Fasting Regimens – Part 6

/, Health and Nutrition/Fasting Regimens – Part 6

There are many different fasting regimens. Let’s be very clear to start, though. There is simply no ‘best’ one. They all work to different degrees for different people. Just as some people prefer steak to chicken, there is no right or wrong answer. One regimen will work for one person but be utterly ineffective in the next.

Martin Berkhan

Martin Berkhan

Fasting is defined as the voluntary act of withholding food for a specific period of time. Non-caloric drinks such as water and tea are permitted. An absolute fast refers to the withholding of both food and drink. This may be done for religious purposes, such as during Ramadan in the Muslim tradition, but is not generally recommended for health purposes because of the accompanying dehydration. In our IDM program, we do not ever use the absolute fast.

Fasting has no standard duration. Fasts can range from twelve hours to three months or more. You can fast once a week or once a month or once a year. Intermittent fasting involves fasting for shorter periods of time on a regular basis. Shorter fasts are generally done more frequently. Longer fasts are typically twenty-four to thirty-six hours, done two to three times per week. Prolonged fasting may range from one week to one month.

I categorized fasting periods with a break point at 24 hours, although this is somewhat arbitrary. In my experience in the IDM program, I generally use shorter regimens for those who are mostly interested in losing weight without much in the way of type 2 diabetes, fatty liver or other metabolic diseases.

For those who have more significant illnesses, I use longer duration regimens as they tend to give faster results. After the initial ‘breaking’ in period, we always work with the patients to find out what they prefer to do. A surprising number of patients prefer longer duration fasts less frequently.

Short Daily Fasting Regimens

1. 12 hour fasting – There are several regimens of fasting that use a shorter period of fasting but done every day. A 12 hour fasting period done every day used to be ‘normal’. That is, you would eat 3 meals a day from, say 7 am to 7 pm and refrain from eating anything from 7 pm to 7 am.TedNaiman1

At that point, you would ‘break your fast’ with a small breakfast. This was pretty standard in the 1950s and 1960s. There wasn’t much obesity back then. However, there were two major changes that happened since then. First was the change to a higher carbohydrate, lower fat diet. This tended to increase insulin. Second was the increase in meal frequency, as we detail in a previous post, which tended to reduce fasting periods.

If you could eat unprocessed foods, avoid excessive added sugars, and did not have significant insulin resistance to start, this 12 hr daily fasting was probably good enough for most people to avoid obesity. However, it is not really strong enough to reverse decades of insulin resistance.

2. 16 hour fasting – This regimen involves using a daily 16 hour period of fasting and an 8 hour ‘eating window’. For example, this would mean eating from 11 am – 7 pm, and fasting from 7 pm to 11am. This generally means skipping the morning meal every day. Some people choose to eat 2 meals during that 8 hour window and others will eat 3.

This regimen was popularized by a bodybuilder by the name of Martin Berkhan who blogged about it on his website www.leangains.com, and so the method is sometimes called the LeanGains method. He wrote extensively in the years 2007-2010 but I don’t see much activity on his blog anymore, which is a real shame, because he had some great ideas and original thought. There are still some excellent posts there.

He wrote extensively about training in the fasted state and eating predominantly in the post-workout period. These ideas are supported by the science available (albeit not a lot). However, they do make a lot of common sense.TedNaiman2

Several years later, an editor at Men’s Health wrote a book called The 8 hour diet, which essentially used the same 8 hour eating window as the LeanGains method. In his entire book, he strenuously avoided any mention of LeanGains or Berkhans, even though this method transparently ripped-off LeanGains. You can’t really patent a time period of fasting, but the intellectual dishonestly was appalling, regardless. It is like writing about E=MC2 and never mentioning Albert Einstein, but instead pretending to have ‘discovered’ it yourself.

3. The ‘Warrior’ diet – This was one of the first diets to popularize intermittent fasting regimens. Written by Ori Hofmekler in 2002, this diet stressed that timing of meals mattered almost as much as composition of meals. In other words, ‘when you eat makes what you eat important’. Actually, I think both are important, but the ‘when’ question is seriously under-appreciated, and this book was one of the first to really point this out.TedNaiman3

Drawing upon inspiration from ancient warrior tribes such as the Spartans and Romans, the core of the diet consists of eating all meals in the evening during a 4 hour window. The fasting period of 20 hours consisted of most of the day. There was also an emphasis on natural unprocessed foods and  high intensity training.

