Top tips for making fasting successful.
What is fasting? What are the benefits? & How to successfully fast.
Fasting is one of my new favorite things! I started learning about fasting a few months ago and I’m so excited to share this healthy, new to me, practice with you.
There are a couple of different kinds of fasting. Intermittent fasting and block fasting.
I have completed a few successful 36 hour and 5.5 day fasts and I am going to share with you information regarding fasting as well as my experiences. I also regularly intermittent fast. Let’s dive in!
Intermittent fasting is when you fast for shorter periods of time, typically 16-18 hours. So, you would fast for 16 hours and eat inside of an 8 hour window. It’s just having a smaller window of time in your day that you eat. For instance, for a 16 hour fast, you would fast from after dinner until 16 hours later. Which puts you near lunch time, depending on when you started. You would eat between noon and 8pm. If that sounds easy, shorten your duration to 1pm to 7pm!
For those that do not have the need for fat loss, you would maintain your healthy eating and caloric intake during the eating window. I am not a fan of counting calories, and I don’t necessarily want you to do that. Please just listen to your body. If you need more food to maintain your weight, eat more in your eating time frame.
If you do have a need for fat reduction, this is a great way to reduce your consumption of food and take advantage of the reduction of calories. Focus on eating whole God given foods. Avoid all processed food and beverage.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Improved mental clarity and concentration
- Reduction of inflammation
- Autophagy – Your body gets rid of your bad cells, bad cell membranes, bad DNA, bad mitochondria and bad muscle and tissue cells.
- Increased energy
- Weight and body fat loss with increased fat burning
- Lowered blood insulin and sugar levels
- Increased growth hormone
- Lowered blood cholesterol
What Can You Have During Intermittent Fasting?
You can have as much purified water as you would like. Please stay hydrated!
The big dog! Block fasting
Block fasting is a longer fast. 24 and 36 hour, 3 day, 5 day, 10 day and 30 day fasts. Whew!! Yes, I wrote 30 day!! Fasting is biblical! There are so many benefits to these longer fasts, mind body and spirit. Many patients have reported incredible clarity in all areas from fasting. This is elevated ketones!
My husband has his patients fast during detox regimens, and it’s so fun to hear the stories. He had a patient that his blood pressure dropped after his 5 day fast and was able to eliminate that medication. (Metobolic Repair) Others report balancing hormones, more energy, reduction of headaches and heartburn. (DNA repair) Elimination of abdominal discomfort. (Resetting Microbiome) Of course, every body is different and each body needs different healing. Your body will heal what it needs you to heal. And that will probably be something different each time. It’s so exciting!
Benefits of Block Fasting
You get all of the benefits of Intermittent Fasting and soooo much more! With longer fasts you get the same benefits of Intermittent Fasting, just BIGGER!! More bang!
- Autophogy – The longer you go, the more you get! Our bodies produce new cells every 30 days. Imagine the benefits of a 30 day fast if you’re body is doing all of this amazing stuff, AND you’re not adding any additional toxins! Wow! These fasts are great for those dealing with major disease.
- Stem Cells Increase – You heal tissues, joints, organs and muscles.
- Resets your DNA – Turns on your longevity gene and turns off your inflammation gene.
- Repairs Metabolic Process – No glucose or insulin spikes and decreases inflammation.
- Elevates Ketones – For weight loss, cell energy, brain clarity and activates Stem Cells.
- Resets Microbiome – Helps balance bacteria and repair intestines. Our intestines heal completely in a 3-5 day fast! So cool.
- Optimizes and Rests Hormones – Increases Growth Hormone by 2000!! Helps reset Thyroid, Insulin, Leptin, Testosterone, Estrogen and more!
You will reach a small amount of Autophogy around the 18 hour mark. Autophogy increases with time. I have read that the greatest benefit is when you hit the 5 day mark and longer. During the same time, most people hit ketosis. This is determined by the amount of sugars in your blood. I monitor both my ketones and blood glucose during my block fasts.
Tools you will want to have on hand
- Ketone strips help you monitor the level of Ketones you are producing. These are urine strips and pretty easy to use. They will tell you what your ketones are doing. I have a couple of reasons why I monitor. First, I guess I’m kind of nerdy that way. 😁 I want to see what’s happening! Second, while you’re fasting you want your ketones to go up. Some people see their ketones rise quickly and others only reach a trace amount at day 5. As you make fasting a regular part of your healing regimen, you will reach ketone production much quicker. I usually hit trace ketones within the first 24 hours and am high by day 3.
- Blood Glucose Test kit will help you monitor your glucose levels. During fasts, your glucose will go down. As with ketones, you may still have higher numbers for your first couple of fasts. But as you get your blood glucose to healthy levels, you will see this glucose number get very low. Low blood glucose is healthy, as long as your ketones are high.
What Can You Have During Block Fasting?
Water. And Hymalayan Salt. 🙂 That’s it. My recommendation is to drink as much water as you need. If you’re feeling any discomfort, aches, hunger, etc. Warm water helps me!
