Fasting Safely – Here’s what to know

Written By Claire C

In this article, Dr. Jason Fung discusses some of the most important things to keep in mind in order to fast in the safest way possible.  He discusses some of the most common dangers associated with improper fasting and gives advice on how to prevent these.  Most importantly, he discusses the importance of fasting with knowledge and experience and the power of easing into fasting.  If you ever feel concerned about your own fasting practices, remember we’re here to help and provide you with advice and resources to make sure you have a positive experience with fasting!

You can find the full article online here: The Most Important Thing – Practicing Fasting Safely

The Bird’s Eye View of Safe Fasting:

  • Describes fasting as “the voluntary abstention from eating”
  • Although fasting is an ancient practice with a good track record, safety is an important consideration for any type of dietary changes
  • Recommends the documentary, Fasting – The Move 
    • Explains the science of fasting
    • Discusses the role of fasting in weight loss and reversal of metabolic diseases

 Fasting Dangers:

  • A lot of the dangers associated with fasting are caused by taking fasting to the extreme
    • Important to note that any sort of dietary changes taken to extreme levels can be dangerous
  • Longer fasts have more benefits, but they also have more risks
  • Done properly with knowledge and experience, fasting can be a powerful tool 
    • But tools (and fasting) can be harmful when used incorrectly

Fasting Considerations:

  • Stop immediately if you don’t feel well or if you become very weak 
    • It is generally normal to feel hungry or a little irritable, but you should not feel unwell
    • You can always stop a fast and restart later when you are feeling better
  • It’s generally not recommended to fast if you are underweight or if your physician has concerns about malnutrition 
    • This is because during fasting your body relies on stored nutrients and energy
    • The less body fat you have, the less stored nutrients your body has to rely on 
  • Start with shorter fasts and gradually extend to longer fasts

Other Fasting Flamingo Resources You May Enjoy:

  • Eat, Fast, Live Longer
    • In this BBC documentary, journalist Michael Mosley searches for the key to increasing his lifespan through his diet.  After failing to reach his goals using traditional methods of staying healthy, he analyzes various diets meant to improve longevity before he discovers the powers of intermittent fasting.
  • James Cracknell is running 100 miles in five days, while fasting
    • In September of 2020, James Cracknell and a group of seven other runners completed a 100 mile run over 5 days.  Plus, they consumed only water and did the entire run in a fasted state.  Their goal was to prove that our bodies can, and maybe should, run on little-to-no carbohydrates. 
  • Shattering the CICO Myth: Top 5 videos explaining why Calories In – Calories Out is WRONG (and why fasting is different)
    • We know the Calories In, Calories Out (CICO) methodology is deeply rooted in our culture. But, it is WRONG. We need to help wake the world up to the fact that our body is not a simple calorie tally machine, but rather an incredibly complex organism with hormones regulating our fat storage just like hormones regulate almost every other system of the body. Here are 5 of our favorite videos explaining WHY CICO is such an inaccurate understanding of how our amazing bodies work. Just in case someone in your life needs a little help awakening to the truth.

And remember, it’s always a good idea to check with your physician, fasting coach, and friends often for support!

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