6 Types of Fasting and Their INSANE Benefits

A Detailed explanation of Fasting Times & Benefits


A few days ago, a friend of mine shared a podcast with me.

“You NEED to listen to this, it’s SO good!”, he said.

“Okay, I’ll give it a chance”, I responded.

… And let me tell you, this was THE BEST podcast I have ever heard.

What was discussed?

  • Types of fasting and their benefits
  • Back to prehistoric times: how did we live back then?
  • How were we genetically designed? How are we “wired”?
  • How long your need to fast to achieve a certain benefit
  • Women’s menstrual cycles and the effect it has on their mind & body
  • Menopause 
  • The problem with today’s food
  • How to get started with fasting?

Quite a lot as you can see. And yes, the podcast is d*mn long (2h13m).

So I’ve decided to write a short summary here, as a reference for myself (because I want to do some more fasting). 

6 Types of Fasting

I’ve tried fasting in the past, but one of the main questions I always had was: “How long should I fast?”

And another question that was always on my mind, was: “Why am I actually doing this? What are the benefits for my body?”

Because me personally, I’m not looking to lose weight. I’m looking to become healthy, have a clear mind, have more energy, recover from injuries I’ve been struggling with and just generally… feel better.

Sounds familiar? 

Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Let’s see what these types of fasting are, and what they do to our bodies.


1. Intermittent fasting

I suppose this is the type of fasting most people know. You’ve probably heard or read about it before.

Time: 12–16 hours. 

  • At 13 hours of fasting, your body will start producing growth hormones. 

Benefits: 

  • Weight loss because of this growth hormone 
  • Weight loss (fat burning) because of creation of Ketones. Ketones mean that your body is now burning fat instead of sugar for energy.
  • Slow down aging process
  • Less brain fog, think more clearly. 

This type of fasting is great to begin with. It’s not that hard, and has amazing benefits!

2. Autophagy fasting

Time: 17–24 hours.

  • At 17 hours, you will start to stimulate autophagy. This means that your cells “wake up” and start to repair themselves. 

Benefits:

  • Cellular repair, remove damaged components
  • Gut repair
  • Detox
  • Less anxiety / depression
  • Mental focus
  • Balancing sex hormones
  • Preventing illness

As you can imagine, this type of fasting can be EXTREMELY powerful if you’re struggling with any mental or physical issues.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

3. Gut reset fasting

Time: 24–36 hours.

  • At 24 hours without food, your intestinal stem cells inside the gut start to “reboot” themselves.
  • This will cause the production of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid). GABA is natural substance in your brain that helps keep everything running smoothly and calmly.
  • GABA plays a significant role in regulating many physiological and psychological processes, and in this case, mainly “healing the gut”.

Benefits:

  • Enhanced cellular repair
  • Stem cells start to repair the gut building a better microbiome
  • A healthy gut takes care of a healthy immune system
  • Healthy gut = better creation of serotonin (happiness hormone)
  • Protect against autoimmune conditions
  • Boosted brain function, promotes the growth of new neurons 
  • Protects the brain against neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia
  • Improve blood sugar control because of increased insulin sensitivity

If you’ve been fasting regularly, then you should definitely give this type of fasting a try, as it has the most health benefits.

It’s my goal as well. 

4. Fat burner fast

Time: 36–48 hours.

  • Your body has been burning fat instead of glucose (sugars) for a while now. 
  • This length of fasting will force your body to burn all the leftovers of sugar & insulin that are stored. 

Benefits:

  • Mainly weight loss (burn belly fat around organs)
  • Anti aging

Personally, this isn’t my goal. I’m already skinny as hell so no need for me to burn more fat.

That being said — I want to draw your attention to something important: 

If you’re a skinny person, it doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. You can be skinny and have a totally f*cked up gut, immune system, blood sugar, or whatever other possible issues. 

If you’re eating cookies and drinking sugary juices all day, every day, you probably fall under this category. Be careful.

Photo by Wahid Sadiq on Unsplash

5. Dopamine reset fast

Time: 48–72 hours

  • A 48-hour fast can reset the dopamine system
  • Explanation: This temporary abstinence from food and other pleasurable stimuli helps to recalibrate the body’s response to these pleasures
  • Dopamine can be explained as the “reward system” of the brain, playing a key role in how we experience pleasure, motivation, and reward.

Benefits:

  • You give your dopamine receptors “a break”, which resets them
  • This break helps them to become sensitive again
  • You will need “less” of that stimuli to feel the same please you had before
  • Your overall mood & happiness will be increased
  • You could start finding more joy in smaller, simpler pleasures.

Most people in today’s society are dopamine saturated & addicted.

Think about:

  • Overeating & sugar addiction
  • Porn addiction
  • Phone & social media addiction
  • Video game addiction
  • Caffeine addiction

Many of these people are not getting much happiness out of their activities. 

Take for example overeaters — they are not getting much happiness out of food, so they have to eat more food to get more happiness, because their dopamine systems are saturated.

If they would do this fast, and then brought food back in, they will get more enjoyment with less food. 

6. Immune reset fast

Time: Longer than 72 hours.

  • 3 day fast. This is extremely hard — you will be hungry, and just not know what to do.
  • You’ll sleep less good, wake up often

Benefits:

  • White blood cells reboot themselves
  • Immune system reboots itself
  • Old white blood cells get removed and replaced by new ones
  • Boosted immune system because of (new and increased) stem cells
  • Stem cells go to all parts of the body, repairing damaged c
  •  → Heal severe injuries

Needless to say, this type of fasting is extremely difficult and not for a beginner.

However, if you’ve been struggling with some musculoskeletal injuries for a long time, then this might be a solution for you to try.


Conclusion

Fasting is an extremely powerful “trick” that not many people know of. 

Or possibly they DO know know, however they are too lazy or might find it too hard to do… which is very unfortunate. 

  • 12–16 hours: weight loss, less brain fog, slow down aging
  • 17–24 hours: Cell repair, gut repair, detox, prevent illness
  • 24–36 hours: Stem cell creation, boosted brain, gut repair
  • 36–48 hours: fat burning, slow down aging
  • 48–72 hours: dopamine receptor reset
  • +72 hours: Immune system reboot, heal severe injuries

As you could read, there are countless benefits. I hope I have inspired to you give it a try as well, and that you will inspire people too.

Some final Q&A’s

  • Q: How to start fasting?
    A: Create a fasting window. See what works for you in your current daily schedule
  • Q: Can I drink water or coffee?
    A: Yes. But no coffee with sugar of course. Just black coffee.
  • Q: Do I need to fast every day? 
    A: NO! Put a few days between it. Eating (healthy) food is also extremely important. Your body needs these nutrients to function. In the beginning, try doing it once or twice a week.
  • Q: How to break your fast?
    A: Do it slowly. Don’t just break your fast by eating a kilogram of food. First have a drink that you like. Or a banana. Or some blueberries. Give it like 20 minutes and then slowly start eating your meal. Enjoy it.

And here’s the podcast for those who’d like to listen to it:


Thanks for reading!

If you’ve got questions or thoughts, drop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you! Follow or ???? if you’d like to see more content like this. Or buy me a coffee, this stuff is magical 😉

P.S. did you claim your copy of my free e-book yet?

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Michiel Schuer

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