Fasting has been used for centuries for many different reasons. One reason people fast is for clarity—spiritual fasting. In most cases, a spiritual fast involves only water, no food, for an extended period of time and focuses on prayer and meditation. This type of fasting requires a deep faith in oneself and belief that the body is capable of going without, in order to gain clarity and come out stronger spiritually.
In our society today, many people are fasting for weight loss; to give our gut a rest and allow it to reset for optimal function. With all the processed food available to us today, fasting is needed now more than ever. Take a look around you at the physiques of children and adults, and you should notice that almost half of them are overweight or obese. Recent studies show that in 2020 America is at a 42% obesity rate! Yes 42% of all Americans are obese! It doesn't have to be this way!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Do you not know your body is a holy temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own and bought at a price. Therefore honor your God with your body". This is a command to honor our body. That means take care of what God gave you.
Imagine a friend lends you a Ferrari. Would you go off-roading in it, or would you take great care with it, because you don't want to damage this piece of art? You would probably take better care of it than your own car, right? And how much more should you take care of the 'body' that is on loan to you from our creator?
Let's get started! A great way to jump-start caring for our bodies is with intermittent fasting. A 16/8 fast is a great place to start; this means you fast for 16 hours and eat in the 8-hour window. And you can literally do this in your sleep! If you stop eating at 8 p.m., you won't eat again until noon the next day (16 hours), and eat in the next 8-hour window. Easy, right? During the 'fast', you can drink water, tea or black coffee; no juice and no creamer in your tea or coffee and no food.
The point of this is to let your gut rest from digesting food and to gain the many benefits that come from fasting. So, your fast might look like this: stop eating at 8 p.m., go to bed at 10:00 p.m., get up in the morning, and have a glass of water. Then, sip on a cup of coffee or tea while getting ready for your day. Drink more water throughout the morning, and you have your first meal at noon.
Now let's talk about your first meal to break the fast. We have seen the best results with a high protein, low carbohydrate meal. Why?
Your body probably has plenty of stored carbs, so you shouldn't need to add any to this meal. In addition, a high protein meal won't spike insulin (sugar spike) like carbs can sometimes do. So what is the best first meal? What we have seen work best is one of the cleanest sources of protein available—eggs.
Add avocado, and you have a clean meal of protein and good fats. Or you could eat chicken or fish with green leafy lettuce or vegetables—any combination of good clean protein and good fats. You can technically eat what you like during the feeding window, but to see the best results for mental and physical change, keep sugar to a minimum. Sugar creates inflammation in the body causing disease, diabetes, high blood pressure along with added weight and brain fog.
How often should you fast? We recommend intermittent fasting 2 to 3 times a week on non-consecutive days; our bodies like diversity and this keeps our bodies responding to the fasts. We like to fast on Mondays to kick off the week on a healthy note after the weekend, and on Fridays to go into the weekend feeling great. You may want to add a Wednesday fast as well.
Benefits to intermittent fasting. There are too many benefits to mention here but a few of our favorites are:
1) Helps the body clean up unhealthy cells (autophagy)
2) Weight loss and body fat loss
3) Lowering risk of type 2 Diabetes
4) Reduce inflammation and improve heart health
5) Improve brain health and may help fight Alzheimers
Some tips and tricks to get the most out of your fast:
1) Drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day; more if you drink coffee or tea and/or exercise daily
2) Limit sugar- work on cutting it out altogether
3) Eat real food when possible, no processed foods
4) Pay attention to portion size while eating out and at home
5) Limit snacking
This has worked for us for over a decade and has been proven to be safe and effective when done correctly. While we are advocates of intermittent fasting, we realize it may not be right for everyone. Please seek your doctor's advice, before starting any nutrition or exercise plan. Then you will know what is right for you... because YOU ARE AN UNREPEATABLE MIRACLE.
Joe and Heather Juliani
Transforming Lives Through Nutrition