A few months ago I discovered the concept of intermittent fasting. I watched the BBC documentary ‘Eat Fast and Live Longer’ by Peter Bowes about it which made me think about doing it primarily for maximizing the health of my body. Before you even think about it have a watch as there are many different methods available! The basic principle as I understood it was that your body runs on energy, which comes from food, whenever food is being put into your body your body is on full steam ahead working to digest it and provide fuel for your mind and body. But that gives no time for your body to heal and repair itself. So if you take a drastic approach and fast for 72 hours once a month or fast for one day once a week or undertake the 5:2 diet where you have 500 calories on your fast days, its all working under the principle of giving your body the time to stop steaming ahead and do some repair work! I’m not going to say one works better than the others, do some research, watch the documentary, try one out and see how it feels for you! All I know is what my body tells me.
As well as doing one of the above fast methods when I feel my body needs a boost, I try to eat all my calories in a 6-8 hour period. All that means is I have dinner at around 6pm don’t eat after that then I don’t eat again until 12pm the next day. You can change your hours to whatever works for you I personally like to wake up have some warm water and lemon do yoga on a empty stomach for maximum health benefits then I have my lunch to break my fast. I’ve found the method that works best for me for my intermittent fast is to have dinner at 6pm then go without eating until 6pm the next day. It takes some getting used to as someone who used to graze all day but I do it just when I feel my body needs to rest and repair. The first couple of times may be the hardest but I promise you it gets easier. Make sure your last meal is hearty and full of nutrients and that the meal you break your fast with is too! It’ll be in your body for fifty hours remember!
I was a die-hard believer in breakfast. I love breakfast foods. I love making my own granola. So there’s days where I break my fast at 10 it still counts as an 8 hour period of eating. I’ve found that its easier for my boyfriend to eat in 6 hours than it is for me some days. But just whatever works for you! Remember its not the end of the world, you’ll get food again and it will taste SO good! It also has been a brilliant tool for me realizing what actual hunger feels like. So I know when my mind is just tricking me.
This is not to say my new relationship with fasting has been plain sailing. The first time I tried it (the day after watching the documentary). I went for the full throttle I’m going to fast for seventy-two hours drink water, tea and a fifty calorie miso soup once a day. I was ambitious. The first time I barely lasted what is now a normal day for me breaking my fast at lunchtime. The massiveness on the task was weighing on my mind, I was worrying about being hungry in two days before I’d even felt the initial wave of hunger. After I’d eaten I felt defeated and stupid. To say the least. The next time I went for a more realistic thirty hours. I had to work (in an office) which made the task a lot harder with people around me eating all day. But I managed to do it. I realized that for every time I felt hungry it would pass. I drank tea and water during the fast. Some people go no tea, I love tea so for me I think its fine.
I’ve found on the days I do it I have less energy (shocker) but my mind is so much clearer and I feel so good the next day! I’m not a scientist but I know what my body has shown and what others around me have experienced. Get informed, ask questions, give it a go in some shape or form (if you want too) and let me know what you think!
P.S I mentioned in my other post I used to be a vegan and I was also a vegetarian for many years. I love the vegetarian diet for the most part I focus on vegetables, fruits, nuts, free-range eggs and carbohydrates that work for my body (oats, potatoes and rice). I also eat organic grass fed meat on occasion, local cheese and unpasteurized butter. I find that for me eating in a mindful way to load up on organic, nutritious food makes me feel great. I’ll be posting recipes and pictures of food on occasion too as I love to cook and bake.