The main point of all these fasting regimens is the same. It allows the body to lower insulin levels very low for a specified period of time longer than usual. This is precisely what helps to break, or prevent the development of insulin resistance. As we’ve mentioned previously, this is the fundamental biologic principle of homeostasis.

The body likes to maintain everything within a relatively narrow range. Any prolonged stimulus leads to resistance as the body tries to resist the change. In this case, prolonged periods of high insulin will lead to insulin resistance, which will lead back to high insulin levels – in other words, insulin causes insulin resistance.

So, by incorporating daily, or almost daily periods of low insulin, we are able to prevent the development of insulin resistance and even reverse relatively minor levels of resistance. For more established resistance, we would need longer fasting periods – 24 hours or greater.

One of the key advantages of fasting, from a therapeutic standpoint is the lack of upper limit. What this means is that we can continue to apply fasting in an almost unlimited manner with no upper ceiling. The world record for fasting was 382 days, during which the patient suffered no ill effects.

Think about medications for a second. If you take metformin – there is a maximum dose. Same for virtually all meds. Think about low carb or low fat diets – you can only go to zero carbs or fat. There is a maximum dose. That is why insulin is so popular with doctors. You can keep increasing the dose with no ceiling. (As an aside, we recently had a lady taking 400 units of insulin per day in our clinic. Her endocrinologist was happy that her sugars were ‘finally’ controlled. I was appalled.)

Fasting, similarly has no ceiling, which offers much more therapeutic flexibility. In other words, if I can keep applying fasting until I see the desired effect. The dose can go up indefinitely. If you don’t eat, will you lose weight? Of course. So there is almost no question of efficacy. It is only a question of safety and compliance. So for more complicated or serious cases, we can simply increase the dose. We will consider these longer regimens in the next post.

A big thank you to my friend Dr. Ted Naiman who created these graphs.

Start with Fasting part I

Continue with Fasting part 7

2017-09-02T11:54:13+00:00 108 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

Leave a Reply

108 Comments on "Fasting Regimens – Part 6"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Samuel
Guest
I started eating two meals per day, between 9 and 5 and not eating between 5 and 9 about two years ago. My weight is steady and there is no energy shortage, or ups and downs. In fact, what I was really interested in was the effect when riding my bicycle 50 or 60 miles during the day. I used to drink and eat the usual high-carb biker garbage. Surprisingly, after the change there was no problem at all. I did not eat, but drank water when thirsty. I am 68 years old, and my diet is running about 75%… Read more »
Victoria
Guest

Or like writing about E=MC^2 and never mentioning James Clerk Maxwell.

Simon Thompson
Guest

Ha Ha Victoria- Beat me to the punch! Warrior diet looks really good- and is what I have gravitated towards.

kurtdriver
Guest

Hofmekler quotes Edgar Cayce on nutrition, which is rather odd, to say the least.

David Spector
Guest

Maxwell’s equations do not include e=mc**2, which was discovered by Einstein later, in 1905. Maxwell was dead by then. Just saying.

Richard Quinn
Guest

Thank you Dr. Fung, very useful information.

I have read that fasting can increase serum uric acid concentration, as a byproduct of increased cellular degradation. Have you seen this in practice amongst patients with preexisting hyperuricemia?

Thanks!

kfacwpup
Admin

Yes, there is at least one study that shows this effect, and it may be due to mild volume depletion. While the uric acid may increase, I have not seen an increase in gout, although this is only my personal experience and can’t say for sure that it will not happen.

Nina
Guest

Thank you so much, Dr. Fung, for this invaluable information & for your whole blog!!!!!! It is revolutionary & precious information!!!!!!!!

Bernard P.
Guest

Dr. Fung, one of these days you should tell how you came to doubt the standard mainstream diagnosis and treatments for diabetes; how you found out about high blood glucose being a symptom of insulin resistance, and not “diabetes”; and how fasting came into the picture as a treatment.

Maybe this will be part of your upcoming book.

Mike S
Guest

From what I remember about the “Warrior Diet,” I thought the under-eating phase might have contained eating that would not comply with an actual fast. I like the 20:4 timing though, have found that not to be a problem. I am curious and will have to find my materials on the “Warrior Diet” and see how it fits in with my current thinking, it’s been about a year since I read his book. Does anyone else have an opinion, observation?

