The Perfect Fasting Protocol

Written by main_admin on August 17, 2020

Fasting. In all my years researching nutrition, I can safely say I have never come across a single word more powerful than “fasting.” This one word when spoken to individuals on a quest for better health can strike unimaginable terror directly into their hearts and minds in an instant. The conversation usually goes something like this…

Client: Fasting?! You mean, like, not eating?!

Me: Correct.

Client: Isn’t that terrible for you?! Can’t you die from that?! I heard we have to eat small meals every 2-3 hours to speed up our metabolism! I heard that if we don’t eat 5 small meals per day our blood sugar will drop and we can pass out! I heard that human beings will die after 3 days without food! I heard that if we don’t constantly eat our bodies will go into starvation mode and store body fat!

Me: Nope.

Client: But that’s just crazy! I could never do that. I could never stop eating. The hunger would be too much for me!

Notice how I barely speak during these conversations. The clients generally work themselves into a frenzy before I’ve ever shared any information with them. They hit me with a giant string of claims that all start with, “I heard.” Also, notice how none of their statements start with, “when I tried that…”

Most of the apprehension surrounding fasting comes from two places:

1. Inexperience
2. Misinformation

Fasting is not nearly as scary as people think it is. For instance, as I’m writing this e-book, the last fast I did lasted 102.5 hours. I consumed only water and black coffee. I completed a high-intensity, resistance training workout on each day of the fast. I felt fantastic the entire time. The fear is based on information that people have received from the “mainstream”; the world of bodybuilding and 30-day reset programs promising significant results but never actually delivering.

The truth is, eating every few hours is one of the primary drivers of obesity in the United States. To address the thought that just popped into your brain; no, it’s not because people eat more calories, it’s because they eat the wrong kinds of calories. Namely, processed carbohydrates. We’re continuously sold every low-fat snack food and meal replacement product on planet earth because heaven forbid, we run out of energy while stuck in a seated position at a desk for 8 hours straight. The modern-day approach to meal and snack timing is complete psycho-babble with no scientific evidence to back it up.

Why is that we’re always told to eat every couple of hours to “speed up our metabolism” when there is precisely zero science supporting that claim?! Who could possibly benefit from such lousy information?!

The food companies. Duh.

The truth is, human beings have been fasting since the dawn of time. The amount of time they spent fasting varied based on many variables such as the time of year which impacted food availability and/ or scarcity. Our bodies are genetically wired to do very well with the model of feasting and fasting. Generally speaking, the more time between meals, the better!

I want to give you a brief lesson to help you understand the underlying physiological process of fat loss. Once we’ve covered the basics, I’ll walk you through your fasting protocols!

Insulin is the #1 driver of fat storage. Period. Insulin is a storage hormone, and it is the primary driver of obesity. If you have chronically elevated levels of insulin, odds are, you will become overweight and eventually obese. If you have chronically elevated insulin levels for too long, you will become Type 2 Diabetic.

Insulin levels drop when we are in a fasted state. Insulin levels rise when we are in a fed state. It’s about as simple as simple gets.

Here’s a quick visual…

So, what makes insulin levels rise?

Most notably, carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood glucose levels. Insulin is recruited to clear the glucose from the bloodstream and shove it into cells. The more glucose in the blood, the more insulin is released. This is where the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load come into play.

Foods that have a high glycemic index cause the highest and most rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. For instance, the highest possible score on the Glycemic Index is 100. White bread has a Glycemic Index of 75, while broccoli has a Glycemic Index of 15. Clearly, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Glycemic Index measures the spike in blood glucose that occurs when food is ingested and how quickly it happens.

Glycemic Load, on the other hand, focuses on the total carbohydrates contained in a serving of food and measures how long blood glucose levels remain elevated when that food is ingested.

The foods that are most detrimental to our health are those that carry the combination of high glycemic index and high glycemic load.

These foods have the most significant impact on your body’s insulin level which, again, is the #1 driver of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

If you were to look up a list of the most dangerous foods according to GI and GL, they are all processed carbohydrates. A few examples include:

  1. Candy & Sweets
  2. Baked Goods & Cereals
  3. Soft drinks
  4. Sports drinks
  5. Ice Cream
  6. High-Sugar fruits such as peaches canned in heavy syrup

While nutrient-dense, whole foods are incredibly low on both GI and GL. A few examples include:

  1. Leafy green vegetables
  2. Sweet potatoes and yams
  3. Nuts
  4. Low-Sugar fruits
  5. Meat and fish all score 0 for both GI and GL

At this point, you may be thinking,
“Justin, what on earth does this have to do with fasting?!”

