Have you hear about IF (intermittent fasting) before? I’m sure you have! It is huge right now in the fitness industry.
Super models have been practicing this for years before shoots and shows to look their leanest and it’s also been a part of many religions from way back when.
What is intermittent fasting? It’s simple – going without food for a number of hours.
There are quite a few ways to fast. You could do a 14 or 16 hour fast (normally done when sleeping at night), 20-24 hour fast or longer.
What are the benefits to fasting?
During a fast, our bodies are not receiving food from outside sources – ie. I refrain from stuffing my face with fat for a few hours. Instead, our bodies begin using our stored food or body fat. Yep, you read that right, our bodies use our BODY FAT to feed and provide energy to use throughout the day.
Eating up our own body fat is just one of the great benefits to IF. What else is there you ask? Up-regulating your digestive system and metabolic rate. Letting your digestive system relax for around 24 hours can increase your metabolic rate (or how many calories you burn during the day performing basic functions like breathing and digesting food) by 12%. That’s pretty awesome right? You can also increase brain function, reduce stress and inflammation in the body, reduce insulin resistance and even lose weight. (Here is a quick breakdown article on the benfits of fasting. Here is an awesome article by Dr. Jason Fung on the difference between fasting and calorie restriction.)
I usually fast for about 14-16 hours daily (from the hours of 7pm to 11am). I stop eating after dinner and have a black coffee with MCT Oil in the morning before consuming my first meal around 10:30-11am. This works for me. I eat when I am hungry. I use to think I needed breakfast like another hole in my head…. I would sucker punch anyone who got in the way of me and my mighty muffin! But now, I feel like I have freedom from food because I feed my body well and just don’t need to eat all the time.
It was a natural progression into a 24 hour fast. I was a little apprehensive at first, going back to my weight loss mindset of being restricted and not being allowed to eat. I had to remind myself a few times that I was choosing to do this fast for my own benefit. This helped A LOT. I took the power back from my negative/restrictive mindset and allowed myself to really enjoy the fast. I chose to fast from 5pm – 6pm in order to sleep ome of it away 😀
Here is what my 24 hour fast schedule looked like:
Day of Fast:
6am – MCT Oil & black coffee
9:30am – 3 hard boiled eggs and 1.5oz of cheese
1pm – salmon, sauerkraut, broccoli, cauliflower and garlic sauté with two slices of bacon (all cooked in bacon fat)
3pm – tea with 2 tablespoon of heavy cream
5pm – 4 eggs cooked in beef tallow with cheese and 3 slices of bacon + a pumpkin pie fat bomb.
5am – wake up
5:30am – 20oz of water
6am – black coffee (missing my MCT oil!)
10:30am – 40oz of water (feeling mentally hungry because this is when I usually start prepping for meal one)
12pm – 40oz of water
***At this point, I went to Costco to pick up a few things. Bad idea…. the smell of food made me SO HUNGRY. I even started to experience slight brain fog. Insane what the sense of smell can do!
2:30pm – green tea (hunger gone! feeling great! tea was a great idea)
6:30pm – dinner!! I made beef stew and ate it with keto muffins and kerrygold butter. NOM.
7:45pm – another muffin with some peanut butter on it and 20oz of water
I made it 25 hours fasted and it was relatively easy. I probably could have gone longer if I wanted to. Aside from my Costco almost-suicide…. the day went by quickly. I was able to experience real hunger and feel a sense of peace in my body. It is definitely a weird (but really good) feeling.
I plan on fasting once per week or every other week. I really feel like my body was able to reset itself in a way. As I write this, the morning after my fast, I am not hungry at all. I woke up at 4:30am and it is now 6:45am. Soon, I will grab my MCT Oil coffee and probably won’t eat again until 12 or 1pm.
IF has led me to be more in control of my time and not constantly obsess over food.
If you decide to try a fast, comment below how you felt and what you experienced! I find connecting with others to be an amazing experience and something that I love doing 🙂