All You Need to Know About Fasting
Looking into the best kind of diet for your needs can be challenging. Simply fasting without any real understanding of how it can help your body Detox and Cure can be a bit hit and miss.
In our Fasting and Furious articles, we will walk you through a range of different fasting methodologies so you can pick what will work for you.
As there are many methods of fasting, it seems that fasting could be beneficial to most if they can find the right type of fasting to suit their body, diet, and needs.
Where does fasting come from?
Fasting is an ancient practice where food, drinks or just select food and drinks are abstained from. The new age term for fasting is sometimes labeled as intermittent fasting.
For example, removing meat or soft drinks from your diet would fall under partial fasting.
Fasting could also include not eating and or drinking for certain periods of time, ranging from half a day up to several days.
Fasting comes in many different shapes and forms discussed below. While medical professionals may advise against certain types of fasting, there are plenty of alternatives which will still give you the benefits of fasting while minimizing the risks.
What are there different types of fasting?
As for the methods of fasting, some examples could include:
- The 5/2 method – 5 days you eat normally, and for the other 2 you minimize your intake to roughly 500-600 calories.
- The 16/8 diet – Fast for 16 hours of the day and have an eating window in the remaining 8 hours.
- The skip a meal method – Miss a daily meal of breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- The warrior diet – The idea is to only consume one meal at dinner time.
There are additional methods and a more detailed description of each of the different fasting types.
We recommend that you have a read through before trying fasting so you can see which one you think will suit you best.
Why should I fast? Are there any benefits to fasting?
Fasting has a number of health and lifestyle benefits, even verified by science. Some examples could include:
- Aids with weight loss by limiting your calorie intake, as well as boosting your metabolism.
- Can enhance heart health through improving blood pressure, your triglyceride count and your cholesterol levels.
- Helps to promote blood sugar control by reducing your insulin resistance.
- Fights inflammation through a reduction of inflammation levels within the body.
- May aid in cancer prevention and help to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Fasting can also be used to break old habits provided you are disciplined. For example, having a late night snack might be a daily occurrence, but by fasting, you could break the cycle and reform new habits.
It could also help you cut out unhealthy foods as you will need to focus on eating only nutritious foods due to the reduced eating times.
Is there a specific diet I have to follow while fasting?
While there is no specific diet that you have to follow while fasting, it is recommended that you ensure your diet is full of nutrients and vital minerals.
Due to the reduced intake of foods and or liquids, it is important you make the most of every meal. Some ideas that might help could include our Tofu Scramble or Vegan Baingan Bharta for a meal. Or you could try our Ancient Pulse recipe for a more consistent grazing style option to carry you through the day.
The aim of the ketogenic diet is to significantly reduce your carbohydrate intake, reducing in much less blood sugar spikes due to the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose. The other side of the ketogenic diet is to increase your healthy fats intake.
For a keto-friendly sweet treat, check out our sugar-free chocolate recipe. Fats are what makes your body feel fuller for longer, which is a very useful tool if you are concerned you won’t last the whole desired fasting period!
Some common foods to be eaten on the ketogenic diet can include:
- Fatty meats and seafood
- Meat alternatives such as tofu and seitan
- Leafy greens and vegetables
- Cheeses, both animal and nut-based
Yes, you read right. Nut based cheeses. There are plenty of nut butters that also work well to fit the bill here.
As an added bonus, the ketogenic diet can also be done while remaining vegan! However, it is quite difficult as you restrict a large number of foods, but not impossible! Even better, it is possible to remain on a vegan ketogenic diet while traveling!
As intense as the keto diet may sound to some, there is what is known as ‘dirty keto’ or a lazy keto diet.
Although this is not recommended for optimal results, there can be outcomes that still align with the ketogenic approach.
We dive into the topic of a lazy keto diet for Vegans which you may find quite interesting.
When doing a Vegan keto diet, you may find that you have better results by combining the raw approach to help with weight loss.
Another bonus of a keto diet is that you can use the time abstaining from carbohydrates to also detox from sugar. We have a 3 part series on handling and beating a sugar addiction:
Need some inspiration? Check out our Vegan Keto Recipes that will help you get into ketosis! You can also make use of a keto friendly sweetener called Lakanto which you could use in these keto Pumpkin Cookies.
Haven’t heard of Lakanto before? Being relatively unknown compared to other sweeteners, it brings something very interesting to the table. Find out if Lakanto could be suitable for you.
When and how long should I fast for?
Fasting can be done at any time, but it is recommended that you spend some time preparing for a fast.
This could include ensuring your household has the necessary foods for when you are within eating windows or having an action plan in case any health issues arise.
The type of fasting you plan to do will determine how long you should fast for. For example, intermittent fasting using the 16/8 diet could be used long term on a daily basis, as long as the eating windows remain roughly at the same time each day.
