Everything you need to know about FastingJan 21, 2021
In today's episode, I talked about fasting in general. I talked about the benefits of fasting, the different types, how I do extended fasting, and some fasting tips that I have for you.
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[00:00:00] Hello, mama friend. Let's talk about fasting. Let's talk about you and me. Now, maybe, anyway, we'll come back to the podcast. I'm your host Lesya. And today I'm going to talk about all things fasting is the perfect timing because I'm actually in the middle of my yearly 21-day fast. And before you go, like, "Whoa girl, you're fasting for 21 days?" No, I'm not actually going without food for 21 days. However, I will say that the longest that I've gone without food was seven days and story to that, which I'm not going to go into in today's show. But if you're interested in how I did a week fast, I did write a blog post on Eat Be Fit Explore. Actually, that was the longest, fast that I've ever done. And probably the longest fast that I will ever do. But my 21-day fast actually started. It's been almost a decade. I think that this is the 10th year. It is for religious purposes. So I've been following a church in Gainesville, Georgia called Free Chapel with Jensen Franklin. And I've been part of their corporate fast for over a decade now. And every year in January, the church does a 21 day fast, and the way they usually do this. The first three days are full fast, so there's no food. And then the rest of the time, they do a Daniel fast, which if you're not familiar with the Bible on the story of Daniel, he was in the presence of the King and refused to eat the King's food because it was against his beliefs. And so he just asked them to feed him vegetables and fruit and seeds which is equivalent to our days of grains. Anything like the beans and Quinoa, lentil, like all that stuff. Some people get confused about what that actually means with a Daniel fast, but it's actually more of a vegan-type diet. That's probably the best way that I could give an example of what it is minus all the vegan junk food that you can buy these days. So that is what I do every year. And for this year I decided that I was going to do four days of a full, fast meaning, no food. And then the rest of the time I was going to do the Daniel fast. Now usually, I would tweak it because normally I am not a vegan. And I like to eat protein for many reasons, but this year I decided that I was going to just do the Daniel fast because of my estrogen issues and other hormone issues and all the research that I've been doing on hormones. And I started researching a lot on carb cycling.
[00:02:42] And keto carb cycling and all the things. And there's a lot to come about that in future episodes. I decided to do more of a low carb keto, vegan carb cycling approach, which sounds really intense, but it really isn't. So here I am, I have completed my four days without food and I am now into the Daniel fast for the rest of the month.
[00:03:03] And the church usually does it for 21 days. I'm deciding to do the whole month of January. And honestly, when I fast, for this reason, I am not really paying attention to my weight. I'm not really paying attention to getting big results for health and weight loss. The goal of fasting for me every January and doing this 21-day fast is mainly spiritual, right? There are some other benefits I'm getting from it, which are great, like detoxing and doing a reset and so I like to think of it as my reset and my detox, but that is not what keeps me going, because I've been fasting for a long time now. And I will say that sometimes I want to do a three-day fast on just any other normal week.
[00:03:51] It's very hard for me to stick to it. But for some reason when it comes to this religious fast that I do every year, I take it very seriously and I have no problem going four days without food. No, I mean, I have to caveat, obviously it's not the easiest to not go four days without food, but I'm saying there is no doubt and there is no situation where I'm like, I just can't do this.
[00:04:12] I have to break this fast and just eat. Okay. So that is kind of the difference. That's where I think the mindset has a lot to do with it. So when this episode, I want to talk about fasting in general. I want to talk about the benefits of fasting. I want to talk about the different types. How I do extended fasting, some tips that I have for you.
[00:04:31] And then I'm going to answer some top fasting, frequently asked questions, but before we get into it today, I'm going to ask you for a favor. If you've been listening to the show for a while, if you know me, if you follow me through my blog or my program, or Instagram, please, please leave a review on this podcast.
[00:04:48] I'm really trying to grow this podcast this year so I can reach and help more women. And your review on iTunes would be really appreciated. You just have to go over to iTunes and leave a review there. It really helped me out. I love reading those and that really helped me out to reach more women. So let's get into it.
