Are you interested in how to do intermittent fasting? If so, then you probably know that Intermittent fasting has become popular in the weight loss and medical community, for good reasons though. It is an excellent way to improve metabolic health, keep your body weight in check, as well as keep your system clean. But what is the best way to intermittent fasting? Well, read on
The lengths to fast are grouped mainly into:
- Shorter fasts
- Longer fasts
1. Shorter fasts
Put simply, shorter fasts last no more than 24 hours and are often done more frequently. Here are the common shorter fast regimens.
• 16-hour fasting
You’ll need to eat all your meals within a period of 8 hours and then fast for the other 16 hours of the day. Experts generally
recommend eating your meals between 11.00 am and 7.00 pm, which means you’ll be skipping your breakfast. But basically, you’ll eat 2-3 meals. It’s tough at first but you will learn to get used with it as your body adapts.
• 20-hour fasting
and 4-hour eating (20:4)
With this fast regimen, you eat within a 4-hour period and fast for the remaining 20 hours. For example, you can take your meals between 1.00 pm and 5.00 pm every day. Well, this generally means you’ll be
taking 1-2 meals smaller meal within this 4-hour window period.
When it comes to longer fasts, you’ll need to fast more than 24 hours, typically from lunch to lunch or dinner to dinner. This
simply means that, if you’re going to take your lunch today at 12.00 PM, you’ll have your other meal on the next day the same time. And in a week, you’re generally required to follow this
routine for about 2-3 times.
Here are the popular longer fast regimens:
With a 36-hour fast, you’ll have to go an entire day without a meal. If for instance, you take a meal (let’s assume dinner) in day
one, you’re supposed to skip all the meals on the next day. Your next meal will be on the third day, and it will be breakfast.
This technique, without a doubt, has more potent weight loss benefit and is recommended for people with diabetes, with adjustments to medication in the book “The Complete Guide to Fasting” by Dr. Jung. I highly recommend this book and the videos (below) that he made regarding how diets don’t work.
This typically involves eating regularly for 5 days and then fasting for 2 days. Some practitioners recommend you consume about 500 calories for the 2 days you’re fasting. So, you’ll need about 500 calories each
day, and you can choose to consume them at any time. It is up to you to either consume as a single meal or simply spread throughout the day. This diet was made popular with the book “The Fast Diet” by Dr. Mosley.
Fortunately, you can fast as long as you want.
However, experts usually recommend that, if you’re going to fast more than 48 hours, you be sure to use a general multivitamin to prevent micronutrient deficiency.
Also, you should keep in mind that extended fasting can bring about the re-feeding syndrome, especially when you fast for more than 14 days.
Now let’s dive into the types of fasts that can be combined with intermittent fasting:
This is usually done without water or food. A dry fast will create some certain stress in the body, forcing it to promptly come up with water, as well as nutrients. So during dry fasting, the body survives on endogenous or metabolic water, which is produced internally to metabolize the fat tissues. You can practice these 8-12 hours a day.
It is a period where you eat no food and drink only water. This may help with weight loss because, when there are no carbohydrates (basic source of energy in the body), fats will end up being used for energy.
Medical experts generally suggest water fasting to be anywhere from 24-hours to 3 days.
This is a great technique for those who are metabolically resistant and experience a problem with their induction. With fat fasting, you create carbohydrate and protein deficiency that brings about the
depreciation of glycogen stores quicker, as well as forces the body to undergo lipolysis, where the stored fats are broken down to fuel. You can take coffee or tea with cream, whole milk, half and half, butter or coconut oil. I like to use this for short fasts on a near daily basis since i am not hungry in the morning naturally and I don’t like to eat breakfast unless it is a special family occasion.
Juice fasting (Juice cleansing)
Juice fasting involves consuming only fruit and vegetable juices while abstaining from eating other foods. The idea behind this is to hydrate and nourish the cells in the body with the right amount of minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and enzymes that are not available from cooked foods. It also helps your kidneys process the waste that is released during fasting so you don’t feel ill.
You can consume the juices up to 3 times a day in place of other meals—dinner, lunch, and breakfast.
Stock or Bone Broth Fasting
Like juice fasting, this is a way to get nutrients and liquid in you while still fasting. Make a clear chicken stock or beef stock and sip it. Isn’t this what you do when you are sick anyways? Fasting is something many of us do naturally when we are sick. The body cleans and heals itself during this time, giving your digestive system a rest.
There you have it!
Personal Note on Intermittent Fasting:
I am not a doctor but only someone trained in college and grad school in biochemistry. I don’t normally recommend diets, mostly because they have been proven over and over (probably by you too!) that they don’t work, and secondly because I suffered from anorexia as a teen due to a high lean weight. People, including my doctor, were always telling me to lose more and more.
However, as an aging boomer, I recently started becoming a type 2 diabetic and wanted to find a natural way to fight it without pills or surgery. I feel that based on the research I have seen, fasts do work and that they are safe as long as you keep checking your fat percentage for your age and gender, preferably using the dunk tank method. Make sure you are in the healthy limit for fat percentage for your age. Also follow a high fat, low glycemic index diet.