Fasting has been practiced for centuries throughout the world for many reasons. I have fasted in some shape or form since my 20’s after a friend (Hi Maddi!) told me that her friend, magician David Blaine, swore by the health benefits that fasting provided him.
I have fasted multiple times over the years for 3 days to as long as 28 days and did not have any of the information or science to back my choices up back then, I just knew it had such a positive impact on my health and wellbeing I would do a fast every fall and spring from 3 to 10 days depending on how my body responded to the fasting.
Today there is so much more science and information published about the benefits of fasting. Dr. Jason Fung was a speaker at a Health Conference that CrossFit sponsored, he is a Nephrologist and Author as well as an expert on Fasting, Longevity and Low-Carb Nutrition. He utilizes Fasting in his practice to treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes and other auto-immune conditions. If you are really interested in a full detailed outline of the history and science of Fasting as well as it’s benefits, I would suggest you go to his website and read Dr. Fung’s Fasting Essays. He not only documents the history of fasting, but the science behind it.
Currently I choose to Intermittently Fast (16:8)–I eat my food between 1pm-8pm daily. If you really think about it, it’s just skipping breakfast, and I have zero issues with it. I do my workouts in the morning fasted and have had no performance issues. In addition, I am following a well-formulated ketogenic diet (I’ll write a separate post about it). I think my transition between fasting was made easier due to the fact I was already “off the carbs” and eating a well-formulated ketogenic diet.
I also have revived my former practice of fasting for multiple days and have recently completed a 7-Day Fast (5-Day Fast + 2 Day transition start and finish). This last fast I took the time to document both my fasting blood glucose and ketone levels to really understand the processes that were happening in my body as I fasted. I cut back on my training and did lighter loads for my workouts. I’ll fully detail it out in a separate post. I felt great and saw both cognitive and physical benefits during the fast.
I recommend these books if you are new to fasting
The documentaries The Science of Fasting and Fasting are also definitely worth viewing and are on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.