After learning some new information and reviewing my intermittent fasting guide from the 28-Day challenge, I would like to revisit this topic and provide you with some additional information. In the keto groups of which I am a member, I see lots of questions about weight-loss stalling at some point. The advice is always,” trust the process and keep doing what you are doing, it works.” I have passed this same advice onto you, but I have also learned a bit more. I have stalled during weeks 7 and 8 on my journey. New information tells me I should have expected this. After dropping about 35 pounds in my first 6 weeks, my metabolism most likely dropped because of this. I also learned that while the intermittent fasting plan that I have followed, eat for 8 hours and fast for 16, may work fine for people up to 35 years old. Someone like me 40+ years old may benefit more from fasting for 20 hours 2 or 3 times a week. I also learned that people on any form of diet benefit from taking a week off every so often. This does not mean to go crazy on your week off, you still want to watch your carbs and caloric intake. Sometimes you just need to shake things up a little bit.
Now back to intermittent fasting (I.F.). It is proven that I.F. improves health, aids in weight-loss, and can even prolong your life. I.F. basically mimics your body’s response to high-intensity exercise. When in I.F., it triggers your hormones and helps your body burn fat while preserving muscle. I.F. is proven to increase fat oxidation and insulin sensitivity. Studies show, people who live to be over 100 have high insulin sensitivity. During the fast, your body will increase ketone production helping you achieve ketosis quicker.
During the fasting period, you can have water, green tea, and coffee. I see a lot of people asking if adding heavy whipping cream, milk, or half and half, stops the fast. The answer I always see is NO it does not. From what I have read, coffee should be limited due to dehydration and it should be black. Putting anything in your coffee, tea, or water will break your fast.
The most common methods of intermittent fasting are:
16/8 method – Eat for 8 hours, fast for 16.
Alternate day calorie restriction – reduce your caloric intake for one day and resume normal calories the next.
Alternate day fast – Fast for a full day, and then unrestricted eating the next. Still eating low-carb and not overdoing it with the caloric intake. The goal is to reduce your overall calories, do not consume two days of calories in one day. It will cancel out your fasting day.
Meal Skipping – Just skip any meal of the day, doing this a few times a week will reduce your overall caloric intake.
Try whatever method you like, you may want to ease into it. Try eating dinner earlier and eating breakfast later the next to slowly increase the time you fast. You might find it easier to start with caloric restriction or skip a meal. The goal of each of these methods is to reduce your caloric intake, figure out what will work best for you. Do not forget there are the health benefits besides weight-loss, you gain during the fasting period. If you are just reducing your caloric intake, you may miss out on the other benefits.
Skin cells become more resilient.
Increase cognitive function.
Increases fat burning.
Increase insulin sensitivity (stabilizing blood sugar and protects against type 2 diabetes).
Lower bad cholesterol by up to 32%.
Lower Triglycerides by 42%.
Prevents fat from being stored in the liver.
When you fast for 12-14 hours, the body shifts from burning glucose to burning fat for energy. This is why fasting is often paired with the keto diet. It helps kick your body into ketosis.