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Is Fasting the New Health Trend? Here’s What You Need to Know

Is Fasting the New Health Trend? Here’s What You Need to Know

Ever quit on a diet? I have. The only way diets really work is if you stay on them forever… and that’s not happening.

I mean, we’re human. No one wants to diet forever — or just, ever. We have parties to attend, vacations to enjoy, holidays to celebrate, and other special occasions (cough, weekends) where we should be free to fully participate!

Diets are long-term, slow to produce results, restrictive, expensive, and usually kill your social life. You don’t party all the time, hopefully, so you shouldn’t diet all the time either.

Fasting is a Legit Health Hack

This dissatisfaction with the current health improvement options has opened the door for a weird trend that’s taking hold of the health/nutrition world: fasting, and it needs to be addressed.

Fasting comes in many different forms, as you have probably seen. There is the 5:2 diet, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, the FMD, and maybe you have a crazy friend that just goes days without eating.

Your friend is likely doing these extended fasts because she saw a post on Reddit saying short fasts are great for weight loss, but to permanently change her body, she has to fast for at least 3 days.

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It’s true, lasting health improvements occur when your body enters the metabolic state known as ketosis. In ketosis, your body burns fat for energy after it has run out of sugar from the food you eat, which is the whole purpose of fat — to be stored energy.

The benefits associated with ketosis have caused it to become affectionately known as the “healing state.” Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of extended fasting.

Extended Fast Benefits

    Wow, that’s an impressive list. Who wouldn’t want all those benefits? And all you have to do is fast! Sigh.

    How many of your friends fast regularly? Probably none. Because fasting is hard.

    So we know that fasting essentially “hacks” your body to improve your health, but we can also agree that it sucks.

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    Luckily, there was a group of scientists who felt the same way, so they decided to hack fasting.

    Fasting is Hard — Here’s How To Hack Fasting

    That group of scientists I mentioned was led by a researcher at USC named Dr. Valter Longo, who has dedicated his career to fasting and longevity.

    He began his quest to make fasting doable by asking a simple question: “Is there a way to mimic the effects of prolonged fasting without actually fasting?”

    Turns out you can! And the method Dr. Longo developed to do so is fasting mimicking. It hacks fasting and makes it doable in the same way that fasting hacks your health and life.

    You essentially “fast” for 5 days by eating a set number of calories containing a finely tuned ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). Voila — fasting while eating!

    I was so impressed with the results after reading the original study that I decided to try it for myself. The results have changed my life forever.

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    I used to be classified as pre-diabetic according to my A1C (blood sugar) numbers. I have since lowered my A1C to normal as well as lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure, and, to be honest with you, I think I eat more sweets than ever (not that you should — it’s bad for you and I’m trying to stop).

    Cake & Health

      Additionally, my dad and brother both used to be classified as pre-diabetic and have since used fasting to lower their numbers to normal.

      I have also taught many of our friends how to begin fasting and have witnessed their lives change for the better.

      We have seen people become more active by reducing inflammation, come off their blood sugar medicines, and some even reversing their diabetes.

      Needless to say, ten months later I’m still fasting mimicking for 5 days every month.

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      Here’s how you can do it too.

      How You Can Get Started with Fasting Mimicking

      When you fasting mimic, you get some food — it just has to fit the calorie and macronutrient breakdown as defined by the study. This is everything you need to follow to create your own FMD (fasting mimicking diet).

      • The 5-day protocol provides between 34% and 54% of normal caloric intake, depending on your normal diet.
      • Day 1 provides 1,090 calories
        • 10% protein, 56% fat, 34% carbohydrate
      • Days 2–5 provide 725 calories
        • 9% protein, 44% fat, 47% carbohydrate

      It takes a bit of research the first time to build a menu of foods that fit these parameters. There are tons of ideas all over the place that show you how use foods you prefer, whether that be fresh veggies and nuts or prepackaged on-the-go foods for a fast-paced lifestyle.

      Happy Fasting!

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      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

      1. Work on the small tasks.

      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

      2. Take a break from your work desk.

      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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      3. Upgrade yourself

      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

      4. Talk to a friend.

      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

      7. Read a book (or blog).

      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

      8. Have a quick nap.

      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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      9. Remember why you are doing this.

      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

      10. Find some competition.

      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

      11. Go exercise.

      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

      12. Take a good break.

      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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