How to Start Mini-Fasting
BY DR. KELLYANN
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To reap the rewards mini-fasting has to offer, it’s important to do it the right way.
- How long should you mini-fast/intermittent fast for? It’s called “mini-fasting” for a reason. This means you take an occasional break from food…
And remember, it’s NOT a traditional diet–it’s a sustainable lifestyle change. Mini-fasting is flexible and can be adjusted to YOU.
Which means you can mini-fast for different lengths:
- Some mini-fasts limit eating to certain hourly windows each day.
For example, the Warrior Diet lets you only eat within a 4-hour window each day (like 4-8 pm).
Another popular mini-fasting window is 16:8, which means you fast for 16 hours and eat your daily meals during an 8-hour window (like 11:00 am to 7:00 pm)
Other mini-fasts last all day and you restrict your daily caloric intake to 500 calories. In my Bone Broth Diet, I recommend doing 2 mini-fasts a week where you sip on bone broth throughout the day.
The best part is, you get to choose which days you fast every week. However, they must be two non-consecutive days. And it’s important to understand that fasting for longer periods doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll benefit more. At a certain point, you’ll hit your maximum reward, then it’s diminishing returns from there.
For a point of reference, I recommend fasting no longer than 24-32 hours (closer to or less than 24 if you’re just starting out). Any longer than this is too long. And if you’re new to fasting, try a 12-hour mini-fast to start. Because it’s best to ease your body into it. This way, it won’t feel like you’re making a drastic change. Which is exactly what we want to do. We want to trick our bodies into making these positive changes. That’s how you change your way of life for the long haul.
Once you’re ready for a 24 fast, I highly recommend avoiding breakfast-to-breakfast fasting. Because you’ll end up going to bed hungry, which might hinder your ability to sleep. And you don’t want to lose sleep and be lethargic or cranky the next day.
Instead start dinner-to-dinner, meaning finish dinner at 7pm, then begin your fast. That way, you’ll sleep through most of your fast.
What to eat during mini-fasting/intermittent fasting?
While you’re fasting you won’t be eating anything. But on the days you’re not fasting, it’s essential to consume a nutrient-rich diet consisting of the following:
- Fresh fruits and veggies (lots of them!)
- Wild fish (canned, frozen, or fresh)
- Grass-fed, pastured-raised meat, poultry, and eggs
- Organ meats from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals
- Fermented foods (e.g. kimchi and sauerkraut)
- Healthy fats (e.g. avocado, olives, nuts, and coconut)
Eating a healthy whole foods diet is important because vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant nutrients are necessary to prevent disease, promote health, and carry out the benefits of mini-fasting. This includes burning fat, building muscle, and repairing damaged cells to name a few.
On the other hand, it’s important to avoid packaged and processed foods. Because these foods provide zero nutrition. And they contain many harmful ingredients that actually work against your health goals, such as refined flours and sugars, artificial sweeteners, and chemical additives.
It’s also worth mentioning that you may take vitamins and supplements while fasting. But taking them on an empty stomach makes some people feel nauseated. If this happens to you, you might want to take vitamins only on non-fasting days.
- What can you drink during mini-fasting/intermittent fasting?
Staying hydrated while you’re fasting and when you’re not is equally important.
However, during your fast, you’ll want to stick to:
- Filtered water
- Mineral water
- Sparkling mineral water
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Herbal tea
- Coffee (no more than 2 cups per day)