Is it healthy to fast 18 hours a day?

It’s not only healthy, but it’s a fantastic daily strategy if you want optimal health and fat loss permanently. Our bodies were made for fasting.

Constantly eating food every 2 -3 hours is a very outdated method, that’s brought on by the mainstream bodybuilding and fitness industry. There is no evidence to state that eating this frequently is actually good for you.

I made this mistake many times myself and felt like a sheep following the pack. I was eating 4–5 meals a day, force-feeding myself, thinking that the food would automatically convert to energy and supply it to my muscles.

Or what about the theory that constantly feeding yourself ignites your metabolism which helps you to burn body fat?

The body is not a machine that runs on logical thinking, as we stupidly believe. The mechanical structure and function of our body are primarily to keep us alive and out of danger. Extra calories are always saved for a future event, and when we starve for days on end or consecutively, our bodies respond accordingly by minimising bodily functions and conserving fuel. This is the phenomena you would be most familiar with – it’s the state your body gets into when you are on a low-calorie diet for years on end.

I have been through the whole gamut of diets, from low carb, low calorie, the bodybuilder diet, the eat 10 times a day diet, paleo, vegan and the like. In the beginning, these worked very well. Long term, all of these failed to serve me. I was not only miserable through the process, I was hungry, deprived and dreaming of a chocolate pool in which I could swim in with my mouth open! Yes, that’s pretty disgusting lol.

A friend of mine suggested I try out fasting – and that I had nothing to lose but weight. She was experiencing huge success with it and wanted to share her advice. I gladly took it on and began right away. Since that day, I’ve not looked back. I believe fasting is the best thing that ever happened to me. My blood test results are amazing, my cholesterol is as low as it can be, I can have a fasted blood test and eat, without it affecting my results. I have lost so much body fat that I never thought would be possible – mainly in my big problem area, which is the legs.

From fasting, I actually feel like my body has calmed down somewhat. It’s no longer under constant inflammation, it’s no longer fighting me, and it’s using food in the way I want it to – to fuel my training and daily functions, without the fat accumulation.

Now, in regards to your question about 18-hour fasts? There is no harm done with this strategy. I actually fast for 20 hours per day and find it to be very helpful. If you are training to build muscle, then I recommend allowing yourself 1–2 days where you increase your calorie intake by reducing your fasting time. You don’t have to do this, but I find it’s very helpful to refuel my body and prepare me for intense training sessions. Depending on what you do for physical activity, altering your diet may be necessary.

At the gym today, a fellow patron (whom I don’t know) asked me how I managed to maintain my body shape while we were unable to go to the gym. I said with great pride, I was fasting and training at home with bands. Nothing major, no supplements, no intense training – just fasting for long periods of time (20 hours) training with bands and body weight, plus, lots of walking. That’s it.

Weight loss does not have to be complicated. We just have to put in the work and be ok with feeling a little uncomfortable at times. It’s not a big ask in order to be at the weight you want, be healthy, maintain your weight loss and just feel good.

So please do go ahead with 18 hours, and try out different fasting times to stretch yourself a bit further. Challenges are what makes us grow into a better person. Just make sure you don’t have any health issues that can cause your experience to be negative – like diabetes. Your doctor will need to modify your insulin does, and you too. So please, do not put your health at risk and ask your doctor.

Here is to good health.

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