Is Fasting necessary?

(Bob M) #21

I was similar to @Rebj, but when I started 8 years ago, I thought it was healthy to eat many meals per day. So, I’d have a pre-workout drink, eat immediately afterward, always have breakfast, etc.

It wasn’t until I found Dr. Fung, about 1.5 years into low carb/keto, when I started attempting to skip meals. Then I started >24 hour fasts, longest 5.5 days. Many 3.5-4.5 day fasts. Many 36 hour fasts, 2x/week.

Now, I rarely eat “breakfast”, though lately I’ve been exercising 1 hour 20 minutes on Saturday (body weight raining to failure and HIIT). I’ll eat sometime relatively quickly after that. And I’ve even eaten 3 meals the last two Saturdays.

But this morning, I only did 45 minutes (aerobics, no body weight training to failure, only back/abs). That was 3 hours ago, and I’ll be eating my first meal soon.

The one thing I’d like to change is when I eat dinner, but I can’t. Tonight, I won’t get home until 7:30, so I’ll eat then. Tomorrow, I’ll eat just before 7pm. Wednesday, I hope to fast 36h hours, so no meal.

I often am eating right before bed. Would love to move that back, but cannot. That’s when my kids get home.

Even with eating right before bed, I’ve lost a lot of the weight I gained while trying The Croissant Diet. Not back into many of my 34 waist pants, yet, but back into most/all of my 36 waist pants.


My two cents:

Fasting can be character building. I have done two 5-day fasts in the past couple of years and I was surprised how great I felt after days 2-3. Don’t get me wrong, I felt like crap initially but by day 5 I actually felt as though I would never need to eat again.

I have also consistently followed some form of IF for years now. All involved skipping breakfast and eating later in the day. However, I actually now believe there is probably more merit in time restricted eating. By that, I mean eating to circadian rhythms - more in the am, less in the pm. Maybe Poliquin was right about his mandatory meat and nuts breakfast!

(Jane) #23

In the beginning I don’t recommend it until your hunger is much reduced, which means you are “fat adapted”.

EF is never required, but some form of IF is once you are fat-adapted. How much is up to you, but start out with 3 meals a day with no snacking, then see if you can cut it to 2. The best way to know you are ready for 2 meals a day is when you find yourself not hungry or even wanted to eat when you get up.

Even if you never move beyound 3 meals a day, to cut out the snacking is a big win and will help you with your goals. For the record, I would consider 3 meals a day with no snacking a form of IF compared to the way people eat these days.

Good luck!


Excellent point Janie. If one chose to try fasting, it’s so much easier doing it after you’re use to a ketogenic way of eating. Trying to do both at the same time is really stressful and will likely get you to stop both altogether.

(Tim Cee) #25

Healthy eating is a similar level of importance as eating on healthy intervals. Fasting makes it sound scary, but it used to be called, “not spoiling your dinner.” When you are not truly deliciously hungry, you don’t need to eat yet. This used to be determined by food availability, but now we have to have restraint. However, fasting doesn’t mean restraining the impulse to eat to the point of real misery. Fasting is also about learning to become a good listener with respect to the body’s needs. For example, some find that they’re in the habit of eating when water is what they need. So fasting is necessary as a complete healthy nutrition plan but not necessarily as an extreme sport. There’s no gold medal for whoever fasts the most hours. The main thing is just don’t eat more often than you should.


As you can see, there’s a lot of information folks have on Fasting, and I’m sure there’s much more that hasn’t been learned yet. No one can say for sure just what all the benefits are you get from it, but those that are known, are usually good things that happen. But yes, as mentioned, its always best to start to Fast naturally, basically not eating when you’re not hungry. Staying low carb, and not snacking between meals and this will happen naturally. Fasting should never be forced, or feel that it’s being forced.

But basically, ‘when you’re not eating, you’re fasting’. It isn’t until you start putting set times to them do we actually start acknowledging them. … As far as how long, that will depend on many variables, and no one but you will really know that answer, when it comes to be from personal experience.

(Old Baconian) #27

It wasn’t until a couple of decades after the promulgation of the dietary guidelines that they started recommending not only three meals a day, but three snacks, as well. The reason being, of course, that people on a high-carb diet are hungry all the time, because of the action of insulin, and they find it hard to go more than a couple of hours without food.

Once we lower our insulin again, going hours between meals becomes very easy. I continued eating three meals a day for almost a year after going keto, until I suddenly stopped wanting breakfast as a regular thing. And nowadays, four and a half years in, I have started to go almost all day without thinking about food—a first for me. I may yet try fasting! :grin:


And we hear all sorts of timeframes for Fasting… Like you say Paul, you didn’t start cutting back until after a year. For me, it was only 6 weeks in. Just wasn’t hungry one night I took the Wife out Gambling and didn’t eat for just over 36 hrs. … But to be honest, I didn’t eat but once or twice way before going Keto over 3.5 yrs for me. And that was even worse, being I was eating a SAD WOE. So though it did help with not wanting many meals, it probably did more damage before hand, not being low carb.

(Jane) #29

Sadly, I watch overweight colleagues fall upon food at day-long meetings like they are starving. Day-long meetings are now “expected” to provide food every 2 hours… breakfast full of carbage… midmorning snacks… lunch by 11:30 because NO WAY can Americans wait until noon to eat… then more carbage at 2:00… usually that is the end of the nonsense. I just shake my head and pick out the miserly protein provided… or fast. No crashes or hunger. Totally in control and is THE.BEST.THING.ABOUT.KETO!!!

(Robin) #30

Yes on all fronts!