Christoph Dollis
Guest
Great post! A few points: • Totally right about 8-Hour Diet, which I own, being an uncredited rip-off of Lean Gains. That’s regrettable, which isn’t to say it isn’t a good book (albeit written in a breathless tone). • My understanding is The Warrior Diet allows some food during the day, so it isn’t really a total fast. It allows some raw vegetables and fruit and a little soup. It also claims humans are naturally “night eaters” with some dubious or at least cherry-picked references for that. In any case, we’re not naturally “all-day, all-night, all-the-time” eaters. This modern, destructive… Read more »
Nina J
Guest

Thank you Jason Fung for this great blog & lectures.
People who are insulin resistant and suffers from depression, anxiety and/or fibromyalgia, will their metabolism require a longer period to adapt to a LCHF diet and a fasting regimen?
Should they espect initial worsening of mood, agitation and/or pain?
Or should they stay away from LCHF and fasting?

kfacwpup
Admin

The effect on depression and anxiety is variable. Some feel better, others not. I have not found it to be particularly useful in fibromyalgia. There is still no reason to avoid LCHF.

MATILDE DE JAGER
Guest

I have been doing LCHF and intermittent fasting for 2 years now. I am in nutritional ketosis most of the time. I was of normal weight but suffered from what was diagnosed as fibromyalgia after contracting the Parvo virus for 16 years. I am symptom free since I adopted this lifestyle. I do full body resistance training 3 times a week, run sprints once a week and do a steady state cardio workout once a week as well. I am 52 and female. I would definitely give it a good try.

Christoph Dollis
Guest
If doing LCHF (or any other diet) for depression, I’d heed at least this one aspect of the diet advice of WebMD to help with depression and try to make your diet as micronutrient-rich as possible (so your few carbohydrate foods would be micronutrient-dense, such as green veggies, other colorful veggies, and berries rather than, say, white rice or sugar … less-processed meats and other animal foods rather than, say, cold cuts). Micronutrients mediate (in this case, reduce) inflammation, which has been implicated in depression. Dr. Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist who both believes inflammation is important for treating depression… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest

Correction: I meant, “inflammation is important for understanding depression,” of course, not for “treating” depression. Reducing systemic inflammation is likely to be an important part of treating depression.

Danielle
Guest
I have been eating almost zero carb (no plant foods, with a little full-fat cheese making up the majority of my small carb allowance) for year now and whilst I am no doctor, my chronic, severe depression (which left me with peaks of suicidal thoughts and long, snowballing phases of despondency) literally ‘cleared up’. I am not suggesting low carb cured it by any means, but there is definitely some correlation on carbs/sugars especially and mental health. My moods stabilised, those spikes of severity vanished, all the depression-related aches and pains went away, I slept like a baby and I… Read more »
EJ
Guest

Dr. Fung – Thank you for this excellent series. I try to fast 12-16 hours daily; however, I usually have a couple of cups of coffee with cream each morning. Will the coffee with cream reduce or negate the positive effects of fasting? In other words, does the small amount of fat calories in the cream break the fast?

Christoph Dollis
Guest

Hi EJ,

I hope you’ll forgive me for offering this link. I don’t mean that Dr. Fung shouldn’t weigh in if he’s so inclined! However, here are some published fasting guidelines Dr. Fung has, and you’ll see, he allows cream in coffee even when fasting, up to a limit.

Also, if you use the site search feature at the top right of this page and search for “beverages”, he has a post about beverages generally (although that doesn’t refer to beverages when fasting as such; the guidelines do).

EJ
Guest

Thank you Cristoph; this is helpful. My understanding is that fat intake has little to no effect on insulin secretion but I was wondering whether this intake of energy from fat could reduce the benefits of fasting. My interest in fasting is to lose some excess belly fat. Cheers!

Christoph Dollis
Guest

My guess is sure, it probably does, a little bit. However, if it’s still mainly beneficial and the cream in your coffee makes it easier for you to fast, than that little bit of less effectiveness is probably worth it.

Alternatively, if you can fast for 16 hours without coffee and cream, but 24 hours with, then I’d say the “with’ is also clearly more effective.

Best of luck.

