I recently came across a tweet posted by a friend of mine. The tweet had a captivating headline about something called “Intermittent Fasting” or “IF.” This friend also is a trusted resource for health and nutrition knowledge, so I clicked the link and decided to make a positive change.
A lot of people know about fasting in general. Fasting is a willing abstinence or reduction from certain or all food, drink, or both, for a time.
Some benefits of fasting may include but are not limited to:
Supporting weight loss, promoting longevity, improving brain function, helping the immune system, increased energy, and more!
“…to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness” – Hippocrates
These are some benefits to fasting, as more exist. I will point to some of the greatest resources I have found when studying fasting:
Dr. Joel Fuhrman: Dr. Fuhrman is the author of Eat to Live and several other books. Dr. Fuhrman has helped coin the term “Nutritarian.” This means eating healthy is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle.
Dr. Mercola: Another great expert on fasting, nutrition, and several other topics.
Dr. John Bergman: One of the greatest minds I have found on many topics. The linked video is not actually Dr. Bergman himself but on his YouTube channel. It’s set up in the similar fashion to Dr. Bergman’s many other talks. Dr. Bergman is a Chiropractor who knows healing begins with you and not “modern” medicine. He also believes that your body has most everything it needs to overcome obstacles. I recommend his talks on YouTube about nutrition, disease prevention, wellness, and more.
My Personal Experiences With Fasting
I started out, choosing to go the route of intermittent fasting and I committed to a time frame that works for me. I used to believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but then I thought about who has what to gain from that. Like with many things, we follow the dollar and not what might prove best for people.
Breakfast=Break Fast… Don’t breakfast
For myself, I eat from 12p-8p, every day. This means that every day from 8:00p until noon the next day, my body digests what I ate and gets rid of anything bad from it. The first night was tough, but I got through it. If I don’t get to dinner by 8:00p, I don’t eat dinner. Simple. I realize it is another several hours that my body has to heal.
During these intermittent fasting time frames, it is important to have 0 calories. You may have water, black coffee, and tea with no calories. That is it.
I got crazy after a week or two of feeling amazing and decided I wanted to try periods of “extended” fasting. For me, I felt that one 24 hour fasting period per week was enough, although I still intend to work my way to a 48 and 72 hours fast. My “24” hour fasts include nothing but water. There is no doubt (in my mind at least) that even tea has some ingredients to digest, so I pick only water. My 24 hour fast is, in reality, a 40 hour fast, as I stick to my 8:00p end time, and don’t eat until noon, 40 hours later.
As far as the extended fasts, I will say this.
THE FIRST ONE FELT HORRIBLE.
Let me repeat that. The first one felt horrible. I had made it to about 7-8 that night and felt like I should curl up into a ball. I almost did that, but instead chose to go to sleep. Then I woke up the next day feeling better, proceeded to shovel snow from the driveway, and in time to eat at noon.
You will make it through. A bonus to the health benefits I realize I am getting, it’s a great chance to stay committed to something. If you don’t challenge yourself and work through some obstacles, it will be tough to grow in life. Many later, the extended fasts are simple. Occasionally I will feel a little hungry or get a dull headache, but I will usually get over it rather quickly. I have also learned that fasting can dehydrate you as you cut toxins and take in no water from foods. By the time my extended fast is over, often I feel as if I’m ready to go another day.
Realized benefits of fasting, for me, and hopefully for you soon (if not already):
I feel great, on most days. I have an increased amount of energy and feel very in tune with myself, knowing when I need to rest, wake, eat, and what to eat. Sometimes I am eating a salad and realize my body wants more protein and fat. Sometimes the opposite happens.
I’m excited to know that I may not even realize the rest of the benefits I am gaining from my fasting.
Personally, I do it for the increased mental clarity and energy. Somebody close to me has lost 15 pounds in the few months we have committed to this together. The benefits are astounding, and I urge people to at least give this a shot.
For you money-conscious folks like myself, I’ve found an added benefit to fast! Cutting out one day of eating per week can save you 14% on food and food-related expenses. Now, I’m not promoting fasting because of this but realized our grocery bills are lower. Considering that we are paying for a lot of junk anyways, why not feel better and save money?
People may think it’s weird when you tell them, “No thanks, I’m fasting.” They will look at you funny, snicker, and ask, “Oh really, what religion?” Health, that’s what religion. Go ahead and eat your Oreos, because I’m fasting.
You know your body better than anybody, so listen to it. Devise rules and boundaries for you, and act accordingly. It might not be easy, but don’t give up. You won’t be sorry.