Fasting has become a part of the health and wellness community in a big way. I’m sure there are many out there who have been implementing some sort of fast, whether it is short term or full-blown. Intermittent fasting is something that can easily be put into a daily routine if you don’t eat after 6 or 7 pm, and go through you regular night of sleep. Dr. Eric Berg breaks down what happens in your body during 12, 18, 24, even 48 and 72 hours of fasting. IMHO, you have to get past the 18 hour mark to truly make a difference. Does that mean a 12 hour intermittent fast is not beneficial? Absolutely not! Just like anything you do in fitness, you have to start somewhere and build. Get you body use to that 12 hours, then start tacking on the time. Go to 15 and 18 hours. You will get that feeling of having power over what you eat. That is something that gets out of control for many, that sense of no control over food.
When you are planning a fast, realize that you must start it with a good….no, make that great…meal and come out of it with something great. What do I mean by that and why? I have talked with many people over the years who will say things like “I can go all day without eating and not lose a pound”. This has always been intriguing to me as one would think yes, if you don’t eat you might lose weight. As I have been fasting, I find that the last meal you have before should be substantial, but also very nutritious. That is what your body will use! This may seem simple but most of those people who say they don’t eat, have something horrible when they “start” fasting. And, just as important, have a substantial, yet very nutritious, meal planned when you come out of the fast. Again, sounds easy right? How many of us when we go all day without eating, simply eat anything in sight? That is usually what happens when we don’t have something planned. For me, it is a big salad with grilled chicken or salmon. The beginning and end of a fast can make all the difference.
Finally, make good food changes before beginning a fast. If you have a high fat diet (not the good fats) and you decide to fast, you may have a harder time with it than if you gradually made food changes to healthier choices. As I said earlier, this is just like anything in fitness. You have to make gradual changes to be successful. If you want to run a marathon, you have to start by walking a mile!
Until next time…