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That’s right, fasting should NOT be thought of as a diet!

In the words of Waist Away podcast guest, Mazen Baisa, “when it comes to intermittent fasting people look at intermittent fasting as a diet. And I was in that camp at one point, too, in my life. And now I realize that intermittent fasting is not a diet. It’s actually a lifestyle. And if we look at it from that perspective, it doesn’t necessarily have to be more restrictive, is actually more giving yourself permission to eat when you need to eat. And, you know, to get all the benefits of not being in a feasting and feeding state at all times.

But you’re also kind of going through a fasting state for four big parts of the day. For me, I try to simplify things because as they get complicated, I end up not doing things. And again, we say healthy habits should always be simple to be practical, and they should be doable. So I actually like to use that, you know, like I do the 16 hour fast and then I do the eight hour feeding because it just works well with my schedule. It works well with my family’s schedule. And it’s really something that I can sustain.

Now, having said that, I do a lot of time change that up because what I want to make sure that doesn’t happen to me and also for many of the audience to this particular segment is that a lot of people sometimes do one thing for so long that they actually create we call metabolic rigidity. They don’t have metabolic flexibility anymore. So their body doesn’t know how to switch well from using the fuel source of, you know, from this sort of sugar into being fat.

So my favorite kind of way of doing intermittent fasting is really that, you know, the 16 hour fast eight hour feed. But in a lot of times I would actually do alternate day fasting, you know, like I would test it 24 hours and then like eat. And then in some cases I would even do the, you know, like a lot longer, fast. And in some parts of the year, like three days, for example, which again, a person doing that has to be careful that probably check with their doctor to make sure they’re OK with it. And then at some other moments, I also do the five to. Right. So I would actually do five days of traditional eating and then two days of other complete fasting or just 500 calories a day to kind of just allow my body to reset.

So I would say use the trial and error methodology, see what works for you. My recommendation, because I struggled with this in the past when I was getting into the intermittent fasting world 10 years ago and I’ve been more consistent with it in the last five, is that all of how we hear someone is doing intermittent fasting? So I hear about it. I read about it. I’ve listened to a podcast about it. I’m just going to go from, you know, eating, you know, for over twelve hours throughout the day from breakfast, lunch, snacks and all that into like I’ll just do a 16 hour fast. And that becomes hard, especially for busy professionals where they feel like, man, I’m not able to work with my employees or I’m not able to do my job.

If I’ve got presentations in the morning, I’m foggy and fatigued and tired. That’s when I kind of started to look at it. Let’s follow the rule of four. I call it the rule of four hours, which means if you’re going to get started with intermittent fasting, maybe if you’re normally eating, say, twelve hours on, twelve hours off, or maybe even 16 hours on, some people eat for 16 hours and they only don’t eat when they don’t sleep when they’re sleeping. Right. So I tell them, like, great. So if you’re actually already only not eating, only when you’re sleeping, that means you’re really not eating for eight hours at four hours. So great. If you slept for eight hours, hopefully people are extra beeping for eight hours because that’s so critical when it comes to also fasting and appetite and cravings. And we could touch on that a little bit. And the importance of sleeping for actually succeeding with intermittent fasting, especially with weight loss and some of the great results for anti-aging and the benefits that it offers with sugar levels.

But in many cases, I would say yes. Do the rule of four. So maybe start the first couple weeks at four hours of fasting. And then when you’re good at that and it’s not bad, you know, it’s not creating any issues for you, you’re able to continue to focus at work and able to continue to focus at home. You’re in no headaches, no feeling of tiredness, because fasting actually is fun once you get to it. You actually feel amazing. There’s a lot of energy. There’s just a lot of clarity that comes with it. And, you know, you’re doing to yourself something something great. So you for hours, for hours, four hours, for a few weeks, that will eventually could really take you or you could do 16 hours, even 20 hours fast with very minimal effort and actually still feel great by the end of the day. And you enjoy those four hours when you’re eating.”


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