An Intro to Fasting


An Intro to Fasting

Fasting is a hot topic in the fitness world right now and we are going to introduce you to 4 different types of fasting. Let’s get started!

Fasting is not for everyone, especially people with diabetes as it can lead to harmful changes in blood sugar levels. However, fasting is a great way to cleanse your body and get your cells to regenerate. Historically, humans did not always eat 3 square meals a day. In fact, our ancestors would go days searching for their next meal and would have to rely on their fat stores to keep them going during times of famine. Not every form of fasting requires you to abstain from food for days on end or even requires you to skip your favorite meals. Fasting can be done in a variety of different ways for individual lifestyles.

16/14 Hour Fast

The 16-hour fast is an easy way to get into fasting and control your eating times. The type of fast allows for a lifestyle of continuous fasting that helps you manage when you will eat and can help with calorie restrictive diets. For example, someone who uses the 16-hour fast method may only eat lunch and dinner between the times of 1pm and 8pm. Many people forego breakfast due to busy mornings and never realize they are already on track for 16-hour fasting. The other variation is a 14 hour fast which allows you to eat between 10am and 8pm.

The Switch Off

This method utilizes calorie restricting days in combination with regular consumption days.  You might limit yourself to 500 calories or less two days of the week and eat your healthy regular amount the other five days. Some choose to forgo eating all together on their fasting days. This method requires that the fasting days be nonconsecutive and has one non-fasting day in between. The key to successful calorie restricting days is focusing on high-fiber and high-protein foods to keep you going and keep calories low.

24 Hour Fast

The 24-hour fast requires you to pick a starting point, usually people go from breakfast to breakfast, not eating again until the full 24 hours has passed. Some do this on a weekly or bi-weekly cycle. This method generally produces the most common signs of fatigue and hanger. If you use this method, you should return to your healthy eating habits on non-fasting days.

Multi-day Fast

The multi day fast helps to trigger cell regeneration and kicks in your body’s detox mode. Your body is made to run off your fat stores when food (glucose) is not readily available (aka ketosis). By pursuing fasting for a consecutive 2-4 days or longer, your body taps into fat reserves and helps you get into a state of ketosis. Not everyone reaches ketosis at the same time due to varying factors of physical activity, age, metabolic rate, carb, fat, and protein consumption, so it may take longer for you to see desired results and require more than 2-4 days of fasting.

The Bottom Line

There are many types of ways to get into fasting, some will be better suited to your lifestyle and some you may already be participating in without you even knowing it. We will be covering the best practices to begin fasting and which types might be best for your circumstances in our next blog, so stay tuned for more.

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