Maybe you’ve been thinking about starting Intermittent Fasting (IF) but you aren’t sure how to start or what happens at various intermittent fasting times. Typically you fast for 12, 16, 18, or 24 hours. There are so many great benefits to fasting. If done correctly, it can be very easy and fun. Yes, fun. Let’s look at some of the benefits of fasting. A word of caution, always check with your doctor before fasting or embarking on a new diet plan.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Save Money: Less meals equal fewer groceries
- Save Time: How many hours per day do you spend eating?
- Increase Brain Power: Your brain loves running on ketones
- Increase Energy: Fasted workouts are amazing, no lows
- Improve Sleep: Due to the release of extra growth hormone
- Improve Immunity: Super important during a worldwide pandemic
- Build Muscle: Due to the release of extra growth hormone
- Recycle Old Cells: Aka “autophagy”
- Clear Skin: Due to liver detox
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Lower Blood Sugar
- Reduce Inflammation: Important for fighting cancer and disease
- Flush Out Water Retention: No more bloating
- Fat Loss: Yay! Due to running out of sugar to burn
What Happens to Your Body When You Fast?
12 Hours-Let’s say you finish dinner by 7 PM. By 7 AM the next morning you have been fasting for 12 hours. Your body is now starting to enter a mild state of ketosis (fat burning). Your brain used a lot of glucose from the day before while you were sleeping to make repairs, store memories, and create dreams. You should feel clear-headed and refreshed when you wake up. Well, maybe after a cup of black coffee, no cream or sugar while fasting.
18 Hours–You skipped breakfast and had a later lunch, say 1 PM, that is 18 hours of fasting. You have now completely switched to serious fat burning and are releasing a significant amount of ketones. Congratulations, this is awesome! Your body is now sending out messages to ramp up your immune system and anti-inflammatory hormones and get ready to repair damaged DNA in your cells.
24 Hours-Your body has increased it’s recycling efforts and is getting rid of things like folded proteins which cause diseases such as Alzheimer’s, using a process called Autophagy. Autophagy is how your body literally eats the damaged parts of cells. This is huge for anti-aging and preventing degenerative diseases. This is where the KetoMAD Diet stops, with One Meal A Day or OMAD.
For a detailed description of the super nerdy science behind fasting click HERE
Fasting Beyond 24 Hours
If you want to try fasting beyond 24 hours, of course, check with your doctor. Also, check out The Complete Guide to Fasting by Dr. Jason Fung.
How to Start
The best way to start fasting is to ease into it. You can avoid the Keto Flu and other unpleasant side effects by allowing your body to adjust at each interval. This process makes it easy and fun. Before you know it you will be sailing through your days, accomplishing more than ever. Your health will improve on so many levels and your overall hunger will be at an all-time low making it easy to stick to your plan.
- Step 1: Week One-Keto Breakfast. Eat 3 meals per day at least 4 hours apart, no snacks, only water or a calorie-free beverage between meals. Try this Keto “Champagne” recipe for a great soda substitute. Make sure your breakfast is Keto, under 5 grams of net carbs. You don’t have to count non-starchy veggies. You might want to have an omelet, bacon and eggs, green smoothie, fat bombs, or Birchbenders pancakes. Eat whatever you like for lunch and dinner.
- Step 2: Week Two-Keto Breakfast & Lunch. Eat 3 meals per day at least 4 hours apart, no snacks, only water or a calorie-free beverage between meals. You are now eating 2 Keto meals per day and anything you like for dinner. If you need to eat out for lunch order a salad with olive oil/lemon for dressing, add cheese and meat or a taco, and skip the shell.
- Step 3: Week Three-Three Keto Meals. Congratulations you are now on Keto! All 3 of your daily meals will now be Keto. You should aim for no more than 20 grams of Net Carbs per day. This way you are only getting 3 small doses of insulin per day. Hopefully, you have avoided Keto Flu and any unpleasant side effects. Your appetite should be decreasing each week and you may even find yourself forgetting to eat or not being able to eat very much. Stay on this plan for one week.
- Step 4: Fasting. You are now ready to start implementing Intermittent Fasting (IF). You will do this by pushing your breakfast out one hour per day until it runs into lunch. If you are losing weight and feeling good stop there. If you are still not losing 1-2 pounds per week start pushing your lunch out one hour per day until it runs into dinner. You are now on OMAD (One Meal A Day). On OMAD you will feel incredible and your insulin will be at an all-time low. You are living on your own fat. Make sure to keep your veggie intake high for fiber, keep electrolytes balanced by adding a pinch of salt to your water and make sure to eat enough protein during dinner or whichever meal you choose for your one meal per day. If you become constipated try this tea or this natural remedy and increase veggies and water. Try to get around 20 grams of protein at your one meal or 20 grams each of you are eating two meals. Keep in mind that you don’t have to fast every day and find what works best for you. I find that my body likes a routine, same schedule every day, but sometimes it’s good to mix it up to prevent boredom.
I’d love to hear about your journey! You can email me here.