Should we fast? There’s a big difference between periods of fasting, or 24hour fasting days on a very small calorie intake. Here’s my experience with clients…
I recommend an overnight fast of 12 hours where your routines allow. This usually means an early dinner, or a later breakfast. An overnight fast is useful for allowing your body to use up surplus carbs in the system before they are converted to and stored as fat.
It also allows a period of metabolic reset and ‘autophagy’ which is where the system clears up, cells are renewed and toxins eliminated.
An overnight fast is really useful as it reduces your window of eating in the day time (overnight fast 12 hours = 12 hours to fit your meals in during the day). This limitation reduces, or even eliminates the need for snacking, unless you need an energy top up to fuel exercise if you haven’t been able to space your meals around it.
To fit in your overnight fast, you need to avoid high calorie snack foods & drink in the evenings for all these reasons. Which is never good….
An overnight fast however, is very different to fasting days.
Metabolism likes consistency and virtually starving it one day (yes 600kcals is starving it!) then flooding your system with any nutrition you fancy the next sends your system haywire.
It runs the danger of leading to poor nutritional choices when you have free reign in a starved state.
It also makes being active very tricky without the fuel to train well. Your mental performance can be affected when running on empty and your mood and outlook far from positive!
Fasting days can lead to weight loss, but if you do it’s only really because of an overall calorie deficit.
In summary, and in my experience, an overnight fast is good but other than that it’s way better to just eat moderately, healthily, every day. This way you’re forming better habits with sustainable results too. Your energy and ability to exercise won’t be effected and all days will be full of possibility and a fully functioning you mentally and physically as opposed to fasting days, to get through, where your performance is under par and you may grind to a halt.