Intermittent Fasting - Why would you do that to yourself
While in quarantine I am sure we are all eating and snacking everything in our paths, moving very little and generally not exercising much.
I know I am doing this. I have been on a carb binge for almost three weeks.....and it shows. Even whilst doing a wake-up routine of 20min every other day and doing some yoga, it is still showing. Most days I haven't reached 1000 steps which are horrible since a normal workday I would get at least 5000 steps without actually going for a walk.
Other than this, the high carb diet is not working wonders for my mood and skin and digestive system. I have been faced with massive bloating, bad skin, constipation and low low energy levels. I'm not blaming only carbs, it's also the depression from being inside leading to stress eating.
So now comes the truth bomb I had to stare in the face
To fast or not to fast
Normally in summer, I would fast without a problem, I would go 3 days at a time and be in great spirit. It would do wonders to my systems and of course, it is warm and sunny out so it's a bit easier not to eat.
Now, we are stuck in quarantine having snowy weather with negative degrees and in those conditions, hunger is heavy on the mind.
I decided to stick to OMAD (One meal a day) during this time and do it at least 2 times a week. This means I eat my last meal before 20h and then fast and skip meals for about 22hours and eat again from 18h the next day.
UPDATE: After fasting two days (22hour fasts) in the last week I felt good, feel lighter and less dependant on food. I also felt more focus and a certain sense of clarity during the days I was fasting. I did not weight myself since I don't like scales but I lost a lot of water that I was keeping in.
I also break my fasts using some Apple Cider Vinegar since it prepares the stomach for the consumption of solids. Apple Cider vinegar also has loads of proven benefits, like lowering blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, weight loss and lowering cholesterol; to name a few.
This week I did a 44 hour fast, this was my longest I did in a while. I felt really great the next morning and managed to get a nice home weight session in, my body felt like it was in overdrive and my mind was much more clear than normal, no brain fog. I could focus better and finish things I was procrastinating, I wasn't feeling hungry at all until someone around me ate of course....but this is normal.
I broke my fast with a banana and some lime and apple cider vinegar water.
Why do intermittent fasting
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is not a diet in the traditional sense, it's not so much about what you are eating but rather when you are eating.
Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter-gatherers didn't have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year-round. Sometimes they couldn't find anything to eat.
As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.
In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.
The main thing is, it’s a great way to lose some body weight without going on a crazy diet or cutting your calories down to a salad. Actually, most of the time you'll try to keep your calories the same when you start intermittent fasting. Additionally, intermittent fasting is a good way to keep muscle mass on while losing some of the fatty stuff.
What are the benefits and how will it affect me
So there are numerous studies and research showing the benefits of intermittent fasting and how it changes the 'way the body thinks'. Without going into too much details I will outline a few benefits, of course, there are many more.
Most diets fail because we switch back to eating a normal routine, it’s because we don’t actually follow the diet over the long term. It's not a nutrition problem, it's a behaviour change problem. This is why intermittent fasting comes out on top because it's super easy to implement once you get over the idea that you need to eat your 3 to 5 meals a day. For example, this study found that intermittent fasting was an effective strategy for weight loss in obese adults and concluded that “subjects quickly adapt” to an intermittent fasting routine. The following quote is from Dr. Michael Eades, who has tried intermittent fasting himself, on the difference between trying a diet and trying intermittent fasting.
“Diets are easy in the contemplation, difficult in the execution. Intermittent fasting is just the opposite — it’s difficult in the contemplation but easy in the execution. Most of us have contemplated going on a diet. When we find a diet that appeals to us, it seems as if it will be a breeze to do. But when we get into the nitty gritty of it, it becomes tough. For example, I stay on a low–carb diet almost all the time. But if I think about going on a low–fat diet, it looks easy. I think about bagels, whole wheat bread and jelly, mashed potatoes, corn, bananas by the dozen, etc. — all of which sound appealing. But were I to embark on such a low–fat diet I would soon tire of it and wish I could have meat and eggs. So a diet is easy in contemplation, but not so easy in the long–term execution. Intermittent fasting is hard in the contemplation, of that there is no doubt. “You go without food for 24 hours?” people would ask, incredulously when we explained what we were doing. “I could never do that.” But once started, it’s a snap. No worries about what and where to eat for one or two out of the three meals per day. It’s a great liberation. Your food expenditures plummet. And you’re not particularly hungry. … Although it’s tough to overcome the idea of going without food, once you begin the regimen, nothing could be easier.” — Dr. Michael Eades
In my opinion, the ease of intermittent fasting is the best reason to give it a try. It provides a wide range of health benefits without requiring a massive lifestyle change.
In this day and age there a huge number of people that have developed Heart-related issues, be it Cholesterol, Hypertension (high blood pressure), Insulin Resistance or inflammatory markers; this can be due to our habits or unhealthy lifestyles. I'm not saying that it can be reversed or cured with Intermittent fasting, but it will certainly help... And what else would you need if you are faced with a life-threatening illness....more pills? The pills prescribed has some nasty side effects and may lead you to need another pill to fight that side effect and so the cycle goes on and on....and on. Here are some of the studies done on this subject (Diabetes, Cardio health, Metabolism in men).
Okay, so no one wants to live a long life without food, I mean food is happiness right....or so we think. Studies have shown that with fasting or even being in a calorie deficit, your lifespan can be increased. So here are some studies done on mice, and it has shown that they live 36-83% longer than other mice/rats, and here is another one
Although there haven't been many studies on the effects, early reports, however, look positive. This study of 10 cancer patients suggests that the side effects of chemotherapy may be minimized or lessened by fasting before the treatment. This finding is also supported by another study which used alternate day fasting with cancer patients and concluded that fasting before chemotherapy would result in better cure rates and fewer deaths. Finally, this comprehensive analysis of many studies on fasting and disease has concluded that fasting appears to not only reduce the risk of cancer but also cardiovascular disease.
How to prepare and what to eat during intermittent fasting
From my perspective, it is more about getting your mind right before you jump in with both feet. I would suggest downloading an app that can help you keep time and be part of the community, I use Zero fasting app since it is so simple.
It takes the body about 2-4 days to enter a ketosis state which depends heavily on your daily intake of carbs and sugar, however, with fasting ketosis is reached faster (1-2 days depending on your body).
Of course, during a fast you don't consume any calories, so everything is out, right?....nope, during fasting you can still drink some teas and coffee, without milk and sugar of course. This might even help you reach ketosis faster due to the caffeine boosting your metabolism.
The important thing to take however is some salts to keep your electrolytes up. This will help you fight the hunger and keep you steady during the fast, it is called 'Snake Juice' and you can get some more info here.
The amazing coach, Cole Robinson, has proved amazing stuff with this juice. Here is one of his Videos from his Youtube channel (not for sensitive viewers since he using negative enforcement to motivate you)
The famous recipe is:
In a 2L water bottle mix the following ingredients together.
Potassium chloride =1 tsp (No Salt)
Sodium chloride = 1/2 tsp (Himalayan Pink Salt)
Sodium Bicarbonate = 1 tsp (Baking Soda)
Magnesium Sulphate = 1/2 tsp (Food Grade Epsom Salts)
The alternative is, of course, to buy some electrolytes in our shop which is the same and will help you during your fast. And to check if you are in ketosis the keto test strips are also available in our shop!
Please check with your doctor or health professional before attempting fasting, or if you start feeling bad you should stop immediately.
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below!