Fasting can be one of the fastest and most effective weight loss and detox dietary strategies around when done correctly. There are many types of fasting, some geared for weight loss and some towards detoxing. Continue reading to see which ones will best suit your individual needs.
Disclaimer: The following is for educational purposes only. We are not advocating a change in dietary, health or exercise protocols. Please seek the advice or council of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to engaging in any dietary or exercise changes.
What Is Fasting?
Fasting is abstaining from foods or solid foods for a set period of time. As an example: on a water fast, the person only consumes water for the set period of time. No other foods or beverages would be allowed.
What Types Of Fasting Are There?
Since there are several different types of fasts that you could go on, we will endeavor to cover the most popular types below.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a schedule of fasting and eating over set intervals. As an example: you might abstain from eating from 6pm until noon the next day and then consume your meals from noon until 6pm. This would be known as an 18/6 as you fast for 18 hours each day and eat for 6 of them.
The 18/6 is pretty common along with the 20/4 meaning you only eat for 4 hours per day.
Intermittent fasting can also mean alternate day fasting or weekly fasting. An example of each would be, you eat normally one day and then don’t consume anything but water the next day and repeat this cycle over and over.
The other example of weekly fasting could be that you eat for 5 days per week and fast for 2. Or you eat 6 days per week and fast for 1 day per week.
Intermittent fasting could also encompass nearly any type of an on off fasting regime.
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is where you consume only water for a given duration. Many people will water fast for 1 to 3 days so they can enter into a cellular cleaning phase known as autophagy where the cells actually clean up from the inside out.
Water fasts going any longer than 3 days should really be done at a fasting clinic where they monitor fasting people for a living. The reason being that; some people have been known to experience spells (dizziness, fainting etc.).
Being watched under professional care is whole heartedly advised for water fasting of any duration, but especially over 3 days.
What Is Dry Fasting?
Dry fasting should only be done under professional supervision and is where the person abstains from all food and fluids including water. Most people only dry fast for a day. People claim that dry fasting is the only way to cleanse certain areas of the body. This should be verified before beginning and you should be done only under proper care.
What Is Juice Fasting?
Juice fasting is as it sounds. It is subsisting on only juices for a set period of time. The juices should only be made fresh at each consumption or made fresh each day and should be 100% organic whenever possible.
The juices will usually be combinations of different fruits and or vegetables. One of the more common combinations is apple, carrot and another tasty fruit such as pear.
Those focusing on vegetable juices will usually juice things like leafy green vegetables such as kale along with beets, carrots and other vegetables or tubers.
Then there are the kitchen sink juicers. These people put everything that WILL juice into their juice and mix it all into one.
This may be the best tactic of them all since they are doing their best to cover all bases and make sure that they are getting basically the ‘multivitamin’ of juice.
If you’re going to juice for an extended period of time you may wish to consider adding in a small amount of essential fatty acids in the form of flax seed oil, borage oil or olive oil if you can find any real olive oil that has been independently tested.
Many people are unaware of the olive oil scams that are going on. But when we researched the top brands only 2 out of over 20 were 100% olive oil tested and certified by an independent 3rd party laboratory.
What Is OMAD Fasting?
OMAD stands for One Meal A Day. In this practice you would not consume any foods or juices all day and then generally eat one large meal at night. There are good and bad points that must be discussed on this intermittent fasting method which we will do below.
The Good And The Bad Of OMAD
1. You are generally able to start a small amount of autophagy each day which as you know has it’s healing and cleansing effects.
2. It is quite efficient with your time. You only have to prepare and consume one meal per day which cuts down on the time commitment of eating many meals per day.
1. It is quite difficult to eat all the calories and nutrients that your body needs in just one meal.
2. Eating all those calories at once has been shown to raise insulin in the body to rather high levels to have to deal with it.
Some people swear by OMAD and it’s changed their lives. Others last about a week on it and just can’t do it any longer.
When you have a feeding window with say an 18/6 intermittent fast you can have 3 meals 2 hours apart, so you’re not attempting to stuff all that food into your stomach in one meal.
What Is Raw Till 4 And Is It Fasting?
Raw till 4 is not fasting. It simply means that you consume only raw foods and juices until 4pm at night. After which time you can have your cooked food meal for the day.
