Now that you know about the fasting, proven health benefits of fasting and how to get ready for a fast mimicking diet ( I like to call it resetting your body, because I hate the word diet), let’s take a look at best practices while on this journey. Yes it is a journey, because you stepped into this, hopefully, not to see quick results and go back to your old bad habits.
Rest, sleep and reduce stress:
I like to put this one on top, because it is one of the things that we tend to forget about when it comes to our health. for example, we want to exercise, so we cut our sleep by an hour to fit in exercise into our schedule and then we wonder why we feel so tired, why we get injured and why we don’t see results, so we stop working out and our reasoning is, “it doesn’t work for me”. I digress.
our goal here is to reset our body and get rid of the toxins in our body. Sleep and adequate rest will help speed up this process. Lack of sleep will cause an increase in production of Cortisol, your fight or flight hormone, which causes stress and inflammation in our body. Our goal from fasting is to reduce the inflammation in our body, so if you are not sleeping, resting and are in constant stress, you will not see the results that you were looking for.
Another benefit of fasting is an increase in human growth hormone (HGH) production. guess what? HGH is released into the body by the brain during the sleep, specially stage 3 of sleep, so If we are not sleeping enough (that is 7-8 hours/day for adults), our body does not have a chance to get this benefit of fasting either.
To read more about sleep, proven health benefits of sleep and some best practices, visit my earlier posts on sleep “Sleep, easiest and most important thing we can do to improve our health and happiness”.
limit your carbs:
Remember one of the goals of fast mimicking diet is to get your body to burn fat instead of Sugar, so it would not be wise to get the limited calories that you can consume during the fasting day from refined carbs and sugars.
Also refined carbs and sugars get absorbed by your body faster, leaving you hungry sooner.
Best case scenario would be to limit your refined carbs and sugars to 0% of your daily intake and get 30%-40% of your calories from complex carbs like green leafy vegetables and Cruciferous vegetables.
What to eat:
The individuals in the original study consumed only packaged products by Prolon, which can be expensive to purchase. I am personally not a fan of packaged and processed foods, as you probably know by now :).
Before going any further into this part, I would like to make a disclaimer that I am not a medical professional and the following suggestions are all based on my personal research, so don’t forget to talk to your medical professional.
As a rule of thumb for this fast, you want to keep your body in ketosis as long as you can. So your main calorie intake should come from healthy fats such as Avocados, coconut oil or MCT oil, Grass fed butter, etc. A good formula is to have 30-40% complex carbs, 10% protein, and 50-60% fat. You can adjust this by doing less of other macros (protein and carb) and add to your fat. When in doubt, always go with fat.
Here is an example of what you can have in a day: If you are going to consume 770 Calories, which is at the lower end of your allowed caloric intake of 770-1100 calories a day, you can have 1/2 of one Avocado with 1 TBSP of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 2 scrambled eggs with 1 TBSP of Avocado oil, about 1 OZ of olives, and 1/4 cup of raw Walnuts. You can have all this at once or you can divide it through out the day and consume it anytime you feel hungry or low in energy.
Obviously there are a lot more healthy foods with high fat and low Carb, low protein options such as raw Almonds, Raw nut butters, Grass fed Bone broth, Coconut oil, Grass fed butter, and tons more. Make sure you do your research and be aware of hidden carbs.
What to drink:
Plenty of water. it is more important than ever not to get dehydrated. a rule of thumb anytime you feel hungry, just drink some water and if you are still hungry then eat a high fat low carb and low protein snack or food.
You can drink Coffee, if you must, but try to drink it unsweetened and add some coconut oil or MCT oil to it.
Unsweetened teas are Ok as well.
Bone broth can be very beneficial, if you find the right source from 100% grass fed beef bones or Pasture raised chickens, be careful for preservatives and additives when you buy it in a package. The best way, but not the easiest way, is to make your own bone broth, however, making your own home made broth can take you a long time.
You can and you should workout as you would normally do. My suggestion is, don’t start a new workout or try to challenge yourself while on this restricted eating plan, but try to keep up with what you where doing before starting the fast.
Remember, any healthy lifestyle requires at least three things, healthy diet, healthy movement (Workout), healthy mind (rest and low stress).
This fast might give you the quick results that you were looking for, but the result will last as long as you are willing to follow a healthy lifestyle afterward. If you are not ready to eat healthy and stay away from all the processed junk foods out there, then I would not recommend this fast at all because you will gain all the weight you lost plus more in no time at all.
Stay happy and healthy