Let’s Talk about WATER and Intermittent Fasting!

I’ve written a lot about the importance of drinking plenty of water, and the more research I do the more convinced I am that drinking lots of water is not just an important part of the Weekday Fast lifestyle – it’s a habit that everyone should adopt!

As we’ve discussed, when you are fasting, your body goes into “Repair and Replenish” mode.  One important thing that happens during this time is called cellular apoptosis. It’s a fancy term that just means the death and recycling of old cells. But if you aren’t adequately hydrated, your body cannot flush out the old dead cells. Once they are dead, you want them out of your body.  Also fat is where your toxins build up, so again we need to have lots of water in your system to flush those fat cells away!

As anyone who has tried it will tell you – the WDF program is very effective at dropping weight during the week while you are fasting. It is sometimes a challenge to prevent regaining some of those pounds over the weekend when we are “Living our Life.” However based on my experience and that of several others I have spoken with, continuing to drink your water over the weekend helps keep the pounds off.  I suspect some of that is because drinking a lot of water naturally keeps you feeling full and as a result you don’t eat as much. I also think it helps at flushing out some of the extra sodium we tend to consume with our weekend treat meals.

I watched a video on YouTube this weekend by Thomas DeLauer, who is a big proponent of intermittent fasting. He recommends the following concoction first thing in the morning on a Fast Day.  It sounds a little gross but it’s actually not bad – kind of salty, citrusy.

12 oz of water
2Tbs Apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/2 tbs cream of tartar
1/2 tbs sea salt
juice of one lime

Apple cider vinegar has long been recommended by doctors as an all natural supplement that helps with a variety of health issues.  A Google search reveals lots of benefits such as lowering blood pressure, killing harmful bacteria, lowering blood sugar, encouraging weight loss, increasing digestion, lowering cholesterol, and even fighting Cancer!  It also helps regulate your blood sugar, which in turn reduces your cravings during the day. I am going to start drinking 2Tbs in a glass of water before bed along with the morning concoction above. I’m also going to try a mustard/apple cider vinegar dressing on my salads on Fast days!

Cream of Tartar is extremely high in potassium, which along with sea salt makes sure that you have adequate minerals in your body while fasting. This helps keep your cell walls permeable, so nutrients can flow in and toxins and waste can flow out to be flushed out of the body.

Finally, the lime juice boosts your Glutathione which is your body’s detox warrior. While you are fasting you are already in “Repair & Replenish” mode, and boosting your Glutathione just kicks it in to overdrive.


What About Exercise When I Am Fasting?

One of the things I was concerned about when I considered trying intermittent fasting was whether I would have the energy to continue my morning exercise routine. I am by no stretch of anyone’s imagination an athlete, but I do walk every morning, hit the gym a couple times a week and have been experimenting with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training – more on that in a later post).

I was pleased to discover this was not an issue at all. My workouts still felt fine, and one of the unexpected benefits that I have enjoyed the most is my increased clarity and focus on days when I am fasting. In particular, the morning is now an extremely productive time for me – I get my best and most work done in the morning because my body is not burdened with the hard work of digesting food until I break my fast in the afternoon.

A little Googling supported my personal experience. Here is a quote from an author from The Power of Ideas who tried intermittent fasting for one month:

“Intermittent fasting has now become my way of life. It feels damn good and I find myself being clear and focused. My energy levels have sky rocketed. I used to always get that afternoon slump when I felt tired at about 3 PM, but I don’t experience this anymore.

Eating has also come to be an experience that’s enjoyed, rather than just food to scoff down as fast as I can. This has made it easy to keep intermittent fasting going.

Also, after a couple weeks, I decided to try exercising (running and weights) as soon as I woke up on an empty stomach. I thought I would feel light headed and faint from working out on an empty stomach, but the truth is, I had more grit and energy.

Research has found that there’s major perks to doing this: apparently it’s meant to supercharge your body’s fat-burning potential.”

Let’s put the notion that intermittent fasting will reduce your energy or hurt your workout routine now – in fact the opposite is true!

Why the Food and Pharmacy Industry Will Not Study Intermittent Fasting

Considering the amazing health benefits of intermittent fasting, you would think the food and pharmaceuticals industries would be interested in studying it. A portion of the transcript from a TEDx Talk by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging may help to explain why:

“Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?”

In a similar manner, the lies of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and “You must eat five or six small meals a day” continue to be told. These ideas may be good for food company and restaurant bottom lines, but not your waistline!

Watch the TEDx talk below: