Folks, you know I’m
a believer in intermittent fasting for longevity, autophagy,
mental clarity, fitness performance, metabolic health, and more.
So, when I heard that Dr. Jason Fung, a world expert on fasting,
and his team at Pique Tea were putting together a Fasting Tea
Challenge this month, I wanted to know more. And I think you will,
too. You can check out the details and sign up
here. (There’s more info and the sign-up link at the bottom
of post, too.)
The Challenge looks to be a great experience for anyone
interested in intermittent fasting—including those trying it for
the first time and those who have done it before but want to make
it more of a regular tool in their healthy lifestyle routine. I’m
also thrilled that Dr. Jason Fung has stopped by the blog today to
share a bit about fasting for weight loss. Enjoy—and be sure to
share any questions you have on the comment board.
Over the years, I’ve shared with you the many ways
intermittent fasting can benefit your health. So, it shouldn’t be
much of a surprise that fasting can also be really beneficial to
those who are trying to lose fat. Yes, I said fat and not weight.
Unlike some other kinds of weight loss methods, which result in
loss of water weight or muscle mass, fasting can effectively get
rid of fat.
How Fasting Works
There’s a reason intermittent fasting has become so popular.
For one, it’s more of a schedule than a diet, which means it’s
endlessly customizable. There are a few different types of fasting
(covered below), as well as a variety
of schedules you can follow. It’s up to you to decide how to
make it best fit your lifestyle. (1)
As the name suggests, this method involves eating every other
day. On those days, you eat without restriction. On days that
involve fasting, you can eat one small meal that provides about 25%
of your daily caloric needs. This works great for people who
don’t want to face an entire day without eating anything.
Similar to alternate-day fasting, whole-day fasting means you
fast 1-2 days per week. You can do a complete fast, with no
calories at all, or one small meal that makes up about 25% of your
daily caloric intake. A favorite way to do a 24-hr fast is to
finish eating at 6 p.m. one day and then not eat until dinner at 6
p.m. the next day. Boom, 24 hours fasted but not a day went by
This method allows a specific time frame during the day during
which you can eat regular meals and snacks. A window of 8 a.m. to 3
p.m. is one example of when you can eat, or 12 p.m. to 7 p.m is
another. This window of time is usually about 7 or 8 hours long.
The rest of the time, you fast.
How Fasting Accelerates Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting almost invariably produces a calorie
deficit, but it also creates ideal circumstances for fat
burning—because it increases your insulin sensitivity. When you
fast, your insulin levels drop, which makes it easier for your body
to access your stored fat. That’s how your body opts to use fat
for energy, instead of muscle. (2)
You might be familiar with this concept, because it’s the same
reason why people adopt low-carb diets to shed fat. Eating low-carb
will indeed lower your insulin levels, but the fact is that fasting
will drop them even lower. This makes fasting more powerful for fat
Another way fasting boosts fat loss is by increasing the amount
of growth hormone (GH) your body produces. Studies have shown that
production of GH can decrease your amount of body fat. (3, 4)
Finally, fasting has also been shown to increase production of
norepinephrine—the fat burning hormone. The only catch? The study
that showed this result was done on mice. Science hasn’t
determined yet if it’s also the case with humans.
5 Tips to Accelerate Your Fasting
Intermittent fasting works best if you tailor it to your
lifestyle, but there are a few rules you should follow. Here are my
top 5 tips to accelerate your fasting for maximum fat loss:
1. Be Smart During Your Eating Window
When you start fasting, it’s easy to just focus on the
not-eating part and trick yourself into thinking you can eat
anything during your eating window. But if you want to jump-start
fat loss, your meals should still be nutritious and healthy. Think
no refined carbs, sugar, or processed food. Sticking to a healthy
diet is also going to help make the fasting experience easier for
2. Break Your Fast Properly
When you break your fast, it’s very important that you resist
the urge to overeat. Over-indulging really defeats the purpose of
that calorie deficit you created during the fast. Plus, it can be
really uncomfortable for your digestive system and cause a stomach
ache or other digestive distress. Try breaking your fast with a
small salad or some nuts and then just eat normally.
3. Stay Active & Do Shorter Bursts of Intense Exercise
Don’t fall victim to a mindset that says you should lie around
on the couch all day while fasting. It’s perfectly safe (and
beneficial) to exercise. Follow your normal routine of walking and
other means of slow and steady movement throughout the day. What
you might want to skip, however, are long stretches of cardio work
that can wear you down (particularly if you’re new to fasting).
For intensive exercise while fasting—especially if you want to
kick-start fat loss, HIIT is the way to go. You only need 10-15
minutes of high intensity interval training to stimulate fat burn
in your body. Above all, work out when you have time and feel
comfortable doing it, but you can also consider incorporating your
interval training at the end of your fasting window—right before
you’re about to break your fast.
4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
acid in ACV helps keep your insulin levels low, which means
you’ll enter a fat-burning state sooner. There’s also research
indicating that ACV can boost ketosis by helping your cells produce
more energy when you’re in that state. (5, 6) What that means for
you is increased energy and mental clarity to stick with your
fasting for longer. Try diluting 1-2tbsp of ACV in a glass of water
and drinking it before your meals.
5. Use Green Tea
The number one reason people fail at fasting is because they
give in to cravings. So, if you want to succeed at using fasting
for fat loss, you need a plan for facing down those cravings. The
number one doctor-approved natural way to beat cravings? Tea.
Intermittent fasting and tea are a powerful
combination for accelerating your weight loss.
Green tea especially has the ability to help regulate ghrelin,
which is your hunger hormone, so you can finally gain back control
of your appetite. It also boosts thermogenesis, which is the rate
at which you burn calories, and it has the ability to enhance
autophagy, your natural cellular renewal process.
Thanks again to Dr. Jason Fung for today’s post. Be sure to
check out his 28-Day
Fasting Tea Challenge. It’s a 28-day, guided experience that
follows a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule. Along the way,
you’ll learn how tea can help you stay fasted longer and more
comfortably. Pique Tea offers two Fasting Teas that are potent
blends of the highest-quality green teas and other plants and herbs
designed to suppress appetite, boost calorie burn, and improve
digestion. The Fasting Challenge will also include three Facebook
Live check-ins with Dr. Jason Fung, support from an in-house health
coach, as well as practical tips to
help you succeed at fasting.
Thanks for stopping by today, everybody. Have a great