If you eat a traditional breakfast with as little as 30g of carbohydrates, your insulin will spike shutting off your fat burning machine while causing empty fat cells to be created. Eating a high-carb breakfast can also lead to lethargy, crashes and lack of cognitive performance.
There are a lot of benefits to fasting outside of better insulin control. For one, it lets your system reset and detox your body. It also reloads your enzyme pool which has shown to help with anti-aging. It also increases your ability to focus and makes your more creative and competitive. Think of our ancestors who used to wake up and spend the majority of their day hunting for their meal… most likely on an empty stomach.
The main guideline here, is to NOT eat a FULL meal during the day (before dinner). Doing so will block the benefits listed above. As your body adapts, you will not feel as hungry. As I’ve adapted, I can easily go till 1pm without eating before feeling really hungry.
Simple rule: Eat less than 20g of carbs before dinner.
I want to clarify that the main idea here is NOT to starve yourself. During this fasting portion of the day you should still eat… just not a full meal. So fresh fruit, vegetables, a whey protein shake, a couple eggs, bacon etc are all fine. The best combination is low carbs and high fat. The fat will keep you full and will be released later in the day as energy which will help you avoid the afternoon crash. Also eating frequently will help your metabolism continue to run and not slow down. You don’t need a full meal to do that.
Also while fasting, it’s crucial to drink a lot of water. Water is important for a few reasons. For one, it tells your body to be get stressed out that you aren’t eating as much. Your body can survive for a long period of time without food, but not water. Drinking plenty of water tells your body all is well… there is no droubt or famine in the land. It also keeps your cells nice and plump along with the fluid around them, which allows you to absorb nutrients easier and more efficiently. I try and drink a gallon of water a day.
During this phase DO NOT have any sugar or processed foods. (A “processed food” is basically any foods that include a lot of added ingredients including additives or chemicals. These are found in the center of the grocery store. Sticking to the outer-rims of the grocery store typically will be healthier.) This is a sure-way to be hungry and cause your insulin to spike. If you can’t live without sugar, have it later in the day or use other sweeteners. Stay away from diet drinks. Aspartame is known to cause cravings. Even though it may reduce calorie count for the drink, you will easily make up for it and then some from the cravings.
It may take your body a few weeks to adapt to this style of eating. So here are some tips: Buy some MCT oil from the store and add that to a morning beverage (or grass-fed butter). It has a lot of healthy fat and will help keep you full. Another way is to transition by fasting until noon. Then 1pm, then 2pm and so forth. Continue to stretch it out till you are comfortable until dinner. Either way, make sure you are still having fresh fruits, herbal tea with fat, a small protein shake, a few eggs etc. You should not be starving yourself. This is not a water fast.
Since everyone has different tastes, I didn’t create a meal plan. Simple searches on google or pinterest for low-carb breakfasts, low-carb snacks, keto breakfast and lchf breakfasts will give you more than enough to look at. Just ensure each recipe has less than 10g net carbs, 10g of protein, and no added sugar.
Remember, eating processed food requires little work for your metabolism to pull energy. Eating raw food requires your body to work harder. Also, don’t eat too much in one sitting. It’s better to eat smaller portions, keeping your metabolism active, but not enough to spike your insulin or tax your system. It’s important to let your body detox itself and that can’t happen if you give it too much work to do. You’ll need to teach your body to not eat during the day to get fool. Just to get enough to keep going. Adding healthy fats will make a huge difference.
Here are some examples of what the fasting portion of the day will look like. Technically you wouldn’t want to eat 6x in a day, but if there are days you need a little more it won’t hurt.
|Time||Example Day 1||Example Day 2|
|8am||2 eggs with bacon||Low-carb whey protein shake|
|12pm||8oz full-fat yogurt with berries||Fresh fruit juice (blended or juiced)|
|Handfull of almonds||Green salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar|
|4pm||Two string cheeses||Two boiled eggs|
It’s important to give you a little warning of what may happen over the first 2 weeks of eating like this. What happens is your body will stop depending on carbs for fuel. As it does this you may feel tired, cranky and moody and may get some headaches. This should only last a few days as your body adapts. One thing that will happen is your body will release ketones, which are acids released for energy when your body is burning fat. Ketones play an important role here. Once your body starts relying on ketones more than glucose, you should notice your energy levels picking back up and notice more focus and clarity.
Since everyone has a different taste, I won't lay out any recipes here. However, here are some great sites that will help you find low-carb recipes for the fasting portion of the day. Remember to ensure each recipe has less than 10g net carbs, 10g of protein, and no added sugar (some of the recipes on these sites don't follow that):