EJ
Guest

Christoph – thanks again and I agree with your thinking. A cup or two of coffee with cream does seem to help me maintain or extend a fast. Cheers

Elena
Guest
I am T2 diabetic on a LCHF diet since 2012. I just started fasting, and my longest was 48 hours. To my disappointment my blood sugar started in the day with 9.7 and by the end of 2nd day was still as high as 6.4. Have to mention I did not take my medication during the 2 day fast. In a normal day ( I skip breakfast and lunch and have a feeding period from 5-8 and sometimes from 6-9), I wake up to a 7 – 7.2 , sugar continues to rise to 9 or 10 until noon, in… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest
1. It’s a totally different angle, both in terms of orientation of the camera relative to his arm, and the angle of his arm itself, and I think your comment alleging Martin Berkhan photoshopped this image is BS. There are other images of his arm. They are more or less symmetrical. (But they’re rarely ever symmetrical: usually the non-dominant arm is larger because it has to compensate for less neuromuscular efficiency in the recruitment of muscle fibres. This becomes more noticeable the larger the arms. I hope no one ever accuses you of photoshop because your, er, body parts, aren’t… Read more »
Elena
Guest
I am not against Martin Berkhan or his ideas. In fact I try to apply some of them – even though I think his audience is intended towards mostly men. The computer geek inside me found the picture funny, I still think it is ( look at the light and shadows cast too). Anyhow, that is not my point, was just a little funny diversion. For medication I have to take 2 metformin and 2 glicazide in the morning and repeat the same in the evening. I started lchf in 2012 when my doctor wanted to put me on insulin.… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest
I don’t even think LCHF is a good idea. However, my main point is of course you’re going to get lower blood glucose numbers on a very-low-carb diet plus two oral diabetes meds. When you fast, your body just draws fat from wherever and glucose, mainly from your liver, which is probably producing too much glucose already since your hbA1C is creeping up, as you’ve noted. Fasting isn’t designed to immediately get your blood glucose as low as a low-carb diet and two meds, one of which increases insulin. It’s designed to reduce insulin and, largely through creating a short-term… Read more »
Christoph Dollis
Guest

*[reducing fat in muscles and organs being] part and parcel of reducing insulin resistance, I meant to say

Mike
Guest
Elena, I’ve been T2D for 15yrs and have been doing LCHF for the past year. Previously, i did Low Carb for 2 yrs. I now take 5mg glipizide in the morning. I used to take 10mg glipizide/1000 mg metformin in the morning & evening before LCHF and my BG was still poorly controlled. Now, my highest BG readings are in the morning, usually 90-120, but sometimes 130-150. The solution I found when BG is that high is a brisk 3+ mile walk in the morning. I’ve had BG readings go from 140-150 down to under 100 after the walk and… Read more »
Marie
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung,

Do you have a book available? If not, why? ,,,or maybe I should ask, when? 🙂

Thanks!

kfacwpup
Admin

Hi Marie – The current release date is Jan 2016 by Greystone Books. I’ve finished my draft and its in the editors hands now.

Marie
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung,

Great! I always find it more helpful having things clearly outlined in a book. I take it you will discuss fasting in your book. I was wondering will you also be discussing the appropriate diet that a person is to follow once he has completed the fast?

Okay, January 2016 seems like a long time to wait. …I’ll be patient! 😉 LOL

Thanks, again!

Gareth
Guest

Hi Jason,

I am looking forward to your book.

I am wondering on your thoughts on bulletproof coffee (butter + coconut oil + coffee) in the morning instead of breakfast. Specifically, i am wondering if this would have an impact on autophagy? i.e. would the small amount of protein in butter / high calories downregulate autophagy?

Should i just fast with coffee and maybe some coconut oil (as per the perfect health diet).

Thanks

Elena
Guest

Hi Jason, I would want to join IDM program. Before doing so I want to now if you are for a vegan diet or LCHF (mostly meat and fats) diet after coming out of fast.

