One thing that is great about humanity is that we’re all different! Everyone has a different physical shape, as well as slight differences in biological makeup. Our bodies have different needs in terms of how many (and what type of) calories we should consume for optimal results and performance. Some people need to consume more calories to remain at baseline, while others need fewer.
That’s why how you fast matters. Your intermittent fasting schedule might look different from that of your friend because the two of you may have different goals and body types.
For example, if you’re looking to gain weight/muscle mass, a plan with longer fast periods wouldn’t be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re looking to lose belly fat, a more extended fasting period can help you achieve your health goal. Research indicates that intermittent fasting can be a safe way for people to lose weight and body fat.
Pay attention to your body and your goals to discover the right intermittent fasting strategy for your body type so you can achieve your health goals quickly and efficiently.
The 3 Main Body Types
The idea of body types, also known as somatotypes, was developed by William H. Sheldon, Ph.D., M.D. He theorizes that people can be categorized into three common body types. Please note: the following descriptions are only generalizations. Somatotypes are simply a guideline to determine one’s physical shape. You may neatly fall into one of these categories, but you might also have characteristics of more than one, in particular when you consider changes over a life cycle.
Ectomorph Body Type
Ectomorphs tend to have a slim body type. Their main characteristics include:
Thin, skinny frame
Low body fat
Small, lean muscles
Narrow shoulders and hips
Trouble building muscle and gaining weight
Mesomorph Body Type
Mesomorphs are those with a more athletic and muscular body type. Their main characteristics include:
Large, muscular frame
Medium to low body fat
Broad shoulders, narrow waist
Can easily gain muscle and fat
Endomorph Body Type
Endomorphs are those with a rounder and thicker body type. Their main characteristics include:
Soft, curvy, round frame
High body fat – especially in the waist, hips and thighs
Thick bone structure
Wider hips, narrow shoulders
Wider hips, narrow shoulders
Gains weight easily
Best Intermittent Fasting Strategy for Each Body Type
Now that you understand the three somatotypes, let’s explore what the best intermittent fasting plan is for each.
Please note: these are general guidelines. It is always a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider before beginning an intermittent fasting plan.
Best Fasting Strategy for Ectomorphs: 14:10 plan
Ectomorphs have a fast metabolism, which allows them to burn calories quickly. It also means they have difficulty gaining weight and muscle. A primary goal for them is to avoid fat loss.
Regarding intermittent fasting, ectomorphs may want to keep their fasting periods relatively short to maintain their weight and body fat. The 14:10 plan can be a great schedule for ectomorphs to practice. It gives them a long eating window while still allowing them to enjoy the many benefits of intermittent fasting. A 12:12 plan can also be sufficient.
Best Fasting Strategy for Mesomorphs: 18:6 or 16:8 plan
Mesomorphs have a high muscle-to-fat ratio and a highly efficient metabolism. They often have no problem gaining or losing weight. While losing or gaining weight without trouble may seem like a plus, it can make it challenging to maintain an ideal weight. So, mesomorphs must be conscious of what they eat/drink and how much they exercise to avoid gaining weight.
People who fall into the category of mesomorphs have more flexibility when it comes to intermittent fasting choices than other body types. An 18:6 or 16:8 plan may work best for mesomorphs, giving them enough time for two to three full meals. Plus, they enjoy a lengthy fasting period, which helps limit their calorie intake and fat accumulation. A 5:2 plan (see below) or alternate-day fasting may also be effective.
Best Fasting Strategy for Endomorphs: 5:2 plan
Endomorphs have a slow metabolism compared to ectomorphs and mesomorphs. It’s easier for them to gain weight but more challenging to lose weight. They have higher amounts of body fat, so for endomorphs looking to lose weight, a primary goal is likely to lower their overall calorie intake and increase the fasting window.
Endomorphs may benefit from intermittent fasting schedules with very long fast periods, such as a 20:4 plan or something even more stringent—for example, a 5:2 plan, in which they consume a regular diet for five days and then adhere to a very low-calorie diet (500 calories) for two. The extreme reduction in calories (in particular if carbohydrates are restricted) may help them get into ketosis and lower their fat stores during the process. It also provides time for autophagy—a “cleaning up” of cellular debris.
Endomorphs should also eat more nutrient-dense foods to promote better overall health. Other intermittent fasting strategies they could try are alternate-day fasting or a 24-hour fast done once per week.
Choose How You Fast and Eat Right for Your Body Type
Understand these plans are merely recommendations and suggestions to give you an idea of how to approach intermittent fasting. For example, if you’re an endomorph, you don’t have to be married to the 5:2 plan. You can try 16:8 or 14:10 if it’s more attainable. The best intermittent fasting schedule is the one that works for you and your lifestyle—one that you can adhere to long-term.
Whatever your reasons for fasting, getting used to fasting can be a challenge, especially as you try to extend your fasting period. As you fast, you’re learning to be more disciplined and intentional with your diet. Your body is entering a state it’s rarely experienced, so it’s important to be patient and realistic with your body.
Many people focus on getting into a fast without considering what happens next. The same care you apply when entering a fast should be taken when you exit it. Doing so may prevent any discomfort during your eating window. So, be sure to break it the proper and safe way.
Is There A Wrong Way to Break a Fast?
Yes, you can break a fast incorrectly by eating foods that are hard on your digestive system. This is particularly true if you have been fasting for a prolonged period of time (>24 hours).
Even though you might be very hungry after your fasting period ends, jumping right out and gorging on whatever is nearby is a mistake. Eating foods high in carbohydrates, fat, sugar, and fiber could overwhelm your digestive system. This applies to any variation of intermittent fasting – 18:6, 16:8, 14:10, as well as alternate-day fasting.
As you fasted, your body went through a temporary restriction of food and calories. As a result, your body produces fewer digestive enzymes, which are critical in breaking down the food you consume. The longer you fast, the less digestive enzymes you have.
So, when you eat a cheeseburger to break your fast, you may not have enough enzymes to digest those foods quickly. This may lead to diarrhea, as well as gassiness and bloating, which is not how you want to reintroduce your body to the world of food.
The bottom line is when exiting a fast, avoid high-calorie meals and in particular processed, carb-heavy, fatty, and fried foods.
What’s The Best Way to Break A Fast?
The best way to break a fast is to ease out of it. Start slow and gradually work your way back to your regular diet. Eat foods that are easy to digest, like whole foods. This will help replenish your body with essential vitamins, minerals and electrolytes while still being gentle on your digestive system.
Depending on the length of your fast, it may take a few hours before your digestive enzymes return to pre-fast levels. Afterward, you can safely enjoy your favorite foods without discomfort.
Again, more care needs to be taken if you are exiting a longer-term fast, such as a complete fast for one or more days. If you are following a standard regimen of intermittent fasting and each day you allow yourself 6-8 hours of eating, with only a 16-18 hour fasting period, being ultra-selective with food choices for the initial meal of the day is of less concern—as the body will quickly adapt to your approach.
8 Things to Eat and Drink to Break a Fast the Right Way
Whether you’re doing an extended or intermittent fast with an extended fasting period (e.g., 20 hours), the general principle of easing out of a fast remains the same. These foods and drinks provide a perfect starting point for your first meal after breaking your fast.