[00:05:08] What is fasting? So pretty much fasting is abstaining from the food period. Like that's in a nutshell, what it is. Now people can consider fasting, you know, fasting from certain activities like social media. Or, you know, certain hobbies, the actual definition of fasting is abstinence from food. So when we're talking about that, that could look like many different things, right?
[00:05:35] Everybody is always just like anything else. We all have our opinions of what something is and isn't, and so people say, well, that's not truly fasting or no, you can't have that during the fast, or you can't have this during the fast. And the way I see fasting is you have to make it unique to you. And you have to follow an approach that works for you.
[00:05:54] Just like anything else, just like weight loss. I teach this inside my program, the BSB tribe. We have to find a weight loss mechanism that works for you and your lifestyle. That is something you can not only maintain, but you'll actually enjoy. And that is the same thing with fasting. Right? I think that fasting with like coffee or bone broth is better than not fasting at all, Right? So technically not might be the actual definition of a true fast, whatever that is, but it's still better than not fasting at all. When you're thinking about all the benefits of fasting. So as we're talking about benefits, let's go over some of the main benefits of fasting.
[00:06:37] So first of all, it decreases insulin. We all know about insulin by now. Right. So insulin resistance causes diabetes causes metabolic syndrome, a host of issues, obesity, and diabetes is on the rise in our modern-day society. So fasting helps decrease our insulin, helps us balance our electrolytes, increases our metabolism.
[00:06:57] It does help with weight loss, but we have to be careful about how we approach it for weight loss. And I'll talk about that in a little bit. It helps with a tough G so killing off old cells, right? A lot of cancer patients do fasting to kill off cancer cells increases growth, hormone growth hormone is what allows our body to burn fat, especially while we sleep.
[00:07:20] So we want to increase that, and that is really going to help us with weight loss, longevity, digestive repair. If you have any gut issues, fasting is great because you're giving your microbiome, essentially a break from digesting food. So it can focus on repair. Detox, you know, yeah, you're giving your body the ability to detoxify itself when you're not putting anything else in there. Improves mental clarity, this is a big one, and this is the same thing that happens when you're in nutritional ketosis. When your brain, when you run out of glucose, your brain then uses ketones for fuel. And what happens is that provides you this amazing mental clarity, which you can get both from ketosis and from fasting. Increases energy to the contrary, it does. Interestingly enough, I experienced more energy on the fourth day of my fast than I have when I started eating again. Lowers blood cholesterol, reverses aging, decreases inflammation. Inflammation is a huge one, big deal. Most diseases start with inflammation and then prevent Alzheimer's. So that's kind of, honestly, this is just a short list I can go on and on and we'd be here all day.
[00:08:34] We're talking about the benefits of fasting, but those are the main ones that I like to fast forward. So let's talk about types of fast. Let's talk about the different types of fasting because it's not just one type. So there is a full, fast. Which is just no food, right? So this is where you're not consuming any food.
[00:08:53] Now, could you be consuming liquids perhaps that could still be considered a full fast? Depends on the liquid and we'll talk about that in a little bit. And then there's intermittent fasting and intermittent fasting is when you fast for a certain allotted amount of time. So let's say, you know, you can do eight hours, anything from eight hours to 24 hours for me would be an intermittent fast. And then there's time-restricted eating, which is kind of like intermittent fasting. But it's more where you pick a time based on what works for you. So what I teach my members inside the BSB tribe, and we have a whole fasting guide.
[00:09:29] And I teach fasting. So if you're interested in that, make sure you get on the waitlist, go to BSBtribe.com to join the waitlist. We'll be opening soon, but what I teach them is that when they want to fast and have an eating window to pick an eating window that works best for them. So. Let's say that you have a very intense job during the day, and you're always on your feet.
[00:09:49] That's probably not the best eating window for you. So for you, the best eating window would probably be like after work. So maybe like six at night to six in the morning, right? Or on the other side, if you have a job where you're so busy, but you're not, you don't move a lot. Maybe you would just add a desk job, but it's a very busy desk job.
[00:10:07] You could probably go the whole day without food and totally be fine. So maybe that is your fasting window. And then you eat your first meal at like seven and then, you know, whatever it is that works for you. So that is the way that you can make it work, however, fits your window. But you pick the window that you want.
[00:10:26] So you would do like a four-hour window or a six-hour window, and you can change it. You know, you can do one day during the week that you do like 12 to four is your eating window. So I did that for a long time. 12 o'clock would be my first meal. And then four o'clock would be my second meal.
[00:10:44] And then I would fast from four to 12 the next day, right. Or 12 to six or whatever it is like. I think you get the point here. You're eating within a certain window that you choose. Now, an extended fast, that is anything over 24 hours to me is an extended fast. So what I just did where I did four days of not eating, that would be an extended fast. Extended fast is a little harder to do.
[00:11:11] And they take a little practice. So I like to compare fasting to a muscle. So the more you work it, the more you do it, the stronger you get, right? Just like building muscles. So when you're starting out fasting, I wouldn't recommend jumping right into an extended fast. And then those partial fasting. So partial fasting could be for me like this Daniel fast that I'm doing after my four days of no eating, I would call that a partial fast.
[00:11:39] All right, so I'm not fully giving up food, but I'm making a lot of sacrifices and I'm eliminating a lot of foods. So in this case, I'm eliminating gluten, dairy, sugar, I eliminate alcohol. I'm also eliminating caffeine, which is a huge thing for me, like a huge thing. But I decided after battling with this decision and trying to quit coffee for a long time, I've come across so much research lately that I swear it's just like blatantly slapping me in the face. Like Lesya, you need to quit coffee because every book that I read about hormones, about health metabolism, ideal, you know, gut, all the things that I research all the time, every time, Coffee comes up and it came up and like two recent books and it was talking about estrogen dominance and I'm pretty sure that I have that or had that, whatever, I can't keep tracking anymore of all my health issues. And I'm like, okay. This is it like, this is just the last sign here. I believe in signs, but anyway, so I decided I was going to take a break from coffee. So, I'm not doing coffee. And then obviously, you know, I'm not doing packaged food, junk food, any of that.
[00:12:54] So my rules are very strict. Like I'm very limited. So I'm keeping it to vegetables, fruits, you know, berries, I'm not really doing all the fruits either. I am incorporating some lentils, some Quinoa, and some sweet potato stuff like that. And then I'm doing steel-cut oats, stuff like that, but it's pretty, you know, the list is pretty short of what I'm allowing myself to consume during the rest of the month.
[00:13:22] So that is a partial fast. Okay. So let me talk about before we move on into some of the big questions of how I do extended fasting? Because a lot of people ask me this question of like, how do you fast for so long? How can you go so long without fasting? You know, I can't do it. I get so hungry. I get headaches, whatever.
[00:13:44] I will say that. First of all, as I said before, it is like a muscle you have to practice and the more you do it, the easier it gets. I would never start with an extended fast when I started fasting. I mean, I've been fasting, like I said, for over a decade now. It was very hard for me even to do a 24 hour fast.
[00:14:03] Okay. So we all start somewhere just like weight loss. I teach this all the time to my members, you know, just keep going, start low. What's the low hanging fruit. So that's the same for you. If you want to start extended fasting, I would first start with doing intermittent fasting. Okay. And then work your way up, but how I plan, first of all, I get mentally prepared.
[00:14:26] Okay. So you have to have a legitimate reason to be fasting for that long. and no, because you overate the last day or you had a cheat week or it's, the holidays are not a legitimate reason to fast for that long. That is, you are punishing your body. And that goes into all kinds of mindset, diet, mentality, bull crap that we don't want to get into.
[00:14:51] Okay. That is not what fasting is for. Fasting is not punishment. Fasting is healing and fasting is a tool. Okay. So mentally prepared. Do I have to know what is the purpose of this extended fast? Right? So in my case, this four day fast was for spiritual reasons, for religious purposes. Because every year I do this because I need, I want God's guidance for my year.
[00:15:18] I want him to reveal to me, what do you want me to do this year? How can I reach my goals this year, open up my eyes to reveal what I should or shouldn't be doing, where I should or shouldn't be going in my life, and help that sister out. Cause the sister got problems, right? We all got problems. So I know that when I approach it in that way, I know the sacrifice I'm making and I know that God sees it. And then I hear him and I hear him every single year. And whether you're religious or not, it doesn't matter. You have to have a purpose for why you're doing that long of a fast. So for me, it's because I want to hear God's voice in my life.