Whereas doing a 24 hour fast wouldn’t be recommended more than two times a week as it could cause health issues with the deficit of nutrition.
If you are unsure about how long you should fast for, or which fasting method would be best for you, try starting with an easier fast such as a 12/12 fast and see how you go. You can easily make adjustments to this when you feel you are ready.
Fasting as a practice isn’t exclusive to any single dietary type. You could eat everything, or strictly be a Carnivore, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, or a Vegan.
The results would be expected to differ due to what you are consuming, but the fasting practice doesn’t change.
For a fating plan that could be applied to any of these dietary practices, we have a Vegan Intermittent Fasting Plan that you could use with a few tweaks.
Who shouldn’t fast?
Even though there are numerous benefits to fasting, there are some downsides that can affect certain individuals.
People who suffer from diabetes or low blood sugar should not fast as it can lead to spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. This can be quite dangerous and cause health issues.
Additionally, fasting is not recommended for older adults or people who are underweight, at least not without medical supervision.
Lastly, pregnant women should also not fast as they need as much nutrients and energy as possible.
If you’re in these groups then you may find that other options work better for you. Things like a few small tweaks here and there that can easily be applied at home. Swapping things out.
Keeping a track of changes you notice as you phase out different types of foods that are higher in sugars, and more often, highly processed.
If you are planning on fasting for more than 24 hours or have any underlying health conditions it is best to get in contact with your doctor and organize a plan to fast as well as any strategies to deal with issues that may arise. The same goes for a diet change.
So what should I do?
My personal recommendation is the 16/8 diet, as it is a sustainable fasting regime and reasonably easy to get into the routine of.
I would also recommend lowering your carbohydrate intake, at least in terms of processed/refined carbohydrates, such as sugars, pastas, and breads, as fasting works best when these types of foods are reduced or omitted from the diet.
Some of these can be harder to give up than other. But we’ve got you covered with a few options that fit into various fasting protocols.
Did you know that you can make your own bread that’s keto friendly? Yes! A Ketosis Bread Recipe that (for the keto fans) helps to make the transition less about the cravings as a keto friendly alternative.
If you feel that fasting would be a benefit to you and your lifestyle, you should review the different types of fasting to see which one you think would suit you best.
If you are concerned about any issues that you may face check-in with your doctor to get their confirmation on the diet and lifestyle change to ensure it won’t do you any harm!
What can I expect when Fasting?
You may find that you begin to experience challenges with certain food types, or substances when it comes to fasting.
Fasting and Furious, as a series, will look more to the core focus of fasting, however, we also understand that you will face challenges as you give certain things up.
So we will also touch upon the following common challenges:
- Sugar addiction
- Caffeine addiction
- Alcohol addiction, and
- The psychology of addiction
We are motivated to bring you information that will help with how to address what may be the simplest of things like how to break sugar addiction. These are provided to help you make decisions that you believe meet your particular needs.
Please keep in mind that as we cannot possibly take into specific consideration any particular individual’s health, conditions, or unique circumstances, we urge you to consult a Doctor or a Specialist you trust before undertaking any particular course of action or fasting.
The Fasting and Furious series of articles looks at a range of questions that our audience have presented to us including:
- How can I break sugar addiction?
- How do I stop drinking soda?
- How do I stop drinking coffee?
- How do I stop drinking alcohol?
- Why am I addicted to sugar?
- Will detoxing help with chocolate addiction symptoms?
- Is there a connection between addiction and depression?
- Can meditation help with addiction?
Our hope is that you’ll find transitioning through addiction to your goal of living healthier brings the results you want for yourself from the information we share here.
Fasting for Better Health
Fasting and Furious is also focused on how your food is your medicine, and your medicine is your food (to quote Hypocrites). These articles cover subjects including:
- Choosing the right food
- Benefits of healthy eating for children
- Effective weight control
- Balanced nutritional, and
- The benefits of a Vegan and a whole food diet
These articles are shared here to give you more information about various choices and making the right decisions for you based on your specific goals.
Fasting and Furious explores various dimensions of healthy eating and nutritional best practice including the various benefits which could be experienced in your life as a result of following them.
There is so much more for this in an adult’s life and there are also benefits of healthy eating for children. This is important, but you need to put your own dietary life jacket on first if you want to help your kids.
I have found that in my personal life, following a diet with good nutritional founding helps me to feel more energetic, cleaner, mentally clearer, and generally healthier and happier than I had before taking this level of care of myself.
Water Fasting and Sea Moss
Adding Sea Moss to your fasting regime can help you both get more out of the fasting process and support your body with a range of minerals. Adding Sea Moss to your fasting approach can be done quite easily.
The virtually zero calorie count in Sea Moss means that it won’t push your body out of the fasting stage. Making this a complementary part of a water fast, I find, helps me go for longer when water fasting.