Bone Broth & Soup
Bone broth and soups are two of the best foods to eat when breaking a fast. They’re easily consumable foods rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Both are perfect for fasts of any length, as they can quickly replenish lost electrolytes from fasting.
Fruits like bananas, watermelon and berries are great to eat when breaking your fast. They’re a sufficient source of natural sugars and vitamin C, while being gentle on your digestive tract. Plus, they have a high water content, which can help you stay hydrated.
Raw vegetables provide significant nutrients but can be hard on the stomach. That’s why it’s better to cook or steam them to soften the fiber content for easy digestion while keeping their nutritional value intact. Aim for leafy green and non-starchy veggies like spinach, kale, zucchini, carrots, or broccoli.
Avocadoes are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re rich in healthy fats, folate, vitamins, antioxidants, and potassium. Plus, they’re easy on your digestive system.
Fish are a good animal protein because of their easy digestion. In addition, they’re nutrient-heavy – containing lots of healthy fats, protein, and vitamin D.
You can never go wrong with eggs. They’re a protein monster that can help with muscle growth and repair. They also contain vitamin D, folate, and antioxidants that aid your overall health. Plus, eggs are friendly to your digestive system.
If you’re looking for a drink to break your fast, a freshly blended smoothie is the way to go! They’re a great way to consume fruits and vegetables that are easy on the stomach. You can add protein power to make this a complete macronutrient-balanced meal. Smoothies can sometimes be better than raw fruits and veggies because of the lower fiber content.
Fasting Done Right
Breaking your fast the right way is all about finding natural and easily digestible foods. These foods are gentle on your digestive system and can refill vitamins, minerals, and energy lost from fasting. It’s always a good idea to be intuitive when fasting so you don’t overdo it or cause undue stress to your body. Listen to your body. If you’re a woman, make sure you are fasting in alignment with your cycle, as fasting can impact women’s hormones differently than men’s hormones.. Finally, remember to stay hydrated as you fast. Drink plenty of water (e.g., 2-3 liters per day for women; 3 or more liters per day for men) and consider adding Tecton ketones to extend your fast while staying focused and energized.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
Existing in a continued state of ketosis can be an effective health strategy that allows you to become your best and most extraordinary self.
But getting there, and staying there, isn’t always easy.
For those new to the keto lifestyle, recognizing when your body is in ketosis can be a challenge. This article will help you understand what ketosis is and how to know when you have achieved it.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic state that happens when the body burns primarily fat instead of glucose (i.e., when sugar) for energy. The Standard American Diet ensures that we typically get our energy from glucose, which comes from carbohydrate foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains—as well as processed sugar.
But we can also get energy from ketones, which can be created in the liver from fats when glucose isn’t readily available (i.e., when we restrict carbohydrate intake or adhere to a fast). When our bodies are running on ketones instead of glucose, we are said to be in a state of ketosis.
Ketosis can cause weight loss due to natural appetite suppression, which reduces caloric intake and creates an energy deficit. Additionally, when restricting carbohydrates with the goal of creating ketones, more fat can be oxidized or “burned,” and this typically results in less body fat—including belly fat, which can be dangerous for your health. Ketosis is also associated with reduced inflammation, which can be health-enhancing.
Consider that the human body is capable of existing in a state of ketosis. After all, there is no such thing as an “essential” carbohydrate. Our ancient ancestors did not have quick access to food throughout the day. Instead, they would often eat once a day and spend most of their lives in a state of mild ketosis.
How to Get into Ketosis
Entering ketosis takes a bit of time. If you restrict your carb intake to 20-50 grams a day, you may reach ketosis in 2-4 days. But depending on your metabolism and physical activity, it may take longer.
Here are some ways to get into ketosis:
Limit carbs – The fewer carbohydrates you consume, the less glucose you’ll produce, and the more ketones your body will create.
Exercise – Physical activity helps you reduce your glycogen stores faster. Just make sure not to overdo it.
Fast – Intermittent fasting is where you fast for a specific period while reserving an “eating window” where you can eat however you like. For example, a 16-8 diet is where you fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours.
Take exogenous ketones – Exogenous ketones may help you reach a mild state of ketosis without going on a full keto diet. For better results, try to take one that uses ketone esters, like Tecton, as they’re nature-identical and safe to consume at relatively high dosages. Exogenous ketones may also help you get into ketosis from the keto diet without experiencing the keto flu, which we will discuss in a moment.
Signs You’re in Ketosis
As you look to implement these changes to unlock your inner extraordinary self, how can you tell if you’re in ketosis? While there are blood and urine tests available to measure your ketones, your body also produces a series of signs indicating that you have reached ketosis.
A fruity or unpleasant smell in your breath is a good sign you’re in ketosis. Ketones leave the body in two ways: through urine or breath. Acetone, a type of ketone, is likely the main cause of your bad breath. However, it’s nothing that a little breath mint or sugar-free gum can’t fix.
When you first cut carbs, you may notice a significant drop in pounds. That initial drop is typically due to your body getting rid of water weight. Afterward, you’ll still see a decline in weight, but at a much more stable and consistent rate—which is likely a result of increased fat loss.
Thirst, dry mouth
Remember, when you restrict carbohydrates, your body stores of sugar will be reduced, and this will be accompanied by a reduction in water storage—leading to a lowering in body weight. So naturally, you may feel slightly dehydrated and have an imbalance in electrolyte levels. The reduction of fluid in your body causes your increased thirst and dry mouth. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids during fasting and when you are restricting carbohydrates to avoid dehydration.
You might feel worse before you feel better when you are trying to tell if you’re in ketosis. As your body is adjusting to ketosis, you may go through something known as the “keto-flu.” Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include cravings, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, muscle cramps, or nausea, according to Dr. Christina Tarantola, PharmD, CHC, CHT. Drinking Tecton may help to reduce or even eliminate these symptoms and make getting into and remaining in ketosis a much more pleasant experience.
An unfortunate way to tell if you’re in ketosis is disrupted sleep. When first changing your diet and reducing your carb intake, you may experience insomnia and restlessness during your sleep. It’s normal for those in the beginning of ketosis as you’re reducing your carbohydrate stores, but that will disappear the longer you stick to a ketogenic diet. However, there’s some good news. Because Tecton does not contain caffeine, it can help you feel energized during the day without impacting your sleep at night.
Digestive issues like constipation or diarrhea are your body’s way of responding to the new changes in your diet. To help address your upset stomach, drink plenty of fluids, eat vegetables, and consume more fiber. You might also consider the addition of a probiotic to aid in supporting gut health.
One of the hallmark signs to tell if you’re in ketosis is a raise in ketone levels. As you’re switching fuel sources, you may find more and more ketones in your blood, breath, and even urine. While there are tests for your breath and urine, the most accurate way of measuring ketosis is by looking at your blood with a specialized test. You can often find these tests in your local pharmacy or online. In general, a measurement of .5 – 3 mg/dL is considered an elevated level of ketones, signaling ketosis.
Ketosis is safe and healthy for most people – both as a short- and long-term health solution. Although, as with any dietary plan, it’s always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before starting on a carbohydrate-restricted diet with the goal of entering ketosis.
