More and more in the news these days, we are hearing about how fasting, and intermittent fasting, has so many health benefits. But we just can’t imagine doing it ourselves, as it is really so difficult. The thought of starving yourself for days on end and only drinking water seems like a nightmare. You want to be healthy, but you don’t really want to suffer. Well the good news is that you don’t have to suffer that much. There are a lot of ways to make it much easier to ease your way into fasting. You don’t have to jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool, you can dip a toe in from the shallow end and slowly move in as you’re comfortable. Here are some tricks that you can do get fasting easier.
Time-restricted eating 12/12
This is one of the first things you should do, and you should do this anyway even if you’re not fasting, it is time-restricted eating. This means that you only eat for a certain set time period and you do not eat anything else outside of that time period. We are sure you have heard that you should not eat for a couple of hours before you go to bed, this is sort of along those same lines. This is the easiest way you can start getting used to not eating. Pick a 12 hour time period when you eat, and a 12 hour period where you eat nothing at all. You can still have water, or coffee (as long as there is no sugar or creamer in it).
Time-restricted eating 8/16
Once you have the 12 hours of not eating comfortably under your belt, you need to start reducing that time down. Pick an eight hours period when you eat and have 16 hours where you do not eat. Although this seems like it might be difficult, you have to remember that probably about eight of those hours of the 16 you are asleep. So, if you don’t eat for the first four hours when you get up and don’t eat for the last four hours before you go to sleep, you’ve got it covered. And if you tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we will point you to where the phrase came from, which is the cereal companies in the 70s when they were trying to sell more cereal. The first meal you eat after your 16 hours fast, because yes, you are fasting, is an important meal. That’s your breakfast. Whether you’re eating that at 10 AM or noon makes no difference. You will find that you can eat for less and less time over the ensuing weeks or months, and it won’t bother you at all.
24 hours fast
Once you have mastered the time-restricted eating, it’s time to move into the 24 hours fast. Although that seems like a long time, it really isn’t. Let’s say you eat your dinner at 7 PM on a Tuesday, it just means that you don’t eat again till 7 PM on a Wednesday. You just skip your lunch and breakfast. That’s not so bad, is it? If you add a 24 hour fast into your week every week, you will find you don’t even think about it. Then you can add a second one in your week. You will be quite amazed at how easy it is.
Pushing the limit
You can quite happily stay at a 24 hour fast, and be quite healthy. In fact, there are a lot of people that follow a diet called all OMAD or one meal a day. They are fasting for 24 hours every day, (okay technically 23 hours). If you want to try doing larger fasts, such as 48 hours or longer, just give it a try. The first couple of times you try it, it might be a bit rough, but after you’ve done it a couple of times, you will be amazed at how easy it is. You will tell your friends, and they will think you are crazy.
Just because you have been on a fast, doesn’t mean that gives you license to suddenly stuff your face with a pile of food. Fasting gives you a good opportunity to bring your diet and nutrient intake under control. Just eat healthily. If you want to lose weight, focus more on being healthy and losing weight, and you will find the weight goes away. As much as we all love sugar, and we are genetically inclined to desire it, in all of our history there has never been this much sugar with this much easy access, so the first thing you need to do is start cutting out sugars.
Yes, everyone will tell you it’s a fad diet, it’s unhealthy, etc. etc. But if you do keto correctly, clean keto and eating healthy foods, you will find that the extra fats stop you from being hungry during your fast. The difference between going on a fast and having a high carb sugary diet, compared to having a high-fat diet, is a vast difference. When we say having a high-fat diet, what we are really talking about is healthy fats and the removal of sugars. Having a large plate of salad, with oil and vinegar dressing or mayonnaise, and 4 ounces of chicken or beef, doesn’t really sound like keto does it? But it is. That’s clean keto. The carbs are all provided by green vegetables, the fats from the oil in the dressing and the mayonnaise, and the protein from the chicken. That sounds more like what your great-grandparents ate, doesn’t it? Who would’ve thought they’re doing keto as well.
Hunger as a badge of honor
There are really two kinds of hunger. The first one is the hunger where you need food because you are actually hungry. The second one is where you want food because you’re bored or you don’t know what else to do. You may have a craving for food or just feel like a snack. The second one is not real hunger. The only one you should listen to is the first one when you actually are hungry, and even then, you don’t have to be a slave to it. Learn to recognize when you’re hungry. Wear that hunger as a badge of honor. When you feel the second kind of hungry, except it and embrace it. Know that you are the master of your body and that is how you’re showing it you are the boss. Once you can accept the hunger, you’ll find that it goes away.
If you are older, you can probably remember a time when you’re a kid where you would forget to eat most of the day. Your mom would ask you what did you eat today, and you could never remember because you didn’t eat anything, and you were completely fine with that. It’s only in recent years that people have been making everybody eat as much food as possible. And who is making you eat all this food and telling you should eat more? Well as in anything, or any crime, follow the money. Who makes the most money from you eating a lot of food? So, listen to your body, but don’t let it rule you. Fasting isn’t too hard to start if you just take it in small steps as we have said. Give it a try, once you experience it you will regret you never tried it before, you will also be amazed at how much better you feel.