I gave you this short lesson to drive the point home that lowering blood sugar and insulin is the key to sustainable fat loss. You can achieve this by carefully selecting the foods that you eat. This is always a good idea. That’s why I started a Paleo nutrition company, to help people navigate their food choices and thrive on a diet filled with nutrient-dense, unprocessed, whole foods. But that brings me to my next point…

Even if you carefully select each and every food item that you consume, the results will not be nearly as robust as full-blown fasting. Fasting is the single most effective way to reduce insulin and blood glucose levels in the body rapidly. The results can sometimes be hard to believe!

Let me tell you why I decided to write this e-book… I have been researching nutrition and fitness for over 15 years. I am a Certified Nutritional Therapist, a Specialist in Sports Nutrition, and a Specialist in Fitness Nutrition. I have helped over 500 clients transform their health, and I can safely say that throughout my entire career, my body of work, and experience, I have yet to find a single therapeutic modality more powerful than fasting. The results I have seen people achieve through this simple practice that has been available to us, for free, since the dawn of time is nothing short of amazing.

I want to help as many people as possible experience all of the potential benefits of fasting, but I understand that the idea of just “not eating” can sometimes be too scary for people and prevent them from attempting a fast. I’m going to try to remove some of the fear surrounding fasting. I’m going to give you as many options as I can to help you control your own unique experience with fasting. Whether you want to dip your toes in the water or jump headfirst into the deep end, I will outline a fasting protocol just for you.

Let’s get started!


No matter what type of fast you are planning on attempting it is always a good idea to follow a low-carbohydrate, Paleo-friendly diet for at least 2 weeks leading up to your first fast. This step is optional, of course, but it will help reduce some of the unpleasant symptoms that can come along with fasting if your body is not familiar with utilizing stored body fat for fuel. Something that is called, “fat-adaptation.” Unfortunately, most people in America are not fat adapted and will experience significant symptoms of “sugar detox” when attempting fasting for the first time. This is a good thing, even though it is unpleasant.

Like an addict getting off of heroin, your body will thank you for kicking your sugar habit!

Approved liquids:

Water (unlimited) – I recommend at least half your body weight in ounces each day. (Example: 150-pound bodyweight = 75 ounces of water per day)

What can you add to water:
Vinegar – (I recommend Bragg’s raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar)
Salt – (I recommend Pink Himalayan Salt, especially Redmond Real Salt)

Black Coffee

Tea (unsweet)
Green tea
Black tea
Chai tea
Peppermint tea

Types of fasts

  • Time-restricted eating
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Extended fasting
  • Prolonged fasting
  • Bone broth fasts

Time-restricted eating

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Who it’s for:

  • Non-obese individuals; those looking to lose those “last few pounds.”
  • Individuals looking for the overall health benefits of fasting.

Time-restricted eating is actually looked at from the opposite direction of fasting. Instead of concentrating on the time you spend not eating, you will focus on the window of time you do spend eating. For example, if you decide to practice 13/11, you will be consuming all of your daily calories within an 11-hour window. For example, 8am – 7pm. The remaining hours in each 24-hour cycle will be spent fasting.

With Time-Restricted Eating, if you are looking following the My Fasting Couch Protocol (which includes your Custom Macros) I still want to see you hitting your Macros within your feeding windows.

Here are a few examples of Time Restricted Eating:

If you decide only to practice Time-Restricted Feeding and never graduate to the fasting protocols, I believe it is absolutely critical that you follow the My Fasting Coach Protocol during your feeding windows. Consistency is everything. Do not ruin the benefits of your Time Restricted Eating practice by making poor food choices during your feeding window!

*Minimum Effective Dose – If you want to experience any health benefits from your practice, 11 hours is probably the most extended feeding window you should give yourself. For example, let’s say you have breakfast at 8 am, you should finish your last bite of dinner by 7 pm. You will then refrain from eating until 8 am the following morning.

*If you’re brand new to fasting, I recommend starting with 13/11.

Intermittent fasting

Fasting Time: 13-23 Hours

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Who it’s for:

  • Non-obese individuals; those looking to lose those “last few pounds.”
  • Overweight/ Obese individuals who don’t feel ready for longer fasts
  • Fit individuals looking to lower body fat for aesthetic goals
  • Individuals looking for the overall health benefits of fasting

Intermittent Fasting can be described as a short period of fasting completed once in each 24-hour cycle. The fast is usually completed between dinner on one day and breakfast on the following day. The benefits of Intermittent Fasting are typically realized when the practice is kept consistent. If you decide to practice Intermittent Fasting, I highly recommend doing it every day, or at least 4-5 times per week.

