What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting is basically cycling between periods of fasting and periods of eating. A lot of times people want to do an eight-hour window where you say, okay, I’m only going to eat an eight-hour window. Some people do a six-hour window. So it’s basically just where you’re cycling between beat periods of fasting and periods of eating. It doesn’t say like, “hey, you’re not eating this. You’re not eating that.” It’s just involved in how many hours you’re fasting and how many you’re eating. So a daily 16-hour fast, sometimes people like to talk about the fasting side. So they’ll say, I’m fasting for 16 hours or I’m fasting for 18 hours. And a lot of times people want to say, no, I’m eating for eight hours or I’m eating for six hours. I personally like to say how many hours I’m eating in versus how many hours I’m fasting.
What are the different types of intermittent fasting?
So the first type of intermittent fasting that I have seen as kind of different than the regular one is where someone says, “I’m going to do a five two method”- I am against this method- but basically it is when five days of the week you just eat kind of normal, but then two days you’re on, you’re still eating on those days, but you’re only eating 500 calories. And so it’s just called the twice a week five two method, i dislike this method because i do not support counting calories.
The other thing is what we call an Alternate Day fasting, which I’m a big fan of- If it’s on and off. You could say, Monday, I’m going to eat. Tuesday, I’m going too fast. Wednesday, I’m going to eat. Thursday, I’m going too fast. But a lot of times what they call the Alternate-Day fasting is, again, this whole calorie restriction where you say, I’m going to eat regular and then on the next day I’m only going to eat 500 calories. So any time it’s a calorie modified fasting and the modification is based on your calories, I’m not a fan of it because I feel like that becomes more of a in bondage thing. So I just believe that you should either be fasting or you’re not fasting. I’m not against doing a juice fasting- if you feel like you’re going to do a longer fast. If you feel like you need to add some juice in there, you know, or bone broth or some of the crunch drinks that I talk about, that’s different.
And then there’s Time-Restricted eating! That is where we talked about where you could do a 16- 8 or you could do a 14 – 10, or you could do an 18 – 6, which means 16 hours you’re fasting, 8 hours you’re eating.I personally think if you’re eating in a 10-hour window, meaning eating 14 hours, fasting 10 hours this is not helpful to your body because that’s an average eating window. I do not like the calorie counting fasting because the one of the things I love about fasting is I do get to eat what my body craves and not what I’m restricted too. Like “oh I can only have one Oreo. Like no, if I feel like getting two Oreo’s I eat two Oreo’s, as long as it’s within my window and as long as I’m full like not full yet.”
How long does it take your body to adjust to the intermittent fasting?
This is definitely different for each person, but I would say a couple of weeks. So some people can transition, into a shorter eating window a lot faster. However, I would say usually at most within two weeks. You’ve kind of gotten more fat adapted. And so what that means is, is that your body is now using fat for fuel instead of using sugar for fuel.
Fat adapted is the metabolic state where your body has been in ketosis long enough that you’ve kind of transitioned what your body uses for fuel. All I’m used to is burning carbs and sugar for all my energy, and once you start fasting you are no longer constantly getting those carbs and sugars so your body has to find a new source of fuel which is fat! So that is basically what that means when your body gets used to intermittent fasting. I’ve heard people say it takes like six weeks to get fat adapted, in my opinion that it really depends on how much weight you have to lose and how used to your body is to grabbing for the sugar or carbs instead of for the fat.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?
My friend had an Achilles injury and she for a year or so and her Achilles hurt badly, she couldn’t do anything. She actually went on a five day fast, which don’t panic if you’re reading this. But she went on a five day fast, and she said her Achilles has never been better. Her Achilles is better than it was before she had that injury. So it’s really a matter of just massive, massive amounts of healing. I think it increased – well obviously weight loss, but besides weight loss, it’s increased fat burning. And so it’s again, it’s because your body doesn’t have sugar. So besides a regular some kind of diet, it’s massive amounts of fat burning. The other thing is lowered blood insulin and sugar levels. So before I started fasting, I was right on that borderline of being pre-diabetic. And so now that I’ve been fasting, my blood sugar is more stable than it’s ever been. I’ve seen people who it’s completely reversed their type 2 diabetes.
