A common question that I get all the time is, “If fasting is so wonderful, how long should I be doing it?”
To start with, the first question you want to ask yourself is, what benefit are you trying to achieve with fasting. I have identified that there are 7 different types of fasts, and they all have slightly different benefits to them.
If you are not familiar with the 7 different types of fast, please reference youtube video: for background on how to do all 7 of these fasts.
But in general, this is how I approach each one of these fasts:
This is your beginners fast. If you have never fasted before, you are going to want to start here and master intermittent fasting. With intermittent fasting, you will get a surge of growth hormone which will help slow the aging process and burn fast. You will also find yourself in a mild ketosis and initiate the beginning of autophagy. How long should you do intermittent fasting? I recommend that it is done daily and is apart of your daily lifestyle.
24 Hour Fast
This is often known as a dinner-to-dinner fast or one meal a day (OMAD) fast. The reason you would want to do this particular fast is to produce more ketones, have a deeper detox experience, and to keep insulin levels low for a longer period of time so that your body is forced to utilize energy from stored sugar. This fast is great for people who are weight loss resistant, want a deeper ketone or autophagy experience. I recommend people do this fast at least once a week.
24-36 Hour Fast
The purpose for these longer fasts is really to keep insulin down and go after stored sugar. If you are familiar with Dr. Fung and his book The Obesity Code, one of his key strategies for releasing long-standing weight is fasting for longer periods. If you are extremely weight loss resistant then you are going to want to implement the 36 hour fast on a weekly basis. Many of you will notice with this fast the beginning of stem cells being released. Stem cells are repair cells, so often I will have patients of mine do a 36 hour fast to heal a musculoskeletal injury.
Fast mimicking is a style of fasting made famous by Valter Longo. He researched that limited calories, low protein also force the body to release stem cells. I recommend fast mimicking to patients who want the benefits of a longer, block fast, but still want to be able to eat food. Fast mimicking can also be a great fast to train your body for longer fasts and a great way to break a block fast.
Autophagy fasting is proving to be great for weight loss and detoxing as well. The reason to do autophagy fasting is because you get maximum weight loss benefits, while still being able to eat a fairly regular diet. For many of my patients, autophagy fasting has become a part of their weekly diet variation. A couple of key pieces of autophagy fasting is keeping your protein under 20 grams and breaking your fast with fat. See my autophagy fasting playlist on YouTube for more details.
The research on dry fasting shows us that it can decrease inflammation and increase BDNF. BDNF is fertilizer for your brain. Incorporating dry fasting in to your weekly diet variation, for those of you that want better brain clarity, improved memory, and better mobility, this would be the one you would do. It is not recommended that you dry fast for more than 24 hours.
A block fast is for those of you that want MASSIVE cellular repair. Some experts believe that you would kill every cancer cell in your body if you did a 3-5 day block fast multiple times a year. We use block fasting in our clinic for more severe conditions, for people who want to maximize their stem cell production or need a full reboot of their immune system.
Look at each one of these fasts as a tool that you can use at different times. The way that I apply fasting to my life :
- Intermittent fast daily,
- (1) 24 hour fast a week
- one time a month I take a 5 day period and practice one of the other fasts. Lately, it’s been autophagy fasting or fast mimicking.
If you want more information on fasting, join me in my Resetter Tribe on Facebook, as we fast together as a community one time a month.