Fasting for Better Health: A Complete Guide

Fasting for Better Health: A Complete Guide

Fasting for Better Health: A Complete Guide

Fasting, an ancient practice that has received increased attention in modern times, is a powerful method of promoting health and well-being. This approach involves a conscious and voluntary abstinence from food and drink, with the exception of water and other low-calorie liquids, over a defined period.

The variation in length and form of fasting makes it possible to adapt the practice to the individual's needs and lifestyle.

Fasting has long been recognized for its many health benefits, especially when it comes to metabolic health. It can help train the body to become more metabolically flexible, improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and contribute to weight loss.

Interestingly, research on fasting has also revealed potential benefits in relation to the aging process. Several studies have investigated how intermittent fasting and caloric restriction can affect lifespan and aging mechanisms, pointing towards fasting as a possible strategy to delay the aging process and promote a healthier old age.


Introduction to fasting?

Good reasons to fast

Who should be careful with fasting?

Top 3 myths about fasting

How to stop fasting the right way

Tips to keep hunger at bay

What breaks a fast?

You can drink this during fasting

Important supplements: Electrolytes during fasting

Enzymes and their role in Digestion and Autophagy

Useful supplements during fasting


1. Introduction to fasting?

Fasting involves abstaining from eating or consuming very few calories over a specific period of time. Most people practice some form of fasting every night while they sleep. When you eat your next meal, whether it's breakfast, a snack or lunch, you break the fast.

There are different forms of fasting:

Time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting per day (recommended): This involves eating within a specific time window each day. For example, in the popular 16/8 model, you fast for 16 hours and eat in an 8-hour window. My personal favorite is 6/18. I have the first meal between 12-2pm and then another meal between 6-8pm. some days I also drive 20/4, then the eating window is typically 15-19 or 16-20, but the most important thing is to take things slowly so the body can adapt. It is best to have at least a couple of hours between your last meal and bedtime.
This is the protocol I use myself. I have 4-5 days of the 20-4 diet, 1-2 days of the 18-6 diet, and 1 day of the 16-8 diet. This works incredibly well for me with increased energy levels as well as maintaining a relatively low fat percentage. However, it must be said that I have done this for a long time and that the 20-4 diet can be very hard to start with, so take it gradually and feel your body.

If fasting is completely new to you, 10/14 or 8-16 can be a good start. Because if 10 hours have passed between dinner and breakfast, you have practiced the most basic form of intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting per week: Here you normally eat for five or six days, and fast one or two days a week with zero or very few calories.

Alternate day fasting: This involves eating nothing one day, then eating normally the next.

OMAD (One Meal A Day): You eat all your daily calories in one meal.

24-hour fasting: This involves fasting for an entire day.

Extended fasting: This can involve very low or no calorie intake for 48 hours or more.

2. Good reasons to fast

Weight loss: Fasting can be an effective tool for weight loss. Studies have shown that different fasting methods can contribute to weight reduction.

Improved fat burning and ketosis: Fasting promotes ketosis, a metabolic state in which the body burns fat and produces ketones.

Increased mental function: In ketosis, the brain can use ketones as an energy source, which can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

Lower blood sugar and insulin levels: Fasting can be effective in managing type 2 diabetes.

Autophagy: This is a process where your cells break down and recycle old and damaged cells, which is linked to increased longevity .

3. Who should be careful with fasting?

Fasting is not suitable for everyone. Children, pregnant women, lactating women, the underweight, those with eating disorders and children should generally avoid fasting. Diabetics and those under a lot of stress should also exercise caution.

4. Top 3 myths about fasting

Myth: Fasting leads to muscle loss. Fact: Your body first burns fat for energy before turning to muscle.

Myth: Fasting slows down the metabolism. Fact: Short-term fasting has actually been shown to increase metabolism.

Myth: Fasting is the same as starvation. Fact: Fasting is a controlled and voluntary abstinence from food, while starvation is a forced lack of food.

5. How to stop fasting the right way

When you break the fast, start with easily digestible food. Avoid large meals with a high fat content immediately after the fast. Soups, vegetables and lean protein are good choices .

This is not as relevant for periodic fixed day intervals. but more if you have fasted for several days.

6. Tips for keeping hunger at bay

Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, green tea and black coffee. Also try to keep yourself busy and avoid thinking about food. If you fast over several days, you must be careful with exercise.

7. What breaks a fast?

Any food or drink with calories will technically break the fast. This includes sugary drinks, milk in coffee, and most types of sugar-free chewing gum.

8. You can drink this while fasting

Water, black coffee, and various teas without sugar are acceptable. While some like a less rigid form of fasting, and use pressed fruit drinks. personally, I like the 0 kcal form of fasting best as it gives the best results for me.

