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How Can "Dirty Fasting" Be Good?

Terminology about fasting can be very confusing these days. Let’s clear up some of the confusion and accentuate how doing something out of the norm in fasting can be a good, accepted thing.

Normally in intermittent fasting (IF), there is a period of time such as 6 hours where one eats caloric food and drink (e.g. six hours between noon and 6pm) plus a fasting period of time such as 18 hours from 6pm to noon the next day including sleep). During the fasting 18 hours, “pure” fasting is nothing but water with the option of black coffee and green or herbal tea without sweetener or creamer.

The popular term is “dirty fasting” which allows one to add some things into the fasting time period. While some people people call it “cheating” or “lazy” fasting, I prefer to call it “lenient” or “flexible” fasting – even when it applies to an extended fast of 4-5 days or more.

Here are some key points about this flexible way of fasting:

• If it’s just a little bit of certain things, it can help you get through the time period while keeping most or all of the benefits with little penalty

• May apply to a time interval of intermittent fasting or an extended fast

• Pure fast (some call it clean even if people eating junk food & inorganic food) a person would drink water, black coffee/green tea (0 calories)

• For a “dirty” fast, one may add up to 100 calories on some or all days

• We don’t like the term dirty since we use that for inorganic & junk food, preferring instead “lenient” or “flexible” fasting (clean food always for us)

• Some educators call it “lazy” or “cheating” but still condone it

• Wise choices: stevia, monkfruit, bone broth, organic veggie broth, healthy fat like MCT oil, avoid carbs (glycogen stores & insulin spiking), ½ serving low carb protein isolate (may affect autophagy but also may help blood sugar balance and satiate to alleviate hunger) most suppl ok

• Fasting mimicking approach produced similar results to fasting with food

• MD specializing in diabetes and fasting allows 500cal women, 600 men

• The 5:2 diet for 2 days/week fasting allows women 500 cal/day, men 600 cal/day, likely split into 2 meals, caloric intake 12 hours or less

• Personal experience – I can lose a pound a day either pure fasting or doing this flexible form of fasting, without negatively affecting body composition (suggest using a body composition scale)

• If blood sugar challenged, this may help with dips/cravings

• If a person just can’t face 16+ hours of fasting, this could really help

• What you consume DURING the eating window matters immensely to fasting results whether your focus is weight or health – usually organic, low carb, sufficient pure protein

• Not to confuse dirty fasting with dirty keto which is processed, chemical based and junk food – we always encourage ORGANIC

When I first got into natural health after my life-threatening health scare, my wise husband advised me not to adopt the extremist attitude that I was then being taught. And when I got into fasting years ago, I was reminded of his advice and it fit – flexibility and moderation are key to success and acceptance by countless others. I’m a fan of this new model of fasting and have been practicing it before this new terminology came on the scene.

If you’re interested in the podcast or youtube on this topic, check out episode 138 at For questions or feedback, email

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