When the topic of fasting comes up, and it’s happening quite frequently these days, the most common reaction is ‘I couldn’t fast’. But of course the reality is that we fast every night. Starvation occurs when not eating is forced on us, when food is scarce or unavailable, or when others withhold food from us. Fasting is abstaining from food, and when we sleep, we don’t eat. We are fasting.
Most of us fast at night somewhere between 6 to 8 hours. When we have breakfast we are “breaking our fast”. Rather than listen to the exhortations to have a healthy breakfast to start the day, I prefer to eat according to my body signals not the clock.,
I usually finish dinner around 7 PM. If I have breakfast the next morning at 7 PM I will have just fasted for 12 hours. By not having breakfast and eating lunch around 1 pm I will have completed 18 hours of fasting. That’s how I started my 18:6 intermittent fasting: 18 hours of fasting with 6 hours of ‘feasting’.
Actually these days, I eat when I feel hungry which quite often may be around 3 or 4 PM. I do try to keep dinner time regular so my fasting period may vary from 16 to 20 hours.
Having been indoctrinated with the concept that one needs a hearty breakfast to start the day, my initial response to the thought of an 18 hour fast was that it was crazy. Then I realized that most days I have a cup of coffee with cream, take my nutritional supplements with a couple of glasses of water, and don’t actually eat till around noon, because I’m not hungry. I’ve been doing that for a long time. I just hadn’t called it intermittent fasting.
It is important to stay hydrated by drinking water, clear teas or bone broth. I love to start my day with a cup of dark roast, full bodied coffee enriched by a tablespoon of organic whipping cream 36% M.F. which doesn’t bother my lactose-intolerant gut at all nor disrupt the fasting. I have loads of energy, don’t get the hungry headaches that I used to get in the low fat diet days, when the sugar rush of my breakfast muffins subsided and I could have eaten anything in sight.
Replacing breakfast with my coffee and cream and eating only two meals a day cut down on my calorie intake and my food bills. Fasting also deters me from mindless after-dinner snacking. When I used to have my “healthy” breakfast, I would be hungry again a couple of hours later. Now I listen to my body.
What’s your fasting/feasting schedule? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.