Intermittent Fasting vs. Extended Fasting

Many of you have asked me to write about Intermittent Fasting and  Extending Fasting.  I do both methods, and I incorporate them in my lifestyle. 

Both of these methods have tremendous benefits for the body.  I have found this to be true for ME -
of course it is NOT for everyone.  So before you go on trying out anything, I would encourage you to check with your doctor first.

A few years back,  I was told about intermittent fasting by my life trainer & teacher Ketsy S.  At that time, I just simply dismissed the idead because my first thought was, "How can I stop eating at a specific time and then don't eat anything until 14 - 16 - or 18 hours later? - OMG! I will die!"  Believe you me - NO one dies from missing a meal. 

The second time that it was brought  to my attention was about a year and a half ago by another one of my teachers (I Am Wellness Warrior).  Back then I was struggling to get back to my optimum health, I had gained about  60 pounds, and I wanted to try something different because what I was doing was not working anymore.  This time I did what I do best - I researched and studied it, got the knowledge and then applied it. 
So I will touch on the basics of each one, and my personal experience with them...

Intermittent Fasting
Is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and not eating. The period that you do not eat is call "Fasting" and the period when you do eat it is sometimes known as "Feasting".
The period of fasting can vary especially if you are just starting. You can fast for 12, 14, 16, or 18 hours.
For example you can choose a ratio of 16:8 - that means you will be fasting for 16 hours, and you will be feasting for 8 hours. 

There are many different styles of intermittent fasting, but I like to keep it simple - why complicate things when you really don't have to?  You will get lots of benefits regardless.

Intermittent fasting does not say anything about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. I myself combine this method with a diet that suits my lifestyle, which I will write about on a separate post. 

The ratio I follow on a daily basis is 18:6.  My kitchen closes at 5pm and I will re-open again at 11am.  No eating after 5pm? NO.  However, you may be able to consume some beverages while still preserving the benefits of fasting.
  • Water. Plain or carbonated water contains no calories and will keep you hydrated during a fast.
  • Coffee and tea. These should mostly be consumed without added sugar, milk, or cream. However, some people find that adding small amounts of cream can curb hunger.
  • Diluted apple cider vinegar. Some people find that drinking 1–2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into water can help them stay hydrated and prevent cravings during a fast.
Be aware that there are some supplements that will break your fast like gummy multivitamins, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), protein powders or anything that contains more than 50 calories.

To make it easier for me and keep me accountable I use the application ZERO.  This application will keep the times of the fasting and the feasting and will remind you when your next fast starts again.  There are several applications out there like Fastic, Fast Tracker, just to name a few. You can find the seven best apps to make intermittent fasting much better - HERE.

Research states that the benefits of intermittent fasting are:
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Improves Focus
  • Supports a Healthy Heart
  • Helps Digestion
  • Supports a Healthy Immune System
  • Fights Inflammation
  • Improves Cholesterol
  • Detoxifying
  • Provides Weight Loss
Honestly, I have experienced all of the above benefits for sure.  If you need more information, and a little more guidance, James Clear PDF "Intermittent Fasting Quick-start Guide" is a very good source for your starting phase.

Be mindful not to over eat on your "Feasting" periods.  This method is NOT designed to give you permission to eat unhealthy food.  Overeating and eating unhealthy during the "Feasting" periods can cancel out the benefits of fasting. 

Some of the symptoms that you might experience at the beginning is feeling nauseous, fatigued/tired, hungry, and irritable.  You should NOT feel unwell, if you do, you should STOP your fasting right away. 

Make sure you drink your water - it is extremely important. The bottom line is that you need to give your body time to adjust, keep it hydrated, be patient, and be in-tune with your body.  

Extended Fasting
The only difference here is that  I extend my time of not eating to 24 hours, 48 hours or 36 hours. The same rules apply - not eating anything with calories.   

The longest I have extended my fast has been 5 days.  What?! šŸ˜²
Yes! 120 hours consecutive--it is one of the hardest things I've ever done besides going through cancer. 

It was a 5 day water fast.  Yes! only water. šŸ˜“ I did it back in March of 2020 with my spiritual teacher & mentor, Patricia Moreno - she was my life line for sure - we really had to support one another.  It takes a lot of mental, physical and emotional strength. We really had to push hard, especially towards the end.  "Thank you Patricia for sharing this experience with me."

I made my mind up to do the 5 day water fast after I read several articles that stated that those benefit the most from extended water fasting include individuals suffering from the following:
  • Metabolic Syndrome – Diabetes and Obesity
  • Overweight Individuals
  • Chronic Inflammatory Conditions
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Gut Health Challenges
  • Neurodegenerative Conditions
  • Cancer
The first few days of the 5 day fasting - I felt cold, fatigue, lethargic, hungry, and irritable. Then the body adjusted, and I felt good. But, by the 120th hour I was literally done with it, I was ready to EAT.  Nevertheless,  I felt good with lots of energy, clear mind, and I had lost 6 pounds. I used this experience as a RESET for my body.

I don't recommend this 5 day water fast unless you have done intermittent fasting on a regular basis, be prepared, check with you physician, and have the knowledge and support. 

I usually break my extended fast with a bone broth.  I avoid meals that surge insulin and blood sugar. The next day I continue eating normally and get back into my regular eating routine.

Like I stated before, there are so many other forms of intermittent fasting, but don't complicated for yourself.  The easier the better, and you will feel the difference in you mind, body and spirit, and will get lots of health benefits.  I wish you ALL much health. xo

Disclaimer:  These methods are NOT for everyone.  The views and opinions expressed on this blog post are based on my own personal research, education, and experiences. I am not a medical professional.  Please consult your doctor before beginning any diet, methods, and/or program.


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