In the blog:
Rewind: More Practical Fasting Tips
This week, Dr. Fung offers some more tips on fasting, including what to do when you have certain side effects.
Dr. Fung on Low Carb MD
>Did you catch the latest podcast?
Be sure to check out Episode 50 here!
What is fat fasting?
Coach Brenda Zorn explains the idea in the Member’s area.
Coach’s Notes: Does (blank) break a fast?
Well, it depends, says IDM’s Nadia Pateguana…
I hear this question a lot: “Will (fill in the blank) break my fast?” It’s probably one of the most, if not the most, commonly asked questions we get. (In future, I’ll tackle the other very common and useful topic of “fasting aids, yay or nay?”)
I’d like to offer the idea that whether something “breaks” your fast or not will depend on your personal definition of a fast.
Muslims worldwide undergo a month-long religious fast from dawn to dusk every year. During Ramadan, followers practice a “dry fast” – they choose to not drink water during the roughly 18-hour period that they fast every day. For them, drinking water would “break their fast.” Some even go so far as to believe that swallowing your own saliva would “break your fast,” although I don’t think this is commonly believed or accepted.
When you’re fasting and asking yourself this same question, you must first define your fast. IDM followers have many different definitions of what a fast is for them.
Many want to practice a “water and salt only” fast. Likely their objective is to achieve the sometimes seemingly unattainable autophagy.
Others follow a fast where they will allow themselves black coffee, herbal tea, water and salt during their fasting periods. Likely these people are looking for the biggest bang for their weight-loss buck, and maybe not so concerned about autophagy (for now).
Others still may prefer to fast using “fasting aids,” aka training wheels or crutches. These may include BPC (bullet-proof coffees or teas), coffee or tea with heavy cream, ACV (apple cider vinegar), pickle and olive brine, BB (bone broth), and maybe a few other options. The idea of fasting aids may be a good option “temporarily” and, as I mentioned earlier, I will discuss this in more detail in a later post.
So, getting back to the original question: “Does (blank) break my fast?” As you can see, the answer depends on how you define your fast.
If you’re fasting for autophagy, everything but water and salt will probably break your fast. If you’re fasting for weight loss and/or lowering blood sugars, it’s a lot less clear. But, again, it will depend on your definition of a fast. If a fast, for you, includes fasting aids, then what you want to figure out is what is the limit of the fasting aids that you can consume before it no longer works. For that, you would have to go through trial and error.
Personally, I prefer “clean” fasts. Even if I fast for longer periods of time, I fast with water and salt. I keep my black or bullet-proof coffees to my meals only, and I have built up to this, over many years of exercising my “fasting muscle.”