The signs listed above can help you tell you’re in ketosis. People who attempt to get into nutritional ketosis through the keto diet may experience some side effects—most notably the “keto flu.” Drinking Tecton may help mitigate some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with this keto flu and help you achieve ketosis faster and more comfortably than with diet alone.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
For many, being great requires being happy with what they see in the mirror and how they feel. Thus, the quest for the perfect body—or, at least, one that feels and looks good—is a regular pursuit for millions of individuals each day. And yet, the success rate in achieving the desired body is relatively low, despite the billions of dollars spent annually on products and programs promising to deliver amazing weight and fat loss results.
While some individuals seeking weight loss programs and products are already in good shape and looking for ways to push past a plateau to become extraordinary, most are overweight or obese. They aspire to get their weight under control—for either aesthetic or health purposes, or possibly both.
Using methods to lose weight and combat obesity is essential, as an obese state not only impairs the quality of life but also results in a significant economic burden. A 2021 study noted higher annual medical care costs for those who are obese versus a healthy weight—to the tune of $2,505 per year, with costs increasing significantly with the class of obesity, from 68.4% for class 1 to 233.6% for class 3. Simply put, the higher the person’s BMI, the greater the medical costs.
While spending an extra $2,500 per year may not seem like a concern to some, consider the aggregate medical cost for all obese individuals. In 2016, this number among adults in the United States alone was $260.6 billion. With a rapid increase in obesity cases, these costs continue to climb. This is unfortunate, as in nearly all cases of obesity, the problem can be avoided.
With an estimated 42% or more of the United States population now categorized as obese and close to 70% of the country considered overweight or obese, solutions are desperately needed. Of course, the simplest (though not necessarily the quickest) approach is to adopt and maintain a wellness lifestyle program. This includes regular physical activity and structured exercise performed most days of the week, adequate and quality nightly sleep, and appropriate nutritional intake (including calories from macro- and micro-nutrients).
Introducing Weight Loss Drugs
While altering lifestyle is encouraged for long-term success, many people want a faster approach, including using medications designed to aid in weight/fat loss.
People have been using drugs to address weight/fat loss for decades. For example, bodybuilders are notoriously rumored to use drugs to improve their physique. While most outsiders believe bodybuilders achieve their builds through steroid use, the truth goes far beyond this. Most importantly, bodybuilders achieve their physique through superior and unusual genetics, coupled with insane commitment and brutally hard training—something most people are unwilling to do.
When discussing weight loss drugs, we need to look beyond steroids to a combination of many drugs, including those that aid weight and fat loss. These work by decreasing appetite and increasing thermogenesis (i.e., burning calories).
For many, the drug of choice is semaglutide (Wegovy®), a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist that was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for chronic weight management. This medication appears to blunt appetite and slow food movement from the stomach into the small intestine. As a result, users may feel full faster and for more extended periods, so they eat less.
The clinical trial data are convincing, with subjects losing considerable weight— adverse events (specifically, gastrointestinal) notwithstanding. There has been so much talk about this drug recently, and others like it, that the manufacturers are struggling to meet the demand. In fact, popularity has grown so much that many employers are now covering weight loss drugs as a part of health benefits—an estimated doubling in the number of employers who will cover these drugs in 2024 compared to 2023.
Wegovy® is a variant of the popular diabetic drug Ozempic, produced by the Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk. These drugs are not the only medications gaining popularity for their weight loss effects, as demand is increasing for Mounjaro. This diabetes medication promotes weight loss using a different key ingredient, tirzepatide. With the overwhelming interest in these drugs, it is unsurprising that others are currently under development.
Do Weight Loss Drugs Work and Are They Safe?
The latest weight loss drugs on the market are so enticing because they produce significant weight loss and ancillary benefits such as lower blood pressure. For example, a recent large-scale study published in the New England Journal of Medicine noted a nearly 15% reduction in body weight following 68 weeks of treatment with once-weekly semaglutide (2.4 mg), plus lifestyle intervention. A more recent publication by the same group noted a significant reduction in BMI for obese adolescents.
While the evidence is clear that lifestyle changes in physical activity and nutritional intake could be equally as helpful, many people are enticed by the quicker path to success and opt to take a weight loss drug rather than modify their lifestyle. However, patients should be instructed by the prescribing physician to engage in lifestyle modification simultaneously with drug use, as noted on the company website. It is unclear whether all patients adhere to this sound guidance.
Potential Harm and Concerns of Weight Loss Drugs
The weight loss drugs I have mentioned are powerful. So, even without much lifestyle change, it is likely that the semaglutide will deliver weight loss. But what are the consequences?
As with all drugs, there are known and potential side effects. This should never be a surprise. Individuals must understand that they now accept the responsibility for the ensuing adverse effects when choosing to use a drug.
For Wegovy® semaglutide, the side effects, including pancreatitis, gallbladder problems, kidney failure, depression and suicidal thoughts, are openly presented on the company website and should be considered before using this medicine.
These have been noted noted in the clinical trials and highlighted in the paper describing the above study (Rubino et al., 2021), where authors stated that “Gastrointestinal events were reported in 49.1% of participants who continued subcutaneous semaglutide vs. 26.1% with placebo.”
You might ask why the placebo treatment would lead to GI events (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Remember that in this study, all subjects received the semaglutide for the initial 20 weeks and were randomized to either continued drug use or placebo. The 26.1% of subjects reporting adverse events could be due to residual problems stemming from the initial 20 weeks of treatment or unrelated to treatment.
Another concern is that users will immediately regain their lost weight after they stop using the medication. This is valid. As with other weight loss methods, the weight will likely return once individuals stop using them. This reality has undoubtedly been shared by many former semaglutide users in anecdotal accounts and confirmed by a large-scale clinical trial.
In this study, 803 subjects who received the drug for an initial 20 weeks (and experienced an average weight loss of 10.6%) were assigned to either continue with the drug for an additional 48 weeks or be switched to using a placebo for the remaining 48 weeks (lifestyle intervention to be followed by subjects in both groups).
On average, those assigned to the continued drug treatment lost an additional 7.9% of body weight. However, on average, those assigned to the placebo gained 6.9% body weight. Now, considering that these subjects initially lost an average of 10.6% body weight, they may have still been at a net loss of 3-4% from baseline. Based on the average starting weight of subjects, this likely equates to 7-8 pounds.
To sum up, semaglutide does work to facilitate weight loss, substantially in some cases. There is a rapid and continuous decline in weight through the initial year of drug use (amounting to approximately 15% of body weight, equating to close to 30 pounds for those with a starting weight of 200 pounds), followed by stabilization, assuming continued treatment. However, once treatment stops, some of the weight will likely return.
Mental health side effects
Finally, mental health side effects are possible. These include anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation and attempt. Those considering semaglutide should at least consider the possible adverse effects of use and discuss these with their physician.
Natural Weight Loss Options
There is no silver bullet for weight loss. Many who are committed to weight loss are unwilling to accept the potential adverse side effects of weight loss drugs, commit to long-term use for continued effectiveness, or incur the significant financial cost of these drugs—(assuming their insurance plan does not cover these). But there is still hope! Much can be done about the problem of excess body weight.
First, recognize that carrying excess body weight contributes to both acute and chronic health problems—it is not merely an issue of aesthetics. In short, obesity is a disease that needs to be addressed on the individual level.
Second, make a conscious decision to shed the pounds. You need to be excited about this, set realistic goals (perhaps a weight loss of 1 pound per week), develop a plan of action, get to work, and be consistent! Accept that it will not be easy—especially at the start. There will be sacrifice, discomfort and challenges. But the return on the invested effort will be well worth it.
When it comes to shedding body weight and fat, physical activity and structured exercise are effective methods to some degree, as both contribute to overall energy expenditure. Burning calories through exercise will create an energy deficit when coupled with reduced calorie intake.
Make a point to increase your daily physical activity, such as walking, housework and yardwork. Although these activities are less intense than structured exercise, they expend energy and can prove helpful. Structured exercise such as running, swimming and weightlifting not only expends calories but also improves cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and metabolic health—which assists with weight loss and maintenance over time.
For cardiovascular exercise, those serious about weight loss should aim for a minimum of three hours per week, divided over three or more days. This exercise includes jogging, cycling, stepping, swimming and similar activities—yielding approximately 100 calories burned per 10 minutes of moderate to high-intensity activity.
For resistance exercise (weight lifting), the goal should be approximately 1.5 hours per week, divided into 2-3 sessions—splitting the body parts into different days to allow for adequate recovery between sessions. Resistance exercise will also expend energy but to a lesser degree than cardiovascular exercise (assuming matched intensity). However, resistance exercise will help develop muscle mass, which can slightly raise the overall metabolic rate (how many calories one expends at rest).
Nutritional intake for weight loss
As important as physical activity and exercise are to weight loss and maintenance, dietary intake is arguably more important.
It takes significant effort to expend 1,000 calories through exercise (about two hours of hard work for most individuals), but those same 1,000 calories (or more) can be easily consumed in one fast-food meal. Therefore, paying close attention to nutritional intake is of vital importance.
While it seems simple, and an overwhelming number of different approaches exist to lose weight, the basic goal is to consume fewer calories each day than you expend. For weight loss, this tends to be around 10–20% fewer calories than your body uses for maintenance.
Beyond the number, the type of calories consumed is important. Prioritize eating a nutrient-dense diet of high-quality protein (e.g., white meat of chicken and turkey, lean pork and red meat, cottage cheese), low glycemic index carbohydrate (e.g., beans, whole grains, most vegetables, some fruits), little to no sugar (including sweetened beverages), low to moderate amounts of fat (but adequate essential fatty acids), and a high volume of water (~1 gallon per day).
While caloric restriction is generally viewed as the standard method for weight loss, other plans have proven successful in recent years—including intermittent fasting (IF) and the ketogenic diet. With IF, individuals may not modify the type of foods or how much is consumed, but rather, when foods are consumed (usually during a 6–8-hour feeding window during the day). With the ketogenic diet, carbohydrate intake is reduced significantly (usually < 30 grams per day). This prompts the body to produce ketones in the liver from stored body fat, resulting in significant weight loss over time.
Although the results from this approach are attractive, maintaining such a low carbohydrate intake is challenging. To assist, some individuals choose to use exogenous ketones in the form of a ketone ester beverage like Tecton. Consuming 1-2 Tecton drinks each day can help to maintain a state of ketosis, reduce appetite and assist in the quest for reduced body weight—with safety data supporting Tecton intake at relatively high levels.
Obesity is an ongoing problem in the United States and most developed nations worldwide. People desire a quick-fix approach to weight loss. Most recently, attention from both doctors and patients has shifted from lifestyle changes to weight loss drugs—GLP-1 agonists, to be specific. While these drugs can be highly effective in weight loss, they can promote undesired side effects, which must be carefully evaluated and considered before use.
It could be argued that a better long-term strategy is to adopt a healthy lifestyle approach, including regular exercise and a structured nutrition program. The latter may consider intermittent fasting or a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Both approaches have proven highly effective, with weight loss results from adherence to a low-calorie ketogenic diet paralleling or exceeding those of the semaglutide drugs—roughly 30 pounds in two to six months.
Using the Tecton ketone beverage as a nutritional tool may further assist weight loss success, as appetite can be suppressed—helping to extend a fasting window—while adherence to the lower carbohydrate/lower calorie plan can be more easily maintained.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
Intermittent fasting has recently gained more attention – and for good reason! The benefits of intermittent fasting have been backed by science. They include weight loss, improved blood sugar, improved chronic health conditions, metabolic flexibility and support, and longevity.
More specifically, women need to fast differently than men, taking our menstrual cycle into account to ensure we are supporting our hormones and metabolism. The hormonal variations women experience throughout their menstrual cycle control important aspects of nutrition, including metabolism, hunger and cravings. For this reason, not taking hormonal fluctuations into account can lead to some difficulties when it comes to reaching health goals.
If we neglect to fast according to our cycle, we may run into adverse effects such as weight gain, inability to lose weight, irregular menstrual cycles and insatiable cravings/hunger.
Over the last 4 years, I have helped clients figure out the best intermittent fasting schedule for them. The approach I’ll outline in this article combines research from Dr. Mindy Pelz, a noted expert in this field, with my experiences working with clients.
Let’s dive deep into the science behind cycle syncing intermittent fasting to discuss the optimal way to fast according to our menstrual cycle.
Intermittent Fasting with a Menstrual Cycle: Fasting During the Fertility Years
Women who menstruate experience a lot of hormonal changes throughout the month that can impact the benefits of fasting. Here are some general guidelines on cycle syncing intermittent fasting:
Days 1-10: From day 1 (the first day of your period) through day 10 of a woman’s cycle, there are fewer restrictions when it comes to fasting. Women are able to fast for 15+ hours and even 24-36 hours if desired. In this phase, estrogen and progesterone levels are lower, and overall appetite is lower. This makes it a favorable time to fast.
Days 12-20: During the follicular phase, days 12 through 20, it is recommended that women do not exceed a 15-hour fast. Focus on eating higher-protein foods, like grass-fed meats, organic poultry and wild-caught seafood, and an overall lower carbohydrate intake.
Days 21-28: NO fasting. During this time, the body needs increased carbohydrates and potentially more calories overall. It is recommended that women do not fast during this time to support their energy and metabolic needs. Fasting during this time can have negative effects on hormones, causing weight gain and increased inflammation.
Intermittent Fasting and Perimenopause
Perimenopause is a transitional time between your fertility years and menopause. It can happen at different times for different women.Ssome women experience symptoms starting in their 30s and others experience them in their late 40s. Some characteristics of perimenopause include irregular menstrual cycles, abdominal weight gain and/or inability to lose weight, increased fatigue, and hot flashes.
During this time, women should try to track their cycles. This can be difficult, as cycles become very inconsistent. But picking up on hormonal patterns is key to knowing when to fast.
If you have consistent cycles, fast as you would in your fertility years.
If you have inconsistent cycles and are unable to track patterns, it can be worth a DUTCH test (dried urine test for comprehensive hormones) to determine your progesterone and estrogen levels. These can be done with your doctor or with an at-home test. You can also watch for symptoms (listed below) to determine if you have elevated estrogen or progesterone levels.
