I’m currently 40 hours into a fast. And no, I’m not that hungry at the moment. I certainly was last night, but after a nice slumber not so much. Fasting and its effects are so interesting to me. For me, it’s a nice reset of the body and mind. After I feel myself drinking a little too much on the weekend, eating too much junk food, or just going through something in life, a fast can help my body and my mind readjust and get back to my baseline. I don’t necessarily go crazy with the booze or junk food. I just have high standards of what I put in my body so even a little makes me feel like crap. This feeling is more mental than physical. Physically I feel fine, but mentally I feel guilty after a long boozy weekend or a couple days of eating junk. So, when I need a mental resent, I like to do a fast from either 24 to 48 hours. I also do fasts for the health benefits. Longevity is what interests me the most, but plenty of people like fasting for the weight loss benefits as well. Feel free to do your own research on the subject, but I’m convinced of the long term benefits whether that be fighting cancer cells, weight loss, or simply learning that our bodies don’t need as much food as we’re accustomed to giving it. It’s a physical struggle, sure. But it’s more of the mental challenge that does it for me. One of the greatest mantras to live by is “delayed gratification”. Some of the wisest people on the earth say this is a major key to happiness. And I would agree.
When breaking a fast, I tend to go a little over the top. It may not be the best way or how doctors advise to do it, but I like to reward myself for accomplishments whether they be big or small. Tonight, I will have myself a nice, big and tasty dinner. I won’t even mind spending a little extra coin, knowing that I’ve already saved myself money by not eating for the past 2 days.
I think everyone experiences fasting differently. For me, I feel more alert mentally while quicker to fatigue physically. That’s because my body is running out of glucose, our bodies easiest and quickest energy source. After the glucose is used up, our bodies are forced to change to stored fat as our primary energy source. This state is called ketosis which you may have heard of. You can achieve this state by fasting, or by not eating carbs because carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Although fasting will certainly get you to ketosis faster. And it’s to be said that ketones are great for your brain, which is why the mental performance tends to be better. I feel more awake, more focused, and more alert of my surroundings. The only drawback is physical performance takes a bit of hit. It’s nothing too crazy, but I do notice it walking up stairs or exercising. I will start to breath heavier much quicker than normally. Fasted exercise is amazing for weight loss, but it may not feel that way since you’ll get tired faster.
I do have some tips that are important to keep in mind while fasting. First and foremost, drink plenty of water. Your body can become dehydrated due to the lack of carbs that help your body hold onto water. A lot of the weight that is loss is water weight. So, you’ll want to replenish that water as much as you can. Another tip that helps me get through fasts are to go on walks. Without a doubt, the most difficult part will be the first day and during normal eating times. Your body knows when to expect food. For most people it’s lunch time and dinner time. When things get difficult during these times, I like to go on a walk. A walk helps me take my mind off of food and helps curb my appetite enough to get through the next few hours. Then when the next normal feeding window comes up, I go on another walk. Walking and water are two things that help me and will make things easier to get through a fast.
Technically I fast every day. I “intermittent fast”. But I never really liked that term for some reason. I just call it skipping breakfast, which is essentially what it is anyway. As for a long term fast, meaning over 24 hours, I don’t do them often but always appreciate it when I do. I usually do these types of fasts when needed. This tends to be after periods of too much alcohol or junk food, or even if a beech weekend is around the corner and I want to shed a couple pounds for the swimsuit. Although they can be challenging at times, I always feel great coming out of my fasts. I feel accomplished and healthier for doing so. During my fasts, I also like the mental energy and clarity that the lack of food gives me. The physical fatigue can be challenging at times, but that’s all a part of the journey and you’ll feel better for getting through it. Happy fasting folks!