Intermittent fasting - how to get started?

To prepare for our fasting experiment I'd like to give you some inputs more on intermittent fasting.

1. Why should we do it? We have two ways to burn energy: one is from the food we ingest and the other is from the fat we have stored in our cells. Fasting gets us into the fat burning state. Research has shown many benefits for a wide range of conditions including obesity, diabetes, dementia, etc. as well as prevention and support of recovery from breast cancer. 

2. With intermittent fasting we will not eat ANYTHING for 15-16 hours.

3. Ideally you'd break the fast with some fat. Healthy fats include: ghee, olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, MCT oil or coconut oil. This way you'll prolong "ketosis" fat burning state for a little while and avoid food cravings.

4. What to eat while you are on the fasting experiment? There are two reasons to eat well and avoid "toxic food" while you experiment with fasting:
  a) Avoid always-hungry-suggar- trap and binge eating during your "eating time" by
- avoiding refined sugar and refined carbohydrates such as (white) pasta, bread, cookies, etc. and - eating lots of good fats. What are good fats again? Olive oil, olive oil and olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. 

b) Make sure your body can detox well and does not get additional toxins in. Remember, toxins are stored in the fat cells and are released as we start to burn fat (see previous blog post). This means, please try to avoid unhealthy fats and in particular transfats, which include heated canola and peanut oils, overheated olive oil, hardened vegetables oils such as margarine and yes unfortunately quite a few vegan butter alternatives. Please also avoid artificial flavors, colorants, preservatives etc.

5. What to drink while you're fasting? Water, water and water. Mineral water containing high levels of potassium my be helpful. Infusions and herbal teas are very good, as well as green tea (not after 2 pm to make sure you get a good night of sleep). NOW: coffee is allowed, even with a splash of full fat cream or butter. However, my lady friends: coffee raises your cortisol levels and induces stress which in turn kicks of your insulin household and messes with your hormone balance. So take it easy on the coffee, maybe add a decaf (organic and high quality) to your rhythm or even an alternative such as red espresso made from roiboos tee or any other alternative. 

If your are like me and want to understand all the details, I recommend you check in with Mindy Pelz who has numerous free resources online. Here's a talk on intermittent fasting :

Photo credit goes to Nicolas Ruiz