And every single year he never disappoints. So I do the four days. And I'm very strict on it and whatever the days are three, four, or five every year, it's different for me, I feel like I always just have the Holy Spirit tell me exactly how many days I should be doing. And for some reason, I just kept on getting the nudge to do four days, so I did four days, but that's really up to you. The point is you have to be mentally prepared and you have to know your reason. So maybe your reason is that. You have pre-diabetes or diabetes, and you're really trying to reverse that, right? Maybe your reason is that you found out that you have GI issues or leaky gut or yeast or bacteria, and you maybe want to fast it off or whatever, do a detox or a Tava G whatever your reason is, you have to be very clear on it and know your why.
[00:16:43] I say this all the time to my members to know your why. Right? The other thing that I do is make sure that I get rid of extra junk food in the house. So we don't want to have extra temptation if we don't have to. Right. So if you are going into a fast, like the day after Christmas and there's food everywhere, it's going to be very hard for you.
[00:17:02] There's a lot of temptation here. So. I do the best I can to get rid of the food that's just lingering that I know no one's going to eat. That might tempt me or I hide it or I put it away or I get it like out of sight, out of mind. Right. Also, I don't pick days that I am booked for an event. So it's January right now.
[00:17:18] And if I had like a party or a wedding or a situation to go to that required me to eat. I wouldn't make my fasting schedule around that. That just doesn't make any sense, right? So you have to think about that also like honestly, the number one secret here is to stay busy. In a nutshell, you want to do an extended fast and stick to it.
[00:17:41] Keep yourself busy, because if you just aren't doing anything or you're bored out of your mind, plus you're hungry. That's a recipe for failure because you're just always going to be thinking about the food because you're hungry. But when you're busy, you know, you get so busy, you forget like, think about the last time that you were so busy doing stuff that you forgot to eat.
[00:18:01] And you're like, Oh my gosh, I didn't eat. So stay busy. So the days that I fasted for the four days, I made sure that I filled up my schedule. I was onboarding our new employees in our business. And I was preparing things for this year and getting stuff organized in the business and planning things out.
[00:18:20] Like I had my days jam-packed. So I was not thinking about food. Staying out of the kitchen is also a big tip and this could be hard, especially if you're a mom like me that has kids to feed. And especially if you're a mom that has kids that feel like they need to eat all day long because all my kids want to do is snack.
[00:18:38] So this was a little bit hard, but the way I did my four days was I did it on the weekend and my husband was home. So I just asked him to help out and help make some meals so that I didn't have to be in the kitchen the whole day because that makes it a little harder and then drink lots of water.
[00:18:52] Obviously, this is an obvious one, but a lot of the time we are really hydrated and not hungry. And that's when we can get cravings. So, if you're drinking enough water, you're going to fight out some of those hunger cues, peppermint tea also, I found really helps me kind of take away the hunger. If you need to drink bone broth like no one's going to die. The fasting Police are not going to come knocking at your door and say, "You can't have that during a fast, that's not really a fast." Oh, it annoys the crap out of me. Look, if you're doing an extended fast, a cup of bone broth each day, that is like less than a hundred calories is not going to do much. Right. You're going to be fine. You can do it. If that's going to keep you from breaking your fast, if you have a certain goal for certain days, Then drink the bone broth. Okay. And then the last tip that I can give you is riding the wave out guys, spoiler alert. I'm alive. If you're listening to this, I'm alive. This means I went four days without food and I survived, which means that my hunger eventually left because otherwise, I'd be not here. I did not die from hunger. I just explained to you that hunger comes in waves and then it goes, it comes on really strong. I'm going to hit you really hard and you think, Oh my God, I need to eat. I have to eat. And then you just ride it out. You weigh it out and then it goes down.
[00:20:20] You're fine. All right. So ride the wave out. After doing an extended fast it made me realize that most of the time when I think I'm hungry, I'm really not hungry. And also irritates the crap out of me when my husband says I'm starving when he hasn't eaten in like three hours like bro really, really though, are you really starving?
