INTERMITTENT FASTING

If you desire to:

  • Burn Fat
  • Improve the percentage of muscle you have
  • Lose weight
  • Improve digestive health
  • Improve your mental clarity
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Decrease your blood sugar levels

Then you need to learn more about intermittent fasting.  As long as humans have walked the earth, we have had periods of time where food was abundant and periods of famine.  Your body has evolved to be able to handle these extremes and to be able to not only survive but to thrive. If you are reading this you most likely have been born into a life where the abundance of food has been a constant your entire life.  You should consider yourself lucky.

The problem is that your body is designed to experience periods of fasting.  When you eat any more food than your body needs at that moment, you store the extra calories as fat, as a reserve for the times of famine.  When was the last time you experienced famine? Intermittent fasting simply addresses the fact that you periodically could use a break from the constant cycle of eating.  When you take planned, controlled breaks from eating your body burns your stores of fat for energy.

Why not just eat fewer calories or smaller portions?  Go ahead and give it a try. If you can control your portions, great!  It may work for some, but for me, it doesn’t work. I love to eat and when I have great tasting food sitting in front of me I want to keep eating it.  Intermittent Fasting 2-4 days per week has reduced my cravings for food, allowed me to feel full more quickly, reduced the “hangry”(hungry/angry) feelings I used to get, relieved my feeling of bloating and reduced my belly fat.

Got Any Questions?

Get in touch with me!

If you desire to:

  • Burn Fat
  • Improve the percentage of muscle you have
  • Lose weight
  • Improve digestive health
  • Improve your mental clarity
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Decrease your blood sugar levels

Then you need to learn more about intermittent fasting.  As long as humans have walked the earth, we have had periods of time where food was abundant and periods of famine.  Your body has evolved to be able to handle these extremes and to be able to not only survive but to thrive. If you are reading this you most likely have been born into a life where the abundance of food has been a constant your entire life.  You should consider yourself lucky.

The problem is that your body is designed to experience periods of fasting.  When you eat any more food than your body needs at that moment, you store the extra calories as fat, as a reserve for the times of famine.  When was the last time you experienced famine? Intermittent fasting simply addresses the fact that you periodically could use a break from the constant cycle of eating.  When you take planned, controlled breaks from eating your body burns your stores of fat for energy.

Why not just eat fewer calories or smaller portions?  Go ahead and give it a try. If you can control your portions, great!  It may work for some, but for me, it doesn’t work. I love to eat and when I have great tasting food sitting in front of me I want to keep eating it.  Intermittent Fasting 2-4 days per week has reduced my cravings for food, allowed me to feel full more quickly, reduced the “hangry”(hungry/angry) feelings I used to get, relieved my feeling of bloating and reduced my belly fat.

Got Any Questions?

Get in touch with me!

The HOW TO of Intermittent Fasting

To first ease your mind, there is no right way to do intermittent fasting.  There’s only the right way for you!  So how often should you fast?  You can fast every day or a few times a month, but changing up the schedule throughout the first few months will help you figure out what’s right for you. There’s a video at the bottom of the page that will get more in-depth about the WHY and HOW of Fasting.

Here are the steps I recommend to make it work for you and help you know if what you’re doing is working.

To first ease your mind, there is no right way to do intermittent fasting.  There’s only the right way for you!  So how often should you fast?  You can fast every day or a few times a month, but changing up the schedule throughout the first few months will help you figure out what’s right for you. There’s a video at the bottom of the page that will get more in-depth about the WHY and HOW of Fasting.

Here are the steps I recommend to make it work for you and help you know if what you’re doing is working.

Beginner:

  • 5/2: Eat a typical diet 5 days a week and use fasting 2 days out of the week, either consecutive or not. I like to begin with Tuesdays and Fridays to “test the waters” of fasting.
  • Begin with 12 hours of fasting and 12 hours of eating.  So, if you stop eating at 8pm, don’t eat again until 8am.  This sounds easy, but a 12 hour fast can be a challenge if you are used to eating first thing in the morning and eat multiple times a day.  If you aren’t uncomfortable, simply speed up the process. However, I recommend beginning with 12 hours and each time you fast, adding another hour of fasting each day until you are up to 16 hours.  Remember that these hours include sleeping time.  Beginning your fast after dinner is what most people like but if you are someone that loves to eat in the am simply stop eating by late afternoon.
  • TIP: You may feel hungry when you fast and that’s OKAY. However, what you should avoid feeling is lightheaded, dizzy, faint or just plain HANGRY (hungry and angry at the same time).  If you are feeling these symptoms, eat food and challenge yourself to prolong fasting for an extra 20 minutes to an hour the next fasting period.
  • TIP: You can subdue your hunger by drinking fluids so remember that you can drink water, black coffee or tea while fasting.
  • TIP: For added weight loss or fat loss you can eat only 500-700 calories on your fasting days.  The easiest way to do this, just eat a nourishing salad.

Intermediate:

  • Go from 5/2 to Alternate Day Fasting: You can experiment with intermittent fasting more days a week, which means fasting 3-4 days a week and eating whenever you prefer the other days.
  • Extend your fasting periods beyond 16 hours to 18-20 hours, or try eating once per day and see if that feels good to you. 

*Side Note: There are health benefits to eating once a day like fat loss, and some studies even mention that it can increase life longevity, however, I don’t support it as a lifestyle decision.  It is unclear if this method is as effective if you begin at a later stage in life; when your metabolism has declined, you tend to be less hungry anyway. It also difficult to get all the nutrients you need to thrive if you only eat once per day.

  • TIP: Remember to eat when you innately feel led to. Listen to your body’s direction and don’t pressure yourself to eat less just because you’re trying to meet a goal. There is a line between challenging yourself and suffering needlessly, only you know the difference.  Check with your health practitioner if you need more advice.

Advanced:

  • You can experiment with multi-day fasts. This means 2,3,5, even 7-day fasts.  Humans have been through periods of feast and fasting since we’ve walked the earth.  The rules are simple, you just don’t eat, but you should drink plenty of noncaloric liquids.  Adding a pinch of Himalayan Sea salt to your water once a day and or adding an electrolyte supplement to your water daily can keep away muscle cramps and fatigue.
  • Just in case you’ve heard of them this, there are also proponents of “DRY” fasting.  That means that besides food you also don’t drink any fluids. I only recommend it if you plan to fast no more than 48 hours.  Be sure to get your doctor’s approval first and check for signs of dehydration or malnourishment during any extended fasting. As of now, I don’t see a  reason for the “Dry” fast outside of 12 hours at a time, but I can always learn more.
  • TIP:  Don’t go beyond a 24 hour fast without having a WHY. This is an understanding of why you want to fast for that long. If there is no WHY then there is no point of extended fasting. Some examples of strong whys are obesity that is causing health issues, certain chronic digestive issues, and spiritual growth.  

*Special Note – Eating disorders.  There are many different types and severities of eating disorders that can be exacerbated whenever you implement any dietary rules.  Fasting is a great tool but it’s not for everyone.

DR. JASON PIKEN, CNS, DC

Dr. Jason Piken is a Chiropractor, Certified Nutrition Specialist and Health Coach in NYC offering a unique holistic and whole body approach to nutrition and wellness. Since starting his practice in 1996, Dr. Piken has taught people how to heal from various problems ranging from chronic pain to digestive disorders. When you walk into his office, you know you are in an environment where you are going to be personally cared for. His midtown Manhattan office, Innate Wellness Group, functions as a primary source for healthcare without the use of drugs or surgery.

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