What can I eat during my window? What should people be eating when they’re window is open to actually eat?
My biggest thing is whole natural real foods. So like, if I’m going to have a burger, I want to try to have a grass-fed burger. If I want to have, you know, a salad. I want to try to make it organic. But again, I eat what my body’s craving, but I just try to pick whole foods if I can. But that doesn’t mean like I’m not going to have a brownie, I’m probably going to have one that’s gluten-free, that doesn’t have a ton of chemicals in it. That’s my biggest thing. So I’m not going to deprive myself, because for me personally, anytime I deprive, that’s going to lead to a binge. But I am going to be ultra-conservative on what chemicals are my most important thing. Is this a real whole food that’s not laden with chemicals is my biggest thing.
Some fasts range from 4-6 hours but some can be as long as 48 hours. What do you eat after intermittent fasting?
I’ll have a smoothie. I’ll have like fresh made fruit or I’ll have vegetable juices, I’ll have bone broths, soups, you know, lots of things that are even cooked vegetables, even starchy veggies like potatoes. I usually do fine with it, I don’t eat a ton of meat right when I’m getting off a longer fast. If I’m doing it intermittent fast where I’m just doing eight hours or six hours or even one meal a day, I’m eating whatever I want. I’m talking about if I have to do a 48 hour fast, I don’t really watch what I’m coming off the fast with unless it’s been longer than 48 hours. That’s only because I’ve done so many, for most people I say once you’ve done twenty-four hours be a little bit more careful. Most people are fine after 24 hours! It’s really once it’s been 48 or really more like three days that you really want to kind of pay more attention to it.
For many years people have said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Isn’t it unhealthy to skip breakfast?
I know tons of people would just eat breakfast and lunch, they just skip dinner all the time for the most part and sometimes they’ll eat dinner. For me I feel like when I start eating in the morning, then I just feel more hungry throughout the rest of the day. So I personally do breakfast once a week, usually on Sundays and it’s actually brunch. I really enjoy doing that once a week and sometimes I’ll do it twice a week. But then on those days, I’ll make the choice to skip dinner. I’m eating two meals, max, and sometimes one. So I’m either eating one meal a day or I’m eating two meals a day. And I’m making that conscious decision on which one I’m doing. It’s either breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. I almost never skip lunch. Lunch is my favorite meal of the day.
Does it matter if people eat early or eat late? Does it matter when they’re fasting windows are? Could they eat in the morning and then fast and not eat dinner?
I think that it’s really important to kind of change it up, like I said, every once in a while I’ll have breakfast and lunch. Sometimes I’ll have lunch and dinner. I think it’s important to kind of mix it up a little bit, to kind of give your body and sometimes throw in some eight-hour. If you’re used to doing eight-hour fast, sometimes do an eight hour fast, then turn it around and do a one hour fast- by that I mean, a one-hour eating window, a 24 hour fast. So just kind of really changing it up, I think works really well if you’re trying to lose weight. So I guess the biggest thing is what’s your goal? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to have autophagy or trying to heal your body? But I still think about changing it up every once in a while. It’s kind of like going to the gym. If you go to the gym and you’re doing the exact same thing all the time, your body gets used to it.
There’s a lot of people that will say, “If I stop eating, won’t my body go into starvation mode and store fat?” What do you say to those people?
If you looked at how many people are losing weight doing intermittent fasting you can’t say that right? Now. Do I think that your body, once you start doing extended fasting for three days or more, then I do believe that your body is going to then at that point, you know, store onto a little bit because it doesn’t want you to go into starvation mode. So I do believe that once you start going for really longer, extended fast, that that will happen. But absolutely not. Anyone who’s lost weight with intermittent fasting will tell you the same thing. So when they say these studies and so forth, it’s just not true.
