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Fasting: Is it worth the hype?
On this week’s episode of the Health Coach Nation Podcast, I interview Fasting Expert & Certified Human Potential Coach Jason Ryer. Jason shares why fasting can positively impact your health, focus, productivity, hormones, and lifespan.
Part 1 of this interview covers…
- The top benefits of a fast
- Why you won’t lose muscle or go into starvation mode if you incorporate intermittent fasting
- How to ease into fasting as a beginner
- The different forms of fasting
- Why time restricted eating is more favorable than chronic dieting when it comes to your metabolic health, preserving lean muscle mass, and burning fat
- The best time of day to incorporate your “eating window”
- Resources and experts to check out if you want to learn more
- My experience with a therapeutic “3-Day Fast”
- How to work your “eating window” around your lifestyle and social life
- The minimum amount of time to fast to get some of the benefits
- How to properly prepare for time-restricted eating
- The relationship between ketosis and fasting
The Different Fasting Methods
The 16:8 Method
The 16:8 method simply means eating all of your daily calories within an 8-hour time window. This is typically the best method to start with if you are a beginner. Research shows that you can start to achieve benefits of fasting from just 12 hours, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re not at 16-hour fasts yet. Your fast can begin after dinner go until mid afternoon or lunch the next day. Alternatively, you could have an early dinner or late lunch & break your fast in the morning.
Dr. Bert Herring’s Fast 5-Protocol
Dr. Herring’s Fast Five protocol is centered around a 5-hour eating window. Why? A fasting period of around 18 hours is when insulin has dropped about as low as it’s going to. The 5-hour eating window leaves 19 hours of fasting, which ensures that you hit that 18-hour mark. Listen to your body & see if incorporating the Fast 5-Protocol a few times a year, or a few times a week, improves your health.
Dr. Valter Longo’s Fast-Mimicking Diet (FMD)
The FMD has been researched to show the same benefits of a water fast, only with food! I personally was unsuccessful with this approach because it surprisingly made me feel hungrier than fasting with just water (and coffee). I felt that it was more challenging because it felt like a “tease.” However, many people find this approach VERY doable during their workweek.
The 5:2 Approach
The 5:2 Approach consists of eating normally for 5 days per week, while restricting your calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two days per week. While this approach is less focused on sticking to a particular timed eating window, the benefits have shown to be the same or very similar to other intermittent fasting methods.
Mini-fasts could be a 24-hour fast once a week, an annual 3-day fast to reset your immune system, or a 48-hour fast a few times a year. This type of fasting is not for beginners & something we recommend you work up to.
Please keep in mind, fasting is NOT for everyone. It’s important to listen to your body and talk to your doctor before making this lifestyle change. However, there are many researched benefits of fasting. Here is a brief overview…
- Fat loss, including visceral fat loss (the “harmful” fat that lines your internal organs)
- Faster healing from injuries
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Increases BDNF… Think of BDNF as “miracle grow” for your brain. It improves your mood, memory, ability to learn, and focus.
- Higher growth hormone production… Growth hormone improves sleep quality and muscle preservation
- Promotes stem cell health
- Boosts cellular repair
- Decreases inflammation
- Associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Stroke
- Promotes gut health
- Associated with longer lifespan… However, keep in mind the studies have only been done with mice
- Enhances mood
Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview!
In part 2, you’ll learn who fasting is NOT for, how to commit, and much more.