Phuong Le
Guest
Does anybody have problems with GERD , stomach pain like ulcer stomach pain when fasting? I tried fast 10- 12 hours but more than that my tummy will be painful … then the feeding time I feel a lot hungrier than normal, I have to make up eat the same amount of food that I skip… Maybe my body set the amount of food I eat daily and don’t want to reduce…but eat too more than my normal amount of food at each meal is very uncomfortable, heavy pressure on tummy… I have to take digestive enzymes for big meal,… Read more »
Marie
Guest
Hi Phuong Le, I have never experienced tummy troubles previously, until last night. I just started the LCHF diet one week ago. I have been ravenous (mainly from 3:00 p.m. till I go to bed). They say if you are hungry you are not getting enough fat in your diet. …well, I have never eaten this much fat at each meal in all my life. …I can’t really say I’m following LCHF, because I find after 3:00 p.m. I am continually snacking and I have to take a bowl of fruit salad (with cottage cheese and walnuts) before I go… Read more »
Elena
Guest

Elena

May 26, 2015 | Reply

Hi Jason, I would want to join IDM program. Before doing so I want to Know if you are for a vegan diet or LCHF (mostly meat and fats) diet after coming out of fast. I am T2 diabetic since 2004, and on LCHF diet since 2012. A1c maintained between 6.1 to 6.8. Canadian Diabetes Association standard diet was/is a disaster for me.

kfacwpup
Admin

LCHF

Elena
Guest

Thanks

Tracey
Guest

Dr. Fung – I can’t wait for your book to come out! I’ve only been following your protocol since May 15th, but am already reaping benefits from it. I’m down over 13 pounds, and have been taken off of one (of two) high blood pressure medication. I’ve been fasting for 36-38 hours every other day and feel fantastic! Thank you so much!

Megan
Guest

Hello Dr Fung,

Do you have any opinion on magnesium supplementation to improve blood sugars/insulin resistance? I have been following LCHF for a long time and recently began gaining weight. I have been suffering with stress, lack of sleep, increased craving for carbs etc. After researching what might be causing this I stumbled on magnesium deficiency and have been supplementing for the last few days.
The main thing I notice is a lowering of hunger.
Maybe a future blog post? I would love to know your thoughts on the mechanism of magnesium in the body.

kfacwpup
Admin

Magnesium is the one supplement that we use the most. We often test serum magnesium levels and they are often low in diabetic patients. Also, many people complain of constipation and cramping which can often be helped by magnesium supplements. Whether it lowers blood sugar is debatable.

Vivien
Guest

Dr Fung do you also find the same issue with magnesium with obese but non diabetic patients?

Lotte
Guest

You haven’t shared any thoughts on the subject of women and if we benefit or not from IF.
I’d be most greatful if you would!

kfacwpup
Admin

From my experience, I have noticed no difference in effect between men and women.

Marie
Guest

I apologize if you have answered this elsewhere, but I’m wondering what your thoughts are on fasting and adrenal fatigue? I’m a LCHF marathon runner and have had issues with adrenal fatigue in the past, but am intrigued with the idea of daily fasting. Thanks!

kfacwpup
Admin

I don’t think fasting causes adrenal fatigue.

Marie
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung,

Okay, a different “Marie” here. (But so thankful the other Marie brought this subject up.)

Is it safe for a person who does have adrenal insuffiency and is taking corticosteroids to fast?

Are there any medical conditions where it is not safe for a person to fast?

kfacwpup
Admin

If you don’t feel well for any reason during fasting, you should stop immediately. Certain medications may cause problems during fasting. Adrenal insufficiency and steroid use is not a contraindication.

Marie
Guest

Thank you! Very wise advice–listen to your body! 🙂

Sarah
Guest

Does missing meals/fasting cause stomach ulcers? That is one argument people have told me whenever I tried to skip my meals.

Danielle
Guest

Not at all (just make sure you’re not chewing gum to ‘fill the gap’ because your stomach will begin digesting food that isn’t there, which could cause ulcers for sure). And if you’re drinking the proper amount of water (which is an alkaline solution), you shouldn’t suffer any ulcers, stomach acid or anything like that 🙂

Marie
Guest
Hi Sarah, I have never heard that fasting or missing meals could cause ulcers. In fact, if missing meals caused stomach ulcers I should have had ulcers a long time ago. While I do have a lot of health issues, to the best of my knowledge, I do not have ulcers. There was a lot of media attention given to a certain doctor, quite awhile ago, that ulcers were caused by bacteria and could be treated with antibiotics. I did a very quick search and found some information on ulcers at webmd. I think they are a fairly reliable source… Read more »
George Munoz
Guest

Hello Dr. Fung,

I am interested in following the Leangains protocol in which i fast for 16 hours and workout 3 times a week. I was wondering if eating a high carb diet such as 40p/40c/20f would still be ok since i am fasting for the majority of my day to keep my insulin sensitivity high?