What about supplements? A lot of people like to take supplements but can only take it with food or with a specific diet? Do you recommend supplements for people while they’re fasting?
Some supplements can make you nauseous because they have Magnesium Sterrett in them, they’re not clean supplements. A lot of them have some different additives in there. If you take a supplement on an empty stomach, it can make you sick, which I suggest not taking those kinds of supplements. So like if a supplement does make you sick when you have an empty stomach, then you shouldn’t take it. But if you’re taking whole food vitamins, then if you think about it, it’s just whole foods that’s kind of ground up. And so that means that you are taking some food. Right? So it depends on how strict you want to be with the fasting. For example, some people say, Okay, if I fast and I kind of have bulletproof coffee or if I fast with coconut oil, then I’m fine. Well, again, if you are on a clean fast, then you should be taking your supplements when you eat. That’s the best thing to do. Every once in awhile I will take supplements just to kind of keep in my routine.
I’ll take some whole food supplements and it’s nothing is really changing. So I don’t feel like it’s kind of one of those things, this is not what’s breaking you. I mean this is not gonna be like, “oh, my gosh, I can’t lose my last ten pounds because I’m taking a supplement.” So it’s like it’s not as big of a deal as people are saying. If you want to be really strict about it, then just take the supplement at lunchtime or whenever you open your window.
Should you work out when you fast?
There are people who say that you should not. You can’t build muscle while you’re fasting. They say when you’re fasting you need glycogen to maximize muscle. I’ve been building muscle and weightlifting with my trainer who also fasts while weight lifting. So, you know, that is a very controversial topic. There’s a lot of people who say you should only do cardio while fasting. That cardio while fasting is fantastic, but doing weight training, you’re not going to be able to get as much muscle as you possibly want if you’re fasting. For me, I personally do cardio and I do weight training and I feel like I’m doing fine with maximizing my muscle.
Should Kids fast?
I believe that a kid should be fine on two meals a day. They don’t need to be having two meals and snacks and everything else. When Kyle (my son) does eat, he doesn’t eat breakfast at all and if he does it’ll be 50 calories of food. It’s not because I’m saying don’t eat. Its because he’s eating what he wants. If I give him the option of fruit versus waffles he takes the fruit because that’s what he feels like eating. I don’t really count the calories but if I did it would only be about 50 calories of fruit everyday and he’s in perfect shape. He’s #1 in every one of his sports. He’s the fastest runner in his entire school, he’s just an athletic beast. Kyle probably eats in an 8 hour window every day, sometimes between 8-10 hours. I absolutely think kids can intermittently fast.
Why shouldn’t i eat multiple small meals a day?
This infuriated me when people feel like they need 6 small meals a day. The thing is, you’re raising your insulin levels. I’ve tried every diet under the sun. When I would eat six small meals a day, my meals were never really small. One of the things that might happen if you have problems with eating is overeating. I love to ski but once I start I cannot stop, it’s the same with eating. Once I would start eating I wasn’t able to stop and that’s what I was doing. I believe that every time you raise your insulin levels, it’s not good for your body. I’m very anti-snack, that is always a disaster.
Does fasting affect men and women differently?
Absolutely, I feel like the number one thing is a woman’s hormones. The big thing for women is when they are on their menstrual cycle, that’s when things start to get wonky. For me, I know the week before my period I absolutely can’t do it. I’m eating more like a 6 hour window or a 4 hour window. The amount of food I’m eating is a lot more. Just from my experience, I see men who can eat in a 8 hour window and they are shedding weight like crazy but when I did 8 hour windows I lost 0 weight. I started losing weight when I began doing 6 hour eating windows or less. I believe the amount of time is longer for men than it is for women. Some women their window needs to be a little shorter in order for them to lose weight that a man can.
How many calories should we be eating in a fasting window? Should we be doing the same fast everyday?
