There's No One Way To Fast
Here’s how we fast.
Fasting works not only because of the science but because you can adapt it to fit your lifestyle and goals. There is no one way to fast and not everyone does it the same, or for the same reasons or periods of time.
Here is how we all fast.
I started fasting because I didn’t believe it would work and I wanted to prove it wrong. I fast to lose weight or maintain weight loss. I also fast because I believe both the weight loss and the act of fasting helps my health. I fast for health and hotness!
Most days I just skip breakfast. I try to eat only lunch and dinner those days ideally at noon and 6. Sometimes I have a snack at 3 as well but I try not to. This fasting protocol seems like a normal way of life for me but it took a year to feel that way. When I gain a couple of pounds, I step it up doing a fast for 24 hours or maybe even 36.
I respect people who can fast with water or water and salt only but I haven’t been able to do it. I use coffee, tea, water, salt, pickle juice, fizzy water and I put a little heavy cream in my coffee. Sometimes, if I’m super hungry, I use bone broth.
My number one fasting tip is to start slow and take it a step at a time. I’ve done a few long fasts and made my family miserable in the process because I didn’t build up to that ability. If I am stressed or emotional during a fast, I have a really tough time sustaining the fast.
When a fast is over I usually break it with bacon. Why? Because I’m hungry and I freaking love bacon. I don’t deal with the sensitive stomach issues that some have after a fast. My fasting is successful because I’m ok with failing. Some fasts work, some fasts don’t. Every fast is different and once I accepted that, life became a lot easier.
Fasting started as a way to support Eve as she began discovering it. While I had a few pounds to shed, I planned to do it the way I had always done it. With exercise and watching my calories. After a while, I found that fasting was taking care of the weight loss for me. The exercise was still great, but it was more to tone up than for weight loss.
These days I follow a 16:8 fasting routine most of the time. If I’ve over-indulged or I’m feeling a little sluggish I will fast for a full 24 hours two or three times in a week to get back on track. If I have a specific weight or fitness goal I may extend a fast to 36 or 48 hours, but I almost never go further than that.The way I decide how long to fast is by listening to my body. I’ve come to recognize that feeling lethargic or slow is a good sign that I need to spend a bit more time fasting.
The biggest key to success for me is what I’ve been eating immediately before a fast. If I’ve been cheating and overloading on carbs or sugar it is incredibly difficult. If I’ve had a couple of days with a lot of fat and protein, it is much easier to fast for 24 or 36 hours. During a fast, I become even more of a coffee fiend (don’t listen to Eve, black coffee is the only real coffee!). I’ll drink twice as much coffee as normal. Sometime between 16 and 20 hours I also try to get some extra salt in my body to keep my electrolytes more or less in balance. If I am feeling really hungry I’ll grab some bone broth or apple cider vinegar.
When it’s time to eat again I usually mix some kind of rich fat with a few veggies. That means grabbing an avocado while I wait for the pork chop to cook. Then chase it all with a lettuce salad including some heavy dressing. This is probably not ideal, but it feels so decadent and rewarding that I start getting interested in when my next fast will be.
Fasting for me was a natural progression. I first went low-carb, then turned to a full ketogenic diet, and then I added fasting. My first 24 hour fast was terrifying, I was convinced I was going to pass out and the whole thing would kill me. Then, it was over and I was shocked at how easy it was. The hardest part of fasting is staying busy. Days where I am at home, relaxing, with the fridge staring me down, are the hardest days to fast.
I rarely eat breakfast anymore, and my first meal of the day is usually about 12 or 1. I utilize 24-hour fasts when I’m too busy to think about eating, I’m traveling, or I have a high carbohydrate meal and need to give my body time to recover. If I ever splurge for days at a time or go on vacation, a 36 or 48 hour fast will have me feeling back to normal. I find in those situations, it’s easiest to start with a fat-fast for a few days before jumping into a longer fast.
My #1 fasting tip is not to be too hard on yourself. I don’t always make my fasting goals, but on the same token, many fasts have gone longer than intended.