If you have elevated estrogen levels: Fast
Symptoms of elevated estrogen include midsection weight gain, chronic fatigue, low libido, and irregular menstrual cycles
If you have elevated progesterone levels: Don’t fast
Signs of progesterone include spotting, increased hunger and fatigue, anxiety, and cramping. Instead of fasting, increase your intake of whole-food carbs like rice, fruit, chickpeas, beans and other legumes.
Intermittent Fasting and Menopause
During menopause, we have much more freedom when it comes to intermittent fasting. Want to do intermittent fasting most days, and that feels good to you? Do it! Want to try longer fasts for autophagy over 17 hours? Do it! At this time, you can even try a longer fast – anywhere from 24 hours to 3 days.
Dr Mindy Pelz does recommend not fasting 1 day a week to support progesterone levels. The benefits can include improved insulin sensitivity, increased ketone production, autophagy (the processing and removal of old cells), immune system restoration, and neurotransmitter support, which could reduce anxiety and depression.
During this time, it’s still very important to listen to your body. If you notice stubborn weight gain, irritability, anxiety or bloating, play around with your fasting schedule – maybe don’t do it as often or switch up the hours.
As a Registered Dietitian who believes in the power of fasting, I often create customized meal plans for my clients and have them pair intermittent fasting with the plans. Time-restricted eating combined with an individualized plan has shown to provide the greatest results for my clients.
Case Study: How Intermittent Fasting Helped One of My Clients Get off Her Diabetes Medication
Cycle syncing intermittent fasting can help women lose weight and improve their overall health. Many of my clients have experienced the benefits of intermittent fasting, but some of the transformations are more dramatic than others. Here’s an example.
When I first met Cheryl*, she had uncontrolled diabetes. Her A1c levels were 12.3 (anything above 9 is considered dangerous). She was also experiencing weight gain.
My nutrition recommendation was a high-protein, low-glycemic customized plan combined with intermittent fasting. We started having regular check-ins with dramatic results:
2-month progress: Cheryl lost 13 pounds, and her A1c dropped from 12.3 to 6.4. She reduced her diabetes medication from twice daily to once daily and experienced increased energy
3-month progress: Cheryl lost 26 pounds, and her fasting blood sugar reduced from over 200 to 84-96 in the morning
4-month progress: Cheryl’s doctor advised her to discontinue all diabetic medications. She was now following a gluten-free, high-protein diet, limiting added sugars, and continuing to combine her customized plan with intermittent fasting to continue on her way to reversing insulin resistance
Cheryl tried intermittent fasting from 12 hours to as long as 16 hours and reports it has helped her ‘jump start decreasing [her] blood sugar & weight!’ With a solid plan in place, she was able to regain control over her body and feel like herself again.
Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for weight loss and overall health gains. Whether you are trying to lose weight, develop healthier eating habits or manage a chronic condition like diabetes, intermittent fasting can be beneficial when you follow your cycle.
Of course, be intuitive with your body. Pay attention to your energy levels, hunger cues and cravings. If you ever have questions, check in with your healthcare provider to make sure your intermittent fasting plan is working for your body.
Follow me on Instagram and TikTok for more advice on nutrition for women and intermittent fasting.
*Name has been changed to protect my client’s privacy.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
Our current understanding of the human diet is built around the existence of three macronutrients. Macronutrients are essential components of our diet that provide us with the energy needed for daily activities and bodily functions. They are called “macro” because our bodies require them in large amounts as opposed to micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
The three main macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. To maintain optimal health and to feel great throughout the day, humans need a balance of these three nutrients.
But what if there was a fourth macronutrient we could ingest to supercharge our health and well-being? A recent white paper published by UC Davis has proposed that ketones may be the fourth macronutrient.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is produced by the liver from fatty acids when carbohydrate intake is limited. It is an alternative energy source for the brain and muscles when glucose levels are low.
Understanding Macronutrients and the Role of Ketones
As noted above, macronutrients are the three primary nutrients our bodies require in large quantities: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. There are subsections within each category (like unsaturated fats vs. trans fats), which can differently impact health and function.
Micronutrients are differentiated from macronutrients, as they are required in much smaller quantities and do not serve as a meaningful energy source. Vitamins and minerals fall under this category. Each macronutrient uniquely provides energy, supports growth and development, and maintains various bodily functions.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are the body’s primary source of energy. They are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Once in the digestive system, carbs break down into glucose—commonly considered your body’s preferred energy source for your cells, tissues, and organs.
Proteins build and repair tissues and support immune function. Common protein sources include meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, with nuts and seeds also providing slight to moderate amounts of protein. Proteins break down into amino acids, which the body uses to make new proteins that grow and repair tissue, build muscles and convert into energy when the body is very low on glucose.
Fats also provide energy and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins. They are found in oils, butter, avocados, nuts, fatty fish and animal products such as meat. Fats break down into fatty acids, one of the most efficient forms of energy. They are also used for hormone synthesis.
Interestingly, while you need to consume many of these macros through food (essential nutrients), your organs also produce some of these nutrients (non-essential).
Why consider ketone bodies as a fourth macronutrient?
Classifying ketones has been an interesting process. They have not been traditionally categorized as macronutrients for a critical reason. While ketones are organic molecules used for energy, they haven’t been historically available for consumption as food. This is despite ketones making up 5-20% of the body’s total energy expenditure.
So, while they behave and fill the same roles as other macronutrients, we have to rely on our bodies to synthesize them, much like other “non-essential” macros that are created by various organs.
For most of human history, we have naturally accessed the fourth macronutrient, ketones, very frequently. Because humans often didn’t have access to consistent food sources, our bodies would naturally enter into a state of ketosis.
However, our diets have changed since the Industrial Revolution and the advent of food manufacturing. As a species, humans have become increasingly ketone-deprived. This is unfortunate because ketones are a unique energy source that can allow us all to unleash our extraordinary potential. In fact, with the development of exogenous ketones, many suggest that ketones may be considered the fourth macronutrient, with the ability to favorably impact health and performance.
What is Ketone Deficiency, and Why Is It a Problem?
Much like every other macronutrient, the amount of ketones consumed/available can impact our health. But why?
So, how do you take advantage of ketones? Let’s review three common ways modern humans can access ketones.
1. Keto diet
The keto diet is one of the most popular ways to take advantage of the power of ketones. The keto diet, short for ketogenic diet, is a low-carb, high-fat eating plan that has gained popularity in recent years. The keto diet’s main goal is to shift the body’s primary fuel source from carbohydrates to fats. By reducing carbs intake and increasing fat consumption, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis.
During ketosis, the liver produces ketones from fats as an alternative energy source. The body then uses these ketones for fuel instead of glucose derived from carbohydrates.
The keto diet typically consists of foods rich in healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and oils. It restricts or eliminates carbohydrate foods such as grains, sugars, starchy vegetables and most fruits.
It’s important to note that you should consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any new dietary regimen
2. Intermittent fasting
Various forms of fasting have been gaining popularity due to their many benefits, including weight loss, cognitive benefits and increasing the levels of ketones in the body. During fasting, glycogen stores in the liver are depleted, prompting the body to use stored fat as its primary energy source. Ketone bodies are produced and released into the bloodstream as fat is broken down.