And make sure to either add Hymalayan Salt to your water or you can suck on the crystals. I suggest you keep a small bowl on the counter and suck on the crystals throughout the day. 1-2 teaspoons per day. For real! This will really help you with any of the detox symptoms you may experience.
You should not take any supplements during block fasting. You want your body to kick in its innate ability to heal during this time. Let your body do it’s thing!
What Are You Going Experience?
You may have detox symptoms. Some symptoms may include fatigue, exhaustion, weakness, headache, muscle cramps or aches, irritability. If you experience these or any other detox symptoms, please drink water and take in Hymalayan Salt!!! Seriously, this is a game changer. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s probably because your minerals are out of balance. Hymalayan Salt has 84 minerals!! It’s what you need. Focus on your healing in any of the areas that you notice.
Don’t expect bowel movements. Some people have a small BM on day 2-5, but typically only once. My experience was on day 5. I believe that’s when my body hit the highest level of Autophogy and possibly the Microbiome reset. Flushing those dead cells out! 👏 This has happened at the same time for each of of my block fasts.
What should you do during your block fast?
The biggest thing I can say is listen to your body. I suggest you do your block fast when you don’t have any major obligations and can rest when you need to.
Some people have tons of energy and feel amazing. If this is you… LUCKY!!! Please don’t over do it. If you feel amazing, it is ok to do light workouts during a block fast. Walking and yoga are great. Please don’t do strenuous exercise or activities. Remember, your body is healing during this time. Don’t give it more to heal!
Some people feel very tired and weak. ME! From my experience, I can work on my day one and day 5 with rest breaks. I haven’t gone longer than this, I imagine that if I went longer, my body would step in and give me the energy I need to actively take part in my life. If you are tired and weak like I have been, rest! Read, meditate, prayer is so good during a block fast, nap, take Epsom salt baths, lay in the sun. Check out my blog posts on self care and positive affirmations! Now is a good time to practice these principals.
Please don’t get frustrated with this if this is you. Embrace your healing and know that you are doing the best thing possible for your health. ❤️
It gets easier!
Good news! It gets easier each time you block fast. My first time I did a 5.5 day fast I was soooooooooo hungry. The warm water helped for brief periods of time and then the hunger would flare again. Crazy hunger pains. I had pain everywhere. Body aches, headache. I felt a little dizzy and had some light heart palpitations that settled when I rested. Please remember, this was my experience. These were the parts of my body that my body was healing. Your experience may have some similarities, but will most likely be very different. Days 2-4 I took several naps and only rested with prayer, reading, meditation, and laying in the sun.
My second time, I felt a little hungry a few times, but it did not consume me like it did the first time. I did not get a headache and I only had a minor body ache for a couple of hours around day 3. Even though I was tired, I was able to do chores around the house and I only napped on day 1 and 2. I worked on day 1 and day 5 and had a decent amount of energy.
As you can see, the easier comes quickly! I did the two above mentioned fasts 30 days apart.
UPDATE! 10/11/2018 I completed my 3rd long block fast and it was amazing! I went 10.5 days this time. I finally started to use the ketones I was making. Woohoo! Day two was the hardest. I didn’t have any energy and was lethargic. I rested and healed. By the next day I felt amazing! I had a ton of energy. My body was weak, so I would take breaks. But the breaks were short. Around day 5, I had calf cramps in the night. So the following day I increased my Hymilayan salt intake. I was probably closer to 3-4 teaspoons that day and it fixed the issue! I am actually looking forward to the next 5 day fast!
Breaking a long block fast
When it’s time for you to break your block fast, it’s important to go slow!! My husband didn’t listen to this instruction and didn’t feel very well after eating chicken breast on the first day. 😊 Continue to drink plenty water and taking in your Himalayan salt. Start off with soft foods. I like to break my fast with a half an avocado. I also make organic chicken bone broth soup with garlic, Himalayan salt and pepper, chopped carrot, celery and cabbage. Cook until the veggies are soft and enjoy this throughout the first three days. On your first day keep it to these simple foods.
Day two, you can continue with the foods from day one, but you can also add some organic eggs and steamed or cooked vegetables.
On day three you can start adding in some additional healthy foods.
By day four you can be completely back to your regular diet.
Listen to your body. Go slow and enjoy the reintroduction. I really suggest you not have heavy foods or meals on the first 3 days. Your digestive system has been healing and not digesting. It’ll take time to get it back into the grove of eating again. This is a really great time to embrace healthy eating habits! Your body won’t be craving the bad stuff!
Final thoughts on fasting
Fasting, wheter it is intermittent or block, is a wonderful addition to a healthy lifestyle. Our body heals when we give it the opportunity to focus on healing, not digesting, sorting, fighting and every other process it goes through when you eat and digests food.
Take it slow and try a few intermittent fasts and 24 or 36 hour fast before you dive into a big block fast. It’ll make a big block fast much easier. Practice makes perfect!
Be patient and loving towards yourself and your body. Remember, health isn’t a fad or a diet or a boot camp. It’s a lifestyle.
I’d love for you to come back and share your fasting experiences with me.