I think it’s really important to switch it up. Like I said, every once in a while I’ll have breakfast and lunch and sometimes I’ll have just lunch and dinner. It’s important to kind of mix it up a little bit, to give your body a break and sometimes throw in an 8 hour window. If you’re used to doing an 8 hour fast, turn it around and do a 1 hour fast. I mean, a 1 hour eating window- a 24 hour fast. It’s about changing it up, and I believe that works well if you’re trying o lose weight. The biggest thing is, what’s your goal? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to have autophagy or trying to heal your body? It’s like going to the gym. If you go to the gym and you’re doing the exact thing every day, your body gets used to it, so change it up every once in a while.
Should I fast everyday?
If you think about it, everyone fasts every single day, right? If you think about it, you’re not eating 24-7. Everyone is fasting at some point, it’s just about the hours they’re actually fasting. For me, I would say 8 percent of the time I eat in a 6 hour window. There’s very few days I’m eating more than 2 meals a day. If I’m on vacation or out of town, I’ve been travelling more recently, I’ll push it to a 9 hour window, but that’s not for most days. Most days it’s either I’m eating in a 5-6 hour window, but when you think about it- when you’re sleeping you’re fasting, it’s just a matter of how much.
How long do you have to fast before you start burning fat?
The example I give is if I have 100 dollars in my pocket, I’m not going to the bank to withdraw more money if I’m buying something for 80 dollars because I already have it. I can just hand you the money. It’s the same concept for your body; if you ate 5 hours ago and you haven’t burned all that fuel your body will go to my stored glycogen to retrieve fat. It’s a difficult question to answer but I would say in general our body typically stores one day’s worth of glycogen. After about 24-48 hours you have burned what you’ve eaten. Again, if you completely binge out during your eating window- your glycogen stores might have not gone to empty.
What is ketosis?
It means that your body is using fat for fuel. They have all kinds of different measurement tools like a ketosis blood measure. They have some ketosis test strips that you could pee on to see if you’re in ketosis. It really matters most when its the last time you ate and when your body is burning fat because it needs that for fuel.
Is there anyone who should not be doing intermittent fasting?
It really depends on what your eating window is. If you’re intermittent fasting and your pregnant I believe you could have a healthy pregnancy eating an 8 hour, 6 hour window. I wouldn’t recommend intermittent fasting for one meal a day for someone who’s pregnant because you don’t want to overeat and you want to make sure the baby is getting enough nutrients. I wouldn’t recommend over an 8 hour period. If you really want, it’s important to listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry, because that means the baby is hungry. If I was breastfeeding I would be eating in at least a 10 hour window minimum.
What if I’m diabetic?
I’m going to talk about Type 2 diabetes because right now we have massive amounts of evidence of people where intermittent fasting has completely reversed their Type 2 diabetes. There’s massive amounts of reports. Person after person, of people who have lost weight, improved their blood sugar levels, and no longer need to take their diabetes medications. As I mentioned before, I was personally pre-diabetic before I started doing intermittent fasting. My blood sugar lowered exponentially, your body finally gets a chance to heal itself. I’m a huge proponent of intermittent fasting and there’s so many ways it can heal your body. I’ve seen it for people who have Type 2 Diabetes.
What are some potential negative effects?
Brain fog is the number one thing that happens to me after doing a 48 hour fast. Brain fog is basically feeling dumb, like you’re walking in a cloud and something is wrong with you, it’s hard to explain. You literally feel like there’s a bunch of fog and you can’t see clearly. The thing about fasting is one moment you can feel like you’re in a brain fog with flu-like symptoms of being cold but once it passes you have this overall feeling of the best clarity you’ve ever had. That’s what’s so crazy about it. My remedy for brain fog is exercising a little bit. People believe they have to rest when they’re fasting but just a little walk is super beneficial. You can be gentle like going on a bike ride or anything to get moving and I’ll shift from brain fog into clarity.
What about intermittent fasting and fatigue?
