Category Archives: Fasting

The Fast-5 Diet by Bert W. Herring, MD #fasting

Among the many volumes in my low-carb and health library is ont called ‘The Fast-5 Diet and the Fast-5 Lifestyle,’ by Bert W. Herring, MD.

I first heard of Dr. Herring when I read ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’ by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Jason Fung.

Dr. Herring’s approach is to have people slowly adjust their eating window— the time of day when they allow themselves to eat. Some people only don’t allow themselves to eat when they are sound asleep!

You figure out in which hours your eating window is currently open, and when it is closed. And then you start adjusting. If you snack constantly in the evening til 11 pm, you start ending the snacking at 10, then at 9.

Dr. Herring’s goal is to narrow your eating window to the hours of 5pm to 10pm. But he also says you will be eating one meal a day. Does it really take from 5 to 10 to eat your supper? 

Dr. Herring also does not say one word about doing low-carb in your eating hours, and he seems big on cutting ‘calories.’ If you know about Kekwick and Pawan’s 1957 study, you know the ‘calorie is a calorie is a calorie’ slogan has been disproved some time ago.

If you want to add intermittent fasting to your life and have the choice between this book and Moore and Fung’s ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting,’ go with Moore & Fung. Much more informative book.

But if you or someone you know is just not at the point of doing low-carb but needs to get more control over weight or health issues such as blood sugar, the ‘Fast-5 Diet’ might be the right approach.

Personal note: I’ve been doing intermittent fasting every since the Moore/Fung book came out. Usually I do morning fasting. Sometimes I have allowed myself a bulletproof coffee, or lightly-bulletproof coffee in the morning.

After my health issues a few years ago, I did less fasting— I had to fast part of the time in the hospital, the rehab center, and ‘elsewhere’ to avoid meals that were mostly carbs.

But I’ve recovered now, and decided to get back on track with fasting. After a failed attempt with Dr. Jason Fung’s 30-hour fasting protocol, I went back to the no-breakfast plan. I usually close my eating window at 5 to 5:30 pm, since eating late raises my blood sugar the next morning. 

And I realized— if I eat my lunch at 12 noon and my supper just before 5, I have the same eating window Dr. Herring recommends. I just have two meals within it. Since they are low-carb meals, I think I can expect as good a result as the Fast-5 dieters.

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Dr. Jason Fung Could Cure Your Diabetes.

Maybe you have been told that if you have T2 diabetes, you are diabetic for life. But Dr. Jason Fung knows an easy way to cure diabetes: bariatric (weight-loss) surgery.

All current kinds of bariatric surgery have this effect, and they reverse the diabetes before significant amounts of weight are lost.

So— does Dr. Jason Fung recommend we all get in line for bariatric surgery? No. The surgeries all have lifelong side effects, and in addition, over time many bariatric surgery patients adapt, they gain the weight back, and the diabetes as well. So bariatric surgery is a big risk and a big expense for something that may not last.

Dr. Jason Fung says he has a better way. He recommends intermittent fasting (and low-carbohydrate eating plans) as a way to get the results of bariatric surgery without the risks and complications.

In my experience, fasting is not so hard when I am in a state of ketosis. Dr. Jason Fung, who seemed to have had some difficulty in teaching his patients how to eat low-carb, often had his patients go direct from their normal, high-carb diets into fasting. This is harder, but if you do a fast of several days, you will get into ketosis by the third day anyway.

When Dr. Fung’s patients first fasted, and then were encouraged to eat low-carb foods, they would feel better once they were in ketosis, and they continue to feel good when they ate the suggested low-carb foods. But when they feasted on bread or french fries or donuts during their eating period, they would be kicked out of ketosis and feel less well. Most probably learned what eating low-carb meant because eating the high-carb foods had a bad effect.
Dr. Fung found that his patients had good results— they got off their diabetes meds, they had better A1c results, even non-diabetic ones, and their diabetes complications got better.

Do you have to do fasting if you are diabetic and want to control your diabetes. Other doctors such as Atkins and Bernstein never recommended fasting— though neither seemed to have a great deal of trouble with patients who couldn’t learn what low-carb meant. Atkins and Bernstein even warned against ‘skipping meals.’
I remember when Jimmy Moore had a fasting podcast— he often asked his guests if they had ever spontaneously fasted while doing keto/low-carb. Many had. If you are in ketosis which relieves your hunger and gives you more energy, sometimes it doesn’t seem to be worth bothering to make a meal.

Dr. Jason Fung is a big believer in the benefits of fasting— it doesn’t cause your metabolism to slow down, the way low-calorie dieting does. And it’s a quick way to get into ketosis and to lower your blood sugars.

One unsung reason I like fasting is that it is cheap. Going low-carb/keto often means spending more on food. Food banks rarely carry anything the low-carber can eat, other than a stray can of tuna or Spam. Institutional foods— even in rehab centers/nursing homes full of diabetics— are high in carbs and low in everything else.
Years ago I figured out that the monthly Food Stamp funds people get was not enough for them to eat three meals a day. I quickly adopted intermittent fasting, at least in the mornings, to regulate my food expenses. When I did longer fasting, I really saved.