Just like Time-Restricted Feeding, if you are following the My Fasting Coach Protocol (which includes your Custom Macros) I still want to see you hitting your Macros within your feeding windows!

Here are a few examples of Intermittent Fasting Protocols:
*Note: This is the protocol that I personally follow, each and every day.

Extended fasting

Fasting Time: 24-48 Hours

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Who it’s for:

  • Non-obese individuals; those looking to lose those “last few pounds.”
  • Overweight/ Obese individuals in need of significant weight loss
  • Fit individuals looking to lower body fat for aesthetic reasons
  • Individuals looking for the autophagy benefits of fasting (cellular rejuvenation)

An extended fast is generally looked at as anything over 24 hours, up to about 48 hours. Extended fasts can bring about dramatic fat loss results, especially when repeated week over a week until the individual has reached his or her desired body weight. For example, an individual could stop eating at 7 pm on Sunday evening and start eating again at 7 pm on Monday. They could repeat this pattern every other day, or once per week, or at any time of their choosing.

With the longer extended fasts, such as 36 hours or 48 hours, the individual may practice their chosen protocol once per week until they get the results they’re after. For example, an individual could stop eating at 7 pm on Sunday and start eating again at 7 pm on Tuesday. They could choose to normally eat for the remainder of the week and repeat their 48-hour fasting protocol beginning the following Sunday.

Generally speaking, the most difficult parts of extended fasting happen on days 2 and 3. Somewhere around the 48-hour mark, your hunger hormone, ghrelin, is at its peak. This can be very uncomfortable, but I want you to remember that hunger comes in waves, it is not compounding. The pains will not worsen as time goes on. At times, the feeling may be quite strong, but I assure you, it will pass in time. You just have to wait it out!

Here are a few examples of Intermittent Fasting Protocols: *Note: This is the personal protocol that I usually follow. One 24-hour extended fast per week, with 16/8 Intermittent Fasting on all other days. I do not have any immediate need for fat loss, and this protocol helps me get the cellular benefits of fasting while making my physique, proper weight, and body composition management effortless.

Prolonged fasting

Fasting Time: 7-14 days

Level of Difficulty: High (but it gets easier!)

Who it’s for:

  • Obese individuals with the urgent need to lose weight
  • Overweight/ Obese individuals in need of significant weight loss
  • Biohackers looking to capitalize on the anti-aging and disease prevention benefits of prolonged fasting

The idea of this seems terrifying to most people, but I assure you it’s not as bad as it sounds. As I stated earlier, your hunger hormone really peaks on Day 2. After that, the hunger feelings really don’t change much and usually disappear altogether. There’s really no significant difference between Day 4 and Day 7. If you’ve made it to Day 4, you’ve passed the most challenging part of your prolonged fast, and you might as well keep going.

The protocol for prolonged fasting is pretty self-explanatory, you just count the amount of time spent fasting in days rather than hours. For instance, if you start fasting after dinner on Sunday, you will not eat again until dinner time the following Sunday, 7 days later. If you decide to go for 14 days, just extend the fast yet another week.

Generally speaking, this type of protocol is reserved for the morbidly obese. Those individuals who have an urgent need to drop a significant amount of body fat because they are suffering severe consequences of their obesity.

That said, there are plenty of biohackers out there (like myself) taking advantage of prolonged fasting protocols a few times per year in hopes of reaping the anti-aging and disease prevention benefits. These benefits are realized through something called autophagy and apoptosis, which I will explain in later pages.

Even for the morbidly obese, this protocol should not be repeated often. No more than once per month for a 7 day fast, and no more than once every 6 weeks for a 14 day fast. The human body still requires food! One cannot and should not fast too often.

Any and all individuals considering a prolonged fast should consult their primary care physician or other licensed medical professional before beginning their protocol.

Bone broth fasting

Bone Broth is a great option to combine with any fasting protocol for a host of different reasons: First, it can really help make fasts more manageable. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience unpleasant symptoms the first few times they fast such as light-headedness, dizziness, or slight headaches. These are all symptoms of sugar detox, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. Bone Broth can significantly reduce these symptoms. Bone broth also improves compliance and helps the individual feel like they are not being completely deprived.

