Intermittent fasting quickstart: This is day 8 of the 31 Habits Plan.
On day 1 we shortened our eating window. This allowed an increased amount of time for our digestive system to rest and digest. This “rest and digest” period not only allows full digestion and absorption of nutrients, but it also allows the body time to repair our stomach lining, a crucial piece of overall gut health. What else happens during this rest period? Without giving our body a constant supply of energy through food, we force the body to utilize its own energy source: stored fat.
On a day to day, a 12-16 hour rest and digest window assists slow, stored-fat reduction. Now we will incorporate one day of 20-24 hour fasting.
Here are the steps to follow for a proper 20-24 hour fast.
Intermittent Fasting Quickstart
- Plan it: Don’t haphazardly go into this fast. Maximize proper nutrition the day before. This doesn’t mean over-eat, but rather fill up on max nutrition from veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
- Start at night: Plan your fast to start after dinner. I’ve found the best strategy is to plan a day that you’ll finish dinner by 5:30pm. This way you will fast all the way until 5:30pm the next evening. People often make the mistake of trying to fast from the time the wake up, until the next morning. This is really challenging and is actually more of a 36 hour fast than a 24 hour fast. This may work for the seasoned person, but doesn’t set you up for success to start.
- Drink water: A benefit of your fast is the body’s natural detoxification. This process requires plenty of water to help flush the toxins.
- End on a positive note: Don’t come out of your fast with visions of pizza and donuts. Instead, plan a sensible meal such as steamed broccoli and chicken breast.
The most important aspect to an intermittent fasting quickstart is to work it in as a healthy component to your goals and not let it turn into a strategy that follows unhealthy binge eating followed by periods without food.
In concert with intermittent fasting, adopt a free Spartan Meal plan.