Health is by far the most important thing for me to think about. I have been to the bottom and know what happens if I don’t take care of myself, and everything suffers. Around three years ago, I discovered intermittent fasting and its time for me to share what it has done for my life.
The reason I am writing this is that fasting seems to be the new self-help buzz word. All the meditation and mindful new buzz are being replaced by guides on how to fast, and blogs about why you should fast. With it comes massive skepticism, people are naturally fearful of anything being pushed and marketed. However, along with mindfulness, fasting is much more than marketing, possessing numerous benefits.
I have been following a pretty strict 16:8 intermittent fast for more than a year. For the year before that, I was a hardcore 18:8 faster, and nothing broke my stride. All these numbers mean very little if you don’t know what I am referring too. The first number is the number of hours between my last meal and my next one as a minimum, and the second one is the number of hours I can eat for. So if I finish my evening mean at 7 pm, no calories go into my body before 11 am the next day at the earliest.
When I say pretty strict, I mean it, I eat breakfast sometimes at weekends if we are doing something or if my body needs it. But during the week I am dead on 16:8, and slowly increasing this to 17:7. I am currently using an iOS app called Zero to track this and record all of my other vitals to see any patterns – I will write about this in more detail later.
By not eating for periods of the day, my body feels much more in rhythm than ever before. With this comes a mental clarity I have not felt before, I am more engaged with tasks and don’t feel the ‘fog’ some people describe feeling after a large meal. Gone is any notion of struggling through afternoons of work, I no longer get bloated from meals, and I have much more energy at all points in the day.
Depending on your relationship to food, all the above will seem really easy or impossibly hard. Many people smoothly go many hours without eating but do so sporadically, and I think the pattern of fasting is essential. Reflected in my metabolism and my digestive processes being reliant on eating at specific points. Such is my routine it has allowed me to cut out any thought of breakfast easily, and restrict my calorie intake to one more suited to a healthy lifestyle. Intermittent fasting has made such a real difference to both my mental and physical health that I want people to know that all the buzz words and hype point to an improvement you could make to your life.
There will always be a company to try and sell things to you, but not all hype is worth ignoring.