Fasting at first glance may seem super challenging. Personally, I thought that it was too extreme and avoided learning more about it at the beginning of my healthy living journey. But eventually, I came around to the idea and decided to give fasting a try.
After my first fast over 6 years ago, I was hooked. Now I can’t imagine not fasting. It changed my life in so many positive ways.
I learned quickly that I didn’t have to fast every day in the beginning to see results. In fact, I fasted 5 days a week during my first year.
This was plenty.
I took weekends off but didn’t go crazy eating tons of junk food.
Most of my meals were made home and I maintained a robust exercise routine. Weight issues disappeared from my life.
If you’re looking to start, fasting 4-5 days a week is more than enough.
You’ll start to manifest the benefits of fasting like:
- Steady weight/body fat loss. Your body will naturally adjust to its new way of being. Unnecessary pounds will drop off ( and stay off) along the way.
- More stable insulin levels. Insulin is a fat-storage hormone. Constant eating keeps insulin levels high. This can lead to developing type 2 diabetes.
- Improved mental clarity. Some people I’ve talked to are blown away by the fact how fasting removed their brain fog. The body works hard when it’s in digestion mode all the time.
- A boosted immune system. Since I’ve started fasting all sickness has left my life (besides occasional seasonal allergies). Studies show that white blood cells are lowered when the body is in a fasted state. Excessive white blood cells lead to sickness.
The benefits I mentioned above barely scratch the surface.
1. Your Diet Should Be a Creation of Whole Minimally Processed Foods That You Love
Throughout years of research with fasting, I’ve noticed there’s a misconception that fasting is a magic bullet that’ll solve all of your problems.
This simply isn’t true.
Think of fasting as a great tool to sharpen your well-being. You could fast for 23 hours daily and still gain weight and develop lifestyle-related diseases if your diet is poor.
The trick is to stay away from ultra-processed foods that are high in sugar, bad fats, and chemicals. Seek to consume no more than 30-40 grams of added sugars per day. When I started fasting I took note of my daily sugar consumption but I wasn’t obsessive about it.
All products I brought from the grocery store had little added sugar and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. A low sugar diet reduces cravings and it’s much easier to lose the weight you want.
Sugar comes in many forms like sucrose, maltodextrin, lactose, corn syrup, and dextrose to name a few. Artificial sugars like Splenda should be avoided. Some experts say drinks like diet coke are fine while fasting. But keep in mind that artificial sugars do create an insulin response and are linked to having more cravings.
Use popular diets like Keto or Vegan to give you ideas on how to eat the best for your body. No diet works for everyone. It’s best to experiment and see what works for you. This also takes off the pressure of having to follow strict guidelines that ultimately cause failure in the long run.
2. Amplify Your Results With Fasted Workouts
Working out in a fasted state can seem rather extreme. But as you get used to fasting you might want to give it a try.
Growing up I was taught to have something in my stomach before a workout. But I noticed if I ate too much my workouts suffered. So I would have something simple like a banana.
Once I started fasting I began to work out on a completely empty stomach. It shocked me how high my energy levels were. I was laser-focused and able to put in more reps. Now I almost never work out with food in my system. For you, this may be different but I encourage you to give fasted workouts a try.
Do this only if you’re comfortable with fasting. I didn’t do fasted workouts until I was solid in my practice.
Benefits of working out fasted include:
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Greater exercise capacity
- More efficient fat loss
Start with a low-impact workout. I remember even as an experienced faster a 45-minute spin class was challenging at the start. Fasted workouts will feel weird the first few times but it will get easier.
3.Build a Holistic Lifestyle Around Your Fasting Protocol
Fasting is just the start of creating a healthy life that you love. Once you’re acclimated to your protocol, seek to add other healthy practices.
This could be:
- Starting a mediation practice
- Long walks in nature
- Improving the relationship with yourself and others
- Beginning a new career that matches your passions
Fasting gives you the space to figure out what you really want out of life. You’ll gain the confidence to make radical changes that you never thought were possible.
Start by fasting 14-16 hours a day (approximately) five days a week. From there you’ll level up in life like never before.
Here’s a Guide That’ll Help You With Hunger Once You Start Fasting
Download the Stop Hunger Guide. Implement the 5 tips suggested. You’ll see positive change in a short period of time.