Questioning how to start fasting? You’re in the right place to start!
Often the first step to fasting is changing your understanding of what is “normal” and creating a new belief system around eating and health. You see, there are a lot of misconceptions around what kinds of foods we should be eating and when we should be eating them. For example, we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that cereals, bagels, breads and sugary drinks are an acceptable way to start the day. We’ve been told that eating 3 meals (plus lots of snacks) is normal, and that an afternoon slump in energy should be alleviated by caffeine and energy bars. Sadly, these beliefs are based on false understandings of how our bodies work and what they need for optimal health. But then again, you probably already knew this, which is why you’re here. So now onto beginning fasting!
I’ve put together this week-by-week guide to help you through the first three weeks of fasting. By the end of the three weeks, you’ll find yourself successfully intermittent fasting!
How to start fasting WEEK 1:
- Move your normal breakfast back an hour. Don’t worry, it might feel weird the first couple days, but your body will catch on. Remember, your body is designed to go periods without food.
- Start increasing consumption of healthy fats.
- Start decreasing consumption of carbs and sugar.
How to start fasting WEEK 2:
- Move your normal breakfast time back 2 hours.
- Keep increasing healthy fats.
- Remove refined carbs, consuming a 50g net carbs. I use an app called the Carb Manager to measure macros.
- Decrease consumption of protein to 50g protein a day.
How to start fasting WEEK 3:
- By week 3, you should find yourself going 13-15 hours every morning without food. This is intermittent fasting!
- 60% of your foods should be coming from healthy fats.
- Your blood sugar reading should be between 70-90 mg/dL.
- Your ketone reading should be 0.5 mmol/l or above.
- Staying under 50g net carbs.
- Staying under 20g protein.
When the body has been in a fasted state for about 15 hours, it begins to make ketones. [More on the benefits of fasting broken down by hour here] Ketones are an indication that the body has begun to burn energy from fat, not sugar. This is a good thing. Ketones bring inflammation down and curb hunger. Also, you’ll start to see an increased production of growth hormones, which work to slow down the aging process.
How do you know if you’re in ketosis? I recommend you test your blood sugar and ketones regularly during fasting. My next Youtube video will have more on this! The device I use is the Keto Mojo and uses an easy finger prick. You will know you are in a state of ketosis when your reader is 0.5 and above.