Danielle
Guest
Hi George I wouldn’t recommend a high carb diet at all, fasting or otherwise. Without going into a huge essay about it, a high carb diet is what causes insulin resistance/T2 diabetes, regardless of how “healthy” it is. You’re no less likely to develop insulin resistance or related diseases just because you fast in-between high carb meals. HFLC can eradicate this risk almost entirely (the lower carb you go, the less risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes you’re at), because again it’s not about how rarely you eat the carbs, it’s about eating them in the first place. The… Read more »
Sarah
Guest

Thanks Marie.. Those links are helpful. I’m also a big lover of missing breakfast in spite of what people around me advice… Though recently I happened to try the 24 hours fast that Dr Fung recommends… I like it a lot as I feel much more alert and am able to concentrate more on work. In fact, I prefer the 24 hrs fasting days than the normal eating days.

Marie
Guest
Hi Sarah, Thank you for sharing your experience with the 24 hour fast. This is very encouraging. I haven’t tried doing this fast yet. I have a chronic complex medical condition and my own health is fragile. I want to make sure I read Dr. Fung’s book and get all of the information before I jump into the deep end. Previously, I had tried Joe Cross’ juicing fast, but I only lasted three days. I became very weak and sick. So I had to give it up. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was, as I really wanted to… Read more »
Sarah
Guest
It’s encouraging to hear about your mom, Marie. But do be careful if you have health complications. I’m also on LCHF though I tend to fall off the LCHF on weekends while eating with family. Yes Bone broths are delicious. Indian cuisine has many such soups eg the mutton paya soup, chicken bone soup, beef soup. Since most of these are not available in shops, we make them at home anyway. Haleem (without the broken wheat) is also delicious and nourishing though not much bones there. We also make stir frys with organ meats such as liver, heart etc. Though… Read more »
Marie
Guest

Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for sharing this with me! Just yesterday, my husband came home with an Indian cookbook. He said that he thought that I could eat this and be faithful to my diet. I made him read all the ingredients to me. I was surprised that everything was on the LCHF diet.

My husband loves to cook and is frustrated that I just want to eat simple food. The Indian dish that he made for dinner was delish! I will look closer at his cookbook to find new recipes.

Jennifer
Guest
Hi Dr Fung, Why do you consider it ok to include coconut oil or cream in coffee during the fasting window? I thought any calories would break the fast (and hence reduce the benefits), is it to do with coconut oil and cream not affecting the insuline? (although one of your previous posts have touched on milk protein raising insuline…). I would really appreciate a respone on this, as if no benefits are lost I will definitely prefer to drink my coffee with cream or coconut oil, or take a spoon of coconut oil when hungry during the fast period.… Read more »
Kelly
Guest

Wondering this as well. Also, read [here](http://intensivedietarymanagement.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Fasting-Guidelines.pdf) that coconut oil is limited to 1 T. per cup, but is that only for coconut oil or all 3 of the above bullets (Milk, Cream, Coconut Oil)?

trackback

[…] classification purposes. There is no magic dividing line. We covered fasting regimens using periods less than 24 hours in our last post. This post will cover those schedules that use fasts longer than 24 […]

Liane
Guest

Hi, Dr. Fung,
my last blood test is 8.6(no fasting), HA1Cis8.9, I am taking insulin. I am not sure if fasting is work for me.

Christoph Dollis
Guest

Well, Liane, you haven’t given any details of what you’re doing in terms of fasting, diet, etc; how long you’ve been doing it; what else you’re doing; when these tests were done; when and what your previous tests were; etc.

I’m not saying it is working for you. I’m asking, what informed comment can be made just based on what you’ve written?

Liane
Guest

When I did the blood test in April, I am taking three meals like normal people but I try my best to eat healthy. I also start taking meffumin two tablets twice a day. The medicine make me uncomfortable. Now I have to start using insulin at bedtime everyday. I check by my meter. Fasting around 6.6, after meals 2 hours around 10. I only eat vegetable, fruits and proteins.

