Alasdair Adam April 2021
Fasting – The Great Reset.
If you’re looking to kickstart a healthier eating routine but find yourself constantly craving carbs and sugar don’t despair – you’re not alone and the answers are out there. Want something that will set you on the path to a healthier, low-carb way of eating in a matter of days? TWO DAYS to be exact. Not only that, but it will increase your metabolism, help you fight disease, lose weight, burn fat, get you in ketosis quickly, clear your mind and help repair your liver. Ooops, we almost forget to mention that on top of all this it COSTS NOTHING.
Can such a thing exist?
The answer is a big fat YES! To most people fasting sounds extreme, something best left to ultra-athletes and monks.
Fasting isn’t extreme. It’s actually quite natural. After all, our ancestors didn’t have fridges or biscuit tins to pick from – they fasted all the time. They had to, nature decreed it.
What Happens to Your Body When You Fast?
When fasting what you're doing is emptying your liver of glycogen, its normal energy source, so that it can produce ketones. These in turn start fuelling your brain and help your body to use its own fat source. If you're following a Keto way of eating this should be relatively easy.
HOW LONG SHOULD I FAST FOR?
Getting into ketosis – where your body starts to produce energy from its own fat stores – can take 1630 hours, so ideally you want to aim for 24 hours. But you can also try a 48 hour fast. If the mere thought of this fills you with the hunger heebie-jeebies, start out by doing 16 hours or even 12 hours (thats 8pm-8am) You can always build up to longer if you want.
We suggest you chose two days where you aren’t doing anything, and we mean anything. Give yourself a total break from all commitments: work, shopping, exercise. It’s your time. Go for a stroll, listen to music, watch a film, whatever helps you to switch off and relax.
Some people say they prefer to fast during work hours as it keeps them occupied, but for your first fast we suggest total rest. The fact is eating takes up quite a lot of our time, so do what’s best fo you.
What’s the best time of day to start a fast?
Start at six or seven in the evening. Don’t eat a large meal beforehand, that will make it harder. The first 24 hours won’t be a breeze for some – more like an unwelcome draught.
You may feel hungry, your tummy may rumble – this is normal. This is your body trying to fool you into thinking you need to eat. Ignore it. Your body will thank you for it later.
An article in Arch Kriminol states the body can survive for 821 days without food and water and up to two months with adequate water intake, depending on certain factors. So don’t panic, you're not going to starve!
What can you drink whilst you fast?
Whilst fasting you can still enjoy coffee, water or green tea. We also recommend you have about a teaspoon of Himalayan salt in water during both days. But each of us is different so do a bit more research, we’ve provided some links below.
Fasting is you time. Sit, relax and do nothing if it suits you. Your body will go through some changes, all of them for the positive.
Relaxing whilst fasting resets you in many ways
Read a book, even meditate. Once you get used to it you’ll start feeling lighter and refreshed
What you can expect to experience whilst you fast
Each person will experience fasting differently, at different times. We can’t stress this enough. There’s no right or wrong. Some of you will find it a piece of cake, whilst others may hallucinate cakes – big sugary raspberry jam filled ones.
If your first fast doesn’t go so well that doesn’t mean the second one won’t, and vice versa. Some people feel simply amazing, light and energetic – euphoric even. Others struggle to get out of bed and feel grumpy and lethargic. Both are normal.
How to break a fast
Breaking the fast is important – don’t get stuck into a Spag Bol or fish supper the moment you can. Have a simple small protein rich meal such as lean chicken, or a vegetable soup or pea protein shake for vegans and vegetarians. Others recommend veggies or fruit. Do what feels best and, remember, less is more.
What are the benefits of fasting?
Your metabolism will increase, damaged cells get replaced and repaired, and you will lose weight. (Some of this will be water weight but who wants water bloating anyway?) Up to 2kg is not unusual, but be prepared for a bit to go back on. And, yes, the benefits of fasting are backed by science.
We recommend fasting as a fast-track into a low-carb way of eating. If sugar is the nail, fasting is the hammer that’ll knock it on the head in one fell swoop. The idea is your body does a quick reset, like switching a computer off and on again.
Often, even week one of a new way of eating can be too big a mountain for many. We are simply addicted to some of the foods we eat, especially sugar and wheat. We can’t stop eating them even though we know they’re bad for us. So as with most toxic relationships, we’re left feeling confused and miserable.
Eating healthily should be a pleasure not a chore – we can't stress this enough.
There are plenty of healthy treats out there, and some great tasting foods you can enjoy just as much as any processed or sugary foods. But whilst you’re still addicted to carbs and sugars making the switch will feel like a tough gig. So, like any addiction you need to break it.
But how? First and foremost you need to stop seeing these foods as treats – foods you deserve after a tough week at work or when you’re in need of a pick-me-up. You wouldn’t tell a drug addict to treat themselves to a hit of a class A because it’s the weekend, or pour an alcoholic a glass of whiskey after a hard day at the office now would you?
Once you realise this you’ll be able to see over the top of the mountain and you’ll be ready to reach for the reset button. Give fasting a shot and very quickly it will become much easier to avoid the sugary snacks, the chocolate, the takeaways. In fact, there will come a time you simply won’t want them.
Our nutritious low-carb breakfast products are focused on healthy eating but they are great for anyone, even if you just enjoy the taste. However, we want you to be able to get the most out of them and for some of you that will mean a tweak in your relationship with food, as no products work unless you use them as part of a healthier regime.