9. Important supplements: Electrolytes during fasting

Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium can be helpful, especially during longer fasting periods.

Natriuresis and salt loss during fasting

When you fast, a process known as natriuresis begins, which is a significant loss of salt. This loss of salt is important to be aware of as it can lead to dangerously low salt levels if not replaced.

Consequences of electrolyte deficiency:

  • Without sufficient salt, you may experience headaches, cramps and low energy during the fast.
  • This is due to a lack of electrolytes, which are essential for the body's function.
Electrolyte deficiency in low-carb/keto diet:
  • A similar phenomenon is observed in those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. These diets keep insulin levels low, which leads to increased sodium loss through the urine.

Keto Flu:

  • This phenomenon is often referred to as the "keto flu", but it is actually a result of low salt levels.

How to Top Up with Electrolytes:

Prioritize a nutritious diet

    • Green vegetables: Include a variety of green vegetables in your diet, such as spinach, kale, and watercress. These are not only low-carb friendly, but also rich in magnesium and potassium.
    • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds are good sources of magnesium, while bananas, oranges and avocados are rich in potassium.
    • Dairy products: Milk and yogurt are good sources of calcium, another important electrolyte.

  • Salt your food: The transition from processed to pure food can significantly reduce your sodium intake. Using salt in moderation can help maintain sodium balance. Himalayan salt or sea salt are preferred for their mineral content.

Drink kraft bone broth

  • Homemade or purchased: Bone broth is not only beneficial for gut health, but is also a rich source of minerals. This nutritious drink can help replenish your electrolyte levels, especially sodium and magnesium.

Take electrolyte supplements

  • When needed: In certain situations, such as during intense exercise, extreme heat, or following special diets such as keto, it may be necessary to take electrolyte supplements to prevent imbalance .

Hydration with a twist

  • Added electrolytes: Drinking water is essential to staying hydrated, but in some cases water alone may not be enough. Consider drinking coconut water or low-sugar sports drinks that are fortified with electrolytes after intense physical activity.

Listen to your body

  • Look for symptoms of imbalance: Be aware of signs of electrolyte imbalance, such as fatigue, headaches, cramps, and dizziness. These may indicate that you need to adjust your electrolyte intake.

Diversify your diet

  • Varied intake: Eating a wide variety of foods can ensure you get all the electrolytes you need. Diversifying your diet can also help improve your overall nutritional profile and health.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that you maintain a healthy electrolyte balance, which is essential for your body's function and overall health. Remember that it is important to adapt your intake to your individual needs and lifestyle.


10. Enzymes and their role in digestion and autophagy

Digestive Enzymes: Two Uses

Digestive enzymes are essential for the body's ability to break down food. They can be used in two different ways: with food or without food, and their effect varies depending on the way of use.

  1. Enzymes taken with food: It is most common to take digestive enzymes with food. This helps improve nutrient absorption and reduce bloating. When food is broken down more efficiently, the nutrients are better absorbed, and this reduces the strain on the digestive system.
  2. Enzymes taken without food: On the other hand, when digestive enzymes are taken without food, such as during fasting, they can help break down undigested food particles, inflammatory substances, dead cells, age-related pigments such as lipofuscin, and diseased organelles. This can be particularly useful for promoting the body's natural cleansing processes.

Digestive enzymes and autophagy

Autophagy is a process where cells break down and recycle their own components, which is an important part of the cells' maintenance and health. There are reasons to believe that digestive enzymes may help reach autophagy more quickly, especially during fasting.

How Enzymes Affect Autophagy:

    • Amino acids and glucose that regulate: Amino acids and glucose are the primary nutrients that regulate autophagy. Autophagy will not start if there are still excess nutrients in the body.
    • Digestion time: Digesting food takes longer than many people think. Food particles in an average meal can remain in the body for 15-24 hours.
    • Speeding up digestion: By taking digestive enzymes with food, as well as on an empty stomach, the process of breaking down food can be accelerated. This can help trigger autophagy faster, as the body gets rid of excess nutrients faster.


Digestive enzymes play a crucial role not only in improving digestion and nutrient absorption, but also potentially in promoting autophagy, especially during fasting. By understanding and harnessing the unique properties of these enzymes, we can better support the body's natural processes for health and well-being.

11. Useful supplements during fasting

    • NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide) from Live Longer. What is NMN?
    • Electrolytes: To avoid imbalance in electrolytes.
    • Multivitamins: To ensure you get the necessary nutrients.
    • ZMA - Magnesium, Zinc and vitamin B6.
    • Creatine
    • Omega-3 fatty acids: May help reduce inflammation.

12. Questions?

As you can see, there are several variations of fasting, and depending on how strict you want to be, there are several things you can consume without technically breaking the fast.

We hope this article has been helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or contact us.

We are here to help you achieve the results you want.


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