Intermittent fasting. What is it and why in the world should you willingly deny yourself a scrumptious morsel? Eating is not just how our bodies receive a required fuel source. It is what we plan our days around. Time we relish exciting our taste-buds while basking in the company of family and friends. Food is one of our go to emotional outlets – happy or sad. We need it and we make effort to enjoy it.
I first tried intermittent fasting for weight loss. I read “The Fast Diet” years ago and could easily buy into the weight loss benefits. My belief at that point was calories in being what makes us fat. My husband and I eagerly started the diet. It was five days normal eating and two days of reduce calorie intake. The goal of fasting at least 10 hours with a schedule of your choosing. It is easiest to fast on your busiest days.
We did lose some weight. Daniel’s weight loss was of course greater than mine at around five pounds the first week while I lost two. Men can always lose weight so much easier! After a few months I tired of the diet though. It was again a diet that I didn’t see much change for the amount of effort I put in.
My beliefs in fasting and health were still unwavering. I believe our bodies were made to fast just as they are to eat. There were also some benefits that I didn’t even realize I would get. It was amazing how productive the fasting days were. Time is a precious commodity and I didn’t use it busy in the kitchen those days. I spent more time doing things with the kids or working on tasks I constantly procrastinate on (like the pile of things I need to sew). The grocery bill was decreased with four less meals.
It wasn’t until I went keto that I naturally started to fast with no effort. My husband would ask one of the phrases I hear most, “What’s for dinner?” and I couldn’t care less. I wasn’t even hungry! My new way of life has lots of perks. If I hit a weight loss plateau, fasting is a quick way to get revved back up. I think of it as a reset. Anyone who fast is going to see increased ketones in their body from lack of carbohydrates.
The easiest way I have found to fast is at dinner. If I’ve had bulletproof coffee and brunch, then I may not even be hungry at dinner anyways. I have cheat days now and again even though I’m always miserable afterwards (I’ll discuss gluten in another post). Fasting is the body renewed.
Today I fasted longer than I have in a long time. I’ve been meaning to do a fast since the New Year and just hadn’t yet. I had dinner the night before, but once I woke I had nothing but black coffee, unsweet tea and water. When I wake tomorrow and have my bullet proof coffee, I will have fasted for around 36 hours. Normally I try for skipping dinner then bed which is around 12-18 hours. I still ran 3.5 miles too. Some people say exercise when fasting is better for them. I can tell I am weaker with no subsistence, but it is still manageable.
There are many advantages to fasting. Dr. Michael Mosley went into other benefits in “The Fast Diet”. I found the most incredible being the affects on cancer patients with fasting before chemotherapy sessions. The main point on health is it gives your body time to repair itself. Your cells kick into cleanup mode when they aren’t busy breaking down new things coming into your body.
You’ve probably heard all your life it is not good to eat late at night (gain weight, bad dreams, etc.). Dr. Panda’s research shows mice just fasting by not eating a late dinner have less risk of obesity, inflammation, metabolic and chromosomal diseases. Dr. Mattson’s research shows improvement in cardiovascular system and memory. Dr. Emily Dean’s has a good article on the ketones affect on cognitive functions. Here is an image of some of the advantages from Daily Burn:
Do some research and decide if you think fasting could work for you! Or give it a try and see how you feel. I won’t promise you it is for everyone. Start with a slower timeframe and work up. Consciously denying oneself of a need fulfillment is not always easy but you can do it! All the religions in the world that have a practice of fasting for eon’s have probably been onto something. I challenge you to stop eating (for a brief time period).