Another added benefit is gut healing. Often times, individuals with autoimmune disease or inflammatory issues such as arthritis or eczema will try fasting in hopes of reducing their symptoms. All inflammatory problems begin with an unhealthy gut, and bone broth is widely documented as being beneficial for strengthening the lining of the stomach and improving overall gut health. Fasting alone is fantastic for improving gut health, and the benefits are amplified when combined with Bone Broth.

The only downside to bone broth is that it is pretty high protein. For that reason, it may stunt the benefits of autophagy. If your #1 goal for fasting is autophagy or apoptosis, you probably want to skip the broth. However, if your goals for fasting are Fat Loss related, drink up!

I usually tell people to limit themselves to 2 cups of broth per day in hopes of achieving some of the benefits of autophagy. That said, you can drink as much bone broth as you need to get through your fast. I would rather have you drink the bone broth and keep going than not drink the bone broth and give up too early!

Warning: Not all bone broths are created equal! I highly recommend homemade bone broth.

You can find great recipes online. I also highly recommend you pick up a book by a dear friend of mine, Hilary Boyton, called “The Heal Your Gut Cookbook.” All that said, there are a few good options that I recommend for a store-bought broth that are readily available, direct to consumers. I want to be clear that this is the only store-bought brand I recommend!

• Kettle & Fire

Frequently asked questions

How Should I Break My Fast?

This all depends on how long you’ve spent in a fasted state and it’s not nearly as scary as people think. Generally speaking, there aren’t many limitations on how to break your fast until you ventured into prolonged fasting of 7+ days. That said, for any fasting protocol, it doesn’t hurt to play it safe. I believe the very best choice for breaking your fast is The Perfect Paleo Powder Fat Loss Formula. The macronutrient ratios and caloric content are just perfect. Consume 1 serving of The Perfect Paleo Powder Fat Loss Formula then wait 60-90 minutes before consuming a full meal.

If you’ve completed a prolonged fast of 7 days or more and have not been consuming Bone Broth, that is an excellent place to start. Try 1-2 cups of Bone Broth, wait 60-90 minutes, then eat a small meal, or perhaps The Perfect Paleo Powder.

If you’ve completed a prolonged Bone Broth fast, you can jump straight to The Perfect Paleo Powder to break your fast. Then wait 60-90 minutes before consuming a full meal.

Anytime you are breaking a prolonged fast, I recommend 1-2 tablespoons of Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar just before the full meal to help your body digest the coming nutrients.

What are Autophagy & Apoptosis?

Extended fasting and prolonged fasting lead to autophagy. Generally speaking, autophagy kicks in somewhere between the 24 and 48-hour mark. Apoptosis takes a bit longer.

The process of autophagy can be thought of as a team of mechanics inside your body. If you think of the cells in your body as automobiles, over time, certain parts of those automobiles require maintenance, and sometimes, certain parts need to be replaced altogether. Your cells work the same way. All of the cells in your body are made up of proteins. When the body is searching for proteins to metabolize, it can strip down the malfunctioning proteins found in old cells and metabolize them for energy. Autophagy is basically like having a pit crew upgrade all the old beat-up parts of your cells.

Apoptosis can be thought of as programmed cell death. The body basically scans itself and targets malfunctioning and potentially dangerous cells. This includes precancerous cells and the particular type of cells that build up in the brain and cause issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Once these cells have been identified, they are eliminated from the body through program cell death. This process is responsible for the anti-aging and disease prevention benefits of fasting.

This is why prolonged fasts do not need to be reserved for just the morbidly obese. They can also be utilized by healthy individuals who want to improve their overall health and longevity.

This same process is also why obese individuals do not suffer from excess skin when they lose weight via fasting. The excess skin is merely excess tissue that is made up of cells that are made of proteins. When the body is in the fasted state for prolonged periods of time, it will metabolize those proteins and take care of the excess skin problem on its own.

When Is Fasting Dangerous?

Any and all individuals considering any type of fast should consult their primary care physician or other licensed medical professional before beginning their protocol.

In particular, certain individuals absolutely should not attempt fasting of any kind. A few examples include:
Pregnant Women

• Breastfeeding Women
• Women trying to become pregnant
• Children
• Underweight Individuals

Any individual taking any prescription medications should have a lengthy discussion with a licensed medical professional before attempting any type of fast. They should also consider having their fast medically supervised.

Should I Take Supplements While Fasting?

Generally speaking, supplements are not required while fasting. For Time-Restricted Feeding, Intermittent Fasting, and Extended Fasting, there are no requirements for supplements.

