So this week I hope to break down the concept of fasting. It’s a great tool to use when you need a life boost. That said there are some common complaints particularly from those who have not fasted. ( **stink_eye**)
What is Fasting?
This gets into why fasting helps your brain independently of diet. It creates a super boost and is easier when you’re fat adapted. You don’t need to be keto to get the benefits of fasting, but fasting is much easier on you mentally and physically if you are already fat adapted.
Time Restricted Eating
Time restricted feeding refers to the diets that talk about eating only within a certain window each day. 16-8 is a popular approach. You might stop eating at 8p each day and not begin eating again until noon the next day. From 8p to 12p you would consume only water, coffee or tea. (No sweeteners or cream for purists). There are several variations 16-8, 20-4, even 40-8 for those with more severe conditions that need intervention.
If this appeals to you, start with the 16-8. You can still lead a fairly normal family life with 16-8. Eat until you are full, don’t worry about calories.
This term probably gets the most misused among the low carb fans. Intermittent fasting is the idea that you go extended periods without food intermittently. You don’t eat on Friday this week and Wednesday and Thursday next week for example. Think of this as the next step up from time restricted eating. You eat normally the rest of the time, but when you are in fasting mode you are just consuming water and maybe coffee/tea.
Make sure you get enough salt to keep yourself hydrated.
Extended fasts are 24+ hours of water only. (Water + salt). 48, 72 hour fasts are popular kick starts for getting you switched over to fat-adapted. When there’s no food coming in, there’s not much for insulin to respond to so insulin goes down and ketone production goes up.
Great way to kick start profound internal changes.
Once you are fat-adapted it is much easier to do this.
FMD (Fasting Mimicking Diet)
Valter Longo is the biggest proponent of FMD and is working on longevity issues with his version of the FMD. The idea behind FMD is to limit meal size to limit insulin response. Inherently you need to limit carbohydrate intake as well. He’s less concerned with ketosis.
OMAD (One Meal a Day)
OMAD is similar to a time restricted feeding window. You just consume all of your daily nutrition in a single meal. Here’s my issue with this.
If you are still eating carbs you get a predictable insulin response and because you are eating more than your body can reasonably use in 2-4 hours (remember, you’re eating for the entire day/night), you will get the extra stored as fat. If you are not fat-adapted, you’re just heaping more fat on your body that you will not be able to mobilize tomorrow. This is especially problematic for those who regularly overeat or drink alcohol while eating.
That said, if you are fat-adapted, as long as you do not overeat, you will use up that meal’s worth of consumption before your next meal.
The Fasting Playlist
My early mistakes with keto and fasting
I didn’t intend to calorie restrict, but limiting time windows leads to accidental calorie restriction kinda. I also was getting more protein and not enough fat so I wasn’t getting what I needed and I wasn’t getting super charged. It was a lot of iterating to do what I’m doing now but it seems to work. Using a 7-day water fast to kick start my process was hugely helpful. That pushed me way into ketosis and it’s been hard to bounce me out since.
I don’t want to focus on food. That leads to body issues. I’ll incorporate fasting seasonally but otherwise I’m not fussing over time restriction or days of week etc. My insulin and glucose levels are where I’d want them so that may be the ultimate Luxury. I’ll enjoy while I can.
Some more food for thought
Extreme case: longest fast on record started in 1965 and last 382 days. He went for weeks without bowel movements but appeared to have no ill effects. The Fast, and the Curious. Really makes one wonder about fiber and minerals.
For those who have dieted, particularly caloric restriction or heard about yoyo diets
Addresses yoyo dieting min 40: https://youtu.be/evGFWRXEzz8
Why fasting mimicking diet and water fasting lead to lean muscle protection but prolonged persistent visceral fat loss: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k4583