How To Incorporate Fasting Into Your Diet

At Rockland Peak Performance, we are constantly striving to deliver our clients life changing results.  In doing so, a diet must be constructed that fits a persons needs and life style.  We have accumulated numerous diets and strategies to optimize fat loss.  One of these strategies is fasting or the abstention from eating for a determined period of time.

When the body is deprived of food, also considered energy, the body must begin to breakdown its own resources. This process is called Autolysis.  Autolysis is the breaking down of fat stores in the body in order to produce energy. The liver is in charge of converting the fats into a chemical called a ketone body, “the metabolic substances acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid” (1), and then distributing these bodies throughout the body via the blood stream. “When this fat utilization occurs, free fatty acids are released into the blood stream and are used by the liver for energy.” (1) The less one eats, the more the body turns to these stored fats and creates these ketone bodies, the accumulation of which is referred to as ketosis. (2)

Burning our stored fast is just one benefit of intermittent fasting.  The second is an increase is energy and alertness.  The digestive process is very taxing on the body and requires tremendous amounts of energy to process everything we put inside ourselves.  By allowing our digestive system to rest, our body will have extra energy to focus on metabolism and our immune system.  This leads to a feeling of rejuvenation and increased life span.

A study was performed on earthworms that demonstrated the extension of life due to fasting. The experiment was performed in the 1930s by isolating one worm and putting it on a cycle of fasting and feeding. The isolated worm outlasted its relatives by 19 generations, while still maintaining its youthful physiological traits. The worm was able to survive on its own tissue for months. Once the size of the worm began to decrease, the scientists would resume feeding it at which point it showed great vigor and energy. “The life-span extension of these worms was the equivalent of keeping a man alive for 600 to 700 years.” (3)

The best form of fasting, in our experience with our clients, is intermittent fasting. By definition, intermittent fasting is incorporating short bursts of not eating and incorporating them into your daily lifestyle in a safe manner. These are the guidelines recommended to our clients:

  • Have your last meal of the day fall somewhere between 6-9pm.
  • Following that meal, you would begin your fast, usually about 12-16 hours long (Sleep for 8 of those hours).
  • First meal of the day is 2-3 hours after waking.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat all meals in an 8 to 12 hour time span depending on how long your fast is.
  • When eating, make sure the foods are vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  No processed foods.

Give intermittent fasting a try once a week to start.  If you’d like to learn more check out Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon.  His books goes in depth on the benefits of intermittent fasting.

1) Ketosis and Low Carbohydrate Diets

2) Detox Diets: Cleansing The Body

3) The Health Benefits Of Fasting