Elena
Guest
Hi Liane, I am diabetic too, and my family doctor wanted to put me on insulin. I thought I was eating healthy, however the blood test showed very high sugar numbers. I started eating one food at a time, and measure my blood sugar, before, after, after, one hour after and 2 hours after. I started eliminating the foods that gave my high sugars after 2 hours. After a while, when I was able to content without these foods, I started eliminating the foods that gave me high sugars after one hour and so on. I think it is worth… Read more »
Liane
Guest

My sugar around 9 if i don’t eat bread, potato, rice, pastas. So I only take carbohydrates from fruits. And I want to reach the target for diabetics, fasting under 7, after meals 2 hours under 10. But it is hard to keep under 10, sometime around 10.5

SVM
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung,

Great work here!! Have you noticed any link between any of the fasting regimes and issues with gallstones? I understand that long bouts of not eating contribute to bile build-up in the gallbladder and the potential creation of gallstones. I’d be interested in hearing about your observations and what studies may say to reduce the chance of this happening.

Please keep up your great work!

Jennifer
Guest
Hi SVM, I know Dr Andreas Eenfeldt has written about gallstones and LCHF diet on his webiste http://www.dietdoctor.com and I think maybe there is a link between the gallstone discussion for LCHF and fasting. I’m no doctor but my understanding is that fasting or LCHF does not cause gallstones, however consuming more fat (or possibly by fasting and hence entering ketosis) will flush/clean your gallbladder so if you have any stones in there (most likely casued by carbohydrates clogging effect in all veins/arteries and organs) that has not yet been noticed, it can happen that these now get flushed out… Read more »
See
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung

For someone with kidney disease from diabetes, do one have to also avoid fats which are high in potassium and phosphorous? will kidney disease be an ongoing issue even when sugars are under control from the change diet and intermittent fasting?

Dr. Jason Fung: The kidney disease is not easily reversed, even though the diabetes itself can often be reversed. The damage is usually already done.

See
Guest

Thank you Dr. Fung

Eric
Guest

Hi there, just finished reading this series…what an abundance of good information! I’ve been doing IF for about 3 weeks now, mostly the 16-8. I’m an endurance athlete and am currently around 6% body fat. I feel great on this schedule of eating but was wondering what is the longest fast you might recommend. My main goals have to become better fat adapted in order to reduce my caloric needs in races/be able to maintain a high intensity while burning a high percentage of fat. Any advice would be great, thanks!

Celeste
Guest

Hi Dr. Fung
I love your website.I am vegan for a year now and have gained 10pounds, I am trying 16:8 intermittent fasting for 3 weeks and haven’t lost any weight.
what is a good fasting insulin level? i want to check it with my next blood work.
I am not diabetic just want to avoid it and lose 30 pounds

Danielle
Guest

You’ve gained weight because veganism is an all-sugar diet. Try eating more meat.

Gone Liftin
Guest

Have you read “Fasting and Eating for Health” by Joel Fuhrman? It’s a pretty scientific read on the subject and came out in 1998, long before any of these books mentioned.

Steven
Guest
My dear Dears, I ‘m screeming for your help! I won’t bother with to much details : 66yo, obese, diabetic, no medication, hypertention…. And damaged liver by hard drinking . I know the esentials, I already began alternate day fasting which I love ( in fact i did several one month fastings in my 30-40s) , but I need advice on diet coreleted to my liver problems. (Sure no more booze! I like avocados, organic coconut oil eaten by itself , eggs, extra virgin olive oil, salads ,organic vinegar, Irish butter , not to much meet. I love carbs ,… Read more »
Elena
Guest

Because we are all individuals and react differently to foods and especially carbs, my advice is to use a glucometer. Eat one food at a time and change the size until the BG is in normal levels. Of course you have to be ready to eliminate some foods through this method. For example for me 6 cherries bring my BG to 200 for the next 3 hours and I need a fist of pills to bring it down – so I considered it is not worthy.

marcio
Guest

can I have high insulin levels without insulin resistance ?

since a little kid i was a little fat but my sugar levels is very low and I’m 35years with 30% bodyfat, sugar levels with 12 hours fasting is 80, I feel like I have hipoglicemic levels sometimes, when i eat carbs without fat ..

Ken
Guest

during the 16 hour fasting period would it be ok to drink kefir (water grains, with fruit juice used for secondary fermentation)?

Danielle
Guest

Nope. Fruit juice = sugar (no such thing as healthy sugar). Just drink water.

Philip
Guest

I’m struggling with WHY in the intervals the body becomes fat burning; i.e. burning unwanted fat already stored. Won’t it attempt to use the stored glycogen and isn’t there sufficient for the 16 hours right there?

