There are a quite a few misconceptions about fasting.
People often refer to it as "starving yourself", or believe it's strictly a religious practice, or think it will definitely cause metabolism to fail. (PS Stay tuned for an upcoming post about metabolism/metabolism hacks!!!). But true fasting is absent of disordered eating and focuses on improving health, not just skipping meals to eat a bunch of garbage later on or because you indulged over the weekend.
Some benefits of fasting:
1. More energy
2. Fat loss
3. Detoxification of cells
4. Water retention relief
5. Digestive system recovery
Some types of fasting:
1. Intermittent fasting
2. Water fasting
3. Juice fasting
4. Short-term fasting
5. Long-term fasting
For this post, I will cover intermittent fasting. It is the most doable for most people, in my experience.
So, what is intermittent fasting? It's a practice in which some or all days of the week for an indefinite amount of time, one refrains from eating for a set number of hours. It's generally considered that we are fasting (incidentally) when we are asleep. Thus the term breakfast. Intermittent fasting takes it a step further and adds time to this period of no food, whether or not it's in the morning or otherwise. Quite a few natural bodybuilders and fitness models are starting to adopt this practice because of the results in energy, metabolic rate, and body composition.
Chad Byers (http://www.theveganrevolution.net/contributor/chad-byers), a fitness model and personal trainer practices intermittent fasting at approximately 16 hours at a time. He starts eating at around noon each day, and stops eating at about 8 pm. He eats enormous salads and smoothies from noon until around 8pm. Some cooked food is sometimes included, but it is all vegan and minimally processed. Beans, grains, steamed vegetables, etc.
Will Tucker (https://www.facebook.com/willtuckerfitness), a bodybuilder and gym owner, fasts every day for 21-23 hours! He only eats one meal per day, at about 8-9 pm. He works out once or twice per day in a fasted state, meaning in the morning and afternoon. He reports that at first it seemed crazy and that he felt terrible, but when he got himself used to it, he couldn't go back to working out with food in his sytem. Even with less calories consumed, he's put on muscle and his digestion has significantly changed. Each evening he has a fruit smoothie, then waits about 15 minutes until his "main course". His one meal might consist of something like black beans, cooked broccoli, and quinoa. Or baked tofu, sauteed spinach, and brown rice. He simply eats until he is full, sometimes goes back for seconds, but only within a one hour window.
This might seem restrictive and rigid, but these are just two ideas of what intermittent fasting can be.
Intermittent fasting can be done one day a week, seven days a week, or anything inbetween. It can be done with pretty much any type of food. It can be done for 8, 12, 20, or even 23 hours. What matters most is that we pay attention to how our bodies feel. The "food" available to many of us in the developed world is calorically dense, and more abundant than ever. We get plenty of calories, so using intermittent fasting can be a great tool to learn the value of giving our digestive system a break while utilizing an easy and habitual way of leaving out the calories we don't really need.
Breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day. That's not even a thing. In fact, I rarely eat breakfast unless I'm on vacation or eating socially. I have more energy and generally feel better throughout the morning. Again, no, your metabolism doesn't stop. Drink a lot of water, and take things slowly at first if you need to.
If you are pregnant or nursing, do not begin a fasting routine of any kind.
For more info about the science behind this type of fasting, meal plans, or other questions, please contact me here: http://www.greenlighthealthconsulting.com/contact-me