In previous articles I covered the basics of fasting including the various different types. If you've managed to try any of these you may now be wondering if there are any forms of advanced fasting that can take you to the next level. Well you will be glad to know that there are two further types of fasting that can be practiced. These advanced levels are designed to compliment your intermittent fasting lifestyle not replace it.
Low Calorie Liquid Fast- This is classed as an intermediate form of fasting and is best for gut health.
How to Do It
A Low Calorie Liquid Fast (LCLF) involves consuming only low-calorie liquids such as bone broth, bulletproof coffee, or smoothies, in addition to zero calorie beverages like water, coffee and green tea. A LCLF is as the title says a liquid only fast. but still allows you to reap many health benefits, most notably for digestion and gut health. The key is to keep the sugar content of the liquids low hence reducing any insulin spikes in the body. Your body will receive its calories from the good fats within the bone broth and MCT’s within the coffee. You can use our diet collagen along with coconut oil and grass fed butter.
This type of fasting can typically be done safely for anywhere between 24 hours and several days, although 3-5 days are most common. If your practicing IF initially try a 24 liquid fast then slowly build up over a period of months to a five day fast.
Why It Works
Many of the liquids listed here, including bone broth and coffee, have beneficial and soothing effects on the gut. When coupled with the intrinsic benefit that fasting has on microbiome diversity and providing a respite for the digestive tract, this type of fast can have a potent effect on the strength of your gut flora and digestion.
If you decide to do a LCLF with juice or smoothies, make sure they are extremely low in sugar to keep blood glucose stable during the fast. Juice and smoothies should be primarily composed of vegetables, water, healthy fats like coconut and avocado, and low sugar fruits like berries.
To make a simple bone broth put a full chicken in a slow cooker filled to the brim with water and chicken stock. Simmer for 8 hours then sift out all the skin and meat. The chicken will just break apart. Put bones back into the broth and simmer for a further four hours then allow to cool. Once cooled place in the fridge. It should turn to a gelatin type substance. This broth is now packed with collagen. Either spoon into your smoothies or heat up again and eat like a soup.
Zero Calorie Liquid Fast - This is classed as an advanced form of fasting and is best for autophagy and cellular health.
How to Do It
During a Zero Calorie Liquid Fast (ZCLF), only zero calorie beverages like water, black coffee, and green tea are consumed. Some individuals stick to just water during this kind of fast, but whether or not a strict water fast provides more benefits is unclear in the research at this time. In fact, polyphenol-rich beverages like coffee or green tea during a fast may actually enhance some of the benefits of fasting.
ZCLF can be practiced for anywhere between 24 hours and several days. Typically, the longer you engage in this type of fast, the deeper the body gets into cellular cleansing. However, strict fasts should only be conducted by healthy individuals under the supervision of a healthcare professional. Be sure to consult with your physician before trying a multi-day ZCLF. However I feel that 24 hours is safe to do and should be practiced at least once a month building up slowly to once per week.
Why It Works
As described in earlier articles autophagy kicks in between 12 and 16 hours into a fast, and is slowed by the intake of calories. Longer fasts with zero calorie intake enhance the autophagic process and provide your cells more time to regenerate and optimize their function.
ZCLF can lead to electrolyte imbalances, especially if done for extended periods of time and/or when combined with excessive sweating. Ensure you’re getting adequate minerals by adding ½ -1 tsp per day of quality sea salt to your water. Alternatively, you can supplement with electrolytes or trace minerals, but be sure it’s a formulation that doesn’t include added calories or sugar.