Have you ever tried to fast but could never go past 8 or 12 hours?
Before Keto I personally could never fast for more than 8 hours, hunger would start to creep in, headaches, nausea and just feel depleted of all my energy. If you are the type of person who have also experienced this keep reading.
When you eat carbs and fats combined regularly and in many cases in excess, your body has adapted to this way of eating. This does not mean that it is healthy. You just feel better and relaxed by eating every 4 to 6 hours. The truth is that you are slowly but surely making your body weaker and more damaged by the inflammation and insulin resistance it causes.
Keto has changed my life for the better, I kid you not. 4 years ago I would never in a million years have thought that I would ever go on such a restrictive diet. I love my food, especially the carbs. Who does not love a fresh out of the oven loaf of bread with butter spread on top?
After having been on keto for 2 years and a half, I really enjoy being in the state of ketosis. Yes, I do get my cravings from time to time but, the energy, mental clarity and just overall great feeling I have whiled on keto, blows those cravings out of the water.
I regularly fast at least 4 times a week minimum. I do the 16-8 or 18-6 most of the time. Sometimes I even go 48 hours on a fast for the Autophagy. I will very soon try the 72-hour fast.
In this article I will try to explain as best I can on why you should fast and how keto makes it a breeze to do so .
Why keto is the best tool for fasting?
As you may know by now that ketosis is accomplished by eating very low carbs, high protein and fats. Keto is not accomplished by eating high fat.
On keto, your blood sugar levels will be stable for the most part of your day. No sugar crashes after a meal or feeling sleepy. By eating more fats and protein your body will become a fat burning machine, literally!!
The liver will produce ketones from fat either form your food or stored body fat. By eating less fat, your body will burn more body fat.
Fasting whiled on keto you will not have the same nauseous, drowsy feeling that you have on a standard diet, even Paleo. I am not saying that the Paleo Diet is bad, just that you are still allowed to eat carbs as long as they come from a natural source.
This will in my opinion, make your blood sugar go up and down again like before. Insulin does not discriminate sugars from processed foods or natural foods like potatoes and apples. The good side of Paleo is that you get rid of the processed foods and of course is 10X better than a standard Western diet.
Enough about Paleo! Many people including myself whom have dealt with food addiction all their life are thriving on the Keto diet. Fasting has never been easier.
How long should you fast?
There are 3 reasons you may want to fast.
- Fat loss
- Muscle building
1. For fat loss you must be fasting for between 12 hours to 20 hours. Starting at 12 hours you should at least try to make it to 16 hours to get some of that fat shredding benefits.
Like I mentioned above, on keto your body is already adapted to using fat as energy, and by not eating your body will ONLY use fat storage within your body. This will ultimately lead to a faster weight loss.
2. For longevity, you will want to fast for more than 24 hours. There is no actual end (don’t die of course). I have come across some people to have claimed to have fasted for weeks and even months. They just drank plenty of water and electrolytes to keep the mineral intake at healthy levels.
What do I mean by longevity? When ever we eat our body goes through the process of breaking down food, absorbing it and distributing it throughout the body. This process releases free radicals. This will make you age faster. So by eating frequently, not only will you make yourself overweight but also age faster.
By not eating as many times, you can slow this process down. Eating anti-oxidant rich foods will also slow this process even more.
Many experts claim that prolonged fasting 24 hours and beyond will help you live longer. By not eating as frequently your body will preserve itself by making it stronger and more durable. You can think of it like this: the more you use any tool or instrument, the faster it will wear out. I am over simplifying it, but sometimes simple is better.
How to break a fast and why?
When you are on a fast you are very insulin sensitive. Anything you are going to eat is going to be greatly absorbed by the body for this reason. So it is very important to eat something very nutrient dense to maximize benefits.
1. Bone broth. By drinking bone broth you will help protect the gut lining. Bone broth is full of collagen. This will help protect the gut lining which in turn will help you absorb the foods you eat after that. Bone broth has many more benefits that I will list in a separate article.
2. MCT oil. MCT oil will jump start the engine (prime the pump). It will help you get the most out of fat burning than the other two foods. MCT oil acts as energy drink for those whom are on keto, boosting ketone levels.
3. Rice cakes. If you are using fasting for muscle building reasons, you can break your fast with a high glycemic food (not sugary foods). This will spike your insulin levels really high and fast. By doing this your cells will be more receptive to protein, the muscle building food.
On a long fast your body will not break down muscle, fasting will elevate HGH (Human Growth Hormone) by 500%. This will keep your muscle mass while fasting.
Benefits of (prolonged) fasting.
- Human Growth Hormone
- Fat loss
- Insulin sensitivity
- Increase testosterone
- Fat burning
- Reduction in inflammation
- Regrow brain
- Enhance Stem cells
- Decrease tumor growth
- Increase antioxidant
As you can see, there are many awesome benefits to start fasting. Keto helps make it easier by taking all the bad side effects away.
Whether you just want to lose weight or reaping the benefits in hope for a longer and healthier life, keto and fasting combined will definitely help you get there.
I personally enjoy keto. Fasting on keto is a no brainier.
I will make a complete breakdown of the prolonged fasting benefits in a another article for those who are like me and love all the ins and outs of getting to know your body and nutrition.
As usual if you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will reply A.S.A.P.