Every other week someone seems to comes up with a new fasting approach, so much so, that even just not eating has become complicated. I did a video covering pretty much all you need to know about fasting. The sum up is below or you can watch the video on Tik Tok>>.
‘Real’ Fasting vs Intermittent Fasting – There is a little confusion these days because fasting covers different types of fasting. To fast, means to go without. Traditionally, it meant going 24 hours or more without eating, the majority of the fasting benefits kick in at 36-48 hours without food and probably need to up to 3 days. Other longer fasts of 5 or 10 days or more can be done, like the man who did not eat for a year or David Blaine’s 47 day fast over the river Thames. This day and age, most people use the term fasting to mean intermittent fasting, where you do not eat for a period of the day, the most common one being not eating from 8pm until midday the following day. There are of course juice fasts, which means not eating solid foods and dry fasts which means not even water is consumed.
Full Fasting Considerations – The benefits of full fasting is based upon the process of autophagy, where you begin to clean up cells within the body in the absence of food. This does not start until about 36 hours of not eating, hence a fast needs to be at least of this length. Alongside this, your growth hormone increases and you begin to experience the benefits of removing any possible food that may be irritating your body (as you are not eating anything). 
I have done two full five day fasts, in 2017 and then again in 2020. The hunger levels are not usually the worst thing. It is less than you would expect as it comes in waves but then disappears too. For my first one, it was feeling cold which was my main problem, for the second one, it was the total boredom due to it being lockdown. Your sleep is often disrupted because you begin to produce adrenaline to maintain blood sugar. My energy was fine, averaging 20,000 steps a day on the 1st one, a little less on the second. 
If your fast goes over 3-4 days, especially if you go over 10 days, you HAVE to be very careful about the reintroduction of food. Eating again after a prolonged absence can cause a heart attack if Potassium levels spike. 
Intermittent Fasting – There are various ways to do this mostly based on duration. There was a very popular advert on the net asking what animal fasting type are you with four different methods offered, Some plans base your fasting on your body shape, others on hormones and so forth. The fasts will range from 8 hours to 24 hours and be over different times of the day depending on the rationale. The benefits of full fasting often get put on to these methods, which may be true to some degree but probably not. However, I feel the main rewards come from simply eating less food, less often and in a way you can continue easily over the longer term. 
I am a HUGE fan of people doing some sort of fasting. There is simply too much food in our environment so not eating at any point of the day is a good idea. I am fairly sketptical on the link of fasting type and the reason behind it, I am sure if you reversed the hours you would probably get a similar results. However, if the science / rationale behind it gets someone following a protocol then I am all in regardless of how true it may or may not be.
How To Use Fasting – There are different ways to use fasting, true fasting should be done periodically. I am doing a full five day fast every 3 to 5 years but I will do a 24-36 hours fast every 6-9 months or so. The longer the fast, the less frequent you need to do it. I will also look to do a juice fast once a year for a few days. 
For intermittent fasting, you do NOT have to do it. Many people love it, but many others do better eating regular meals. For me, I want everyone to be able to do it, even if they do not use it that often. It should be naturally integrated into your life, so that if you eat way too much at night, you do not eat the next morning or vice versa. Through not eating at different points of the day you can also rewire your neural connections around food.  
Downside of Fasting – Like anything in life, there are downsides to it. The smaller your daily window of eating becomes, the larger your meal portions will be, which trains you to eat larger portions longer term. With food being so calorific these days you can easily eat too much even in a small window of eating. This is shown in Ramadan every year where millions of people gain weight despite a small window of eating (many millions more lose weight as well). 
True fasting can also deceive people into thinking that months or years of a bad behaviours can be undone by 5 days of abstinence. The body does not really work like this. Therefore, fasting can create an illusion of being healthy. Any periods of not eating can always contribute to disordered eating patterns to those with a tendency towards this. 


What Does This Mean For You

I think everyone should explore fasting to some degree. If you cannot miss each of the three main meals (not in the same day) then it makes things harder to counter balance the inevitable overeating life brings. Everyone can learn to intermittent fast, I used to eat 8 meals a day and be constantly hungry. However, I trained my body, by starting off very gradually to be better at not eating for longer periods of time. Whether you would want to do a longer fast, such as juice fasting, 24 hours without eating or more etc is a personal choice. For the vast majority of people, I would say it a worthwhile experience to give it a go at some point!  

Need Support Getting In Shape?

Changing your body on your own without support or an effective system usually ends in failure sadly. To avoid this outcome you can become one of my coaching clients either online or in person. I provide Holistic, Healthy & Sustainable Body Transformations. Contact me to discuss your goals further or see below for more details and the options available to you based on your location / preferences:

Worldwide (Online) –

For transformations, coaching and support wherever you are in the world read more here>>>>

London (Battersea) – If looking for Personal Training Battersea please contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or Personal Training Battersea Park. To see my locations please visit my Battersea Personal Trainer page>> 

London (Oval / Kennington) – For Personal Training in Oval & Kennington please  contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or parks.


Read My Book – The Grand Unified Theory of Weight Loss – My latest book is available in print, kindle/ebook and audio formats. You can read more about it and see where it is available here>>> 

Follow Me – You can get more great advice, tips, hacks and more by following me on one of my social media channels. Follow Me>>>

Instagram>> You Tube>>   Facebook>>  Twitter>> Tik Tok>>   My Weekly Newsletter>>