CRees
Guest
I’ve been fasting 16+ hours daily and eating moderate carbs for the last 2.5 years, lost 40kg and now normal BMI and waist:height ratio <0.5. After reading the research on individual blood glucose responses to foods depending on gut microbiota variations (Zeevi et al, Cell 2015; 163: 1079) I invested in a blood glucose meter. Although fasting BGs are good (around 4.2 mmol/l) I was shocked to find my post meal BG is higher than it should be with the peak delayed. After a pork and veg meal containing carbwise a half cup of cooked brown rice and chickpeas, taken… Read more »
Donovan
Guest
I’ve been doing the “Warrior Diet” for the past 3 weeks and have already lost 13% of my body mass. I drink 32oz of fresh vegetable/fruit juice with some psyllium husk fiber and some vegetable protein supplement in it every day at 3pm. I have about 10 more pounds to go, though my target weight is somewhat arbitrary (just going to lose weight until I can see my abs again, more than likely). I usually eat a hearty meal on Sundays to kind of “reset”, as by day 6 the persistent elevated fasting adrenaline levels get to be a bit… Read more »
Max
Guest

Hi,
I’m wondering if some inulin powder intake during fasting days is useful/advisable or it can somehow “break” the fasting.

Thanks for info.

Max from Italy

Carla
Guest
I have watched your videos on youtube. Thank you for your free information. I am Type 2 diabetic. I have been obese all my life and was diagnosed with diabetes 3yrs ago. My NHS doctor is not onboard with fasting and I can’t afford a private doctor but I want to fix myself by fasting, after watching your videos. I have been HFLC for a couple of years but I have not lost weight and I still weigh 290lbs. My GP recommended 20 units insulin a day and my blood glucose has never been higher than 150 in the morning… Read more »
Em
Guest

Thank you for this wonderful website.
I’m very much interested in fasting to bring down insuline.
Could eating only fat all day, in coffee and tea, have similar effect on insulin levels?

T-squared
Guest

Dr Fung
I am very much interested in trying this but i am having a hard time figuring out how to get started. You have a lot of information backgound and history on the subject that has interested me. However, where do i begin. I am pre diabetic and need to lose weight. I dont want to go on medication. I have tried many diets only to gain the weight back plus more. Please let me know where i can find the steps to get started with this….really need your help

Danielle
Guest

http://www.dietdoctor.com (Dr. Fung has made many videos on this website about LCHF)

Simple way: using intermittent fasting, cut all sugar, pasta and bread out of your diet as a first step, and increase fat content from there using fish, butter and meat (don’t cook with oil it’s poison)

John Headon
Guest
See, re kidney disease, my blood sugars are stratospheric for last few years, guess what no protein in urine, plenty of sugar. Successfully losing fat by intermittent fasting and fat gobbling after medics in hospital doubled my insulin but sugars did not respond except to go up! Yep I’m angry at conventional medics. Protect your kidneys with Benfotiamine and B1 through the day every few hours. Blood pressure meds do NOT protect kidneys only damage you. Diet change and hawthorn fruit/leaves tea, more effective for BP fix. Eat plenty of sea salt, forget the docs as this contains trace minerals… Read more »
TS
Guest

Hey

I have been fasting for 10 says now and aiming for 14. Maybe more. I use water mainly.
I have read that it could be quite a stress for the heart muscle doing longer fasts. Any comments regarding that?

And I wonder if it’s safe doing some slow tempo bicycling during longer fast?

Emma
Guest
Hi Jason, I really like your articles, thanks heaps for posting them on a public forum where we can all read them and benefit from them. I tried a regime for a few months where I stopped eating at 8pm, and did a 16 hour fast broken by lunch at 12pm, but I found that I got REALLY sleepy after lunch. I liked the regime and I didn’t find it difficult to skip breakfast, but I had to go out and nap in my car after lunch which mucked up my work day a bit! I was wondering why this… Read more »
trackback

[…] Longer fasting periods such as that eighteen hour fast are considered to be intermittent fasting protocol. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not say anything about which foods you should eat, but rather when you should eat them. Some people will choose to use intermittent fasting daily, while others might fast for just a couple of days each week or every other day. You can read a great post on intermittent fasting here . […]

Abner
Guest

How low should fasting insulin be?

wpDiscuz