Honestly, exercise helps so much with fatigue. If I’m fasting and then get on my bike for a ride, I feel like I have tons more energy. It curbs my appetite, that works for me. For people who feel like they’re getting tired from not eating for more than six hours, how do you get past that? I would say do 10-20 jumping jacks wherever you are. Another thing is when you first get into fasting and get to the point where you feel like you have to eat something, I would try fresh squeezed lemon or orange and put that in an 8 ounce water. Another trick I have is having a taste of pink Himalayan sea salt and this will help as well. I’ll do electrolytes. A good trick is making yourself go to the bathroom, because a lot of times if you’re tired, it’s because you’ve got toxins inside of you and figuring out a way to get that out can help as well.
Can you fast and still be keto or paleo?
I mean you can still do any kind of diet that you want when you’re doing intermittent fasting. For me personally I couldn’t do Keto because I love bread, pasta, pizza, or tacos. Tacos are my absolute favorite thing. Giving that food up? I felt constantly deprived of it so when I couldn’t eat bread I constantly thought about eating the bread. Then I would crack and eat the bread and everything else because I felt like I deserved it. But with intermittent fasting, I listen to whatever my body told me it was craving. I’m satisfied with what my body wants but I will just stop before I’m full and then I don’t have any deprivation. If I want M&M’s, I’ll eat 5 or six and staple the bag back up so I’ll have more the next time I want them. Dieting is the number one reason why people binge eat. I know someone who is doing Atkins and Keto and she’s gained 100 pounds in the past six months. It’s not about the lack of willpower, it’s about dieting themselves and the imposed restrictions that come with binge eating. Dieters never blame themselves for this behavior. If you get to the point where you say there are no forbidden foods because its like Last Supper Syndrome. If you feel like you are never going to have something again then you will over eat and continue this horrible out of control cycle. You could just be eating really healthy and what you want in moderation.
Does intermittent fasting slow aging?
Autophagy is a key process that helps keep your cells in balance. It’s like you’re recycling those cells. The term autophagy comes from the Latin word, meaning self-eating. It’s the process of breaking down parts of your cells in order to recycle them in the creation of new cells. If you’re going to get a chemical peel you’re basically killing the cells so your body can remake new cells. The idea is that you’re disrupting the normal process and causing your body to create new cells, this is why intermittent fasting works for aging.
Why am I cold when I’m intermittent fasting?
I’m always cold when I’m extended fasting. When I’m intermittent fasting for a 6 hour window, I’m not cold. If I fast for 24 hours or longer I will start to feel cold but its pretty common and it’s got a good reason. When you fast, your blood flow increases to your fat stores so it helps move fat to your muscles where it can be burned as fuel. When your blood sugar decreases, it can make you more sensitive to feeling cold. Obviously, if your blood sugar is dropping because you aren’t eating any food, you will naturally be colder. The cure for me is drinking hot tea and taking really warm showers. I wear more clothes and have blankets nearby to snuggle up. You are going to get cold when you’re doing a longer fast.
Can you fast with hypothyroid condition?
Intermittent fasting has helped me with my thyroid. I would say one of the things you should be careful with is when you’re doing a longer fast but with general intermittent fasting paired with your thyroid medicine, your thyroid starts working better so you need less thyroid medicine. When I’m fasting for longer periods, I have to cut back on my thyroid medicine because our body can perform at higher peaks so you can decrease your medicine to about ¾ of what you normally take. It’s definitely something you should talk to a doctor about. I would talk to a functional medicine doctor because a regular doctor might tell you to not fast at all, which is not the answer. Try it and see how you feel. You know, I weaned myself completely off thyroid medicine from fasting so you can get yourself to the point where you can wean completely off it. I believe I am a walking, living testimony that you can really help heal your thyroid through fasting.
Where can I go to get more information on intermittent fasting?
We have an intermittent fasting group. I think it’s called an intermittent fasting community group on Facebook. You can also download one of the podcasts. The first one is called Waste Away through intermittent fasting and the second one is the Fasting Resets podcast. Both have great information! Also if you visit the fastingresetsummit.com we have 46 guests covering every topic you could possibly want to know. It’s all about fasting.