Fasting is all the rage right now with new books & material coming out all the time on “how to fast”. For me, fasting definitely brings benefits but it’s not necessarily top of my list of “things to do” for LIHF Living. I’ve found it to be a very personal thing with some people liking it and others hating it. Like everything else I do, the rules for fasting are VERY simple..
Firstly, get FULLY keto-adapted BEFORE you fast!
If you want the full benefits of fasting you really need to be FULLY keto-adapted BEFORE you start which means several weeks if not months of ketosis, which in turn usually means well AFTER your weight loss phase. All the reasons for this are explained here..
My Definition of Fasting: “Intermittent” & “Pre-Planned”
One of my “Ten Commandments” of LIHF Living is to eat ONLY when hungry. Over the last four years I have noticed that the time between my last meal in the evening and my first one of the following day has generally speaking increased, meaning that I can sometimes go for up to 18 hours between meals, even with some exercise thrown in. Some people call this “intermittent fasting” but I don’t. For me this is just eating when I am hungry, whatever the interval might be. I accept that from a medical perspective anything over 10-12 hours is considered to be a “state of fasting” and is hence the baseline for just about all the major blood tests but any other definitions above & beyond this are open to debate in my opinion. For me a true fast is “an enforced period of going without food when hunger drives you to eat”. In other words, a “failed hunting trip”.
So, apart from regularly going well over 12 hrs between meals, the only other fasting I do is what I call a “Pre-Planned”, 24hr fast (failed hunting trip scenario), usually always breakfast-breakfast. During this time the only thing that passes my lips is some tea & water. This I now do once per month, on the first exercise rest day of each month, as explained here. Whilst I accept that there are benefits to fasting beyond 24hrs, especially for tackling infections & disease, I avoid doing so because I do not want to risk any loss of muscle mass.
Why I Fast
For 2 main reasons: further reduce inflammation and hence increase/ deepen ketosis & liver toxin autophagy; a thorough once/ month “liver clean out”!
**I DO NOT fast for weight loss purposes! ¹ **
Other “non-quantifiable” benefits I have noticed:
- extremely good quality of sleep, waking up feeling thoroughly refreshed & full of energy.
- Deep clarity of thought.
- A feeling of deep relaxation/ well-being.
I received this tweet early October from a T2D still in weight-loss phase trying out fasting for the very first time. As I said above, I DON’T recommend this and regardless, when fasting at ANY time if you are really feeling bad then STOP and have something to eat! If you are getting it all correct, fasting should be a pleasant and rewarding experience, NOT some form of torture!
@LIHF_Living I’m fasting for more than 18 hours now & I get the same trembling feeling like having a hypo, however my BS is 116mg/dl. ???
— Dirk Van Giel (@DirickVanGiel) October 6, 2016
1. If you have identified your Inflammation Pyramid correctly, you should not experience any “weight-loss plateaus”.