so I just eat them at 1pm each day.
Also, if you eat a big dinner the night before, I think youll be surprised by how much energy you have in the morning. Most of the worries or concerns that people have about intermittent fasting are due to the fact that they have had it pounded into them by companies that they need to eat breakfast or they need to eat every three hours and so on. The science doesnt support it and neither do my personal experiences.
I thought you were supposed to eat every 3 hours?
Here’s why this was a popular idea for a brief period of time:
Here’s the problem:
How To Fast: Plan Ahead And Be Flexible
Once youre used to fasting, you may find that you can incorporate a short fast on little notice. But when youre just starting out, make sure to plan your fast at least a few days in advance. Youll want to ensure that your fast isnt going to interfere with work, family, or training, all of which can counteract the positive effects of the test run.
Put some thought into where and how you will be fasting. Fast at home before trying it in the wilderness or on vacation. Have plenty of water on hand. Tell your friends and family youre fasting so they know whats going on if you start feeling irritable, and so you wont have to answer the same questions 25 times at the next group dinner.
Lastly, dont be too rigid. If you typically eat from 11 a.m. to 7 a.m., its perfectly fine to eat before a morning race or a big training day, breaking that fasting window. Consistency is good inflexibility is not.
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Schedule #: : : 4 Omad And Other Types Of Time Restricted Feeding
Popularized and researched by Satchidananda Panda, PhD, time-restricted feeding combines a fasting window with a feeding window. During the fasting window, people either dont eat at all or eat much less than usual. During the feeding window, people may either eat normally or more than normal.
In theory, this protocol takes advantage of our natural circadian rhythm to optimize metabolic health.
What it involves
Three of the more popular types of time-restricted eating include:
- 16:8, which calls for a 16-hour fast followed by an 8-hour eating window.
- 20:4, which entails fasting for the first 20 hours of each day, and then eating only during a 4-hour overfeeding window. Generally, most people put their 4-hour overfeeding window at the end of the day, as its more convenient for family dinners and after-work training sessions.
- OMAD, or one meal a day, which involves consuming all of your calories within 1 hour and nothing for the other 23 hours.
In each approach, some people focus on including highly-satiating foods such as colorful veggies and lean protein. These foods can help to dampen hunger during the fasting window.
For someone following 16:8, it might look like this:
Monday, 8pm: Finish your last meal of the day.
Tuesday, 11am: Work out.
Tuesday, 12pm: Eat your first meal, ideally the biggest one of the day.
Tuesday, 12-8pm: Feeding window during which you eat your daily energy intake.
Tuesday, 8pm: Last meal of the day ends, and the fasting period starts.
What Is Intermittent Fasting And Why Would You Do It
Intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating. It’s a way of scheduling your meals so that you get the most out of them. Intermittent fasting doesnt change what you eat, it changes when you eat.
Why is it worthwhile to change when youre eating?
Well, most notably, its a great way to get lean without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to nothing. In fact, most of the time you’ll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while getting lean.
With all that said, the main reason people try intermittent fasting is to lose fat. We’ll talk about how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss in a moment.
Perhaps most importantly, intermittent fasting is one of the simplest strategies we have for taking bad weight off while keeping good weight on because it requires very little behavior change. This is a very good thing because it means intermittent fasting falls into the category of simple enough that you’ll actually do it, but meaningful enough that it will actually make a difference.
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How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
To understand how intermittent fasting leads to fat loss we first need to understand the difference between the fed state and the fasted state.
Your body is in the fed state when it is digesting and absorbing food. Typically, the fed state starts when you begin eating and lasts for three to five hours as your body digests and absorbs the food you just ate. When you are in the fed state, it’s very hard for your body to burn fat because your insulin levels are high.
After that timespan, your body goes into what is known as the postabsorptive state, which is just a fancy way of saying that your body isnt processing a meal. The postabsorptive state lasts until 8 to 12 hours after your last meal, which is when you enter the fasted state. It is much easier for you body to burn fat in the fasted state because your insulin levels are low.
When you’re in the fasted state your body can burn fat that has been inaccessible during the fed state.
Because we don’t enter the fasted state until 12 hours after our last meal, it’s rare that our bodies are in this fat burning state. This is one of the reasons why many people who start intermittent fasting will lose fat without changing what they eat, how much they eat, or how often they exercise. Fasting puts your body in a fat burning state that you rarely make it to during a normal eating schedule.
Whats Happening With Your Body: Fat Burning Mode
When you consume a typical diet of carbohydrate rich foods, your body breaks down sugars and starches into glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body. However, when you fast or go into ketosis glucose becomes limited, and your body must turn to fat stores for the energy it requires. Your body breaks fat down into glycerol and fatty acids. The liver synthesizes ketones using glycerol. The glycerol is broken down by the liver for additional glucose, and finally, those ketones are used by your brain as glucose becomes less available.
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Should I Try Intermittent Fasting
Now that were through a lot of the science stuff, lets get into the reality of the situation: why should you consider Intermittent Fasting?
When you fast, you are also making it easier to restrict your total caloric intake over the course of the week, which can lead to consistent weight loss and maintenance.
#2) Because it simplifies your day. Rather than having to prepare, pack, eat, and time your meals every 2-3 hours, you simply skip a meal or two and only worry about eating food in your eating window.
Its one less decision you have to make every day.
It could allow you to enjoy bigger portioned meals and STILL eat fewer calories on average.
Its a point that Coach Matt makes in this video on intermittent fasting:
#3) It requires less time . Rather than having to prepare or purchase three to six meals a day, you only need to prepare two meals.
