Intermittent fasting works! I find that a 16 hour per day fasting period yields great results for a calorie restricting practice and for a general feeling of wellness. My experience is one of a sense of being lean and of efficiency in terms of my metabolism. There are a few things to know about fasting that can make it more effective, though.
First, what can I drink during my fasted hours? Sparkling water, mineral water, or flat water will not break your fast because there are zero calories with the intake. A good cold sparkling water with lemon extract and a hot black coffee with stevia works for me. Being from New Orleans, I prefer my coffee with chicory, thank you very much. 👍 Evidence shows that chicory is healthy for you and won’t detract from the fast.
What about supplements? Can I take them during fasting hours? It depends on your goal.
For some people, ketosis is more important to them than a state of absolute fast, and that’s ok if fat loss is primarily what you seek. If that is the case, then you can consume very small amounts of calories, such as gummy supplements that might have 5 calories per gummy. This practice might technically break your fast but it will not break the state of ketosis. Proceed with caution though, and it might make sense just to wait for your first meal to take your supplements so as not to break the fast or risk your state of ketosis, not to mention, supplements usually absorb more readily with food intake.
It makes sense to seek out sugar free supplements to avoid extra calories that might break your fast!
As indicated in the first paragraph, fasting benefits go beyond that of just a way to restrict caloric intake. It allows the body time to repair, recover and maintain rather than just focus on digestion. I recommend at least 16 hours of fasting per day. I like to begin meals around 11 a.m. and end meals at 7 p.m. Pick the fasted hours that work best for your schedule.
Fasting causes metabolic changes that lead to a desired state of ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body begins to burn fat for energy due to the unavailability of carbs. You want this to happen during your intermittent fast periods which is why it is important not to intake anything that will break the fast and slow down the ketosis.
Fasting also promotes autophagy. Autophagy rids the body of damaged, harmful and otherwise unneeded cells and dysfunctional cell components within the body.
Want to shift your intermittent fasting into overdrive? Try fasted infrared training. HOTWORX provides over 10 different workout types to put your cardio and resistance workouts to the test when you are in a fasted state. Stay tuned for next weeks blog post when I take up the follow on topic of fasted infrared workouts!