[00:20:39] So ride it out. All right. So let's talk about some top fasting FAQ's that I get. All right. The first one that I get a lot is can I fast? Right. People are wondering like, okay, well, can I do it? I feel like fasting has become so popular. It's just kind of a new trend thing now, which is funny because it's old as all get, I mean, it's old as the Bible, it's old as life itself, but now all of a sudden it's so popular, but we have to first figure out, can we fast.
[00:21:11] Because not everybody can fast. So before you think about fasting, I want you to answer these questions for you. Are you malnourished or underweight? Because if you are you probably shouldn't fast, are you 18 or over? If you are, you can fast, you aren't pregnant, right? Pregnant women, please. Don't fast. You aren't breastfeeding, you don't want to fast during breastfeeding because you don't want to risk decreasing your supply. You don't have any hormonal issues such as high cortisol, adrenal fatigue. Okay. This is kind of where there's like a gray line here because there are certain hormone issues that extended fasting is not great for. Now, fasting is amazing for insulin, right? Insulin is a hormone. That's amazing. It's not great for cortisol. Why? Because fasting is a stressor on your body. So if you're already stressed out because your cortisol is high, cortisol members are stress hormones in our adrenals HPA access, right? Sympathetic, parasympathetic, I talk about that all the time. Regulate, relax, digest, all that stuff. If you're already struggling with that, fasting is going to cause a bigger toll on that system. And we don't want to do that. Right. So this is where I also had to consider because I had cortisol issues. I really don't know where my cortisol is at currently. I haven't checked in a while, but that's why I decided to just do four days instead of a week. Cause I normally would do a week, but then I also thought like, you know what? I'm sure God understands. And I'm sure my cortisols are all okay so that you have to consider. And if you don't have any other medical conditions like gout, probably shouldn't fast.
[00:22:48] Another thing to consider. If you're taking medications that require food, you might not be able to do a full fast. Now that doesn't mean that you can't do a partial fast or intermittent fast. You just can't do a full, fast. And then if you'd have a very physical job where you're seriously exerting so many calories a day, Probably not a great idea to fast for you.
[00:23:10] Again, you can do an eating window. You can do partial fast. I would not do a full fast. So again, everything, everything before you do anything, first of all, you should talk to your doctor. All right. Now, what can I have during a fast? So this is where it's very personalized. Technically water, tea is what you can have, right?
[00:23:32] Sometimes I'll have electrolytes like electrolyte tablets or something that, you know, doesn't have any sweetener in it or anything like that. I mean, really that is what you can have. Now, here are some exceptions of things that can help you go longer. If you do choose to have an extended fast. Bone broth, right? So having organic bone broth is going to help you stay on your fast while providing you essential electrolytes and minerals for your body. So if you really are trying to be vast, and it's just super hard for you to stick with it, try some bone broth, then you can also do organic coffee and coffee is gonna help you curb your appetite and keep you on track as well.
[00:24:13] Right? I already talked about electrolytes. Those are important. The reason why so many of us get headaches during your fast is because of the electrolyte loss and the detoxification that's happening in our bodies. So if you experience a lot of headaches on your fast, before you go and quit and end the fast, I would check your electrolytes.
[00:24:31] So what you could do is I like to do saltwater. So just add a little bit of Himalayan salt and some water and drink it. There are also some supplements you can check out, just make sure that you're not adding a bunch of sweeteners and milestones, silicone, sorbitol, and all the tols into that, because that, you know, that might defeat the purpose of a fast.
[00:24:52] So I would say, and then, you know, I already mentioned durable teas, so that is what I would say that you can have during a fast. All right. Now, another question that I get a lot is. What is the best type of fast for me? And my answer to that is it depends on where you're at right now and what your goals are and if you've ever fasted before.
[00:25:15] Okay. So I would just say what I tell my members all the time, start small, start with a low hanging fruit. Like what can you do to check with your doctor first? And what is your lifestyle like, Right? Are you very active or are you very busy where you can't do long-term fast because you are drained or are you able to do them, but you have to tweak them because of certain health conditions, medication, stuff like that?
[00:25:40] But I would say the best type of fast is anything that you can do and that you can stick to. All right. So I think the best way to start fasting. Is to do intermittent fasting and just stopping your eating at a consistent time every day, it's like seven, eight, or six, whatever that is to you and do that for a couple of weeks.
