Fasting is the #1 weight loss tool, nothing comes close. Fasting has amazing health benefits such as autophagy, it reverses metabolic diseases and cleanses and detoxifies your body. The human body did not evolve to eat food all day long. We evolved as hunter gatherers that would eat nutrient dense foods and then go for long periods without food and even water. People who take extended fasts go into ketosis where fats are broken down. People who eat all day trigger constant insulin responses making fat burning impossible, even if they are in a calorific deficit. Mother nature designed us to face periods without food. In these periods we get stronger, more mentally alert, get a jacked up immune system and boost our hormones. We recommend that you read our main fasting page. The level of fasting really depends upon your weight. If you have many kilos of fat, you can do multiple fasts very easily. You will not have extensive fat reserves if you are lean, so multiple fasts or long term fasts are not an option. Regardless of your size, eating and drinking within a tight window is a very healthy option. This is called intermittent fasting or 'time restricted eating'.
In 1965 Angus Barbieri decided to try fasting, days passed and he started to shed weight. So he kept going. He ate no food for 392 days and his body simply used his ample fat supply as energy. He drank tea, coffee and took vitamins. At the end of the fast he was medically well and he kept the weight off.
In 1944, a starvation study was carried out on 36 men for 13 months. They were fed 3200 calories per day for the first 3 months. This was then cut in half to 1600 calories per day, the results were a disaster. The men felt tired, irritable, bored and cold as their resting metabolic rate started to crash (the body responds to a colorific deficit by slowing things down). Sexual desire also evaporated. They craved food constantly and even resorted to stealing.
Which of the two examples above demonstrates starvation? It's clear that Angus wasn't starving at all. It was the 36 men on a low calorie diet that starved. Low calorie diets are a disaster and you pile the weight back on again. Ancel Keys also created the flawed 7 countries study in 1958 which started the "War on fatty foods", which in turn blamed cholesterol for heart disease.
Starting a fast
We recommend that you try fasting:-
- If you have some excess fat to lose, you can use a series of fasts and re-feeds to quickly get down to your ideal weight.
- If you are lean, fast once or twice a month to reap the health benefits of fasting.
Starting a fast is easy, but it can be a daunting prospect when done for the first time. You need to have some goals, make a plan and prepare your electrolytes and additives to your water (see below). Your body was designed to thrive when faced with a prolonged food shortage. You were not designed to eat all day! Most people have loads of storage fat and your body just needs to learn how to use it for energy. If your body is loaded with insulin, it cannot access the fat stores. Fasting is the best way to deplete your glycogen stores and get into ketosis.
- Before you start, try an get in 2 or 3 days of eating nutrient dense foods (steak, liver, lamb, bacon, plenty of eggs, guava, watermelon, kiwi, pears, peppers, natto, yogurt, wild salmon, mackerel, sweet potato, blue cheese, sauerkraut, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, nutritional yeast, bone broth etc). You can find a great food list here.
- Before you start, load up on micro-nutrients outlined in your eating plan. As a minimum, buy a multi-vitamin and a 1000mg vitamin C supplement.
- Prepare your electrolyte solution (buy a few 1.5 litre mineral waters). Mix up the bottles (full recipe below). You need:-
- LoSalt (or a low sodium salt alternative). 2 heaped teaspoons in a bottle.
- Baking soda. 1 heaped teaspoons in a bottle.
- Himalayan pink salt. 1/3rd teaspoon in a bottle.
- Magnesium salt (or a good magnesium supplement).
Don't add anything else to this solution.
- START FASTING by making the evening meal & drinks your last.
- Weigh yourself in the morning and write down your weight (Do this naked after a toilet visit).
- Take a multi-vitamin and some vitamin C (and any other small supplement that are zero calories). Don't take glycine, creatine, protein powders or any other amino acids.
- Try and do some aerobic exercises or go on a long walk (to deplete your glycogen stores and get into ketosis faster).
- Sip your electrolyte solution (snake juice) throughout the day. You may not be able to drink the full 1.5 litres, you may need a little more.
- When you are fasting, you can drink a small glass of lemon water (optional) and take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (mix it with 50ml of water). Don't snack. Avoid temptations.
- Stay active throughout the day and try and do some resistance exercises. That evening you will be 24 hours into your fast.
- Day 2: Weigh yourself in the morning (naked after the toilet) and write it down. Take your supplements and sip your snake juice throughout the day (second bottle). Try and do as much exercise as possible. You should be in fat burning mode now and you shouldn't be feeling hungry. 1g of fat yields 9 calories of energy, 1g of carbohydrate yields 4 calories, so your body will have plenty of fuel to go many days just by accessing your fat reserves.
- Day 3: Repeat!!!
- Try and aim for a 72 hour fast. If you have plenty of fat to burn, then consider going longer.PLEASE CONNECT WITH US VIA LIVECHAT, FACEBOOK MESSENGER, WHATSAPP THROUGHOUT YOUR FAST - KEEP TALKING TO US FOR GUIDANCE AND MOTIVATION (OR A GOOD TELLING OFF!!).
- When you finish your fast you should start eating again with something light. Bone broth or a soup is ideal. Stick to nutrient dense foods after that. Stay away from 'empty carbs' such as bread, rice and pasta. If you intend to re-feed for a day or two, you might want to focus on mostly healthy fats and protein rich foods. A fasting focused lifestyle is a very flexible way to eat and maintain a health weight. Try and eat in a tight eating window - don't spread your eating and drinking over a full day (intermittent fasting).
Let's assume you have 20KG to lose. Here are some possible options:-
- Cycles of 72 hour fasts + 1 day re-feeds.
- Cycles of 72 hour fasts + 2 day re-feeds.
- Cycles of 72 hour fasts + 3 day re-feeds.
- Cycles of 4 or 5 day fasts + re-feeds.
(fasts beyond 4 or 5 days are easily possible, but 'fasting & re-feeding' is very effective)
There are many permutations of fasting and eating. You can fast for 48 hours, but the benefits are a little diminished because of the delay digesting your last meal, depleting your glycogen stores and getting into ketosis (fat burning mode). We will advise a schedule based upon your personal circumstances.