See previous parts for important information.
What is the Time for a Fast?
I will make a few suggestions. This is not a complete list, but will give you some things to think about. Remember an occasional fast is good just because it is so good for you. I think of it similarly to getting an oil change for your car. You get the dirty oil out regularly before it starts to damage your car.
Here are some questions to think about. They may indicate that a fast would be a good thing for you.
A. Are you waking up in the morning feeling tired or worn out?
This may be a sign that your energy has been used up in a sluggish digestive system. This may be corrected by fasting.
Another possibility may be that your cortisol, another term for hydrocortisone, is out of balance. This steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex
is not functioning properly. You should have high cortisol in the morning because this helps you wake up, and in contrast low cortisol at bedtime to help you sleep. In this scenario though your pattern has reversed.
This is not medical advice or diagnosis, but …
Do you have morning fatigue and do not feel fully awake until maybe 10 am?
Do you have afternoon fatigue and do you become sleepy and have brain fog between maybe 2 and 4 pm?
Early evening is there a burst of energy around 6 pm?
Then in the late evening sleepiness do you get sleepy again between 9 and 10 pm, but you make yourself stay awake?
Then is there a night time wake up somewhere around 11 pm lasting until 1 am? Through it all do you never feel fully rested, no matter how much sleep you get; low energy?
It just may be your cortisol is not functioning properly.
The answer for this adrenal fatigue is intermittent fasting. [For this problem most do not recommend a long fast.]
Intermittent fasting is similar to what is done in some forms of yoga.
One way to do this is the Martin Berkhan’s “Leangains” protocol. This form of fasting is for 16-20 hours, and then comes the eating window where you eat what you want for 4-8 hours. This is an every day deal. You do not gorge during the eat time, and you eat a good balanced diet.
Some call this the a caveman eating pattern. No, they did not eat three, four, or more meals a day.
Here is a quote from Dr. Khalis …
“The reason why intermittent fasting works so well is this: There are two fuels your body can burn for energy: sugar and fat. And you have about six to eight hours of stored sugar as glycogen in your muscles and in your liver.
Once you exhaust that, then you’re out of fuel for the most part, unless your enzymes are adapted to burning fat. Most people have plenty of fat to burn. The problem is that when you keep your glycogen stores consistently replenished by eating every six to eight hours, then the enzymes that are adapted to burn the fat get impaired, preventing your body from burning the fat.
So you get into a vicious cycle, which I think is exacerbated by having breakfast, as this doesn’t allow your body to enter that fat-burning zone. You need that 12-hour window (or more) where you’re not eating any food, which upregulates your enzymes to burn fat, downregulates the enzymes to burn the carbs, and shifts your body into fat-burning mode as your primary way of supplying energy.”
In the yoga form of this
you skip supper and do not eat until the morning and only in the morning. Either way you give yourself at least 12 hours to switch on the fat eating harmons. This would allow you two health meals a day. It has been proven to be safe over centuries of practice in yoga. Sometimes I eat an early breakfast and have a late supper. Sometimes I eat only one meal a day. But except for special occasions you eat where there will be a minimum of 12 hours of water fasting per day.
Some do say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They are looking a health from an intake perspective and not a fasting perspective. When involved in an intermittent fasting pattern, this is not the case.
I personally prefer skipping the evening meal. This allows you to combine the fast time with rest. Rest and fast is a plus to the health purpose of fasting. But that is just me.
To be continued.