Prof Arnold Ehret wrote the acclaimed Mucusless Diet Healing System. He once stated that if one way is true, it is the way of nature. It would be understating things to suggest he was and is so correct. (wiki/Arnold Ehret)
These days people strive to be not only slim but as slim as they can possibly be. It is not common knowledge though, that there is one natural, fool-proof approach that can result in a slimmer and significantly much healthier individual. Fasting for weight loss is a technique that has been around for centuries and is a key element that you are looking for.
It is without a doubt a better remedy for our ills-whether they be mental or physical-than all conventional medicines recommended in clinical societies combined. And when you pair it with an alkaline-forming diet designed to bind mucus, consisting of predominantly fruits, leafy as well as root vegetables (cooked and raw) and also basic workouts that utilise one’s very own body weight as resistance such as Yoga or Pilates, a well-conducted fast can provide unimaginable advantages for those looking for to drop some pounds.
What are the different types of fasting and their benefits?
There are a number of types of fasts that can be beneficial for weight management.
- Time-restricted fasting: this is known as intermittent fasting and can be implemented in a variety of ways, the most popular method being the 16/8 method. It involves fasting every day for approximately 16 hours and restricting your eating window to 8 hours. This is a good way to introduce yourself to fasting as we naturally fast during our sleeping hours. So you can either skip breakfast or stop eating completely after dinner. During the fasting window you can consume water, coffee and other drinks that have zero calories, to help curb any hunger pangs. Some advise that women actually work on a shorter fasting time period, say 14 hours as many women tend to respond better to shorter fasting periods. This type of fast helps reduce inflammation, blood pressure and your blood lipids. It increases your growth hormones, as well as your bodies metabolic rate and it’s the ability to burn fat. Leaving you with improved blood sugar and a better appetite. You could also fast for 20/4, meaning fasting for 20 hours of the day. If you are finding stubborn fat that you can’t get rid off, then this is a good way to kick start things. You could even extend your fasts further to a full 24 hours once a week or even 36 hours fast in a week. Some people regularly fast for up to 5 days at a time.
- 5:2 diet: this type of fasting for weight loss has become one of the most popular methods. It involves eating your regular diet for 5 days of the week and then for the other 2 days you reduce your calorie intake to 500-600. You should not have your fasting days, one after the other. So you could fast on a Monday and a Thursday, and the other days eat normally. This diet is particularly good at reducing insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity. It decreases inflammation, boosts weight loss and improves blood lipids.
- Alternate day fasting: Simply enough, this involves you fasting for a period of 24 hours, followed by another 24 hours of eating regularly. Meaning you only have to restrict yourself for half the time. Some people even modify the diet and allow for 500 calories on their fasting day. ADF seems to aid weight loss in middle-aged people particularly well, by reducing harmful belly fat and inflammation markers.
- OMAD: One meal a day. The idea is that you fast for 23 hours, then consume one big meal over a 60-minute time frame. Then fast again for another 23 hours. This improves your metabolic syndrome and kick starts weight loss if you have reached a plateau.
Fast Mimicking Diet: developed by Dr Valter Longo, involves you restricting you calories for 5 days of the month, with the intention of mimicking a water fast. There is a lot of focus on your macros with this plan. Day one you consume 1090 calories with 10% being protein, 56% fat and 34% carbs. The four following days your calories drop to around 725, 9% protein, 44% fat and 47% carbs. These precise measurements of your macros encourage your body to generate its energy from non-carbohydrate sources once your glycogen stores have been depleted. This is a process called gluconeogenesis. To get major benefits from this fast, it is recommended to carry it out 3 or 4 times in a row. You can design your own meal plans, which can be very tricky or you can buy the meals from ProLon at around £200. Animal studies on FMD show that it improves hippocampal neurogenesis and motor learning, regulates T cells and promotes remyelination, decreases inflammation and protects against cancer. This regime isn’t focused on fasting for weight loss, it is more a tool to increase intestinal stem cells and improve your gut microbiota.
- The water only fasts: This ought to be carried out with caution, or under medical supervision, if embarked on for more than 3 days. Abstaining from all food for a period of 3 days or more gives your gut and intestines a break and stimulates autophagy when your body breaks down and recycles old parts of our cells that no longer serve us. This may offer protection against cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
The Juice Fast: People find this is a much easier fast to undertake and can stick to it for as long as they choose.
The Fruit Fast: Well this is not a true fast, yet when one lives solely on organic seasonal fruits for days at a time, which we call mono meals, usually involving once type of fruit for a week or so, they will undoubtedly see the benefits.
- The Dry Fast: This lesser-known type of fasting involves eating dry fruits, such as dates, figs, etc only for about three days and then completing the fast with a laxative. As I said, this is not a particularly common type of fast but it is highly commended in some quarters.
Which type of fasting is best?
My personal favourites for those looking to lose some weight is without question intermittent fasting and alternate day fasting. I have had experience with fasting for the past 10 years and it’s become a way of life to me. Generally, I practice intermittent fasting of 20/4, keeping my eating window from 10am to 2pm. This is based on the Ayurveda clock which I follow. I’ll go into the detail on this in another blog.
After months of recommending fasting for weight loss to my mum, she eventually tried intermittent fasting. Within a short space of time, she began to see the benefits. Her weight stabilised and her thyroid hormone is in check. She couldn’t get over the fact that this one small change had such a significant effect on her overall health.
It is advised that you do a little study of your own into fasting and all the fasting diet options there are. If embarking on one of these diets, you should do so with care.
How to fast?
Below are a few ideas to help you:
- To begin a mild cleansing process, it’s advisable to cut out C.R.A.P. (carbonated drinks, refined sugar, artificial colours and flavors, processed products) which forms acid in the body. Instead consume fruit and vegetables, whether they be raw or cooked, as they act like brooms for our intestines and colon.
- During this preparatory phase, think about purchasing a herbal tea laxative such as Smooth Move Herbal Tea. Try drinking this every so often, say a few hours after dinner or maybe an hour before you go to bed.
- Consume hot lime water in the mornings. This will bring your body back to its alkaline state and balance chemical reactions.
- Be psychologically prepared for the task ahead of fasting.
- Don’t push yourself too hard while you are fasting or on a restricted diet. Go a little easier on yourself.
- Stay clear of your microwave. Don’t consider utilising it at this time.
This is just a small list of advisories, not a definitive checklist of the dos and do not’s while fasting for weight loss. Just be aware that when embarked on correctly, you would not only shed the unwanted pounds, but you would certainly be adopting a method that guarantees a healthier and better you within no time at all.
So why not give it a try. I can assure you that fasting is the best way to lose weight and work to become a healthier you!
Warning: Please consult a medical professional before undertaking any fast. No responsibility lies with the author or the article.