The premise behind it is that people eat far too many cooked, denatured foods and not enough raw, live enzyme foods and this has had a dramatic impact on our health.
Many of the people who adopt the raw till 4 diet end up going either fully or mostly raw with very little if any cooked foods.
The reason being is that when you’ve been raw all day eating very light, easy to digest foods and then have a big plate of cooked food you don’t feel so hot. Your digestion slows, you feel tired and want to take a nap etc.
Raw till 4pm can be a very healthy diet because it ensures you’re getting lots of raw fruits and vegetables which virtually every doctor on the planet would recommend.
Is Fasting Every Other Day Good?
We are not here to espouse a preference in the type or duration of the fast you choose to do, or not to do. However, fasting every other day is one that most people find that they can do and stick with long term. The benefits are that you’ll spend more time in autophagy than you would doing a 18/6.
If you do alternate day intermittent fasting along with an 18/6 on your eating days, you’re prolonging the time in autophagy where the majority of your intracellular cleanup will occur.
This fasting type is where you don’t eat for one whole day then the next day you would only do water for that 24-hour period or more.
How Long Should You Fast?
This is one of the major criteria that actually defines what type of fast you’re on, such as intermittent fasting for the 18/6 or alternate day fasting as an example. We cannot suggest a length of fast, this will have to be between yourself and your doctor.
That being said; you may wish to break into fasting slowly at first. Start by doing a 12/12 where you eat for 12 hours each day.
You’ll find this to be really easy, so then possibly consider doing an 18/6 and seeing how you feel on that.
Please do not just jump into a 30 day juice fast or a 3 day water fast without having done any intermittent fasting beforehand. It would be preferable to see how your body reacts before jumping into a bigger commitment.
What Are The Benefits Of Fasting?
Just a few of the benefits of fasting are; increased apoptosis and autophagy I.E. bad cells being killed off and good cells being cleaned up from the inside out. Most people will lose weight while fasting, most will also cleanse their bodies removing all sorts of harmful nasty things that have accumulated.
Other benefits include the mitigation of certain diseases, increased insulin sensitivity, helps reduce oxidative stress in the body which is the only way we know of that we age and helps reduce inflammation.
Inflammation has been dubbed by a cover story in Time Magazine as the silent killer. It is without a doubt one of the top priorities to get rid of for a person seeking better health. Inflammation can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of bodies.
What Is Fasting Euphoria?
When fasting for extended periods of time, either on water fasts or juice fasts you’ll start to enter a feeling of euphoria that feels almost like you’re high on really great feelings. It’s different for everyone and some people don’t experience it at all.
For those that do, it generally starts at about day 15 or so on a juice fast and day 7 or so on a water fast. You’ll start to feel boundless energy that seems to make you feel like you radiate it.
Most people will look at other people eating food and cannot understand how they ever did that. People eating chicken might actually remind you of praying mantis’s eating bugs.
No, you don’t begin to hallucinate or anything, at least most people don’t. However, they may remind you of things like that.
This euphoria can last the entire rest of the fast of just for a few days. Once again, it’s really different for everyone.
Is Fasting Good For Weight Loss?
The answer to this is both yes and no. Yes, you’ll lose quite a bit of weight really quickly. However, some of that weight will undoubtedly be muscle mass as well. Because you’re losing weight so rapidly, some of that weight loss is bound to be muscle, which is what you don’t want. However, much of it will be fat.
If your goal is to simply drop weight, I.E. pounds on the scale, then fasting may just be the holy grail. Generally, to be able to withstand this long term you’re going to want to investigate different types of intermittent fasting.
Different intervals of intermittent fasting can have quite different results. You’re going to want to find which 2 work best for you and then randomly switch them so that your body is left guessing.
In this way your body never gets used to it and so is not able to preserve fat from being metabolized as fuel.
Can You Work Out While Fasting?
The answer is yes. We advise that you see a doctor before initiating this so that you don’t have any problems pop up.
No, we have not had problems from this, just being up front.
Just as we spoke of in an earlier blog post on this site, once you’ve been cleared to perform exercise, you’ll find that working out while fasting is difficult for the first few days of the fast, but get’s better as time goes on.
At some point you’ll find a spot where you get into a workout euphoria as well. They will become easy, and you’ll feel as if you can do more than you ever have before, fasting or not.