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May 9, 2018

RAMADAN FASTING

Getting Started

There are various fasting regimens. WeFast pioneered the Monk Fast (36-hour water fast) as a sustainable and efficient fast that targets our desired performance and longevity benefits.

The Monk Fast Overview

The Monk Fast is a continuous 36 hour water fast. This means you can and should drink plenty of water and other 0-calorie liquids to stay hydrated.

Day 1: End your first day (e.g. Monday) with a typical dinner.
Day 2: Fast the entire day (e.g. Tuesday).
Day 3: Break fast on Day 3 (e.g. Wednesday).

The liver has ~100g of glycogen stores, and this is typically depleted in 16-24 hours. Thus, the body enters a period of 12-20 hours of ketosis. This regimen is easy to sustain because it only requires 2 days of discipline rather than a lifetime of caloric restriction.

For those who are focused on performance-enhancement and not weight-loss, a lot of WeFast members have found that after an initial adjustment period, there’s no additional weight or muscle loss.

How Fasting Works

During a fast, the body stops receiving external nutrients from food consumption. But the body must have energy to function. Fortunately, our bodies have plenty of internal energy stores. This is particularly the case in modern society where over 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese.

Glycogen / Glycolysis:

Glycolysis is the body using glucose or sugar as an energy source.
Glycogen is how the body stores carbohydrates which come from foods like bread, cereal, noodles, etc. The liver has ~100g of glycogen stores, and this is typically depleted in 16-24 hours.
Once there are no more carbohydrates from food consumption or glycogen, the body switches from glycolysis to ketosis.

Ketone bodies / Ketosis:

Ketosis is the body using ketone bodies, which come from fat, as an energy source.
Ketosis is considered an important indicator of autophagy – the breaking down of senescent or aged cells. The accelerated renewal of cells is associated with health and longevity benefits.

From an evolutionary biology perspective, fasting mimics our ancestral feast and famine cycles. When there’s no food, the body perks up into a higher “hunter-mode” gear to more effectively hunt and forage for sustenance. This may be why neuron growth is accelerated during a fast.

Tips For Your First Fast

Your choice of days on which to fast is an important decision. Choosing days that don’t interfere with social obligations makes it easier to stick to the fasting regimen. Therefore, we recommend a Monday dinner to Wednesday breakfast Monk Fast as most social meals happen towards the end of the week and weekends.

Drink plenty of water. A lot of our water consumption is in the food we eat, so be prepared to drink more water than usual.

Stay warm. A lot of WeFast members have felt chillier than normal on fast days. This means the fast is working as your body is starting to conserve energy.

To make the fast more palatable, we recommend drinking zero-calorie coffee or tea. Nootropics with caffeine (e.g. Sprint by HVMN) can be helpful as well to maintain productivity and focus through a fast. Caffeine also serves as a mild appetite suppressant.

It is common to feel hunger pangs. This occurs because your mind is accustomed to eating as a habit. Avoiding succumbing to eating is a mental challenge, and the best way to avoid them is to keep yourself busy.

Nootropics with caffeine (e.g. Sprint by HVMN) can be helpful as well to maintain productivity and focus through a fast. Caffeine also serves as a mild appetite suppressant.

Breaking Fast

When you wake up on Day 3, your fast is over. Before breaking the fast, we recommend that you drink some water.

When breaking your fast, note that your stomach has shrunk over the 36 hours, so eat light and slowly for this breakfast. Avoid foods that are hard to digest like beans and other legumes and note that alcohol and other cognition-modulating compounds can affect your body more heavily than normal.

Other Fasting Protocols

16/8 fast – Leangains

Fast for 14 (women) to 16 (men) hours each day, and then feed for the remaining eight to 10 hours. Fast through the night and into the morning, breaking the fast roughly six hours after waking up. This schedule is adaptable to any person’s lifestyle, but maintaining a consistent feeding window time is important.

What and when you eat during the feeding window also depends on when you work out. On days you exercise, carbs are more important than fat. On rest days, fat intake should be higher. Protein consumption should be fairly high every day, though it will vary based on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels.

20/4 fast – The Warrior Diet

Fast for 20 hours every day and eat one large meal every night. What you eat and when you eat it within that large meal is also key to this method. The philosophy here is based on feeding the body the nutrients it needs in sync with circadian rhythms and the hypothesis that our predecessors were nocturnal eaters.

What and when you eat during the feeding window also depends on when you work out. On days you exercise, carbs are more important than fat. On rest days, fat intake should be higher. Protein consumption should be fairly high every day, though it will vary based on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels.

60-hour fast – The Himalayan Fast

Fast for a continuous 60 hours. Fast after dinner on Day 1 and fast through the first night. Fast through Day 2 and Day 3. Break fast on Day 4. This is difficult to sustain. Ingest 500 calories for Day 2 and Day 3, and slowly ramp that calorie count down to 0 if possible. Consume high-protein, low-carb, high-fat for those 500 calories.

This is a fast that will deplete your liver of its glycogen stores and immediately shift your body into ketosis. This is considered an important indicator of autophagy – the breaking down of bad tissue that’s associated with health and longevity benefits. Research suggests the strongest effects of autophagy occur between the first 48 hours after glycogen depletion. This is an advanced fast but should be highly effective for longevity benefits.

Science

Effects on Longevity

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on longevity. The research ranges from retrospective studies on human populations with high longevity, to prospective studies involving biomarker analysis before and after periods of fasting or caloric restriction.(Combine with regular Yoga Practice to gain health and longevity.)

Effects on Metabolism

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on metabolism. The research ranges from animal studies on insulin resistence and obesity biomarkers, to prospective human studies involving biomarker analysis before and after periods of fasting or caloric restriction.(Combine with regular Yoga Practice to boost your metabolism)

Effects on Immunity

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on immunity and inflammation. This area has been studied in animals and humans with respective to relevant biomarkers.(Combine with regular Yoga Practice and find your lymphatic system getting stronger evreyday)

Effects on Cancer

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on cancer.(Combine with regular Yoga Practice).