- Intermittent Fasting (IF), Time Restricted Eating (TRE), Extended fasting (EF);
- Various time protocols: 16:8, 18:6, 20:4, one meal a day (OMAD), alternate day fasting (ADF);
- What breaks a fast?;
- How to break a fast;
- Fasting and metabolism
Dr. Tro, health coaches Brian Wiley and Amy Eiges and group participants discussed some fasting basics and tips*:
- Don’t attempt fasting until after hunger and cravings are under control
- Anticipate problem places and times. Prepare strategies ahead of time (stay busy, close the kitchen for the evening, distract yourself with a project)
- Hydrate with lots of water, tea, decaf, flavored seltzer or bone broth and switch up the flavor profiles of your beverages throughout the day to fill up stomach with volume.
- Consider increasing electrolytes, especially salt if feeling sluggish
- Break an EF (+30 hours) gently (some bone broth or a light meal) to avoid any gastrointestinal distress
- Most people report the first 24 hours of an EF to be the hardest. Prepare defenses and strategies for making it past this time.
- Slowly build up your fasting “muscle” – start by eliminating snacking, pushing first meal of the day a little longer (delay breakfast by a half hour, then an hour, etc.)
- Stomach growling is not hunger
- Avoid eating based on the clock
- Avoid snacking, instead have a small meal. Though you may consume more at this meal than you might have with a single snack, you will win on the back end by eliminating subsequent grazing. Snacking leads to more snacking!
- Eating Windows:
o For metabolic health: at least 16 hours fasted (8 hours eating window) recommended
o For weight loss: OMAD (or under 4-hour eating window) is shown to be best
o For diabetics: Blood glucose can drop by up to 60 points by doing alternate day fasting
o Major takeaway from the studies is there is not much difference between 4 & 8 hours, early time restriction is shown to improve insulin sensitivity, fat oxidation, decreasing hunger promoting weight loss.
Frequently Asked Participant Questions:
Can you slow your metabolism by not eating enough during fasting?
Yes, if you eat less your metabolism will slow, but eating low carb will increase metabolic rate. Best way to know is if you often feel cold, low energy or are constipated (women may lose menstrual cycle).
Does a tablespoon of heavy cream break a fast?
No, but do you need it? If it helps you fast longer then use it, but if not, then eliminate it.
Early time restriction has an impact outside of weight loss https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5990470/pdf/nihms961628.pdf
Meal timing interventions facilitate weight loss primarily by decreasing appetite rather than by increasing energy expenditure. TRF may also increase fat loss by increasing fat oxidation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6658129/pdf/nihms-1527686.pdf
Compared to extended feeding, short-term TRF improved nocturnal glycemic control and was positively perceived in men with overweight/obesity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7071240/pdf/nutrients-12-00505.pdf
If you’re interested in registering or learning more, please visit our Group Coaching page.
*Please note that this is a summary of various discussion points of the group health coaching call. Nothing in this summary or on the calls should be construed as medical advice.
Amy Eiges is a health coach and reformed chronic dieter who is passionate about helping others recover from the diet-binge-gain-shame cycle she struggled with for years. Since discovering a ketogenic and low-carb lifestyle, she has lost over 200 pounds and has both reversed pre-diabetes and resolved lifelong depression. “When I was just starting out, facing 200 pounds to lose seemed insurmountable, and the idea I would ever be where I am now was unfathomable. Know this: I am not extraordinary. I just finally got the right advice, put one foot in front of the other and didn’t look back. I know now that it can be done, but after battling this war for 40 years I had lost hope that it was really, truly possible. I am living proof that it is.”
Read more about Amy’s story and struggles with food addiction and chronic dieting (“I Am Not Broken”).