In my work, I talk a lot about the merits of fasting. There are many iterations of intermittent fasting. In this post, I introduce you to physician Dr. Bert Herring as he promotes a version of intermittent fasting that he calls Fast-5.
Fast-5: The 5-hour diet
Fast-5 basically means you eat all your daily food intake within a 5-hour period. Which means you fast for 19 hours a day. It doesn’t mean that you eat for 5 hours straight. It means that you pick any time window of five consecutive hours that is convenient for you and you make that the time that it’s okay for you to have your meals. Dr. Herring’s approach is that during this time period could be any time period within the day. For him, he does it from 5 PM to 10 PM. At that time, he eats whatever he chooses, as much as he wants without limitations.
Dr. Herring’s advice works because it gets you to fast, i.e. to go for 19 hours without food. As I often explain to my patients and clients that I mentor, going for long hours without food allows time for your body to empty stores of glycogen stored in the liver so that you can start using stored fat for fuel.
His time window of 5 PM to 10 PM, which is a personal choice for him, is something I caution people about. I advise my patients to eat four hours before they go to bed to avoid gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux.
I also caution people about diets or lifestyles that say things like, “You can eat whatever you want”. They often say “it’s not what you eat but when and how you eat that matters”. Somehow we believe such advice when it is obviously not accurate. What we eat also matters. Junk in junk out. Unhealthy food is like poison. And there are two ways poison can kill a person. Poison may be taken slowly so that it takes years to kill a person or it may be taken in a large enough dose that it kills sooner.
What we eat, when we eat, and how we eat all matter. We don’t have to simplify it at the expense of accuracy.
One can be slim and sick. You can eat unhealthy foods, fast, and still not give your body the best chance at living life to the full. That’s why I focus on a slim fit approach. You eat both with slimness and fitness (health) in mind.
Different Iterations of Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting. Some of them are:
-The 19/5 hour Fast. This is called above as Fast-5.
-The 16/8 hour Fast: You eat all your meals within an eight-hour window. That means you fast 16 hours each day. This is exactly the same thing as the Fast-5 discussed above. The only difference is that the eating window here is 8 consecutive hours instead of 5 consecutive hours.
-The 2/5 day Fast: You eat normally 5 days a week but fast two days each week.
-Alternate-Day Fasting: You fast every other day.
-Spontaneous Meal Skipping: You skip meals when convenient.
The whole idea is that fasting is great for the body. And it can be done in many different ways.