What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting can also be known as time-restricted consuming. This is a prolonged period of no food or calorie intake. Many debate the definition of a true fast. Some argue that they are allowed to eat certain foods or drinks without breaking their fast.
Let me be clear: When I first started IF, I would only consume water, unflavoured BCAAs (branch chain amino acid) and black coffee during fasting periods.
The minimum fast should be no less than 14 hours. But I prefer to set the bar higher by requiring a minimum 16-hour fast, and an 8-hour eating window. The common question is “Does sleep count as fasted time?”. The technical meaning of this is that if you have slept for seven hours, your remaining fasting time will be nine hours. This is based on the 16 hour minimum.
How to Intermittent Fasting
The best way to fast is to fast for at least 16 hours, including sleep time, and to eat food within an 8 hour window. You can be more aggressive and fast up to 24 hours. I have never done this myself. You’ll only have a 4-hour window to eat, which can make it difficult to eat all the nutrients and calories you need within that 4-hour window.
Personal experience was that I struggled to eat enough food when I fasted more than 20 hours. In most cases, this meant I consumed my entire caloric intake in one huge meal which took me about an hour to prepare.
If intermittent fasting is new for you, I recommend starting with a 14-hour fast followed by a 10-hour eating window. Then, after a few days or a week, increase to a 16 hour fast, and then to an 18-hour. For many, the 18-hour fast is the best.
A 23andme DNA report can be obtained and submitted to Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s Genome Analysis Tool. It will provide suggestions for the ideal fasting time. My DNA report showed that I am genetically able to fast for 16 hours a day, along with other useful information.
Remember that water is your friend during fasting. You aren’t fasting properly if you don’t drink enough water. It is not a good idea to fast from food and dehydrate yourself. In some cases, this can be dangerous. Of course, many people around the world dry-fast for personal or religious reasons, and in all honesty, I’ve never been a supporter of that approach, although some argue there are benefits to it, spiritually/religiously speaking.
How to Break a Fast while Intermittent Fasting
The goals of the fast will determine how you break it. Most people fast for weight loss, so the following instructions will be focused on that.
My weight loss journey was successful because I followed a strict regimen. You should exercise during fasting so that your body does not use calories from food. Instead, it seeks out energy from stored fat.
It is quite straightforward really. If you don’t eat food, your body will require energy from fat to exercise. I did a 15-minute warm up cardio at a moderate speed, followed by bodybuilding-style weightlifting (high repetition), and a 10-minute cool down cardio at a moderate speed. It is important to note that heavy weight lifting should not be done while intermittent fasting is being practiced. This was why I focused on bodybuilding with high repetitions (lower weight).
After you’ve completed your fasting workout, you can now think about what you’ll eat to break the fast. I have always advocated clean eating when breaking a fast. This means that there should be no sugar or fast food. You don’t want junk food to take away all the hard work you have done in fasting and exercising.
When I had to eat breakfast after 16, 18, and 20 hours, I prepared salads, lean meats such as steak or chicken, as well as fish. I kept my carbohydrate intake low by eating brown rice and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussel sprouts.
You should plan ahead when breaking a fast. This will allow you to have enough time to eat the first meal and then digest it before you move on to the next meal. You should not eat every calorie in a single meal. It can be difficult and taxing on the digestive system. You can start slowly by eating two to three meals per meal.
People make the common mistake of eating too much food when breaking their fast. This can cause discomfort and bloating. To ensure your body absorbs the nutrients and sustains itself for the next fasting day, I recommend that you take your time with your first and second meals.
IF is like a house made of cards. If you eat junk food and have long-term digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even more, it can cause problems. Water-fasting is a way to clean up and maintain your temple. Consider all the hard work you have done throughout the day, and don’t break it by eating poorly or following bad dietary habits . You must focus on your goals, the plan and the future results that you will achieve.
Intermittent fasting can be a powerful and efficient way to lose weight, detoxify, and regulate your body. It is important to drink enough water throughout your fast. You should aim to have eight to ten 16-ounce glasses per day. If you feel hungry, then drink water.