Fasting is a very broad topic, it can cover such things as intermittent fasting, dry fasting, liquid fasting, OMAD, alternate day fasting, 48-hour fasting, fat fasting,
Let’s start with intermittent fasting (IF); I’m starting here because this is the fasting most associated with nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis mimics intermittent fasting. By this I mean as discussed in the keto section, where after a transitional period of conversion from a carb burner to fat burner your body starts changing over to ketones as fuel. Not eating has the same effect and can happen much quicker, but is not recommended to carb burners, the side effects are way too complicated in my view. So why would we want to fast at all? Eating and the associated process of digestion utilizes many hormonal functions within the body. If, like a lot of folks you eat three meals a day and snacks in between and often a little something before going to bed the body does not get any rest or time heal and recover from the arduous rigors of life. If you go to bed at 11 pm and get up at 7 am and have breakfast, you have effectively fasted for 8 hours ( not long enough for repair and recovery) while the body involved in activities associated with eating for 16 hours.
The most common form of intermittent fasting is 16/8 which is a complete reversal where you eat for 8 hours and fast for 16 hours. So what are the benefits of intermittent fasting? When you eat a high carb diet, your pancreas is generating and spiking the hormone insulin to reduce the level of glucose in the bloodstream created by ingesting carbs. One of the roles of insulin is to transport fuel to the cells, and when they have had enough residual glucose now in the form of triglycerides gets stored as fat. If this process is ongoing and continuous as in the case of carboholics, the body will eventually become insulin resistant triggering the onset of prediabetes and finally full-blown type two diabetes. Our primal hunter-gatherer genetics were designed to store fats in times of plentiful food and then utilize the fat stores when food was less available. Today, for the most part, there is no shortage of food, so over an extended period of a decade or so you can expect to add about 10lbs of fat if you are a carboholic. Make that 40 years, and you see the recipe for people in their 60’s being forty pounds or so overweight.
Glucagon is the hormone whose job is to recover fat from the body’s fat stores in time of need. However, when you have excessive insulin in the bloodstream, it loses the ability to retrieve fat for fuel. So it becomes a one-way street, and you keep piling on fat and can’t extract it for fuel. Becoming a fat burning beast and significantly reducing insulin spikes will reduce the amount of fat stored, but just as import having low insulin in the bloodstream promotes retrieval of fat from storage when required. So now we are storing less fat, and we can retrieve it when needed as fuel. What is great about this whole process is that when the body has gone without food for a while rather than sending a signal to the brain to activate the hunger hormone leptin to fill up on carbs, it just kicks over to burning fat from the fat stores. This process is automatic, so you skip the hunger pangs and fulfill your energy needs from your fat store, hence losing weight (fat that is) This why doing a combination of nutritional ketosis and intermittent fasting allows for extended periods without eating and never feeling hungry. Let me tell you that it is a remarkable condition to enjoy.
To enjoy these benefits, you need to do things in a particular order to avoid unpleasant side effects. The first step is to transition from being a carb burner to a fat burner. At this point, you are probably eating three meals a day without snacks in between. Now try skipping breakfast early in the morning, if you can’t do that instantly try eating a little later each day until you reach noontime without having had a meal. If you had dinner at 8 pm and you don’t eat again until noon you have achieved the initial goal of intermittent fasting. Once you have reached the 16/8 goal you can continue to push that first meal back until say 2 pm (18/6) and then maybe 4 pm (20/4) then eventually 8 pm now you have reached a point of eating one meal a day referred to as OMAD. So why would you want to keep pushing the meal time back and back? Well, at some point in this process as you extend your fasted state, you will enter a condition called autophagy which is a normal physiological process in which the body deals with the destruction broken down and mutated cells. It maintains homeostasis or normal functioning by protein degradation and turnover of destroyed cell organelles for new cell formation. That’s a lot of big words to explain how the body kills off old and mutated cells and replaces them with new ones. A big deal because if the body doesn’t get to do this maintenance on a regular basis, all sorts of bad things can happen possibly leading to mutations becoming cancer cells. I will be publishing a video on the topic of autophagy in the future.
Alternate day fasting and 48-hour fasting are just variations on the same theme. However, the longer you go without eating and the more you use your fat stores for fuel, the more weight you are going to lose. In fact, you will be amazed at how quickly the weight falls off when you combine nutritional ketosis with intermittent fasting. There are many interpretations of the process of fasting. Technically the most used definition would be not eating and only drinking water. That would be called a water fast or a wet fast substituting other liquids. Again technically no food equals a fast. There are however many variations. A fat fast is one where you eat only fats in the fasting period as they have a minimal effect on insulin. I prefer the fat fast myself having a keto coffee (another video) during my fasted period. I do this because I enjoy all the benefits of the fasted state, but at the same time I have reached my set point (optimal body weight and composition) and don’t want to lose any more weight, so I need the calories to avoid burning too much body fat. An excellent position to be in where you have control of your body weight at your fingertips by manipulating the various components of Keto/IF combo.
Essential Oils can play a large role in Intermittent Fasting.
Digestive: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cardamon, celery Seed, Cilantro, Clove, Copaiba, Coriander, Dill, Grapefruit, Green Mandarin, Juniper Berry, lemon, Lime, Litsea, Neroli, orange, Peppermint, Spearmint, Star Anise, Terrazyme, Turmeric, Yuzu, Zendocrine.
Note: many different oils are listed above. While they are all relevant, nobody would ever use them all. If you are a Be Lean For Life Coaching Client you may have oils personally taped to your specific requirement based on data collected in the coaching program.