Fasting has been a hot topic of conversation for a while. You see it in the news and all the health gurus are talking about it, but the question you ask yourself is which one is right for you. As there are so many, and it gets so confusing. Fasting for health have been around for a very long time. Many years ago when the Mediterranean diet became such a big thing, showing how healthy it could make you, people in the US started doing the Mediterranean diet but without getting the same effect as those in the Mediterranean. The reason for that is that a large part of the Mediterranean diet also had fasting involved. Contrary to popular belief, most of the large food companies don’t want you thinking about fasting, they would rather you be faster to your next meal. Before we head off into telling you the different types of fasting, I suppose we should tell you basically what fasting is, just in case there are any of you that might have been living in a box. Fasting just means not eating. It means you may not eat for a day or a week or whatever period of time with only water allowed. There are some variations of this, where you can eat small amounts of food, but generally, fasting means you’re not eating for a specified period of time.
24 hours Fast
This is one of the easiest ones to start with. There have been numerous reports that just taking a 24-hour fast will give you all the benefits of fasting that you need. As much as 24 hours sounds difficult, it really isn’t. If you eat your dinner at 6 p.m. for example, it just means you don’t eat until dinner the next day at 6 p.m. again. That gives you your 24 hours. That includes the time you sleep as well.
This is really sort of a misnomer, as intermittent fasting just means that sometimes you’re fasting and sometimes you’re not, which is really what most of us do. Intermittent fasting generally is used to describe short-term fasting. So even though we gave intermittent fasting its own little section, it really doesn’t mean that much. Check the other areas for more specific fasting styles and you’ll get a better idea. We only included it here as so many people are always talking about intermittent fasting that we figured it should get its own mention.
A water fast is just a hardcore fast, it means that you take no food whatsoever. The only thing you are allowed on a water fast is, as obvious as it sounds, water. You can drink as much water as you like as long as you’re not eating any food. Most fasts run as a water fast primarily, however many days you do it. Some fasts do allow you a little bit of food, but most fasts are considered water fasts.
This is a little bit different as you eat normally for five days, and then on the weekends or two days out of the seven, or whatever days you pick, you only eat 500 or 600 calories. It’s an easy way to lose weight, even if that’s not your main goal.
This is fasting, even though it might not seem like it. You’re basically taking your 24 hour day and setting aside a certain amount of time that you’re allowed to eat. Whether it is 1 hour or 4 hours for 8 hours doesn’t really matter, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. We ourselves, do time-restricted eating on an 18/6 schedule. For us, that means we do not eat any food until 12 noon and the last food we eat for the day is at 6 p.m. So we are only eating for 6 hours out of every day. You don’t really feel hungry after you get used to it and you can stuff yourself during those six hours, and pretty much still lose weight. Although of course, we would say that you still need to eat healthily. If you stuff yourself with McDonald’s hamburgers for 6 hours a day you are still going to gain weight. Calories still count, but you will find it harder to eat a lot of calories when you’re only restricted to a shorter period of time and you’ll be full and stuffed every meal.
This is a rather recent development but is quite similar to many of the previous fasting methods. It’s a scientific based study where for five days, instead of doing a water fast, you only eat a small amount of food that is very low in carbohydrates and proteins and fairly high high in fat. The scientific evidence on this is that while you’re doing it, it cleans up a lot of your system and resets it. Your organs shrink temporarily and your body readjusts itself and cleans out such things sentient cells as well as other things that you are better off clearing occasionally. We also practice this, and you don’t have to do this all the time, this can be done once every 6 months if you want and you’ll still be healthy.
There are of course many other fasting styles with fancy names, such as the warrior diet, but what it comes down to is that you are not eating for a certain amount of time. Someone once said, it’s not about what you put in your mouth, it’s about what you DON’T put in your mouth. So fasting for health is an extremely old tradition that is getting new life and proving to be very important for our health. We always find it rather amusing when something that our forefathers had done for hundreds of years and was then ridiculed in the more recent medical years, comes back to bite them and show that it actually did have some good health effects. We hope you do try fasting, whichever one you choose, but our advice would be to take it simple. Start with the 24 hours fast where you eat your dinner and then don’t eat anything until your next dinner and you’ll find you will get better at it and it won’t bother you a bit. The second or third time you try it you won’t even be hungry. Think back to college on how many times you went the whole day without eating and not noticing, that’s what it’s like. So we hope you fast for your health and learn to have a longer and healthier life.