Whether you have only just commenced fasting, or have been fasting for some time, you may be wondering what the future holds re your eating habits. Will you continue to fast? Can you do it long term? Will you revert back to your default setting and eat your standard meals as you have most of your life? Will it get easier or harder? Will fasting become a lifestyle or more of a fad for you? I’m certain you have many more questions to which you’d like to fast track the answers. I know I had many unanswered questions when I first commenced experimenting with fasting, a little over 3 years ago. Fasting is Not a Fad. People have been fasting for centuries. In fact, millenniums. If we consider our ancestors, they likely fasted for much longer periods than we generally fast in 2020. Availability of food resources and materials was significantly lower than it is in today's society. Getting used to not eating on a consistent/regular basis is actually much easier for most than what they perceive it to be. Fasting can be sustained long term, and in fact becomes easier and even more convenient the longer you fast. If you do break your fast long term, it’s easy enough to hop straight back on the fasting method you were previously following. Fasting is something you can always incorporate into your lifestyle at any stage Break Your Fast. It’s Really Important!!! It is important to consider changing your fasting periods. Following a 16-8 fasting, 5:2 calorie restriction, eat-stop-eat or any other method or type of fasting for excessive long periods of time, may be counterproductive. Not breaking your fast will hinder your progress. As your metabolism adjusts, your fasting routine becomes a little less effective over time. Any fasting method should be broken at least once or twice a week after the initial 6-8 week period of following that particular fasting mode. To break your fast, you may choose to eat normal interval meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), or try fasting for 24 hours prior to going back to your fasting method. For best long-term results, breaking your fast is best done once or twice a week after you have become strict with your initial fasting period (6-8 weeks on same fasting phase as previously mentioned. Remember, anything more than water or an espresso with nil sugar or milk will break your fast. It’s quite easy to break your fast to tweak your metabolism, but once again, no more than once or twice per week maximum. Which Macro Nutrients are Best for Fasting When it’s Time to Eat? Fasting provides a window of time to consume your calories. It’s absolutely paramount you consume nutrients from all major food groups. Carbs, fats and proteins all need to be consumed to get the most out of your fasting regime and nourish your body completely. If you’re watching your carb intake to lose weight, it’s still important you consume at least 50g a day for women and up to 90g per day for men. The exception to this rule is a keto fasting. Although keto fasting has been studied to be one of the most effective ways to assist in the cleansing process (usually referred to as Autophagy), I do not recommend a keto fast for the majority of people. For some, Keto fasting can rapidly lead to sleep deprivation and malnutrition. Others experience low energy and feeling unwell. Being aware of how your body is performing, and how you are coping emotionally is highly important. Don’t just allow your fast to take over and become dogmatic about fasting. Remain flexible to a degree, and apply the 80/20 rule, or in the case of fasting, apply the 95/5 rule. Follow through with your selected fasting state 100% of the time initially, then after 6-8 weeks break your fast 5% of the time (whilst you follow it 95% of the time). Cleansing. Fasting is a significant way to cleanse your system and give your body's working parts an opportunity to rest. Every time we consume food, the body needs to process the food consumed and there are many working parts required to assimilate the nutrients into your blood stream. Fasting gives your system a break, allowing it to rest, regenerate and recover a little from the excess workload it's been under for several years, autophagy is enhanced (Autophagy means 'to eat oneself'). In a literal sense, the body sweeps up dead or non-functional cells and discards them during an extended fast. This is said to slow down the human ageing process down via regenerative measures). Fasting on a regular basis, or for extended periods of time, significantly helps the body clean and remove dysfunctional or dormant cells triggering a slow-down in the ageing process. Historically, fasting is part of our ancestry and evolutionary lifestyle. Commercialisation and industrialisation, including brainwashing/advertising from large corporate food manufacturing companies, have led us to believe that we need to eat three meals a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Without entering into a lengthy conversation about nutrient intake (refer to my other blogs for this), who is to say that breakfast, lunch, and dinner are mandatory meals, and that as a human race we must abide by these 'rules'. If fasting is not on your radar, that’s ok. And if eating three meals a day is your thing, then so be it. I do hope though that you have gained some insight into fasting, and enhanced your knowledge on the subject. Above all, understand that eating and food in general are things we can all be more flexible and open-minded with.