If you’re already a fan of keto, this form of intermittent fasting has been shown to compliment the keto diet.
It will also trigger autophagy, which is the body’s spring-clean and repair programme.
However, autophagy will happen during an 18-hour fast whether you are on a keto or low carb eating plan.
Autophagy is triggered by the absence of nutrients, no matter what you were eating beforehand.
This form of intermittent fasting will increase your metabolic rate, helping you to achieve even more weight loss. here and here.
Do you want to take your fasting to the next level?
The next level is to eat only one meal a day. Fans of this fasting method normally refer to it by the very cool sounding OMAD.
One Meal A Day or 23/1.
It can be any meal you choose. Just remember that you’re going to be needing to consume all your daily nutrients at this one sitting.
If you’re no fan of eating early in the morning, you can choose to have your single meal during the evening.
This is probably the most popular time to pick.
Remember to not eat for at least three hours before going to bed.
The health benefits of the 24-hour fast are amazing. Apart from the super healthy process of autophagy, OMAD also causes:
Increased levels of human growth Hormone here and here
Reduction in inflammation, implicated in many diseases including cancer. here and here.
Decreased risk of future health issues.
It’s important to recall that this eating must be done in the early evening. This study suggested reduced health benefits if the single meal was eaten after 5pm.
Many people have successfully employed this method of intermittent fasting for several months or years.
However, it is more common that a pattern of 18/6 is used daily, with the longer OMAD employed on just one or two days each week.
The 36-hour fast
It’s important to stress here that there is not yet enough evidence about exactly what is the optimum time for a fast.
There is evidence that suggests that autophagy and its many benefits peaks at about 36 hours. This is the length of fast that I would recommend.
Once you’ve become easy with 18 or even 24 hour fasts, this is the next big step in your fasting journey.
A 36-hour fast can be made a lot easier if you start after a late lunch at around 4pm. Eat nothing else that day and nothing the day after. This will take you up to 32 hours by midnight the following day.
Obviously, you don’t want to get up to eat at 4am, but once you do start your third day, you can break your fast at any time.
Try to always break your fast with a nutritious meal, and avoid the temptation to over eat.
There are some people who feel that you need to start carefully, possibly with a light snack.
This isn’t everyone’s experience, and many people find that they can eat a normal meal with no issues.
The big one
This is the 72-hour fast. I don’t see a lot of evidence that you’d need to go longer than this.
Why fast for 6 days when you can do two 3 day fasts and reap the same benefits.
This is not a fast to do regularly. Probably two or three times a year would be sufficient. A fast of this length would keep you in autophagy for long enough to completely reset your immune system.