Fasting can benefit many, but it should be approached cautiously and under proper guidance from healthcare professionals or nutritionists. Individual needs may vary based on age, medical history and overall health status.
3. Exogenous ketones
The third method to access ketones is a more cutting-edge (and more accessible) approach. While pure ketones aren’t naturally found in food, scientists have developed ways of creating exogenous ketones (meaning produced outside the body). This means we can finally consume ketones like we do other macronutrients.
We have provided a more in-depth exploration of exogenous ketones, but as a quick overview, these ketones typically come in the form of powders or liquids. They can be consumed alongside or instead of following a strict ketogenic diet.
Exogenous ketone aids provide an immediate source of ketones to the body, helping to induce and quickly maintain an acute state of ketosis. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who may find it difficult to achieve or sustain nutritional ketosis through diet or fasting. They come either as salts or esters.
Ketone salts are compounds in which ketones are combined with mineral salts. When ingested, the body breaks down the salts into ketones and minerals. The ketones then enter the bloodstream and provide an alternative energy source to glucose for cells throughout the body.
On the other hand, ketone esters are chemically modified compounds with a ketone molecule bonded to an alcohol molecule. Unlike ketone salts, esters do not require further breakdown in the body before they can be utilized as fuel. Instead, they are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and metabolized directly into ketones.
It is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating dietary aids and exogenous ketones into your routine, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, including diabetes, or take medication.
Unleash Your Extraordinary Potential with Ketones
Nutrition is the backbone of our health, providing us with the energy and clarity we need to become our best selves. The natural decline of ketone production within our bodies after the industrialization of food production, coupled with the reduction in periods when we go without food, has reduced the natural use of ketones.
Luckily, we can take advantage of ketones and actualize our extraordinary potential through diet, fasting or supplementation.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
Youth sports allow kids to channel their energy into something fun and competitive. In addition, they can teach many essential life skills, such as teamwork, responsibility, communication, navigating setbacks, and time management.
However, sports involve some physicality, especially high-contact and high-impact, such as football. In the NCAA and the NFL, we’ve heard of many adult players sustaining significant injuries from games or practice, including concussions. But what about young kids who play high-contact sports like football?
There are several reasons why that is so. First, children’s brains are still developing. The brain is not considered fully developed until a person reaches their mid-20s. On average, girls’ brains continue growing until the age of 11, while boys’ brains keep growing until the age of 14. A young brain that’s not fully grown is more susceptible to injury.
Second, their necks haven’t built enough strength to support the head. Teens and kids have a larger head-to-body ratio than adults, meaning their brains risk more significant exposure to acceleration and deceleration forces that can cause damage.
Third, children are more active than adults overall. Thus, they are more inclined to play around or participate in sports, whether formally or informally, which tend to include at least some level of contact.
The risks of a child or teen getting a concussion are enhanced in youth football because it’s a high-contact sport. According to a study from The Journal of Pediatrics, five out of every 100 youths (between ages 5-14) experienced concussions for football-related reasons. Those who had previously experienced a concussion had a 5X risk of getting another one. These findings demonstrate the importance of preventing concussions in the first place for youth football players.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion in Kids?
Recognizing the signs of a concussion is critical so that it can be treated early to prevent it from worsening. The symptoms may show up immediately. However, they could also take several days to appear, so it’s best to observe your child’s behavior after every game, especially if they have taken a hit to the head.
So, how can you tell if your child athlete has experienced a concussion? The symptoms of youth concussions are very similar to those of adults. Parents and coaches should look for signs such as:
Blurred or double vision
Big hits happen in tackle football, and coaches and parents need to pay close attention to players during and after games and practices. If you notice a young player struggling to recover from a tackle, sit them out for the remainder of the game and have them evaluated by a qualified athletic trainer.
As parents and coaches, it’s always best to stay cautious and play it safe to prevent further injury. If a concussion is expected, visit a health professional to have the player evaluated for signs of concussions or traumatic brain injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), concussions may start to heal within weeks, although it could also take months or longer.
Every concussion is different, and kids should wait until they have clearance from a physician before returning to practice. Once they receive official medical support, they can slowly ease back into play.
How to Prevent Concussions in Youth Sports
While most people point to football when discussing head injuries, concussions can occur in various youth sports, including soccer, lacrosse, and hockey. Regardless of the sport, there are vital actions that parents and coaches can take to help prevent or minimize the risk of concussions in young athletes.
Equip your kids with the proper protective gear
Before letting your kids on the field, always ensure they wear all the proper gear to protect them from injury – helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, etc. For example, a study from the Journal of Neurosurgery found that helmets reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury by 20%.
It’s also essential that the helmet fits them properly to lower the risk of injury and impact. But there’s more to concussion prevention than just a perfect-fitting helmet.
Teach kids the right tackling techniques
Specific to football, coaches should teach their young athletes the safe way to tackle (and to accept a tackle from an opposing player).
One popular and widely supported technique is shoulder tackling, which takes the head out of the equation, and your shoulders do most of the action. It was developed by USA Football and the Seattle Seahawks and has been proven to be safe and effective in taking down opponents.
While research on the subject matter is still early, it doesn’t hurt to try. Parents and coaches should implement exercises like neck turns, chin tucks, and stretches to develop the muscles in kids’ necks. Seeking the advice of a certified strength and conditioning specialist would be wise, as utilizing proper form in neck training is of great importance.
Try to limit contact during practice
Ideally, it would be good to delay full-on contact play until later in the children’s adolescence. Still, contact is part of the game, and many coaches maintain a traditional approach to player development.
If possible, coaches should plan to go light on the physical intensity during practices and scrimmages to limit the risks of head injuries. Instead, the focus should be more on fundamentals such as conditioning, hand-eye coordination, agility, and coordination of plays. Alternatively, younger players may be best off playing flag football, where they’re 19 times less likely to receive impacts to the head. Then, if desired, they can move to traditional football as they get older and more physically developed.
Protect Your Child from Getting a Concussion in Youth Sports
Preventing concussions in youth football players is a total team effort. Wearing the right protective gear and practicing safe tackling techniques can play considerable roles in concussion prevention.
But sometimes, injuries can happen, so knowing the signs of a concussion is vital so it can be treated early. Follow these steps to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and do what you can to prevent them in the first place.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
The mind is a powerful organ. It holds our thoughts, feelings, and, most importantly, precious memories.
However, as we age, our brains can gradually become less sharp. Our thought processes slow down. Attention starts to lack. We experience brain fog and need help remembering things.
While frustrating at times, these are natural occurrences caused by a shrinking brain, which starts around the age of 40. Around the age of 60, the areas of the brain most involved in higher cognitive function start decreasing. Additionally, fewer synaptic connections occur, which can lead to slower processing.
Having momentary lapses in memory or needing an extra minute to recall information is one thing. But cognitive decline that happens dramatically and impacts your personality and everyday routine could indicate early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that affect not only the individual but the people around them. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment or known cure for Alzheimer’s. Yet, there is hope that people living with Alzheimer’s may be able to get some relief from their symptoms and enjoy spending time with their loved ones and caregivers.
So how does Alzheimer’s disease affect our brains? To answer that, it’s essential to understand how the mental organ functions.
