The Mini Fast Diet
In his book, The Mini Fast Diet, Dr Julian Whitaker encourages us to skip breakfast and to ‘mini fast’ and exercise before we eat our first meal of the day at noon. This method, he claims, will make us burn fat and lose weight faster than ever.
Fasting is one of the most popular diet plans today, but instead of restricting calories for two 24-hour periods as required in the 5:2 Intermittent Fasting Diet, the Mini Fast Diet plan incorporates all of the benefits of fasting but in a shorter and less extreme way.
You simply go without breakfast and eat normally for the rest of the day. There’s no calorie counting involved. Also, you exercise first thing in the morning, accelerating the body’s natural fat-burning mechanisms.
Dr Whitaker explains: “The mini-fast with exercise takes advantage of the natural fast that you undertake every night.”
Say you finish dinner at 8pm, by the time you get up at 7am the next morning you’ll have fasted for 11 hours already. At that point, your body is beginning to use up the glycogen from the carbohydrates you ate last night.
“Even if you didn’t exercise but still fasted until noon, you’d whittle down your glycogen stores and beginn to rely on fat for energy. But when you exercise in the morning, while still in this fasting state, you rev up your body’s engine. You blow through your remaining glycogen and go straight into burning fat, and you’ll remain in that fat-burning state until you eat.”
Provided that the food you eat the rest of the day is relatively low in fat and that you don’t go overboard on the calories, you won’t replace the fat stores you’re using up and you’ll be on the road to fast weight and inch loss.
How to Mini Fast
Get up in the morning and drink a glass of water. You can have coffee or tea with a little milk and/or sweetener. But don’t eat or drink anything else.
You can also take a daily multivitamin or other nutritional supplement, provided they don’t upset your stomach. If they do, take them later with meals.
Put on your workout gear and do some aerobic exercise. You can walk briskly, jog, or cycle; use a treadmill, stair-stepper, mini-trampoline, or stationary bike; or take an aerobics class or work out with an exercise video at home. The important thing is that you exercise, building up to 30–45 minutes with moderate effort.
Get on with your day, but continue fasting until lunch. Drink plenty water and feel free to have coffee or tea. Don’t worry about being too hungry to make it through the morning. This fasting/exercise combo will dampen your appetite, and the caffeine in coffee and tea helps blunt hunger as well.
At lunchtime, break your fast and eat normally for the rest of the day. Get plenty of lean protein and healthy carbohydrates. You don’t have to count calories, but you don’t want to pig out either. You’ll find that eating sensibly for two meals a day requires far less discipline than cutting calories all day long.
If you have any serious medical conditions, check with your doctor before beginning any fasting or exercise program. You can find out more about Dr Whitaker’s book, Mini Fast Diet, on the Whitaker Wellness Institute website.