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Habits for the New Year and Beyond – #3 Fast Every Single Day

It’s almost the New Year – only a couple of more days to get your resolutions ready…So you’re drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper every morning (Habit #1) and eating less refined sugar (Habit #2)…. now what?

How about fasting everyday?  Ut oh – I just heard a record screech …

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What? Fast everyday?!  That’s insanity, you might be thinking. But it’s not – especially when you are only fasting for half the day and most of the time you are sleeping.

Habit #3 – Fast Every Single Day  – At least 12 hours from the time you eat your last meal until the time you “break” the “fast” with breakfast.

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Adopting this habit can be so rewarding, restorative to your health, ultimate youth and beauty!

After reading several studies and chapters on detoxification from Dr. Gabriel Cousens and Dr. Alenjandro Junger – I now understand it takes at least 8 hours for your body to completely digest it’s meals from the day.  If you add in another 4 hours to that time without introducing more food to digest, the body actually goes into detoxification mode and has more time to remove dead and dying cells from the body.  During this “idle” time, the body also stimulates the development and regeneration of new cells. “Aging occurs when we have more cells die than are being produced.”

Allowing your body sufficient time every single day to digest, eliminate dying cells and develop new cells is a habit that will get you closer to drinking straight out of the fountain of youth!

More Incredible Benefits of “Intermittent” Fasting – 

  1. Improved Fat Burning – When you fast for 12 hours, your body has to use up stored glucose for fuel, burning excess fat off your body.
  2. The Brain Can Fight Stress Better – 12-hour fasts give the brain a chance to fight the chemical byproducts of stress.  They also help the mind to re-focus and improve memory and sensory perception. Also, short fasts promote the production of beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is a protective brain chemical that can make you less sensitive to excitotoxins like MSG.
  3. Promotes Heart Health – 12-hour fasts lower the body temperature, the blood pressure, and the heart rate and increase your good cholesterol.

Following this habit is extremely easy for me and can be easy for you too – I try to keep my dinner time somewhere between 7pm and 8pm, go to sleep around 11pm, then wake up early to work out and then I “break the fast” at or about 8:30am or 9am.  Finding the right time frames might be different for you based on your schedule – but if you are eating lots of whole non-processed foods this habit should be sustainable for life.

One of the most amazing things I immediately noticed after I adopted this habit was that I woke up with more energy and was better rested. If you’ve ever gone to bed with a full stomach, you know what I mean!

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Here’s to breaking the fast and waking up feeling lighter, more rested and re-engerized in the New Year and Beyond!

Food Babe

P.S. Got questions or comments? – I’d love to hear what you have to say here or on my Facebook Fan Page!

Parfait Porridge



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60 responses to “Habits for the New Year and Beyond – #3 Fast Every Single Day

  1. I really liked this article. I always eat an early dinner but sometimes have a snack right before bed. Sometimes I wake up in the morning not even hungry or even feeling sluggish. This 12 hour gap seems perfect to let my body digest and feel ready to start the new day.

  2. Thank you for this insightful article. And here I was, taking the advice of countless “doctors” and “nutritionists”, who say to eat every 3-4 hours to keep the metabolism stoked. So I was setting my alarm to wake me up every 3.5 hours to eat a small meal/snack.

  3. hey! this is great. i can implement all of this except maybe the cayenne … but should you wait to drink your hot lemon water until your breakfast or do you drink it before your workout? does drinking apply to this 12 hour thing?

      1. I would really like to know the answer to shelly’s question bc I can’t seem to find the answer! 🙂 Thanks!

      2. Hi Heather – Not sure which part of the Shelly’s question you were referring to – but I’ll try to help. I drink my lemon juice with hot water and cayenne first thing when I wake up no matter what time it is – I do this before I do anything else – workout or have breakfast. And no the 12 hour rule doesn’t really apply to Habit #1 because it further helps detoxification. Hope this helps!

  4. Thanks for the post, this makes perfect sense, I feel awful when I eat dinner too late and go to bed full. I will have to think about how to implement this as I start work at 730am, we usually have breakfast by 6:30am, I suppose I just need to make sure that I eat dinner before 6:30pm, that should be possible most days if I’m organised!

  5. Now that we’re in to the year a good 9 weeks, I was wondering if you had any other notable changes from your 12 hour nightly fast. I am intrigued and see how there could be great benefit from this practice.