Neurons (nerve cells) communicate with other neurons to help make connections within the brain. They also help our brain send messages to the rest of the body, such as our muscles, organs, and tissues.
The disease often starts in the hippocampus (i.e., the part of the brain responsible for memory) but will ultimately affect all brain regions.
So, what causes neural disruption in the first place?
Autopsy reports show that brains with Alzheimer’s have an abnormal amount of plaques and tangles. Plaques are the deposits of the protein fragment beta-amyloid. They can build up in the open spaces between nerve cells. Tangles are twisted fibers of the protein tau. They build up inside neuron cells.
Both plaques and tangles naturally occur as we age but appear even more so in dementia patients in specific patterns that begin in parts of the brain responsible for memories before spreading.
Researchers believe these structures may be the main culprits that cut off communication between neurons and lead to the death of nerve cells, causing many of the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, including loss of memory, challenges performing daily tasks, and extreme personality changes.
Ketones as an Alternative Energy Source
So, what do ketones have to do with Alzheimer’s?
That answer has to do with the way our bodies (and brains) create and use energy.
When we consume carbohydrates, whether from foods or drinks, our liver metabolizes and converts them into glucose, i.e., sugar. Glucose is typically used as the primary fuel source for our bodies, but it’s not the only one.
Ketones are an alternative fuel source. When carb intake and storage are low, our body enters a state of ketosis, which involves the burning of fat instead of sugar for energy. This involves the formation of ketones, which are chemicals that serve as an alternative fuel source for our muscles, tissues, and organs—including the brain. In addition, they improve mitochondrial function and growth so that neurons can operate adequately and continue to power our minds.
Ketosis can be achieved in a few ways. First, you can try going on a keto diet, where you significantly limit carb intake and increase fat consumption to the point that your body has no choice but to use fat as fuel. You can also practice intermittent fasting, which starves the body of sugar and may also result in ketosis. Both of these methods usually result in the body creating ketones, which are referred to as endogenous ketones.
But there is an easier way to get ketones – by getting them exogenously (i.e., outside the body) through dietary aids. This may be an appealing option for those who don’t want to significantly modify their eating habits.
Ketones and Alzheimer’s Disease
Just like any part of our body, the brain also gets its energy from glucose as a result of metabolizing carbs. In fact, the brain requires a lot of energy, utilizing 50% of all sugar levels.
Alzheimer’s disease inhibits the brain’s ability to use glucose for energy. Since our brain is energy-dependent, and most people get their energy primarily from glucose, Alzheimer’s disease negatively impacts brain functions – profoundly affecting cognitive processes and memory storage. However, ketone metabolism does not appear to be impacted in the same way. Thus, ketones may be a valuable alternative energy source that can help improve cognitive processes.
Additionally, ketones have a role in protecting our brains from neuroinflammation and amyloid accumulation, which is the plaque that grows on organs. The results show promise in the effort against Alzheimer’s. While ketones have not been shown to prevent the disease, research suggests they may be useful in improving cognitive and motor performance in certain neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s.
Conclusion: Exogenous Ketones and Alzheimer’s Disease
Through further research, scientists may be able to unlock all the hidden powers of ketones. For now, it appears that ketones may be an advantageous alternative energy source that can help people with Alzheimer’s experience higher levels of cognitive functioning.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
The only problem is that skipping out on eating for significant periods of time, especially during waking hours, is hard. And especially at first, you may struggle to reach your goals.
That’s why it’s essential to set reasonable goals for what you want to achieve. Then, you can take steps to take control of your eating window and health goals.
How Long Should You Fast?
There are no absolute rules surrounding the length of fasts. If you are to experiment with complete fasting, in which you consume no food, you may want to limit this to 1-3 days—perhaps with experimentation with more prolonged fasts. This can be a rewarding experience, but it is tough. It’s a good idea to only follow a complete fast with the approval of a qualified healthcare provider.
That said, when most people consider fasting, they think of time-restricted feeding or intermittent fastin, which is simply restricting food for a certain period of time each day.
The goal is to find a fasting style that fits your lifestyle and needs well enough that you can keep up with it. While any fast may prove helpful, extending the time of the fast (e.g., 18 hours vs. 12 hours each day) may yield greater benefits, although this remains to be determined. Regardless, most people who practice fasting claim enhanced benefits with longer fasts. Therefore, methods of extending the fasting window have been proposed.
Time Restricted Feeding (TRF): Food intake is typically limited to a 6-12 hour window.
Alternate Day Fasting (ADF): You fast every other day or during certain days a week. On the other days, you follow ad libitum caloric intake (not limiting calories, just eating until you feel full).
Modified Alternate Day Fasting (MADF): Similar to ADF, this plan follows an alternating day pattern, where you limit your calories on fasting days to about 15%-25% of your caloric needs, then follow the ad libitum caloric diet on non-fasting days.
Prolonged Fasting (PF): The most classic form of fasting, prolonged fasting involves a complete fast for 4-7 days or longer. Again, only follow this approach under the guidance and approval of a qualified healthcare provider.
When you start struggling, experiment with these different fasts to see if one is more manageable. For example, if adhering to ADF feels impossible, maybe try MADF or start with an 8-hour time-restricted fast.
How long can you safely fast?
The human body can fast for a surprisingly long period (as long as it’s kept adequately hydrated).
A study of 1,422 participants fasting for periods between 4-21 days with a caloric intake of 200-250 kcal showed positive results in weight loss, blood pressure, glucose regulation, ketone levels, and overall emotional well-being. In addition, fewer than 1% of participants reported adverse effects, and 84.4% of those with pre-existing health complaints reported improvements.
The short and long-term effects of fasting for longer than 21 days haven’t been studied thoroughly. While the human body can survivefor far longer, fasting beyond 3 weeks is generally considered a dangerous practice.
Following some general guidelines can improve your experience and results with fasting and increase your fasting windows.
1. Prep accordingly
Preparing your mind and body is incredibly important to the overall success of your fast.
Once you decide to start fasting, it’s tempting to jump right in while you’re still excited. But you’ll thank yourself for taking a bit before to plan your fast, figure out your goals and find some distractions and coping mechanisms for when you’re tempted to quit.
2. Start gradually
Pick a goal to aim for your fasting window. For example, you may want to restrict your eating to 8 hours a day. Or perhaps you want to do a prolonged fast for seven days.
But once it gets easier, push yourself to increase your fast lengths. Jumping in the deep end is a great way to burn yourself out and get discouraged. It’s far better to accept the baby steps and work to fast longer over a period of time.
3. Eat right
While fasting centers around not eating food, the whole process becomes much easier when you consume the right food before and after fasting periods.
Ease yourself back in after fasting with a small, easy-to-digest meal (e.g., a smoothie or light soup) before attempting heartier, nutrient-dense foods. Avoid processed and high-calorie foods during non-fasting days to help your metabolism out.
4. Drink right
Staying hydrated eases some of the more uncomfortable side effects of fasting and satisfies some of the mental need to consume something.
Obtaining adequate nightly sleep is of vital importance when energy intake is lower, as is reducing overall physical activity—if adhering to a complete fast. Many people fasting for weight loss benefits may also push themselves to exercise during fasting. If adhering to a complete fast, this isn’t the best idea, as you will have little energy and risk feeling ill if you push yourself too hard. Instead, stick to lower-intensity exercises like walks or yoga, and schedule higher-intensity workouts for your off days.