The down side of fasting is that you can’t do it forever. At some point you to eat food. In my own experience, I find that fasting might make me hungry, especially extended fasting. And since I’ve been so good doing fasting, I might feel I deserve a carb treat— which usually leads to more carbs in my case. 

Right now I’m trying to get back on track doing more fasting as a routine in my life. I’m trying to do the 30 hour fasting plan (Sample 2) from Dr. Jason Fung’s ‘The Diabetic Code.’ The advantage to this plan is that I get to eat something every day— I just skip certain meals. 

Recipe: Bulletproof Bone Broth

Bulletproof coffee is a thing. I even started drinking coffee over it, because I didn’t want to put stuff in my tea.

But I’ve been reading up on the carnivore way-of-eating lately, and some of the books discourage coffee. What to do? A good alternative is bulletproof bone broth.

There are many recipes for bone broth out there. Most involve cooking the bones in a crock-pot for up to 48 hours to get all the bonely goodness out. I’ve made bone broth from beef, pork, and leftover chicken bones. It’s all good.

Bulletproof Bone Broth or Broth

1 cup or more bone broth (or 3/4 cup bone broth and 1/4 cup water) or ordinary broth

1-2 Tablespoons fat- tallow, bacon fat, lard, schmaltz, butter or ghee, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil or MCT oil for the plant-eaters.

Optional – 1 -2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream, unwhipped. May substitute coconut milk or cream.

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. (Omit if you really have to.)

Optional– herbs or spices for flavoring.

Put the ingredients in a saucepan. Put it on a stove burner set to low for at least five minutes or until any solid fats melt. Stir a little if you like.

When time is up, pour the broth into a mug. You may need to wait a couple of minutes for it to cool to drinkable temperature.

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Keep up with my low-carb/keto life at – I’m ‘Nissa Annakindt’ there.

My Strict Fasting Day

Ever since ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’ came out I have been trying to get intermittent fasting and even extended fasting into my life. In the book Dr. Fung suggests every-other-day fasting, especially for diabetics and the obese. I’m a T2 diabetic and was obese at the time, so I did try, but I just didn’t like it. I wanted to cram my fasting days together into a bunch.

As a Christian, Friday immediately comes to mind as a potential fasting day. I picked the two days before, Wednesday and Thursday, as my other fasting days. Mainly because it wouldn’t do to be fasting on Saturday and Sunday that are more celebration/feasting days. 

When I had my stroke in February of 2019, that threw off my fasting schedule. When I was in institutions, I never knew how much of my institutional meals I could actually eat. I ate what I could of the meat and vegetables, but carb foods and mixed dishes I didn’t touch. I got fussed at for not eating properly, but admired for controlling my diabetes without any meds. 

That experience threw off my fasting life. I just couldn’t do fasting like I had before. In addition, I was worried about my eating— was I getting enough variety of foods? Times of not-eating got less important.

I learned about the concept of ‘bulletproof fasting’ which was sort of implied in the confusion of ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting.’ I declared Wednesday and Thursday to be my bulletproof fasting days, with only Friday as a strict fasting day. 

[How strict is strict? It’s not water-only, I can have plain tea or coffee, and even add a pinch of salt and a bit of cinnamon to them, and I could potentially have a cup of hot bone broth, or ONE very-lightly-bulletproof beverage.]

Recently a dear but misguided friend, knowing I was mostly trapped out at my rural home due to my increasingly non-functional truck, brought me a load of food items of his choice. There were a lot of loaves of bread, most bought cheap due to being near their expiration dates, some bakery items, lots of boxed noodles including an expired salad/noodle mix, a few canned goods including sugared fruit, and more fresh vegetables than I could use if I even ate beets. (My friend is a Serbian-American and doesn’t seem to understand the rules of my eating-lifestyle very well.)

The result of the gift plus my lack of transportation meant that I actually ate some of these things daily for a while. I tried to keep it to one serving daily, but even that amount isn’t a great idea, not daily, and the food cravings spilled over into my fasting days. I even ate butter-noodles in the afternoon of my fasting days!

Yesterday, though, I finally had a good fasting day and it was my strict day. This is what I did: I started the day with a big cup of water (as I do every day) and then I had a cup of tea. I make my tea in a 16 oz. cup with two teabags— Prince of Peace brand, either Oolong or Pu-ehr tea. This time, I put 1/8 teaspoon each of sea salt and cinnamon in my tea. I had several of these cups of tea during the day. 

I felt a little hunger near the end of the day. I had decided I could have a lightly-bulletproof coffee if hunger hit, but I wasn’t hungry enough to bother. And so I completed the strict fasting day on tea and water. 

The result that my blood sugar was down to 76, and I had ‘moderate’ ketosis according to my Ketonix. That’s what I do fasting for— lower sugar numbers and a boost to my ketosis.

Since I was hungry in the morning I had two scrambled eggs with sardines— the first time I put sardines in scrambled eggs. Next time, assuming I can get more eggs, I will use three eggs. I might also try using tuna instead of sardines— both canned items are available for the same price, and the tuna has more ounces in the can. 

So, that was my fasting adventure last week. Have you tried intermittent fasting? How did it go for you?

How to Do Keto Fasting

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.