by Coach Elaina Wang
Let's talk about the when and how of various kinds of fasting.
Intermittent Fasting: This is when you limit your eating each day to a specific timeframe. A common daily routine would be 16 hours without eating (fasted), with an 8 hour eating window. This is a very typical form of fasting in the keto world, and is practiced by many. You can implement this anytime you want. If you do this daily, it's important to make sure you eating enough during that eating window. Don't eat low calories every day!
Extended Fasting: I personally consider this as not eating anything over 24 hours or more, although this can be any extended period of time beyond about a day. Some are able to fast for many days at a time. I don't recommend trying extended fasting until your body is burning fat, and you're well adapted; otherwise, it will be hard and miserable! Never force a miserable fast. With any fasting over 48-72 hours, I would suggest you have a very good knowledge of keto, or you are working close with someone who does. You need to hydrate, keep up with electrolytes and know what you are doing. You may also consider or need doctor supervision for fasting extended past several days.
Alternate Day Fasting: This is a fun and useful fasting method, which I've used frequently myself, and with clients. Fasting periods can vary a bit, typically 36-48 hours is what I suggest. Then follow up with 48 hours of eating very well, and start the process over.
Fat Fasting: This is one of which I am not a fan. Fat fasting should only be used as a very short-term method by which to get the hang of fasting. An example of a fat fast would be a bit adding of fat in your coffee to get you through the day without solid foods. Many refer to this as BPC fasting. This is essentially just a low calorie day, which, if done regularly in lieu of actual fasting, is unhelpful in the long term. The goal should be to truly fast, or use this method in the very beginning stages in order to "work up to" fasting. My experience with fat fasting is that you use it as a crutch, but it can be just as hard to give up as it would be to just dedicate to a true fast. If you are currently fat fasting regularly, I recommend weaning yourself from this habit. If you are considering using a fat fast to work your way into actual fasting, skip the trouble and just learn to fast without a crutch.
Next up I want to touch a bit on types of pseudo-fasting that are very popular, but are not recommended. Let's call it fad fasting!
Fad Fasting: many of you will recognize this as egg fasting, bacon fasting, bone broth fasting, or beef and butter fasting. I'm sure there are a few more variations floating about! The problem is that these are not fasting methods at all!! Many of them are simply methods of severely restricting calories. Did you know you can actually achieve the same results these fads claim by eating a well formulated ketogenic diet? If you properly balance your intake and learn keto, you don't have to follow any of these crazy fads. You end up low calorie, you learn nothing, and let's be honest, there is nothing fun about eating the same thing day in and day out! Keto is a lifestyle, not a fad. We are all on a mission to be healthy and lose weight. That takes some work, and some learning! Instead of falling victim to another crash or fad diet, let us help you learn! That is why we are here.