Pobody's Nerfect!

We found 2 ways to improve your fast.

If you follow the tips below you can really maximize the benefits of your fast while making it easier, better, and more fun to do.

Intermittent fasting is no easy task and with all the different ways to do it, it can be hard to know which is best for you. Let's break it down, science style:

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Keep up the good work noble fasting warrior! Your future self will thank you!

Fast For At Least 24 Hours: While there's definitely benefits to be had from shorter fasts, your body won't experience the maximum benefits until at least 24 hours into a zero calorie fast. This is because it lakes about 24hrs for your body to use up all of its stored carbohydrates (glycogen) and switch over to full fasting metabolism. After that is when all those great benefits like autophagy, ketosis, cellular defense, and decreased inflammation really start to kick in. If you want to fast to the max (trademark pending), you've gotta be in it for the long haul.

Fasting Means <200 Calories/Day: Okay, we know, true blue fasting technically means you're not supposed to eat or drink any calories and that's definitely how you achieve maximal benefits. But we'll give you a little science secret if you can keep it hush hush... As long as you keep your caloric intake under around 200 calories per day, your body will still think it's fasting. This is why it's okay to drink coffee and tea or chew sugar-free gum even though they do have a small amount of calories. Any more than about 200 calories per day though and you risk veering out of fasting and into "severe caloric restriction", which can have its own benefits, but is different from fasting.

Catch Those Z's: Getting a good night's sleep (at least 7 hrs with plenty of REM or "deep sleep" to be precise) is important all the time, but especially when you're fasting. While fasting has a ton of benefits, it's still a stress on your body and your body has to do a lot of work to maximize its efficiency and functionality to keep up. Getting plenty of sleep helps your body recover from all that cellular work of fasting. Even better, it also helps enhance the benefits of fasting because sleep is the time when your body does the majority of its detox, repair, and maintenance. The good new is that fasting can also help make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep as you can keep dreaming about having ice cream cones on the moon with Abe Lincoln as long as possible. If you're still having trouble with sleep though, try drinking some warm herbal tea or taking a natural sleep aid like melatonin.

Drink Up: One of the most underrated aspects of nutrition is the importance of hydration. Sure, drinking water might not be as sexy as a raw superfood acai bowl with local bee pollen, but it's way more essential, especially when you're fasting. Fasting triggers a whole host of clean-up mechanisms in your body and staying hydrated helps to flush old cells, damaged proteins, and other "cell junk" out of your system. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially hot ones like coffee or teas, can also help to curb your appetite while you fast and make fasting easier to stick with. Bonus points if you get electrolytes in there too, anti-bonus points if those liquids have more than a few calories though. >200 calories/day and you risk breaking your fast from a biochemical perspective.

Eat That Rainbow!: "Eat your fruits and veggies", bet you never heard that one before! But turns out our kindergarten teachers were right all along. Getting enough colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet is essential, especially during fasting. Fasting requires your body to draw on its stores of vitamins, minerals, and essential fats and amino acids to maintain its functionality and keep you at peak performance. If you're not replenishing those vital stores of nutrients with a healthy diet when you do eat, you run the risk of creating a deficiency in your system overtime. To make sure you're fasting at your peak, load up on nutrient rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and lean proteins (you know, when you're actually eating). A multivitamin never  hurt anyone either... probably... unless someone really messed up.

Ease Up on Your Liver: Contrary to popular belief, "Rose All Day", is actually not the best drinking policy from a nutritional perspective. Moreso when you're fasting. Too much or too frequent alcohol consumption can put a strain on your liver and can burn through essential vitamin stores (specifically B-vitamins) at an accelerated rate. Fasting also requires your body to use up it's stored vitamins and activates the liver to perform essential clean-up and maintenance functions for the body. Combine the two and you have the worst of both worlds. You'll run through vitamins much faster and potentially risk a deficiency overtime. Plus the liver could be too focused on detoxing and repairing from the alcohol to perform all its beneficial functions during fasting. To keep it all in balance,try not to have more than one drink a day on average and make sure you're getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, and hydration to keep your liver happy and healthy.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition: If you want to maximize the benefits of fasting the key is consistency. While we definitely wish that we could just go to the gym once and than be fit and toned forever, reality has this rude habit of getting in the way. Fasting is no different. Studies have shown that consistent fasting can have a whole host of benefits on long term health and even extend lifespan in animal models, but one or two fasts on their own just aren't enough to move the needle. Whatever your fasting plan is make sure you stick to it, stay motivated, and remind yourself of the light at the end of the tunnel. Your future self will thank you!

Focus on You: Have you ever felt like you and your body used to be best friends, but now barely even speak the same language anymore? Fasting can be an amazing opportunity to get back in touch with your natural rhythms especially if you've had problems with sensing your hunger or satiety in the past. Take some time out of your fast to check in with yourself and practice mindfulness. Are you thirsty? Do you want to move around? Are you bored? How has your hunger level changed throughout the fast? If it helps, write down your feelings in a journal or notebook. By getting more in touch with what your body is telling you, it will be easier to understand and assess what foods, diets, or treatments work for you in the long run. If it's good enough for Oprah, it's good enough for us!

Don't Stare at a Wall All Day: Hunger and boredom are never a good mix so make sure you're filling your fasting periods with a lot of activities to keep your mind busy. Just because your body is focused on cellular regeneration, protection, and repair doesn't mean you have to be. Do some gardening, make some origami, talk to friends, go on safari, learn to play the trumpet, or, yes, even get around to those dishes that have been piling up. You'll be surprised how much time and mental bandwidth you have now that they're not being taken up by food so make the most of it. Don't just optimize your fast, optimize your life!

Don't Be Afraid To Sweat a Little: Exercising while fasting may seem like torture fresh out of a Stephen King fever dream, but we swear its actually one of the best things since peanutbutter met chocolate. Doing light to moderate exercise during a fast can actually help you achieve your weight loss goals faster by working with your body's natural fasting metabolism to preferentially burn fat and maintain muscle. Fasting puts your body into a state of catabolism or "breakdown mode" where it's mobilizing your energy stores (glycogen, fat, and even muscle) to keep the system functioning. Exercising while fasting helps your body understand that it needs to maintain its muscle mass and so instead of breaking down muscle for energy, it'll prefer to break down fat. Even better, the endorphins that are produced during exercise can help to alleviate the negative physical effects of fasting like hunger and headaches. Now that's what we call a biohack!