[00:26:00] And then once you're used to that, maybe up bump that up to four or five. And then once you're used to that start picking a six to eight-hour window, right? Then once you're used to that, like do that for a couple of weeks. Again, we're building that muscle. Once you're used to that, then you can do a 24 hour fast, and then maybe once a week you can do a 24 hour fast.
[00:26:22] And Monday through Friday, you can have an eight-hour window. So my normal fasting routine, honestly, that doesn't even think about it just comes naturally to me. I usually try to do one day a week, 24 hour fast, if I can. And then the rest of the time, Monday through Friday, I will have like an eight-hour eating window.
[00:26:39] And that just happens naturally. And I love how, like there are some people say, Oh my God, fashion is so bad, dirty, yada, yada. It's like, well you fast. Or do you get up every two to three hours while you're sleeping to eat? Well, if you said no, then you fast, right? So it's not bad. It's just that, how are you doing it? So that's the big question. And then the last question I'm going to talk about before we wrap this episode up about fasting is will fasting help me lose weight? Yes or no? All right. So long-term fasting, meaning you're practicing, fasting over a long period of time, meaning like, okay, you decided you're going to start implementing fasting.
[00:27:16] You're going to pull it out of the tool belt. Right. I always talk about the tool belt in BSB tribe, which I give my members is full tool belt of weight loss, help resources. Let's try this. No, it doesn't work. Put it back. Let's try this. No, doesn't work. Let's put it back. We figure it out. We eventually find something that works, right? So fasting is one of those tools, right? So you pull fasting out. You're like, okay, I'm going to try this tool. Now you try it once and then nothing happens. And then you put it back like, okay, that didn't work then no, you're not going to have weight loss success with fasting. Now, if you take that tool out and you said, okay, I'm going to commit to fasting for six months, three months, a year, right? I'm going to develop a routine or regimen. I'm going to commit to it then. Yes, absolutely. It will work for weight loss. All right. If you just do, if you just dabble in fasting, if you just do one fast, every here and there, or go three days without eating because you overate.
[00:28:06] You will not lose weight. Right. You'll lose water weight. Right. And then you'll gain it right back. When you go back to your quote-unquote normal way of eating. Okay. And then to break a fast, like that's one of the last questions that I'm going to get to, that I forgot about was what do you eat to break a fast?
[00:28:23] Okay. This is a very common one because you have to be careful, especially if you're doing an extended fast, your microbiome changes. All right. So what happens normally is, after an extended fast, you eat something, you might experience some diarrhea. Right. And that's normal. I will say that in my experience when I broke a fast, with very light foods, such as smoothies, or, you know, a salad or something even like grains, like Quinoa or something like that, that's gluten-free.
[00:28:53] That really helped me avoid getting diarrhea like TMI. Right. But I had no issues this last time. Now, after I did my seven-day fast, I had issues. It was pretty bad for a few days, but I would avoid doing any heavy meat, honestly. I would avoid doing lots of fats and I would definitely, definitely avoid dairy and sugar and all that.
[00:29:15] Cause you'll just feel sick. You'll feel like you want to throw up, do not go, and like to run through the Krispy Kreme and McDonald's drive-through. Do you hate your life? You will regret it. Promise you. Okay. Not that I know. Not that I experienced it or anything. All right. So that's it about fasting? I think I covered a lot.
[00:29:34] This is kind of like. A rapid-fire fasting session. I think you should give it a try on the first talk to your doctor, give it a try. If you want to learn more about fasting and get this complete fasting guide that I have, and really get into the nitty-gritty, get on the waitlist BSB tribe. I'll teach you all things fasting and we'll help you figure out a plan that works best for you.
[00:29:54] If you want to know more about the research of fasting and all the science stuff. If you like to nerd out on that, then check out Dr. Jason Fung. He's like the fasting God, he's amazing. And let me know what you think about fasting. If you practice it, if you don't, if you found anything helpful from this episode, make sure to screenshot it.
[00:30:12] Tag me on Instagram @BSBtribe. Come say hello, and let me know what you learn from the show. And I will see you next time.
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