When I thought of fasting I used to think of ‘white knuckle’ fasting, where you abstained from food from sheer will power alone, and you are curled up in a ball on the floor suffering hunger pangs. Or you eat something well before your fasting period was over and if people knew you’d intended to fast they would make fun of you.
Keto fasting is different, and easy. Some people on keto skip meals, even for a whole day, without even intending to fast! I can fast regularly now that I’m on lowcarb/keto for life, it makes me feel more energetic, and it lowers my blood sugars better than meds!
This is how you do it. First, go on (Induction level) keto. Get either the book ‘Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution’ or else ‘Dr Atkins’ NEW Diet Revolution Cookbook,’ both of which have good brief explanations on how to do a lowcarb ketogenic diet. Listening to Jimmy Moore podcasts is also helpful to give you more up-to-date slants on keto, but concentrate on the basics at first.
The Induction level is meant to get you used to being in ketosis. TEST for ketosis— you can use those cheap urine test strips at first, but since this is a LIFELONG eating plan you will probably want to move to a breath ketone meter like Ketonix, or a blood meter like Keto Mojo.
When your body gets adapted to being in ketosis, you experience less hunger. No matter how big a chow hound you are, in ketosis you may have to remind yourself to eat meals or you will skip some.
When you are ‘keto-adapted,’ that’s the time to begin with actual fasting. Dr. Jason Fung is a big fasting advocate and has a number of books out. The most important one for fasting is ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting.’ Buy this book and read it before you try fasting! You don’t want to fail because you didn’t have accurate information.
I do two kinds of fasting myself. Today I am doing real fasting, where I consume water and zero-cal beverages like plain tea. Yesterday I did ‘bulletproof’ fasting, in which I am allowed ‘bulletproof coffee’ — coffee with heavy whipping cream, MCT oil, butter, or coconut oil in it instead of ‘creamer’ and sugar. I drink about 2-3 servings of ‘BPC’ on a bulletproof fasting day.
On ‘real fasting’ days, Dr. Fung would allow you to have home-made bone broth, and perhaps a ‘lite’ version of BPC once a day with no more than a teaspoon of oil or cream in it. So his ‘real fasting’ does allow you more than zero calories, but it deepens your ketosis anyway.
The bad part of fasting is the psychology. You are thinking ‘I’m fasting! I’m being so good!’ and you may decide you have ‘earned’ a high carb ‘snack.’ This is why it is important to PLAN a good lowcarb meal for after fasting. You don’t want to go on a carb binge that will just make you hungry for more and more carbs! But if you do fasting in your life you may find that you can eat a portion of a favorite carb food without totally undoing your good work. Remember, the lowcarb/keto way is for life— it’s not a temporary starvation diet. Fasting can bring you back into ketosis when you have exceeded your carb limit.
Some people do alternate-day fasting, but I don’t care for that myself. I cram my three fasting days a week into Wednesday through Friday. I do the first two with ‘bulletproof’ fasting, and the third day with real fasting. Of course, if I get hungry I eat something— fasting is not a form of self-torture. Fasting most of a day and then eating a little something lowcarb helps your health, too.
If you are on meds you have to check with your doctor about fasting. Which may be hard because your doctor may know nothing about fasting. However, he may OK partial-day fasting or skipping breakfast or something like that. If your current doctor is REALLY against both fasting and low carb (for everyone) you may need to get a better doctor if you can.