Fasting Plans and Resources

Note: Before I start I will say the resources I am listing in this are just ones I have seen be helpful, I am not making any money out of them and I don’t necessarily recommend them. Always consult with your physician or dietitian prior to adopting a fasting program or making other intensive dietary changes.  In addition to a health professional if you want to track your calories and nutrient intake yourself check out Cronometer which is free and very easy to use.

There are many ways to “fast”.  Sometimes fasting can be the complete absence of calories for a period and just water.   This form of fasting should be done under medical or dietitian supervision, but start with skipping one meal, then expand to skipping two.  More than 24 hours of fasting you should definitely only do after speaking with a health professional and I DO NOT think this is needed for weight loss.

Then there are the more common forms of fasting, which is where you have a very low caloric intake for those days, some suggest <800 calories and some <500 calories.  On these days you want to eat healthy, mostly plant whole foods, usually spaced in 1-3 small meals with a TOTAL for the day of <500 calories or <800 calories. Sometimes people also use meal replacement shakes which I discuss in an upcoming case.

Often what I see is people do intermittent fasting whereby they alternate one day “normal but healthy” eating, and one day “<500 calories but healthy” eating.

So on a “normal day” = they may have their usual 3 meals with a snack if needed – but focussing on healthier options e.g. non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, healthy protein sources like fish, eggs, beans, lentils and so on, but accepting there may also be times when that won’t happen e.g. treats, movies, dinner etc and that is ok! You have to relax, enjoy… because you are in this for the long term!

On a fasting day you will have ~500-600 calories which could be food that keep you full like protein sources and non-starchy vegetables, or vegetable or beef/chicken low salt stock as a broth with something added, or 2-3 meal replacement shakes.  Don’t worry – you get used to very quickly and it just becomes the new norm.

Or you can do Dr Moseley’s 5:2 (5 days normal, 2 days <500 calories) or Dr Voltor Longo’s 5 days “fasting mimicking diet” program every 1-2 months.  Again, lots of options and here are some links below – just be sensible and safe and I have said it many times – see a health professional!