Frequently Asked Questions About the Mini-Fast With Exercise
Learn more about how you can make this diet plan work for you
Below you will find answers to some frequently asked questions related to the mini-fast with exercise.
- What about the conventional wisdom that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day?”
- What if I don’t have time to exercise in the morning?
- I’m already taking a lot of supplements. Do I really need to take these new supplements?
- I’m concerned I’ll get too tired or my blood sugar will get too low if I don’t eat before exercising. What should I do?
- Are you allowed to eat any snacks between lunch and dinner?
- I’ve never been successful on any diet before. Even if I lose, I gain it back. So how do I know that this program will be any different?
- How long can you safely follow the mini-fast with exercise program?
I agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m only suggesting that you eat it at 11:30 or noon—and in place of an earlier breakfast, get some exercise so you’ll be able to burn off excess body fat. Let me explain.
First, and most obvious, if you miss one meal per day, every day of the week, you’re making a significant dent in your overall food intake. As long as you eat normal, healthy meals at lunch and dinner—without making up for the calories you didn’t eat in the morning—you will reduce your caloric intake by about 30 percent. This degree of caloric restriction in and of itself contributes to weight loss.
More important, however, the mini-fast takes advantage of the body’s fasting state during sleep. During your overnight fast, which occurs on average for 10–12 hours, your body uses carbohydrates for energy. When you wake up in the morning, these stores are low. So skipping breakfast and engaging in some type of aerobic exercise rapidly depletes these stores and your body starts to rely on fat for energy.
If, on the other hand, you wake up in the morning and eat a breakfast of cereal, toast, orange juice, and other carbohydrates, you immediately turn off the fat-burning process, and your body goes back to burning carbohydrates, its preferred energy source. And if you exercise after breakfast, you will certainly get some benefits, but not the all-important one of exclusive fat burning that you get when you exercise instead of eating breakfast.
Morning exercise is hard for many people at first, but most manage to fit it into their schedule—and eventually it becomes a habit. If you are unable to exercise in the morning, however, you may exercise in the late afternoon or evening and skip the evening meal rather than breakfast. Do your best to exercise at least five days a week, regardless of when you do it.
The supplements are only an adjunct to the program. However, I think they’re important. These targeted nutrients accelerate weight loss and help reduce hunger. But they are not essential. You can do the program without them.
Our experience at Whitaker Wellness has been that blood sugar does not drop precipitously. People adapt well to this regimen, and the majority of those who have this particular concern have never given it a try. They just presume it would be difficult. I suspect that anyone who does want to follow this program and reap its benefits would be able to do so with ease and without excessive fatigue or low blood sugar concerns. Of course, if you’re taking medication—especially insulin—it may be another story. Talk to your doctor before beginning.
Snacks are perfectly acceptable. In fact, they are recommended. Eating smaller amounts of food when you’re hungry during the day ensures that you don’t overeat at mealtime. Just make sure to select healthy snacks, such as raw vegetables and nuts. Raw almonds, which have a handful of health benefits, are a great snack for people trying to lose weight because they don’t raise blood sugar and they’re rich in protein and fiber. Just don't overdo it. Nuts are fairly calorie-dense so limit your portions to about a quarter cup.
Regaining lost weight is practically inevitable for everyone who goes on a conventional low-calorie diet or exercise regimen that is only followed for a finite period of time. The beauty of the mini-fast is that you can continue it indefinitely. That’s what makes it different.
Yes, you do need some discipline to stay on this program. You may have to wake up earlier to do your morning exercise. You may miss breakfast at first, and you can’t go hog-wild eating the rest of the day. But the mini-fast requires substantially less discipline than you’d think because you will not be waylaid by hunger, which is the primary reason people can’t—and don’t—stick to diets.
One of the unique benefits of the mini-fast program is that you can continue it indefinitely. In fact, the person who introduced me to the mini-fast with exercise protocol has been on it now for 12 years—and he’s lost two-thirds of his body fat following this regimen.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Weight Loss
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For more than 30 years, Dr. Julian Whitaker has helped people regain their health with a combination of therapeutic lifestyle changes, targeted nutritional support, and other cutting-edge natural therapies. He is widely known for treating diabetes, but also routinely treats heart disease and other degenerative diseases. More About Dr. Whitaker
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