I asked my trainer extraordinaire, Rob Atkin to debunk some of the misconceptions about fasting and to answer that ominous question of, “Will I pass out?!”
BDG: What are the benefits of fasting?
Rob: Some of the immediate benefits of fasting are reduced body fat and increased insulin production. Your body will also increase its amount of autophagy, which is the scientific term for your body “cleaning house.” Like all things, cells in our body die. Autophagy is the process of our bodies riding themselves of these dead cells and other bodily debris.
BDG: What types of changes will I feel and see in my body?
R: Myself and clients (hundreds online and in person who have tried IF)
- More energy
- Better focus
- Appetite awareness (actually hungry or bored)
- Wanting to eat healthier
BDG: Some people may feel that they could get light headed not eating for this long- is there a way to combat that?
R: If are use to eating lots of simple carbs, your body may have a an adjustment period, which can take a week or so. You may feel a little hungry or “hangry” (hungry and angry) but these feelings go away quickly and stop after adjusting.
While fasting it is important to:
- Listen to your body (if you’re starving, eat!)
- Ease into it
- Drink a ton of water
- Sip on black coffee or tea (to blunt hunger)
- Get sleep!
BDG: How long can you do it for?
R: I recommend a 14-16 hour maximum fast and eating within a 8-10 hour window. The easiest way of doing so is pushing your first meal until later in the day (usually lunch).
Here is what I recommend to my clients:
Wake up, drink a tall glass of water, sip on a cup of black coffee or tea, go to work, drink another bottle or two of water, sip another cup of black coffee or tea and eat lunch (usually noonish).
Eat plenty of healthy foods throughout the day and then do not eat anything more after dinner. After dinner, the fasting ‘window’ starts again. This will allow you to see and feel the benefits without overdoing it.
BDG: What do you recommend on how often someone should do this?
R: I recommend starting a couple times a week and to slowly add days in as you go. I also recommend starting off slow with your fasting window and increase it as you go. You may only get a couple hours into the morning in the beginning.
I’ve been doing this for years now and it’s my new lifestyle. I’m addicted to the benefits, such as increased focus and energy.
However, it’s not for everyone and it is DEFINITELY NOT going to make or break your fat loss efforts (if you are doing it for that reason). Correct diet and exercise are FAR more important!
BDG: So I’m excited to give It a try. I’ll be posting updates on how it’s working for me and I’d love to hear about your experience with fasting! If you’d like Rob’s help on your health journey, call or follow him on Insta!