“[WeFast] say that on the days that they are not eating, they get more done in the office. They experience an enhanced sense of mental agility and are better able to focus on their work.”

Join our active community on Facebook to talk Intermittent Fasting (IF), get tips and support, and trade stories and experiences. Intermittent fasting is one of the most compelling methods to potentially increase your lifespan, enhance your cognitive performance, and boost a broad spectrum of health and immunity metrics.

You can also join the WeFa.st Slack Group, which is more conversational. It's a great place to get real time tips, advice, and camaraderie from many of our earliest members.

Getting Started

There are various fasting regimens. WeFast pioneered the Monk Fast (36-hour water fast) as a sustainable and efficient fast that targets our desired performance and longevity benefits.

The Monk Fast Overview

The Monk Fast is a continuous 36 hour water fast. This means you can and should drink plenty of water and other 0-calorie liquids to stay hydrated.

The liver has ~100g of glycogen stores, and this is typically depleted in 16-24 hours. Thus, the body enters a period of 12-20 hours of ketosis. This regimen is easy to sustain because it only requires 2 days of discipline rather than a lifetime of caloric restriction.

For those who are focused on performance-enhancement and not weight-loss, a lot of WeFast members have found that after an initial adjustment period, there's no additional weight or muscle loss.

How Fasting Works

During a fast, the body stops receiving external nutrients from food consumption. But the body must have energy to function. Fortunately, our bodies have plenty of internal energy stores. This is particularly the case in modern society where over 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese.

Glycogen / Glycolysis:

Ketone bodies / Ketosis:

From an evolutionary biology perspective, fasting mimics our ancestral feast and famine cycles. When there's no food, the body perks up into a higher “hunter-mode” gear to more effectively hunt and forage for sustenance. This may be why neuron growth is accelerated during a fast.

Tips For Your First Fast

Your choice of days on which to fast is an important decision. Choosing days that don't interfere with social obligations makes it easier to stick to the fasting regimen. Therefore, we recommend a Monday dinner to Wednesday breakfast Monk Fast as most social meals happen towards the end of the week and weekends.

Drink plenty of water. A lot of our water consumption is in the food we eat, so be prepared to drink more water than usual.

Stay warm. A lot of WeFast members have felt chillier than normal on fast days. This means the fast is working as your body is starting to conserve energy.

To make the fast more palatable, we recommend drinking zero-calorie coffee or tea. Nootropics with caffeine (e.g. NOOTROBOX Sprint) can be helpful as well to maintain productivity and focus through a fast. Caffeine also serves as a mild appetite suppressant.

It is common to feel hunger pangs. This occurs because your mind is accustomed to eating as a habit. Avoiding succumbing to eating is a mental challenge, and the best way to avoid them is to keep yourself busy.

Nootropics with caffeine (e.g. NOOTROBOX Sprint) can be helpful as well to maintain productivity and focus through a fast. Caffeine also serves as a mild appetite suppressant.

Breaking Fast

When you wake up on Day 3, your fast is over. Before breaking the fast, we recommend that you drink some water.

When breaking your fast, note that your stomach has shrunk over the 36 hours, so eat light and slowly for this breakfast. Avoid foods that are hard to digest like beans and other legumes and note that alcohol and other cognition-modulating compounds can affect your body more heavily than normal.

Other Fasting Protocols

16/8 fast - Leangains

Fast for 14 (women) to 16 (men) hours each day, and then feed for the remaining eight to 10 hours. Fast through the night and into the morning, breaking the fast roughly six hours after waking up. This schedule is adaptable to any person’s lifestyle, but maintaining a consistent feeding window time is important.

What and when you eat during the feeding window also depends on when you work out. On days you exercise, carbs are more important than fat. On rest days, fat intake should be higher. Protein consumption should be fairly high every day, though it will vary based on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels.

20/4 fast - The Warrior Diet

Fast for 20 hours every day and eat one large meal every night. What you eat and when you eat it within that large meal is also key to this method. The philosophy here is based on feeding the body the nutrients it needs in sync with circadian rhythms and the hypothesis that our predecessors were nocturnal eaters.

What and when you eat during the feeding window also depends on when you work out. On days you exercise, carbs are more important than fat. On rest days, fat intake should be higher. Protein consumption should be fairly high every day, though it will vary based on goals, gender, age, body fat and activity levels.

60-hour fast - The Himalayan Fast

Fast for a continuous 60 hours. Fast after dinner on Day 1 and fast through the first night. Fast through Day 2 and Day 3. Break fast on Day 4. This is difficult to sustain. Ingest 500 calories for Day 2 and Day 3, and slowly ramp that calorie count down to 0 if possible. Consume high-protein, low-carb, high-fat for those 500 calories.

This is a fast that will deplete your liver of its glycogen stores and immediately shift your body into ketosis. This is considered an important indicator of autophagy - the breaking down of bad tissue that's associated with health and longevity benefits. Research suggests the strongest effects of autophagy occur between the first 48 hours after glycogen depletion. This is an advanced fast but should be highly effective for longevity benefits.

Science

Effects on Longevity

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on longevity. The research ranges from retrospective studies on human populations with high longevity, to prospective studies involving biomarker analysis before and after periods of fasting or caloric restriction.(Learn more)

Effects on Metabolism

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on metabolism. The research ranges from animal studies on insulin resistence and obesity biomarkers, to prospective human studies involving biomarker analysis before and after periods of fasting or caloric restriction.(Learn more)

Effects on Immunity

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on immunity and inflammation. This area has been studied in animals and humans with respective to relevant biomarkers.(Learn more)

Effects on Cancer

Research has suggested that intermittent fasting may have a positive effect on cancer.(Learn more)

Media

[TEDx Video] Why fasting bolsters brain power by Mark Mattson

Mark Mattson is the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University. Mattson is one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Want to Hack Your Body? This Startup Says Its Pills Will Help

Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt founded the start-up Nootrobox that sells so-called “nootropics,” pills designed to enhance memory, cognition, and mental stamina. Nootrobox’s mission is to improve the way we function on a daily basis. The company sees a market in people who want an extra edge but don't want prescription drugs like Adderall. “In the office of the future, people will get to work, sit down, and pop a pill to help them focus better,” says Brandt, Nootrobox’s chief operating officer. But when that future will arrive is unclear. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Caroline Winter visited Nootrobox's officein California.

Useful Links

About

WeFa.st is organized by Nootrobox, a nootropics and biohacking company. Intermittent fasting is one of the most compelling methods to enhance human longevity and other performance metrics, and is now a core part of our company culture.

More and more people in our community were interested in learning more and joining us, and so WeFast was born. WeFast now serves as a hub and community for people around the world interesting in intermittent fasting and biohacking.