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Intermittent Fasting Do’s and Don’ts

Why fast anyway?  What good is fasting? If you’ve never heard of fasting, you may be living in a cave (just kidding).  Fasting is refraining from eating food for a...

Why fast anyway?  What good is fasting?

If you’ve never heard of fasting, you may be living in a cave (just kidding).  Fasting is refraining from eating food for a period of time.

Why fast and what good is fasting?

To lose weight, balance insulin and lower glucose, slow down the aging process, prevent cancer and other diseases so common in our aging population. Take advantage of autophagy…cleaning up those zombie/bad cells in your body.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty of Intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting differs from prolonged fasting by going without food for a specific period of time such as 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hours, 18 hours, or even occasionally 24 hours.

Wouldn’t that stress my body?

Yes, but in a good way.  If you have followed me for a while and have read my past blogs and listened to my podcasts you will recall I talk about good stress. There are benefits to good stress.  Remember cold stress like the frigid water plunge or the hot stress like hot yoga?  Good stress allows the body to heal and clean house and get rid of zombie/bad cells.  Intermittent fasting causes good stress in your body and helps get rid of those zombie cells.

Now let’s unpack the do’s and don’ts of intermediate fasting (IF).

Rule number 1:

Fast intuitively…go by tuning into your body for hunger signals.  I know, I know, you may be someone from the 90’s and 2000’s that were taught to graze all day long…STOP it!

If you have insulin resistance, every time you eat this way you are jacking up insulin and glucose.  Excess insulin and glucose cause fat storage.  We need insulin to live but not in this way.

Wake up in the morning and tune in to your hunger signals…no snacking, snacking, snacking. You need to stop that first.  If you don’t, you will never be able to fast. 

Listen to your hunger signals!  If you don’t, you will over-ride them and produce excess cortisol.

Rule number 2:

Listen to your hunger signals. Are you hungry or not hungry? Really tune in.  Is your signal for hunger real hunger or just habit?  If it’s habitual eating, you need to start out differently.

You may have to start out eating three meals a day with no snacks.  Start there. When adapted to three meals a day with no snacking then you can introduce intermittent fasting.  You want to avoid getting hangry.

Rule number 3:

Move on to 12 or 14 hours of fasting.  Hey that’s pretty easy.  If you eat a healthy low carb snack at 8:00 pm (keto ice cream, maybe) and you sleep all night (hey baby, you are fasting while you sleep).  You can wake up at 8:00 am and eat breakfast or just a cup of black coffee.  That’s a 12-hour fast.   Or if you wait until 10:00 am, it’s a 14-hour fast…just like that!  Bounce around 12 to 14 hours for a while and maybe not every day…Maybe once a week you may hit a 16-hour fast by waiting until noon for your first meal.

Okay…how about my morning coffee?

Let’s jump over to checking your glucose.  You can do this very inexpensively by getting a glucometer at Walmart or you could get a glucose/ketone monitor from KetoMojo.  Your choice.

Test your response after drinking black coffee.  Test your glucose before your morning coffee and then 30 minutes later.  If you start with 90 and it rises to 95, that’s okay. If after 30 minutes, your glucose goes up to 110, you’re having an insulin response.  Add a little bit of fat, like butter (Kerrygold), whipping cream, or if you’re dairy free, coconut milk. Test again.  Some folks do well black coffee, some with some added fat.  Calories don’t matter! Remember that!

Technically, pure fat in your coffee should not illicit an insulin response, but each individual is different, so that is why you need to test.  Post coffee should raise glucose no more than 5-8 point from the before coffee. Listen to your body signals!

Let’s review:

  • Listen to your hunger signals
  • Start with three square meals.
  • Move to 12-14-16 hours fasting (males and females are different, will cover later)

Now let’s look at the thyroid – Hypo and Hashi’s folks – Adrenals can be affected, so you have to do intermittent fasting right.  Adrenal stress can affect the T4 to T3 conversion.  Not everyone will have this occur but fasting too often or too intensely (okay type A people, listen up).  Again, listen to your body signals!

Flatlining occurs after intense periods of stress…autoimmune diseases such as Cushing’s, Addison’s, etc., immune system attacking adrenals, or Diabetes Type 1 attacking the pancreas.

So…don’t go sideways on me…don’t say no to keto or low carb as an excuse because of thyroid issues. 

There’s a right way and wrong way to do keto and intermittent fasting.  The wrong way is obsessing and overdoing…day in and day out fasting, pushing past your limits, one meal a day for a week or weeks, 24-hour fasts because you think that would be better for you.  Tiptoe your way into intermittent fasting and guess what?  Listen to your body signals!

Male and female, stages in life, here’s some rules:

Premenopausal ladies – while still cycling – Listen to your body even more.  A week before your period and during your period don’t fast.  It’s not a good time.  You should eat when you are hungry.  During ovulation you will feel like fasting.  This is the time as you have more hormonal power.

Pregnant ladies – NO FASTING!

Postmenopausal ladies – Hopefully, you are taking bioidentical hormone therapy because we live longer, we need to take care of ourselves and pay attention to hormones.  You don’t want to live feeling like garbage.  You also want to optimize your thyroid.  You are strong and powerful in this age group.  You live long enough to have wisdom.  No worries about Instagram or selfies on FaceBook, no time for that crap. 

Most of you can fast at least 12-14 hours every day.  Give digestion a break, pancreas a break, hormones a break, and get the most out of autophagy.  Get rid of those zombie cells.  Allow your body to eat away the cancer cells, stave off Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.

And men, 50 to 90, intermittent fasting becomes even more therapeutic and aids in avoiding the diseases of aging.  Ignore the old school that you learned in Shape and Muscles magazines.

The cost of intermittent fasting?  It’s FREE!

Okay, one more time, let’s review:

  • Start of with three squares and no snacks. Throw away those protein drinks and snack bars. Yuck!  You want to be a fat burner, not a sugar burner.   Cut down on your carbs.  Do it slowly.  Maybe you have to go from 300 gr to 200 gr to 150 gr to 100 gr and finally 50 gr per day.
  • Go to 12 – 14-hour fasts.
  • Do a 16 hour fast one day a week. Do a 20 hour fast once in a while.  Don’t force it!  I’ve been there, I am a type A personality.
  • Fasting is fasting…not dropping calories and starving yourself. You can eat your optimal calories each day within your eating window.
  • Listen to your hunger signals!

Last but not least, if you want to learn more about getting to your best health, I am here for you!  Listen to my podcasts on your favorite platform.  Subscribe to my YouTube channel.  And if you want to really want to work hard, go to my website

and schedule a discovery call. My team will talk to you and find the best program for you to work with me. 

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