That said, certain supplements are allowed, but not required. They are primarily used “as needed” to make compliance easier. For instance, if an individual is not fat adapted before attempting a fast, they may suffer from “sugar detox” symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, or headaches. Often times, supplementing with sodium can really help. I recommend Redmond Real Salt. Mix a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon with a full glass of water and drink as needed. You can do this as often as you’d like but do not take too much in a single dose, or you may deal with stomach upset and diarrhea.

Again, this is meant to make things easier and is not a requirement. Clinical data has shown no change in serum electrolyte levels in individuals fasting for 117 days. Sodium is not required for fasting.

For prolonged fasting (7-14 days) I often recommend a multi-vitamin to lower the risk of potential micronutrient deficiencies. I recommend Healthy Cell Pro or Pure Encapsulations.

I actually recommend abstaining from just about all other supplements while fasting. The goal here is to let your body work naturally. You want to interfere as little as possible.

Also, do not take fat-soluble supplements while fasting as they can lead to an upset stomach.

Note: To be very clear, I am talking about supplements in this section, not pharmaceutical drugs. If you are taking any prescription medications whatsoever consult your primary care physician or medical practitioner before attempting any fasting protocols.

Can I Workout While Fasting?

Absolutely! In fact, the body is primed for fitness while fasting thanks to natural spikes in growth hormone and noradrenaline. Additionally, if your goal is fat loss, it is critical that glucose and glycogen be depleted from the body so you can begin accessing your adipose tissue (stored body fat) for energy. Exercise can speed up this process. If you’re planning a prolonged fast, I recommend short, intense, workouts on the first or second day to help deplete glucose and glycogen in the body. A few examples would be kettlebell swings or sprints.

The general rule of thumb when fasting is to go about your days as you usually would. If you typically work out, go ahead and workout. Obviously, it is essential to listen to your body and stop if anything feels too uncomfortable.

If you are not yet fat adapted or are doing an extremely glycolytic activity such as sprinting, you may notice a decrease in performance. Do not be alarmed, it just means your body does not have immediate access to glycogen stores. It is having to create glucose to meet the body’s demand for energy which can lead to a drop in performance.

What Is a Fat Fast?

A fat fast can be utilized when the only goal of your fast is autophagy and apoptosis. Remember, autophagy and apoptosis involve the metabolism of old proteins. Consuming proteins, even in the form of bone broth, will stunt autophagy and apoptosis.

However, consuming pure fat does not impact autophagy because it does not contain any protein whatsoever. Therefore, if your only goal is autophagy and apoptosis, you are free to consume pure fat during your fast. A great example of this is Bulletproof Coffee. Black coffee blended with grass-fed butter and pure MCT Oil.

Again, if the only goal for the fast is autophagy, you can consume a surprising amount of fat without disrupting that process. For example, you could consume the following drink 1-2 times per day:

  • Brewed Black Coffee
  • 1-2 Tablespoons MCT Oil (I recommend Kiss My Keto C8 Oil)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Grass-Fed Butter (I recommend Kerrygold Unsalted)
  • Blend until smooth

    This is only true of pure fat. Do not add any carbohydrates!

What About Sweeteners?

Absolutely no sweeteners are allowed while fasting, natural or artificial. Not even Stevia.

That’s all there is to it! A lot less scary than you thought, right?! Remember, fasting has been a part of human history for as long as there have been humans! It’s hard to imagine given the current state of abundance that we all live in thanks to modern society; with endless food options available to us 24 hours per day on just about every street corner in America.

Again, I cannot overstate the dramatic results I have seen in my clients who decided to jump in and give intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting a shot. Many of you reading this book have probably suffering from the health consequences of obesity for decades and a deep, full-body, cellular detox may be just what your body needs to hit the “reset button” on your metabolic systems.

What have you got to lose?! Besides pounds and inches of body fat, that is… Give fasting a shot and see what all the hype is about!

Medical Disclaimer:

*The opinions expressed in this e-book and by Justin Nault are published for educational and informational purposes only and are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. Please consult a local physician or other healthcare professionals for your specific health care and/or medical needs or concerns.

Justin Nault, as well as any site or distribution channel where this e-book may appear, does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, medical treatments, diet plans (i.e. but not limited to terms like “paleo” or “keto”), pharmaceuticals, brand names, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and education of the viewing public, and the mention of any of the above does not constitute an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Justin Nault, or My Fasting Coach LLC or any third party whatsoever. In most instances Justin Nault is speaking “off the cuff”; for that reason, all statements – even a statement such as “studies show” and the like – should be heavily scrutinized. Should you decide to take any advice in this video, and act on it in your own life, or suggest it to another, you do so at your own risk and detriment.**

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