Fasting 2.0: How to Reset Your System and Improve Your Health
by Dr. Amy Shah
Fasting has been used for many years to help calm inflammation, support gut health, and improve overall wellness. It’s been linked to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as improve energy and focus. The problem with fasting is that it’s very hard. It’s difficult to fast, especially if it is over 24 hours.
Say you want to try fasting but then you think, "Wait, almost a full day without food?!" It doesn't sound so good anymore. That's why intermittent fasting has become so popular, because it's fasting for shorter periods of time: 14 or 16 or 18 hours. However, even that is quite difficult for people.
There has been new research around a style of eating called the “fasting mimicking diet,” created by Dr. Valter Longo from the University of Southern California. His diet entails eating low-calorie (about 30% of your total calories) for a period of five days. The point is to give you the benefits of fasting, without actually making you go on a water fast for five days. He’s even created a meal program box, called ProLon, that serves as a guide for the diet. You eat fixed proportions of food for five days — I’ve done it and found it to be somewhat helpful.
However, I find that I want something that is more doable at home and is a hybrid of the intermittent fasting and fasting mimicking diet model. Enter Fasting 2.0 — a new style where you can still eat some food while still getting most of the benefits that come with fasting, like reduced body fat and lowered risk of certain diseases. With Fasting 2.0, you eat a small amount of food (30% of your usual daily calories) for a 24-hour period.
Here’s how it works: you eat dinner on Friday night at 8PM. You got to bed and sleep for 7-9 hours and wake up in the morning and have tea or coffee. Then you’d eat some nuts or berries and maybe a second tea or coffee. Once 8PM hits, you break your fast and eat a complete dinner. The goal is not to break your fast and pig out — eat a reasonable dinner when you break your fast and resume your normal eating patterns the following day.
This style of fasting is a great way to rest your body and your system, and still get some of the benefits of the fasting mimicking diet and intermittent fasting. Try doing it once a month and no more than every couple of weeks. It can be paired with regular intermittent fasting. I predict that as more research comes out, this Fasting 2.0 model will become more popular!
Safety note: I don't recommend this to people who have major medical problems, like diabetes or heart disease. People who are taking lots of medications to control their blood pressure, are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their doctor before doing any type of fasting diet.