Updated on March 25, 2020. Time goes by so quickly.
I was looking at my blog and noticed I had written a post called the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting and was surprised that it was posted April 2016. To my astonishment I have been doing some form of intermittent fasting on almost a daily basis for almost 4 years. Since then I went on to post about one meal a day (OMAD) which can be found Giving OMAD a try – Day 1 and Giving OMAD a try – Day 2 both of these were written last year in February.
My fasting method is a 18/6 protocol where I stop eating around 6:00 p.m. at night, skip breakfast and eat lunch at about 12:00 p.m., which gives me anywhere from 16 to 18 hours without eating. I do this on a daily basis and try to add a 24+ hour fast once a week, typically on a Saturday.
The 18/6 protocol allows me to keep my weight within a 3 or 4 pound range, so for me that is anywhere between 162 and 166 pounds. While this is great for maintaining your weight I always felt that I was missing some of the benefits like pushing your body into ketosis and a greater level of autophagy (rebuilding of cells) in the body. One of the things I noticed is when I push the fast beyond 20 hours my body actually feels warmer, there is a slight tingling feeling, and I suspect I am beginning to make some inroads into burning fat instead of glucose for fuel.
If you are just looking to lose a few pounds and acquire some of the other benefits from fasting the 16/8 or 18/6 intermittent fasting protocols work just fine in my experience, but if you want to really start burning body fat and push yourself into autophagy throw in a 24 hour fast once a week or once a month. The question I often hear is how will I feel, especially during a 24 hour fast? I actually found I felt better in a fasted state then when I was eating. I won’t kid you for me I was pretty hungry at about 20 hours, but not in a ravenous state. One of the cool things is you can look forward to a pretty large meal after that 24 hour fast. You could do something like OMAD on a daily basis, but then you really aren’t doing a 24 hour fast and you also need to deal with social situations like declining lunch invitations, etc. Remember the longer you can stay in the fasted state the more body fat and cell regeneration is taking place, so pushing it from 24 to 36 hours once in a while can be a very good thing.
Well that’s my update for now. I continue to learn more everyday regarding the benefits of fasting and after almost 4 years I can unequivocally state that there are many positive benefits and the longer you do it, the easier it becomes. The other thing I learned is once you stop doing it and get used to eating say in the morning when I would normally fast, it can be tough to re-establish the habit.
Note: I am not a doctor and am not advocating that fasting is the only way to control your weight or be healthy. There may be some situations where fasting is not appropriate; for instance if you are pregnant or under weight. Do your own research and consult a physician if you have any concerns about trying some form of intermittent fasting.
If you want to know more about autophagy check out this article it goes into much greater detail than I have during this post:
Benefits of Autophagy, Plus How to Induce It