Why A Full Day is Better than a 24-Hour Fast

The degree to the effectiveness of an extended or true fast is the overall plan, preparation, and, finally, the duration. 

You can find charts that tell you what happens in your body at each 12-hour mark during a fast regarding fat burning, hormonal responses, ketosis, and the recycling activation of autophagy.

Most people will not get these proposed benefits or changes on this standard, over generalizing, the best guess based on worms and yeast charts they proclaim.

What happens in your fasting experience depends on many factors that have nothing to do with the time you are not eating.

I harp on the necessity of a preplanned pre-fasting on-ramp process leading into your fast, the support during your fast, and the reinforcement from how you break and maintain your metabolism post-fast.

And that will not change. The better metabolic flexibility and fitness you have achieved as you begin to fast, the better and more powerful the results in weight loss, health, and healing you glean from the fast.

So, there are better ways to do it than judging your results by hours.

A 24-hour fast usually describes someone eating dinner on day one and then eating on day two at the same time at dinner again. That’s 24 hours, but as my last post clarified, it’s not a full-day fast.

What’s the problem with 24-hour fasts?

The success rate is much lower than a full day as people hyper-focus on that last meal at dinner and the next day’s first meal at dinner, ending the fast. 

This hyperfocus leads to cheating and poor food choices more often than not, and is much less forgiving and has a higher chance of overeating at that next meal.

You aren’t fasting while you sleep. Just because you stop eating after dinner does not mean you are fasting or in the fasted metabolism, which can take 2-8 hours to activate.

When you fast a whole day and sleep that second night, you will be in a fasted state and gain the additional benefit of sleep in restoring your body and promoting even deeper fasting levels.

The first night’s sleep while not eating will help you get into the fasted state that you will promote throughout the full day of not eating and capitalize on that night’s sleep while fasting, compounding the health benefits that you will not get just not eating dinner to dinner.

Plus, you get to sleep through almost half of your time fasting! Man, I wish I could sleep through the entirety of my fasts… but that will not happen as I sit here and type on day 38 of this fast. Oh well.

In an extended fast, in my experience, as well as people I have worked with, sleep hits an all-time level of absolute greatness eventually if you fast long enough. For me, it’s about days 12-14. Incredible and worth the mental and physical price of admission. 

An incredible night’s sleep can change the constitution of your body overnight. You can wake up to a visibly different body from day to day. 

Granted, it might be only you who can see the distinct change. It’s not like you will turn into a swimsuit model overnight, but you will see the change if you are aware and paying attention.

So yes, a full-day fast requires two nights’ sleep. And, of course, the full day in between without eating. 

I hope that helps clarify what a full-day fast is, why it’s better than a 24-hour fast, and why everyone needs to get to the point where they can fast a full day without a problem, any time they choose, anywhere they choose to do it, while doing everything generally in their life, work, and lifestyle. 

That’s what I call the fasting model I teach, functional fasting. You need to be able to function and fast at the same time.

If this is your first time doing this, try it.

If you can’t do this now, learn.

If you need help, structure, or a program to master fasting, message me.

We can do better!

Dr. Don