Rishi Sunak starts his week off by following this strict rule: 'He is incredibly disciplined'

Rishi Sunak is into fasting, but is this practice good for you?

Rishi Sunak fasting
© Future Publishing / GETTYIMAGES
Rishi Sunak fasting

Rishi Sunak is rarely out of the headlines, and not just for his role as Prime Minister. His private life also fascinated the nation and, whether it’s his raunchy nighttime reading habits or his whopping £14m property portfolio, the PM is full of surprises. The latest revelation is something linked to both his eating habits and his religion: fasting.

Discover our latest podcast

Fasting is important in Hinduism, and has been long-practiced by its followers. It is seen to be a voluntary act of self-restraint that leads to the purification of the body, mind and soul. Rishi Sunak has spoken before about his fasting habits, but we never got much detail about what it actually involves for him. So, let’s take a look at the PM’s weekly diet, and whether or not it is good for you to fast.

Rishi Sunak’s 36-hour fast

These revelations about Sunak’s lack of solids came from a close source who explained that from 5pm on Sunday to 5am on Tuesday, the PM survives on water, tea or black coffee. Speaking to The Sunday Times, the source confirmed that ‘it’s true, he doesn’t eat anything at all on a Monday’:

It’s remarkable really given that he is often on visits or doing PMQ prep on a Monday. It’s a real testament to the discipline, focus and determination that he shows in all aspects of his life and work.

Sunak, 43, has previously revealed he likes to get up around 6am, and is very fond of Peloton workouts. He’s even gone so far as to name his ‘long-term favourite’ instructor - Cody Rigbsy - and admit that his classes involve listening to a lot of Britney Spears. He said on the Twenty Minute VC podcast last year that the pop icon’s music was ‘no bad thing in trying to get you motivated’.

Is fasting good for you?

In the wake of these revelations, people have been wondering about the health benefits or drawbacks of fasting. Many celebrities - including Jennifer Aniston, Hugh Jackman and Reese Witherspoon - have said that it works well for them. Mark Mattson, Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and author of The Intermittent Fasting Revolution, explained that Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that consists of numerous periods of time with little or no meals and it helps with weight loss.’ It works because your body, during the fast, switches its energy source. Mattson said:

During fasting, your body switches from using glucose to burning fat for energy, which takes about 12 to 14 hours.

This is because the period is long enough to deplete the liver's energy stores of glucose.

Mindy Pelz, a nutrition expert and author of Fast Like A Girl, explained that there are differences between men and women which need to be taken into account. She said, ‘Male hormones are not as sensitive to spikes in insulin and cortisol so men can fast intermittently all month long if they wish’.

Pelz suggests women organise their fasting around their menstrual cycle, with intermittent fasting between days 1 and 12, regular eating on days 12-14, and increased carbohydrate intake over days 21-28 to help your body with progesterone production - a hormone that supports menstruation and maintaining a pregnancy.

Read more:

Rishi Sunak: Here's the one thing he often wears and will desperately need amid Rwanda row

Rishi Sunak has been in office for one year: Here's the salary he earns as Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak: This is where the Prime Minister went to school and how much it cost

Sources used:

The Telegraph: The benefits (and downsides) of fasting like Rishi Sunak

The Independent: Sunak fasts for 36 hours a week as part of ‘incredibly disciplined’ routine

Rishi Sunak and Nadine Dorries: Here's when their famous feud first started Rishi Sunak and Nadine Dorries: Here's when their famous feud first started