I always felt that intermittent fasting and 24h fasting as it is explained in general and as is used by the grand public are not the most efficacious fasting procedure. Some of the preached practices are very healthy and people use them properly, while others abuse it in the name of getting into “health” circles with instagram feeds and twitter comments.
As an example, if you ate sardines served on lettuce with tomatoes and an apple for lunch at 12pm and a light fruit salad for “dinner” at 16pm, both only like 3 to 500calories full of fibre and your next meal would be 14pm next day, yes that would have some great intermittent fasting effects. However, if you had a giant ribeye steak for lunch and at 18pm you followed it up with a barbecue dinner, your actual complete digestion, food assimilation and emptying would be still going on next day. Measurable fasting would not even really start till your planned next meal. Call this intermittent fasting if you wanted, but I just name it not-eating. It is beneficial to not to eat till 14pm for sure, but not for the effect of fasting ! More likely to properly get that food going through your system.
The same case is true for big eaters like me. I can eat 3 to 4000 calorie in one sitting, despite that I am a skinny runner. That is only 2 pizzas or a full chicken of 1.5kg. If consumed that at 18pm, I can so easily go till 18pm till next day, with no actual feeling of hunger or anything on the side. I re-feed the same amount of calories next evening and I did not loose anything. I mean there was no caloric restriction. I consumed 3000 calories at day one and did it at day 2, despite that there were like 30hours of not eating inbetween. ! You have to just get a meal of pork after an overcharged bullet proof coffee for breakfast and your next meal will be at next days dinner, black pudding, beacon and sausages made in the oven. There would be some benefits, but the eating actions would undermine the purpose. Caloric restriction is very important in case of fasting.
The third badly used option is timing. Starting your fasting at night after dinner. It is easy to go through a full day with no eating, knowing that at the evening we can refeed. However when digestion is totally over and we go for a full night of sleep, that is where magic happens ! Start your 24h fast in the morning after a night of sleep with a big jar of water and refeed the next morning !
A little guide to fasting
Fasting is the same like diet and exercise. You cannot fast yourself out from a bad lifestyle on the same way as exercise doesn’t function as long term weight loss tool. Fitness and health are two different facets of life. You can be healthy following a hygienic lifestyle with 3 x 20 minutes yoga and 2hours of walking a week, but you would still get winded on a flight of stairs. The same way your 6pack abs will not ever protect you from heart attack !
If you were unhealthy and your body is deprived of essential quality nutrients, fasting becomes treacherous, painful and very demanding on your body. I really encourage people to get into fasting after at least 20 days of very healthy eating and living. Most health and sport ‘people’ have eaten ‘kind of correctly’ for half a decade and jumping in to a 48hour fast is just part of the game. No problems ever pop up !
You, on the other-hand might faint and go to the hospital ! Get your life in order including sleep, hydration, food, environment and more. If you had health issues going on, definitely check up with a pro !
Learn about yourself and learn about fasting ! Health and fitness fasting or leisure fasting is way different than medical fasting ! Knowing myself, I could go for 1 – 2 -3 – 5 days of water-fasting, with no negative consequences. Most of you are not that disciplined and do not practice things like daily breathing, sunbathing, barefoot walking, yoga, sea swimming, self massage and much more and not connected to your bodies. If you wanted to engage in an over 24h fasting, you might want to get into a fasting center ! Do not jump into fasting, before your life and knowledge is in check !
I am not going to repeat myself here. I could write out a total 2 year long weight-loss and health regain program for a morbidly obese person. Then explain a gradual fasting program with a slow start of intermittent eating. Add a monthly then a fortnightly 24hour fast and after 4 5 years being healthy maybe a couple of 48 to 96hour fasting protocols. No, we are here to discuss proper health and fitness fasting.
For you guys who are ready, I recommend to go for a 36 to 48hour fast as benefits will enormously be different from your previous 24h experience. If you wanted to drink coffee and tea, maybe add some citruline malate and l-carnitin, do so only in the very first quarter. Then drink only water. Maybe sparkling water. Some of you might want to add salt or bicarbonate of soda, maybe magnesium to your extremely high quality water. This will help absorbing and using that water to flush out cells, exchange intra-cellular fluids, upgrade lymph-fluid and blood quality and so. These are calorically free elements and will not temper with your fasting. Some of you might not have access to spring water or a 7 step filtration system. Leaving your tap water out on the sun for an hour, then giving it a big shake each time you drink would be better than nothing. I understand that the state of general water supply in the US is bad ! Here in Europe our tap water is better. I use only a brita, no reverse osmotic system needed. I also have access to spring water when wanted.
Start your fast with a 18pm meal. Sleep well in a chilled, dark, noise and electricity free room. Go to sleep next day empty and magic will happen that time. The second sleep. Third day when waking up, you can decide that you take it to the next level and refeed only in the evening or eat right now. The most important is to eat only the day before, go a night of sleep, do not eat and go for another night of sleep!
- Day 1: following normal eating habits. Last meal at 18pm. Sleep.
- Day 2: Coffee or tea, only till midday. Nothing except some salt, bicarb or magnesium after midday. Sleep again. Night of real repair !
- Day 3: Decisions to make. Eat right now and break the fast as the mowing of the garden has to be done, or keep on going with light mental work and relaxation and eat only dinner. So this is a real 24h fast. It is longer than 24h, but after a meal in my opinion the very first positive signs of not eating comes in around 10 hours. This is where I would start counting the 24h !
Time restricted eating is not new. During Ramadan in the Islam for example. In the history of Christianity multiple 40days fasting is mentioned and also practiced during the Lent or Quadragesima / Fortieth !
I do not like the recent islamic behaviour of Ramadan fasting. It became as abused as we talked about intermittent fasting. They don’t eat and dink anything during the day, but night time it is not a proper refeed, but a freckin’ Christmas every time ! They don’t eat giant salads with quality meat, proper tajin, cous cous or whatever was traditional. They go for cakes, sweets, delights, icecream with full of cheap white sugar and loads of bad oils. Lots of them smoke during the day a lot. Also they do not eat once or twice, but 5-6 times during the night.
I have been observing this in multiple parts of France, Malta, Italy but seen in England and Ireland too in the immigrant Islamic community. You can see that the face gets really thin as it melts a little, but the fat bodies stay the same ! Also not drinking at all during the day is really unhealthy. It would be kind of okay, if they therapeutically stayed in a cold dark cave sleeping. However mostly these Islamic countries are around desert areas of freckin’ 30 plus Celsius degrees. You must drink water !
I visited Morocco and have some Tunisian, Moroccan, Algerian friends. I find their religion, their traditions, their history, their original, simple, superbly family oriented lifestyle very deep and healthy. However the 20th / 21st century put a very negative layer on these nations.
I always like to finish my blogs with a small explanation, that here you can find only three pages. Multiple books are written on fasting, intermittent fasting and time restricted eating. If you were really interested, just read up !
Need some advice on information gathering ? Drop me a mail and I write you a list of films and written literature!