  6. Dose drinking the lemon water count as breaking the fast or not until I have an actual meal?

  7. I absolutely love the idea of this. However, I wake up around 5:30-6 during the week days to work out before I have to be at work between 8-8:30. I feel that if my last meal was at 6pm and I didn’t fall asleep til after 10, that it would be pretty difficult to do. Any advice?! I’m super interested!

    1. Water 🙂 when fasting always drink lots of water especially since most of us eat (shhhhh – I do too) when we think we are hungry but really all we are is thirsty!!! Crazy huh??? pssst, that’s why everyone always sayd to drink a glass of water before every meal too, same reasoning

      1. so drinking water or sugar free beverages doesn’t break the fasting rule? is any drink allowed?

  8. I would love to try this idea, but I’m not sure how I would implement it. I get up between 5 & 6 and eat between 6:30 and 7 because I leave for work at 7:30. However, I don’t get home until most days 5, but some days almost 7. If I’m only cooking for myself that wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but when I am cooking for my family, sometimes we can’t eat until 7:30 or 8:00. I might be able to get a solid 10 hour fast, but doing 12 would be very difficult. Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. I’m not sure what Food Babe would suggest, but a friend of mine has taken to taking her breakfast with her and eating first thing when she gets to work (she has to anyway because of some medication she takes first thing in the AM, and she can’t eat for an hour after taking it).

      Depending on where you work, that seems pretty easy? I do this sometimes too, I’ll take some pre-measured almonds and a banana and apple with me, for example. That’s pretty easy and doesn’t need refrigeration. Or you could leave oatmeal packets at work and eat first thing when you get there (even get there 15 minutes earlier to eat when you arrive).

      There are definitely folks at my office who eat at work! Probably because a lot of folks aren’t hungry before they leave for work. Anyway, just some thoughts. =)

  9. I’ve actually been fasting 12 hours for the past two weeks or so and have noticed more energy. Once I reach my cut off time in the evening, I begin the fast and haven’t been drinking water during that time either. This is probably a silly question but can I drink water during the fast?

    Thanks! :o)

  10. I am nursing my baby and need to eat more than “normal” (like when I was pregnant)…should I wait to try fasting when I’m done nursing?

    1. yes Kelly; I would wait until done nursing. right now all you need to worry your baby’s and your nutrition. so don’t worry about your weight right now. you will have time to start losing weight since he/she start to crawl or walk 🙂 although breastfeeding is best way to lose weight. your body fat is in the milk and you are taking them out completely. can you imagine? even better than dieting. when you diet you shrink your fat cell not really lose them. but breastfeeding you are exactly losing them forever. so keep feeding your baby and enjoy. it is the best time being new mom.

  11. Does this fasting include drinking water? I’m fine with the break from eating but I’m nursing a baby and still get very thirsty :). Thanks! I’m learning lots from your blog!

  12. For many years now I’ve been eating dinner around 5:30pm and finish eating by 6:30. I don’t eat breakfast until about 8:30 the next morning, and it feels so good to give my body a break from eating and digesting for those ~14 hours each day. In fact, if we end up eating dinner later on a weekend, I usually feel uncomfortable both that night and the next morning. I think my body is used to my healthy habits 🙂

    For those who think it’s hard to have 4 or more hours between dinner and bedtime, that might be true at first as your body is adjusting, but very quickly your body will be happy with the change. This is true with so many diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.

    1. Hi Michaela – thanks for sharing….I’ve been doing it for several months now and I love it too- I feel so good!

  13. I recently started trying fasting about 4 days ago. However this approach is a little different, the article I read said to only eat during a 6-8 hr period and fast the rest of the time. So that is what I have been doing. It also suggests that you really need to be eating extremely healthy to do this appropriately… which I can’t say I’m doing just yet (home cooked meals but not everything is organic and I’m still eating a lot of grains). I’m just curious what Food Babe’s opinion is on the eating only for a 6-8 hr period. Also I’ve been wondering if I start juicing would I need to juice only during the 6-8 hr period as well? I’m assuming the answer is yes.

    1. Someone was just telling me about this fast Dr. Mercola suggested where you eat in the 6-8 hour time frame as well. I’m guessing it’s the same one. I would like to know what Food Babe thinks!

