If so, then you should consider fasting.
There are many different types of fasts, but in my opinion, intermittent fasting (time-restricted eating), is the easiest method of fasting for most people.
This method of fasting involves eating within a 6 to 8-hour window, and fasting for 16 to 18 hours.
During these 6 to 8 hours, you can eat whatever you want. However, I recommend that you eat more fats and little to no high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, such as grains, fruit, and other fast-digesting carbs (i.e., most white carbs, like rice, potatoes, and bread).
There are a few reasons to eat more fats and fewer carbs during this time:
Unlike proteins or carbohydrates, fats don’t impact insulin release (R), which means your blood sugar will be more stable, and you won’t have extreme hunger pangs like you would if you ate mostly carbohydrates during your 8-hour eating window.
Proteins and carbohydrates also prevent autophagy by stimulating the mTOR, insulin, and IGF-1 pathways (R).
The body developed these systems to more-efficiently store fat, glycogen, and muscle when in a well-fed state to enable better survival when food was limited, but since most humans now have easy access to excess food, we live more in a state of cellular growth, more than repair.
Autophagy or “self-eating” allows cells to recycle damaged proteins and waste products that are interfering with their proper functioning.
This recycling process also occurs in stem cells and promotes a healthy stem cell population, which keeps us feeling young physically and mentally as we age (R).
Since fats produce ketone bodies in the absence of carbohydrates and when protein intake is limited (R), it makes sense to include them in the fasting plan to reduce hunger and increase the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), like those found in coconuts and palm oil, are healthy fats that can be ingested to quickly elevate ketone levels and stimulate autophagy (R). You can also ingest ketone esters directly, to immediately boost your ketone levels and ruin your palate(ketone esters taste like rocket fuel).
Another healthy saturated fat to consider including in your intermittent fast is stearic acid.
Unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid increases HDL and lowers LDL cholesterol, which benefits your arteries and may reduce your chance of developing heart disease. (R)
The best source of steric acid is cacao (R). So chomp on some cacao beans or buy some dark chocolate (85% cacao or higher) to get more of this fat and reduce your appetite during the day.
Besides eating more fats during this intermittent fast, the next most important thing is to eat fiber.
Fiber tricks your body into thinking it just had food by filling up your stomach.
To get more fiber during your 8-hour eating window, consider making green veggie smoothies or other low-carb, non-fruit smoothies.
If you’re feeling too lazy to make a traditional smoothie, consider making a konjac smoothie.
One of my favorite fiber sources besides fresh greens is konjac root fiber (glucomannan). This fiber is able to absorb 20 times its volume in water! (R)
When added to water and given 3–5 minutes to congeal, it forms a thick gelatinous mass. If you can’t wait that long stick it in the freezer, you can also freeze it to make it solidify faster and create an icy, fibrous treat.
Another cheaper, yet filling fiber source is psyllium husk powder. Like glucomannan, it congeals after you add it to water and wait a few minutes.
Since most people drink coffee or tea in the morning and tea and coffee reduce appetite, it’s probably easiest for most people to intermittent fast (eating within a 6 to 8-hour window) if they skip breakfast.
By skipping breakfast and starting the window at noon and eating dinner at or before 8 pm is one of the easiest ways I’ve found to fast with little to no hunger.
If you enjoy breakfast too much though, you can also skip dinner, or eat an earlier dinner to get the same benefits.
I hope you’ve learned a little bit more about fasting and ways that you can start gaining the benefits of fasting without restricting your lifestyle too much.
If you have any tips to make fasting easier, let me know in the comments below.