If following an intermittent fast or ADF, simply time your exercise session to a period when you know you will be able to consume food after the session, as you need to consume protein post-exercise to support recovery.
Taking up the practice of fasting can change your life. Your mind, body, and spirit will all thank you. But severely limiting your eating window can be highly challenging. Choosing the correct fasting schedule, easing in, eating and drinking correctly, and not over-exerting yourself can all help you increase your fasting window.
And for the times you feel like you can’t push through, Tecton can help. It will help to reduce your appetite, in particular during times when you are attempting to go without food—it’s the little extra boost you might need to extend the fast another 1-2 hours before eating again. Tecton can also increase the level of ketones in your body—providing an energy source that should not interfere with your fast. Consider using Tecton as a bridge to extend your fast, whether you are fasting for 8 hours or doing a multi-day fast.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration
We live in a world where daily choices directly impact our mental and physical health. Yet, even though many people are making daily attempts to be healthier, lifestyle disease is on the rise. Every year, an alarming number of individuals are diagnosed with cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. These often could be avoided with healthy habits. This is why understanding the connection between ketones and cardio-metabolic health is so important.
A group of related conditions known as “metabolic syndrome” can make you more susceptible to disease. These include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and triglycerides, low levels of “good” cholesterol, and increased fatty tissue around the waist. All of these conditions can occur from poor diet or lack of exercise.
However, the extreme discipline required for long-term compliance can be a roadblock for many. Considering this, many people have used exogenous ketones successfully. These health aids appear safe for oral ingestion when used regularly and at relatively high dosages, as reported recently for the Tecton ketone product, which is glycerol-bound.
Keep reading to better understand the connection between ketones and cardio-metabolic health.
Introduction to Ketones and Cardio-Metabolic Health
Since the turn of the century, there has been a rise in lifestyle diseases. Poor diet and exercise habits are often the culprits behind these diseases, which can be deadly. And the worst part is a lot of these diseases are entirely preventable.
The term for this area of health is “Cardio-metabolic health.” Cardio-metabolic health is a relatively new term for the combination of cardiovascular and metabolic health and disease. This includes conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
While most people are familiar with obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2) and type 2 diabetes (fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dL), you may not have heard of metabolic syndrome.
excess body fat around the waist (waist circumference ≥ 40 inches for men and ≥ 35 inches for women)
elevated blood triglycerides (≥ 150 mg/dL)
low blood high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the so-called “good” cholesterol; ≤ 40 mg/dL for men and ≤ 50 mg/dL for women).
The American Heart Association recommends a metabolic syndrome diagnosis when a person has three or more of the above factors.
If you have any of these risk factors or want to be proactive about your health, you’ll be happy to know that lifestyle interventions can help control metabolic syndrome for most people. Lifestyle improvements include physical activity and dietary intake, including a lower carbohydrate diet and using ketones as an energy source.
Lifestyle Factors to Improve Metabolic Health
While metabolic disease is widespread, the great news is that changing lifestyle factors can positively prevent or treat most of these conditions. There is scientific support for a variety of lifestyle factors aimed at improving metabolic health, with the main focus on four in particular:
Physical activity and exercise
Everyone knows sleep is good for you, but did you know it plays a role in disease prevention?
Researchers have further concluded that “Prolonged curtailment of sleep duration is a risk factor for the development of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke and may contribute, in the long-term, to premature death.”
If you’re struggling with sleep disorders, talk to your doctor to find a solution that works for you.
Physical Activity and Exercise
Physical activity (lower-intensity activity) and regular exercise (planned, structured activity of higher intensity) substantially impact metabolic health.
It’s best to do structured exercise—like going to the gym or doing a sport—for 30 minutes or more, four or more days a week. Exercise will improve your fitness (e.g., muscular strength or power, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance) and metabolic function (e.g., enzyme activity, mitochondrial health, substrate utilization).
Dietary supplements can complement whatever diet you choose. These include items that function as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and nutrients that aid mitochondrial function.
More recently, much discussion has centered on the use of supplemental ketones as an aid for metabolic health. A brief presentation related to dietary and supplemental exogenous ketones for metabolic health follows.
What is the Connection Between the Ketogenic Diet and Cardio-Metabolic Health?
When many people think about ketones and cardio-metabolic health, they initially think about the keto (short for ketogenic) diet. While there are variations, the standard ketogenic diet involves eating a high percentage of fat (usually about 60% or more) and protein, and minimal carbohydrates.
To follow the keto diet, you must restrict your intake of dietary carbohydrates (e.g., bread, rice, pasta, fruit) to approximately 30-50 grams per day. 30-50 grams is the equivalent of 1-2 slices of bread or 1-2 pieces of fruit.
Instead of using all your daily carbs for an apple and a cracker, the keto diet encourages eating green vegetables rich in micronutrients but low in digestible carbohydrates.
Therefore, the usual intake consists of meat, fish, eggs, certain cheeses, plain yogurt, oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, and small quantities of green vegetables.
Millions of people follow the keto diet for the simple reason that it works. Specifically, there is reliable support indicating that it results in weight/fat loss and improved cognitive performance.
From a metabolic perspective, the reduction in carbs yields a consistently lower and more stable blood glucose level—the goal of many with pre-diabetes and diabetes. It also results in lower blood insulin levels and heightened insulin sensitivity.
The improvements in blood glucose and blood insulin levels improve the body’s ability to utilize stored fat as a fuel source. This explains why following the keto diet often helps reduce body weight and fat mass.
Studies involving both ketogenic diets and supplemental ketone esters have noted favorable findings on various functional measures in models of heart failure, including suggestions for improvement in myocardial blood flow. Additional research is needed to determine the implications of ketones on the healthy heart and cardiovascular system.
Ketones and Mitochondria
It should be noted that ketones are also implicated in the vital task of improving mitochondrial function. You may already know this from high school biology, but mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles within cells and are responsible for generating ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).
While the data around ketones and cardio-metabolic health are encouraging, one concern remains: Many people cannot follow a strict ketogenic diet for a significant time. The keto diet requires a big lifestyle change and total diet overhaul that many people aren’t ready for, especially since there’s little room for error.
Like the ketogenic diet, exogenous ketones have gained attention recently. These dietary supplements are typically consumed in beverages, powders, or gummies. They are referred to as exogenous ketones (outside the body) instead of endogenous ketones (produced in the liver).
For those with type 2 diabetes, there is a lot of therapeutic potential. The authors of a study on the potential therapeutic effects of ketone supplements for Type 2 Diabetes state, “The recent advent of exogenous oral ketone supplements represents a novel, non-pharmacological approach to improving Type 2 diabetes pathophysiology and potentially protecting against cardiovascular disease risk.”
In addition, more significant effects on blood glucose-lowering with ketone esters have been observed compared to ketone salts.
The research on ketones and cardio-metabolic health is promising. As always, it is best to consult a qualified healthcare provider before using exogenous ketones or embarking on a ketogenic diet, particularly for people with diabetes and those with impaired glucose metabolism.
Optimize your Physical and Mental Potential with Ketone Hydration