What is Intermittent Fasting?
There are entire books written on Intermittent Fasting. The most popular version of Intermittent Fasting is when you only eat once a day during a small timed window of two to six hours.
There are many different variations of intermittent fasting:
For example you might only eat between 1 pm and 6pm which means you fast for 19 hours between your last meal and lunch the next day.
Some people prefer longer fasts … so they might eat normally for 6 days of the week and then fast for one full day (drinking only water, coffee or tea).
There are literally dozens of reasons to fast. ONE of them is the fact that you go hungry for a short period of time.
Going hungry is GOOD!
Why? Well, because most of us live in an environment where food is readily available. Quite often we eat well before we are hungry. Which means we never really get hungry. We never really NEED food. We eat just because the clock hits a certain time. We eat just because food is there. We eat for recreation. We eat because we are depressed, or happy, or because we are celebrating. The key word here is EAT.
No wonder we are getting fatter as a nation!
This is where fasting is a good thing. It doesn’t have to be a regular thing. Every once in a while go without food. See how you feel. See how long you can go before you feel REAL hunger pangs. Can you go a bit further? Can you last 6 hours? 12 hours? 24 hours? On average, it takes four to five hours for your stomach to empty out … so six hours is NOT a hardship … you’ll just start feeling hunger pangs. REAL hunger, not just “mouth” or “mind” hunger.
Knowing what real hunger feels like is a good thing. First of all you will KNOW that you can go for longer than you thought you could. Second, if you wait until you are hungry BEFORE you eat, you will naturally stop gaining weight, or even start losing some weight.
Another side benefit is that you’ll experience a mental toughness that’s strengthened with fasting. It’s forges self-discipline. It’s about learning to be mentally strong when your mind is yelling at you to grab a snack.
Give your body a break. Give your stomach time to empty.
You’ll start seeing the benefits within a few weeks … and all you have to do is wait until you really ARE hungry.
If you want to find out more about Intermittent Fasting, I highly recommend Dr. Jason Fung’s book The Complete Guide to Fasting it is the most comprehensive book on the whys and hows of fasting. It is also hugely inspirational … read it through your first fasting period and then keep on going. With the help of this book I now regularly follow a daily intermittent fasting regime AND I’ve completed my second 7-day fast.
In addition to steadily whittling off the weight, it has also cut down the junk food budget considerably. I’ve used the saved food money to buy some great new “skinny” cloths!