I’d love to share explanation of what happens to the body while fasting. This not-so-new lifestyle “hack” has been a part of many culture’s lives for various reasons including to detox the body and to achieve mental clarity for meditation and spiritual practices.
While fasting, similar to when you're weight lifting or stretching, there's an element of breaking down the muscles on a cellular or tissue level in order for them to build themselves up stronger.
The dead cellular matter is then scooped out and new proteins can be created for health promoting benefits like decreased inflammation, better digestion and higher brain function, in addition to the weight loss benefits for which fasting is most popular, and in particular intermittent fasting.
We know there are different methods of fasting, but the two most effective ways as listed in this article by Human OS (my new online obsession): it can either be a single day fast (eating only 20% of your average daily calorie intake) or a daily fast (eating for only 8 hours of the day rather than 15).
I chose the daily version, eating only between the hours of 10:00am and 6:00pm. It’s not as hard as you’d think! My experience has been a noticeable difference in elimination - much more frequent and reliable! And that’s all I’m going to say about that. As someone who has suffered from digestive issues since I was a teen, I’ve learned to appreciate these subtle changes in my body.
Benefits I’ve seen so far…
Energy! There has definitely been a clarity of mind and lack of grogginess that comes with fasting, probably due to the fact that my body uses less energy at night and during the day to digest food. I do sleep better at night when my stomach isn’t filled to the brim and bloated. I can actually get through a 14 hour workday without any caffeine!
I enjoy my morning (decaf) coffee (in my adorable new pint-sized Chemex) or any other liquids I enjoy consuming during fasting hours - like Mama J’s loving green juice - that much more slowly because I’m freed up from having to make breakfast as one of my daily morning activities. I have a pretty full morning routine already and I love that I now get take my time with my spine dance and meditation and I get to sip sweetly and pour again while writing my morning pages and filling in my activity matrix, staying mindful and connected to my energy levels before heading out on my commute to the city. And not having a full belly in the morning makes me travel lighter!
Weight loss? Maybe a little… being a tall girl and very active I’ve hovered around the same weight for years. However, I believe that I am eating less by letting go of snacking and the elimination of the unnecessary 2nd breakfast (hello, croissant lovers!). As long as you’re organized and always have a fridge full of prepared and semi-prepared food, you can get all the calories you need (1600-3000 per day for an average adult) in a day without seeing dramatic changes in weight. Though if that’s the goal, I know that some people who fast will eliminate breakfast altogether and eat only 2 meals a day instead of 3.
Productivity has improved… When I get to break-fast, I thoroughly enjoy taking a mid-morning break with a light and healthy snack after I’ve logged about an hour or so worth of email catch-ups and scheduling for the week ahead, often before anyone else has a chance to get to their computer or workplace for the day. This is much easier to do when you have the option to work from home or in a flexible work environment, which is important to me in feeling successful. It makes me feel like I’m staying ahead of the day, rather than chasing time. Post-breakfast, I might have an herbal tea to pace myself for another couple hours of work on a particular project or set of tasks before lunch. I’m loving the herbal berry essence by Davidson’s found at my co-working space.
While my meal times are spaced closer together, it feels like I get full faster and won’t need as much food to sustain me in my most active times of the day. Therefore, decision-making during meal times are not spent on an empty stomach, which can sometimes lead to poor food choices that have an immediate gratification. Post-dinner at 6pm, I’ll have a full evening ahead to connect, digest, move, read, relax, take a bath, or whatever my heart desires. This only works if you go to bed early, otherwise you’ll go to bed and wake up starving. It’s all about playing with your daily rhythms and finding out what works best for you.
I’d love to hear your experience with fasting or feel free to email questions! I know folks who have been fasting for years! And if you want to learn more about intermittent fasting and other health hacks, I recommend subscribing to the podcast created by my family, Dead Set on Living. <— featuring voiceover by my talented hubs, Kyle Guglielmo!
Questions, Comments? Write below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy today & travel gently,