Instead of stopping what youre doing six times a day to eat, you simply only have to stop to eat twice. Rather than having to do the dishes six times, you only have to do them twice.
Rather than having to purchase six meals a day, you only need to purchase two.
#5) It can level up your brain, including positively counteracting conditions like Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and dementia.
#6) Plus, Wolverine does it:
#7) Boy George is a fasting fan :
Whats Happening With Your Body: Healing Mode
During stage three, your body starts to enter into a healing mode. This healing process begins as your digestive system takes a rest from the common stressors and toxins it endures on a daily basis. As a result, your body has fewer free radicals entering the mix, and oxidative stress decreases.
On the flip side, fasting causes a stress that provides an added benefit. This is a kind of mild stress that is comparable to the stress caused by exercise, which ultimately makes you stronger and your immune system more resilient.
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A Beginners Guide To Fasting: Everything You Need To Know About Fasting
Fasting refers to the deliberate abstention from food and/or fluids for a period of time, for therapeutic purposes. Many people dont know that fasting has been used for thousands of years in various religious and spiritual practices throughout human history, and in a sense, fasting is part of everyday life. The term breakfast is the meal that breaks the fast, which is done daily.
The recent increase in scientific research around fasting has allowed us to understand just how fasting positively affects our physiology, cells, aging, disease and overall health. What has been incredible for me to watch in my own clinic and coaching is how many people, regardless of symptoms or condition, have benefited from this completely free and simple biohack!
In 2016 Dr. Ohsumi changed the fasting landscape dramatically when he won a Nobel prize for his work on autophagy. Autophagy means self-eating and is the bodys way of cleaning out damaged cells in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. Autophagy is like the fast track to healing and slowing the aging process. What does autophagy have to do with fasting? Well, fasting triggers this magical autophagy process. Essentially, fasting helps accelerate healing and gets your body to naturally repair itself!
Pick A Correct Intermittent Fasting Plan
Its one of the most important questions that many people who are new to fasting have how long should you fast for?
Fasting periods vary, depending on the fasting program method and what works for your lifestyle. Popular regimens include fasting for 16 hours to 24-hour fasts, or even random meal skipping and alternate days of 500 calories.
Its important to choose the right fasting period for your nutritional needs, health, and overall lifestyle.
But when it comes to longer periods and the potential health benefits of using this type of diet for a while, how long is it safe to fast?
In general, extended periods without food can be beneficial to your health but do need to be managed carefully and offset with a balanced diet. For those just starting out, a daily approach to fasting can be the best method, such as the 16:8 or 14:10 plans.
Doctors at the Johns Hopkins Medical center tout the effects of fewer calories that fasting involves and how it leads to metabolic switching and weight loss.
But they do recommend starting with smaller fasting periods and working up to the longer methods, as it takes the body about two weeks to get used to suppressed calorie intake.
If you listen to your body and monitor how youre feeling with the amount of food outside of active fasting, youre the best judge of how long youre able to fast. Just dont push yourself too hard, plan ahead, and discuss any possible health conditions in advance with your doctor.
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What To Measure As You Fast
How much time did you spend in a fasted state last month? How low does your blood sugar go when you fast? How high do your ketones go? Have you considered using the glucose-ketone index to help quantify your metabolic state during your fasts? The Fasting Timer can help you answer these and other important questions about your fasting protocols.
Some of the data points you may want to track as you fast include the following:
- Time in fasted state: Track duration of each fast and total time fasted over any period .
- Blood glucose: For extended fasting, measuring four times daily is recommended to keep a close eye on blood sugar.
- Ketones: Ketone levels should start to rise as blood glucose falls as you go deeper into the fasted state.
- Glucose-ketone index: A helpful metric that examines glucose and ketones together as an indicator of metabolic state.
- Blood pressure: Another helpful metric to ensure your body is responding favorably to the fast.
- Weight: Helpful to track weight lost during the fast.
- Body fat %: Helps to track body composition changes as you implement fasting into your regimen.
- Notes: Add notes that will help you recall your experience as you look back on previous fasts.
- Custom metrics: Define your own custom metrics that pertain to your specific goals.
The Fasting Timer allows to track these and other metrics as you fast.
Figure 3: Tracking time in fasted state
How To Start Fasting: 3 Steps For First Time Fasters
So youre ready to start, the question now becomes, how do you begin fasting?
STEP 1: CREATE A FASTING WINDOW
I recommend beginner fasters start with intermittent fasting. Remember, ideally this means 13-15 hours of no food. Take a look at how long you are fasting currently, and try extending your fasting window by two hours by pushing your breakfast time back an hour and moving your dinner time up an hour earlier.
- Get a blood reader like the Keto Mojo for this step, and learn how to measure your blood sugar and ketones. Youll take a reading right after you wake up and a second reading right before you eat your first meal. What you want to see is that blood sugar is decreasing and ketones are increasing. If this isnt happening, youll want to try increasing your fasting window and also taking a closer look at your macros.
- Drinking water and maybe coffee during this fast is okay.
- Start counting your macro. I recommend using an app called the Carb Manager to do this. In this beginning phase as youre getting used to fasting, start by decreasing carbs, like bread, pasta, fruit, cookies, etc, and stay under 50 net carbs. At the same time, work on increasing your intake of healthy fats.
STEP 2: INCREASE YOUR FASTING WINDOW TO 13-15 HOURS
STEP 3: INCREASE YOUR FASTING WINDOW TO over 17+ HOURS
After mastering autophagy fasting, you may want to move into the more advanced fasts like dinner-to-dinner, 36-48 hour or even 3-day water fast.
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