Animals stop eating when they get sick.
So did humans in the past, however 21st century humans generally don’t tend to fast. We also don’t eat the quality organic produce that animals in nature consume (to the extent that us humans haven’t contaminated their food supply).
So, should we stop eating sometimes to improve health and performance?
If you’re asking yourself this question and are interested in exploring the answer… Congratulations, you’re in the game, just by researching and taking responsibility for your health.
If someone who is sick jumps into fasting they may become very sick and put their health at more immediate risk than if they continue to eat at their regular rhythm. Most people are not ready to fast.
Why will they get so sick?
Because fasting will encourage the body to liberate fatty acids. Fat stores are where the body shuttles toxins that can’t be excreted via the normal pathways.
Those pathways are:
4. Stool – poo
Additionally, for the liver to breakdown toxins it needs to be stocked with nutrients. Nutrients in the liver are depleted by toxins, they can be replenished by high quality food which is well digested.
So, to fast what’s the best way to get into it?
90 Day Fasting Protocol
First 30 Days
The first fast to do is a 1 month junk food and sugar fast – no processed foods. Nothing with more than 3 ingredients and focus on bringing nutrients into the system.
In 2012, before our record breaking season with the Roosters, players were encouraged to eat only raw whole foods for 2 weeks. This meant that salads, raw seafood and even carpaccio and steak tartare were on the menu. This was an important part of the big shift that took the club from the bottom of the league in 2012 to 3 minor premierships in a row. See more on this.
Second 30 Days
Try eating dinner a little earlier and taking no snacks after that. Aim for at least a 12 hour eating break ideally 14 hours. This would mean dinner by 7pm and no food before 7am, or dinner by 7pm and no food until 9am.
Last 30 Days
Eat dinner by 7pm and don’t eat the next day until around lunch time. This will give a 6-8 hour eating window which give the digestive tract some time to clean itself and repair.
No Food Fast
After 90 days of avoiding processed foods and being focussed on eating nutrient dense foods its a good time to start the first nutritionally supported 24 hour fast.
It’s best to do this on a weekend.
Drink ACV and lime.
Do the morning routine.
Have a diamacious earth drink.
Have a collagen drink.
If hungry, have a ‘fat tea’ – butter/ghee + coconut oil + MCT + collagen + herbal tea, blend and enjoy.
BCAA’s, Glutamine and Glycine can also be useful in the breakdown process along with a B-vitamin or multi-vitamin.
Start the next day with vegetable broth then salad. Use vinegar and dressing on the salad.
Learn more about other techniques can support the body in parallel with fasting.
Does cleaning the system improve performance? Highly likely. Colds, flus and allergies all clear the system and disrupt training. When we take control of this process then we can avoid missed training and feel better more often. Many extreme endurance athletes use vegan diets and similar to clean the system. However, long-term this might not be the solution but cleaning the body is powerful.
Will all weight training gains be lost in 24 hours?
Is fasting longer better?
Doing this process too fast may cause more trouble than benefit.
Is it a good idea to train while fasting?
Probably better to take a day off.
How often should I fast?
Once a month for 3 months before going on to longer fasts
Does this push ketosis?
It depends on the health of the liver and level of fat adaptation.
Can exogenous ketones be used at the same time?
Yes, this may improve mental energy and detoxification.
Is water fasting a good idea?
For the same reasons there is a 3 month on-ramp and shorter fasting periods initially water fasting isn’t a good place to start. Nutrient depletion is common, adding an increase in toxic load with a decrease in nutrient availability will cause headaches and potentially more serious issues.
Periods of low food intake make sense for the body to cleanse. Chronically under-eating is a BAD idea. Eating more in the time around your fast will be the normal reaction to fasting. Times of high caloric intake and most importantly high nutrient intake are just as important if not more important than fasting.
Eat to nourish cells. Provide what’s needed for the cellular reactions that keep cells alive. Occasionally stop eating.