When most of us hear the word “fasting” it probably does not bring good feelings… We may think:
- I could never do that…
- It is way too hard…
- I need to eat! Isn’t is dangerous not to eat?
- We need food to survive so what’s the point?
In this Article
Lets look at:
- What “Intermittent fasting” actually is…
- What happened when I tried it for 1 week.
- 5 Reasons why I NOW think we ALL MUST fast intermittently!
What is intermittent fasting anyways??
Technically we all do it… When we don’t eat, we are fasting. Mostly this happens at night when we sleep. In very simple terms; intermittent fasting is taking breaks from eating and stretching these breaks further apart. This gives your body a break and allows it to burn FAT for its fuel.
Often, the most common schedule is a 16 hour fast and then eat within an 8 hour window. You can gradually stretch it out to 20 hours fasting and eat within a 4 hour window. Here is the pattern to let your body adapt:
If you time it right to your schedule it isn’t that difficult at all! Think of it this way… For example:
- Have a normal meal for super.
- Finish around 6pm…
- Don’t eat anything until 10am the next morning (this is easy because it is mostly while you sleep).
- This gives you the 16/8 hour window.
We mostly just miss our evening snacks (which lets be honest… this is where most people put on the weight. We really do not need to eat at this time). And we push our breakfast until a bit later. As we start at 18/6 and increase to 20/4, we post-pone our morning meal to lunch and then we can eat from lunch until supper again. Not too bad eh? Or are you confused? Haha.
This is what I did.
For the first few days I fasted for 16 hours. I started around 6pm and broke the fast, eating again at 10am. Then the rest of the week I fasted 18 hours at a time starting at 6pm (ish) and breaking the fast around 12 noon the next day. I felt great! I did not go any further because this schedule went perfect with my busy family life.
I continued my normal work and family schedule. Normal sleep pattern. Normal workout routine.
What did I eat?
While some people say- “Eat HUGE meals of whatever you want and load up on lots of calories to help get through!” I did not do this. I personally think that is wrong. Some people do have strict calorie plans, and that is fine. However, what I did has more freedom and I personally saw GREAT results physically and mentally.
I believe eating larger amounts of food at one time during fasting is not healthy. Because:
- It enlarges the stomach making a bigger “hole” to fill, and in the end leaves us more hungry. When we eat less the stomach gets smaller and we don’t need as much food.
- A lot of carbs and sugar are not good for our organs. It makes them work harder, especially harder for our digestion. Also since one of the main points of fasting is to give our body a break, we do not need to make it work harder.
- It’s too big of a hit on our system. On and off… One extreme to the next…
This is a time that gives our body rest. Time to heal, repair, nourish and detoxify our cells. If you feel that you need more help in this area follow the link to “5 essential ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle”.
What did I notice?
- It was a lot easier than I thought! The first 2 days I felt a bit weak and hungry. But the rest of the week those went away. I did not have to prepare as much food, therefore, I had more time to relax and play with the kids. I did not have to worry as much about trying to stop and plan around getting something to eat every few hours.
- I felt 100% better! Having more energy after the first few days and my mind was remarkably clear and sharp (at least I thought so)! I definitely felt like I accomplished more that week… I seemed to be able to keep going. I felt lighter. Weightless… No bloating and no “overfull” feeling.
- I lost weight! My belt went one belt hole tighter! This was not my goal because I really don’t need to lose any more weight… BUT! my body definitely looked more “toned” than before. The BEST PART was that there was NO CALORIE COUNTING! FREEDOM.
- Lastly, I found that I definitely got more “sound” sleep.
An all around GREAT experience! I feel great so I am continuing on with it as our schedule allows.
Why should everyone intermittent fast?
My 5 reasons.
1. We do not need to eat as much as we do or as much as we think we need. The Standard American diet has us brainwashed that we need to be constantly eating… Constantly eating junk. Well then why am I hungry all the time? It’s probably because:
- You are addicted to sugar. (long story short) Sugar acts the same as drugs like cocaine does on the brain. Also a similar effect as caffeine, smoking and drinking… Once the substance flows in and is filtered out then hormones act on the brain to tell the body that it needs more… An endless, deadly cycle.
- Your body is not getting enough nutrients that it needs. Therefore, your body continues to cry out for more food to try and get what it needs.
- The body is used to “storing up” fat for times of drought and famine… However, today those times never come. We have a constant feast… ALL. YEAR. LONG. Also, we typically do not work as hard in a day as people did years ago. This will keep the fat coming and there is nothing to burn it off. For example:
People use to be able to eat lots of bacon before going out to work in the woods because they would work it off. Today we eat lots and go sit… And come home and sit some more.
For more on how to overcome our “food addiction” visit <HERE>.
Conclusion… We don’t need to eat as much as we do. So.. EAT. LESS.
2. We need to fast because the body needs to have a break from the on-slot of food we fill it with. And I would argue that our stomach needs it most. It is very good for our system to repair, clean, nourish and heal.
3. Eating less food means- buying less food and therefore less money spent and more money saved.
4. It will help us have SELF-CONTROL. This is probably the main reason why I did the fast. I found myself too dependent on food. Just like myself, this is a struggle for everyone. It can definitely be an “idol” that needs to be dealt with. Everyone without exception needs self-control.
We need NOT be so dependent on food. Our day, attitude, thoughts, emotions, desires, cravings, feelings, etc… ALL mostly depend on and are controlled by/ around what we eat! And we spend way to much time doing it!
Symptoms/signs of too much dependence on food could be:
- Mood changes
- Being “short” and irritable with others when we are hungry.
- Always snacking
- Cravings. Especially in the evenings.
- Can you name some more?
Learning to have self-control with food will help shape/train/change our dependence and behavior. Food cannot satisfy us. Go to an article here to read more on how we can be fully satisfied in this life.
5. Lastly, what it can be a help with:
- Healing and cleaning our bodies.
- Losing weight.
- More energy.
- More time with family.
- Generally feeling better.
- Having a clear mind.
- Developing self-control.
I hope this has helped you and that you will try it out for yourself! Let me know in the comments below if you have had an experience with intermittent fasting? What did you notice? Did this article help you any?
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