It won’t be very far along in your keto journey that you will hear talk about Intermittent Fasting. I have been reluctant to dive into this area because I don’t personally know all of my readers. Whenever you are dealing with food addictions and behaviors, there is always a risk of introducing something unhealthy for someone recovering from or struggling with Anorexia/ Bulimia or food addictive behaviors. That being said, if you have ever suffered from an eating disorder, this post is not for you. You should not attempt or dabble in fasting of any sort unless you do so under direct care of your doctor. If you are just a garden variety carb addict, like I was at one time, please proceed….Intermittent Fasting and/or Fasting in general can be life changing.
Intermittent fasting refers to a period of time that you have set aside to eat and the rest of those hours, you refrain from eating. So, you will see things like 16:8, 20:4 or maybe 18:6. The first number in those examples represent the number of hours that you are not eating. The second number represents the number of hours that you will be eating. So in the first example, 16:8, you fast for 16 hours and then eat all of your allotted macros in an 8 hour window. Total fasting is the complete abstinence of food for a certain period of time. In a complete fast, you will only consume water and black coffee and/or tea. If you are already in ketosis, this transition into fasting of any sort is fairly easy because you aren’t feeling much hunger to begin with. Fasting and IF (Intermittent fasting) has many benefits and I believe that it should be a part of the keto lifestyle if you are after more than just weight loss.
What are the health benefits of IF and full fasts? Fasting of any kind can be used to break a weight loss plateau and get those pounds falling off again. Also, for those of you who have struggled to get into deep ketosis and reap the benefits of how that makes you feel, IF can get you there. For some people who have been carb addicts for decades, their body is going to fight drastic change and fasting is a great way to force your body into submission. Don’t think of fasting as a burden or “something to get through”, embrace it as a tool to heal your body. Once your body catches on to the many health benefits of tapping into fat stores for energy as opposed to glucose, it will reward you by not feeling hungry and allowing you to experience a mental clarity that you have probably never encountered fueled by glucose. There is this AWESOME thing that your body does when you are fasting and your body has already been drained of glucose through a ketogenic diet. It is call autophagy. It literally means “self-eating” and it is your body’s way of cleansing itself. When your body hasn’t been given food to eat, it uses this opportunity to recycle and clean house for energy. It will begin to gobble up scraps of dead tissue, diseased and worn out cells such as saggy skin and skin tags. This is extremely helpful for keto dieters who sometimes drop weight so quickly, that their skin needs a minute to catch up and bounce back. It will also feed on cancerous growths and benign cysts and tumors that may be trying to form in your body. Fasting also forces the release of HGH (human growth hormone), also known as the anti-aging hormone. Many people will purchase injectable HGH or take pills or sprays in order to mimic the benefits of HGH such as increased muscle tone, better sleep quality and vision and/or to turn back the biological clock. Sadly for them, artificial HGH cannot be readily absorbed by your body but for those of us who fast in order to release our body’s OWN HGH, we WILL see these results! This alone should be reason enough to live the keto life and also incorporate IF and/or full fasts into your life. Your body is truly a miracle! Let it do its thing!
The best way to incorporate a routine of IF into your life is to wait until you have been keto for several weeks and are feeling good so that it will be an easy transition. Start with a 16:8. So, it will look like this; have your last meal at about 7:00 pm and then don’t eat again until lunch time the next day at about 11:00 am. Notice that you are going to be sleeping for a lot of those fasting hours so it shouldn’t be too hard. Do this a few times a week. Once you feel good doing this schedule, proceed to the 18:6 and eventually to a full fast of 24+ hours if you would like to experience the autophagy and the HGH benefits. If you are not interested in those 2 things then just stick with the IF. Intermittent fasting will help you continue losing weight and support the keto way of life….full fasts are not necessary for that. So, go ahead and kick it up a notch!! You will not be sorry!