  14. Timely article as the month of Ramadan has just started for Muslims. There is no doubt after a few days of fasting, you start to feel the benefits of enhanced energy and detoxification.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Ramadan just started and I feel great! I love Ramadan and all the benefits that come from fasting.

  15. I have learned so much from Food Babes blog/site it amazing. So thank you.

    I am going to attempt to implement this into my evening ritual. I do have a question in regards to the weight loss aspect (for anyone who would like to answer). Has anyone seen significant weight loss in relation to this. I see that alot of people “feel better” with more energy, which is great, but would love to hear about other pros.

    Getting married in Nov and would love to trim down a bit more before the nuptials. Thanks

  16. Why would you want to lower your body temperature? My understanding is that a lower body temp results in a less robust metabolism.

    1. I know this was a while ago but I believe it helps you sleep better. Your body temp lowers for REM sleep I believe.

  17. Just got on this website and have a fasting question I probably know the answer…
    I love a glass of wine after dinner. Do I start my fast after that glass or after I eat?

  18. I recently left a comment on Habit #1 page but, after reading on to Habit #3, it might be more appropriate here. Obviously water is okay during a fast, but are all/any liquids okay? Is coffee acceptable to drink during this “fast” period. It wouldn’t be hard for me to eat a later breakfast, but I love coffee in the morning. Does the answer change if the coffee is bulletproof (8 oz coffee, 1 TBS grass-fed butter, 1 TBS coconut oil, 1 TBS MCT oil). I realize that’s not really fasting, but it’s not solid food either… Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Loving these tips; can’t wait to incorporate them all!

  19. What is your opinion heard of “dry fasting”? No food or water for 5 days. There is a retreat in the Ukraine. Saw this on the “green smoothie” website.

    1. pretty sure the human body can only go three days without water. i’d stay away from that retreat!

  20. Hi!
    I would also really want to know if more liquids than water are allowed during the fast? I usually drink herbal tea with a little oat milk during the evening. Is that ok, or should I skip the oat milk? I would really appreciate an answer!

  21. I am also interested in other liquids. Trying to give up caffeine and ‘tricking’ my body with decafe coffe with stevia and almond milk (this is after the lemon water) I do wait 12 hours before I have my green smoothie since my last solid meal. Please let us know if the digestion is still at rest or working to process coffee etc.

  22. This gave me the inspiration I need to start fasting for 12 hours every day. I always knew something like this was beneficial to my wellbeing – I just needed someone I respected to tell me. Thanks Vani!

  23. Hi I was wondering where you got your resources on how fasting helps fight stress and improve memory. I am curious on how thy test this. Thanks

  24. I noticed that you do the lemon water first thing in the a.m. but this says you do a workout etc until the fast is over. Are you doing the lemon water during the fast? Could you please clarify this for me? Just want to be at an optimum and want to be accurate. By the are truly an inspiration to me. I started a new journey by cutting out all refined sugar and have evolved very quickly into “clean eating” ..I have been at it for 3 weeks now and is def. a learning process. Thanks for all you do.

    1. I believe I saw the answer to this earlier in the replies and the answer was yes, you can have the lemon/cayenne water during the fast since it helps the body detox.

  25. I totally agree that letting your body fast aids in detoxification.
    However, I have heard contradicting information saying that starving your body too long is bad because once you do eat, your body will store that food as fat to anticipate being starved again. Is this true??

    I definitely feel better when i give 12 hours between dinner and breakfast but i was just wondering what your take is on this…

  26. “Aging occurs when we have more cells die than are being produced.

    I’ve never heard this before and would like to read more about it. Is there a source for this?

  27. I’ve tried this and really I can’t go long like that, I’m not sure if it’s my metabolism, I think it is and I eat pretty healthy but I eat breakfast and a snack lunch snack dinner and water all day long. When I’ve gone without the snacks I’m starving really hunger pains, I drink the water it helps with thirst not hunger.

  28. I just found this article and I’m not sure how I have not seen it before because I have following you for a while, but anyway “Thank You” for all of your hard work and dedication. What green smoothie recipie were you drinking in the above pic.? I am always looking for new ones and I was curious. Thank you again #proudtobeintheFoodBabeArmy

  29. Hi, I am not seeing the question answered about black coffee. What about drinking black coffee first thing in the morning before the 12 hours is up – does that work okay?

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