A few days ago, I posted the first part of my fasting 101 blog post, which details the many health benefits associated with fasting. This post will break down my favorite types of fasting, how they work and some quick tips if you are trying it for the first time

Types of Fasting

1. Time Restricted Eating

Time restricted eating is a method of fasting where you eat within a certain window of time, usually 8-12 hours and then fast for 12-16 hours. This type of fasting has been shown to help prevent and reverse obesity, improve digestion, and heal the gut.

The overall goal of this type of fasting is to synchronize it with your circadian rhythm. Dr. Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute oversaw a 38-week study in mice where he discovered that a time-based eating pattern staved off both weight gain and illness and that the time which food is eaten affects the body’s internal clock.

The 16/8 method is one of the most popular types of time restricted eating. It’s actually very easy to do and can be as simple as skipping breakfast!

In this method, you eat 2-3 healthy meals and snacks of your choice during an 8-hour window and then fast for 16 hours. You can pick the times that you start and stop eating based on when works best for your own personal schedule.

For example, if you don’t normally wake up hungry in the morning, you can hydrate with water until you eat breakfast at 10am. You are then allowed to eat whatever healthy foods you like for the next 8 hours and then stop eating at 6pm.

2. ProLon:

ProLon is the only diet cited by the FDA to be beneficial for anti-aging and longevity. It’s a 5-day meal program that provides your body with essential nutrients in the form of broths and bars that are not recognized by your body as food and therefore imitates a fasting state.

ProLon helps to increase growth hormone, improve insulin resistance, and decrease systolic blood pressure. It can be used to treat weight gain, hypertension, PCOS, and decrease inflammation.

3. Meal Skipping:

Meal skipping is a great option for beginners who want to start fasting. It’s easy to do and requires you to pay attention to your natural hunger cues.

It’s as simple as eating a meal when you’re hungry and skipping meals when you’re not. In our society, we are used to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, but this isn’t necessary 7 days a week- especially on days where you are more sedentary.

4. Eat-Stop-Eat Method:

This form of fasting involves participating in a 24-hour fast one to two times per week. Water, coffee, tea, and any other non-caloric beverage is allowed
on your fasting days, but no solid food. Your eating days should be filled with nutrient dense, filling, and “responsible” foods.

It’s important to slowly build up to this type of fasting and discuss with your physician before you begin.

By doing this type of fasting you are creating a period of time where your body can use its own stored glycogen from carbohydrates and fat as fuel (ketosis).

Tips to Make Fasting Work for You:

  • Don’t break a fast (no matter which one) with a high carb meal! This will decrease the effectiveness of your fast by causing your insulin levels to go up and down which will cause your blood sugar to spike and fall
  • Avoid strenuous workouts during your fast as well as the first day after your fast is complete.
  • Be sure to eat a high fiber diet if you’re partaking in an intermittent fast.
  • If trying ProLon for the first time, be aware that the fifth day will be tough, but the results will be worth it!

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