24 Hour Fasting
Losing fat by fasting for 24 hours is proving to offer several advantages. As I am at the day’s end of my third 24 hour fast this week, I can honestly say that I’ve been surprised by the ease of which I’ve achieved this and pleased by the by-product of a stronger mind/body association.
In starting with a new diet on Monday, I’m alternating high calorie, high protein and high carb days with high protein, high fat and drastically low carb days. For the high fat days, such as today, I eat once and consume around 1000 calories. Today’s one meal also had 125 grams of fat and less than 20 carbohydrates.
The high fat meal is usually right at 1pm and after I’m finished, I don’t eat again until 1:30 the next day, right after a fasted workout. That’s when I indulge in high protein and high carbs.
Aside from water, coffee and BCAAs every two hours, I consume nothing else.
Eating and fasting in this manner is just the latest test that I’m conducting on my body. It’s “shaking things up” from anything I’ve tried all year and it’s one more method to add to the list of things I’ve tried this year and will learn from.
I plan to create an upcoming post that details the various methods employed this year and the successes and failures I’ve had with each.
I also plan to engage in some 48-hour fasts and possibly even some 72-hour fasts next year. I find that the more I challenge myself with nutrition, the greater the rewards.
What I’ve Learned By Fasting
24 Fasting is not new to me this year. I engaged in several 24 hour fasts a few months ago and it was when I was having the most success at leaning out.
What is new to me is the feeling of being satiated after fasting most of the day. Exactly one year ago (when I was eating anything I wanted), I could barely go three hours after eating without feeling like I was starving. I certainly couldn’t have survived the entire day. A few months ago, it wasn’t terrible but I was challenged far more at the end of the day. This week I haven’t even felt tempted.
Tonight, I took my two kids to see Paranorman and I held the bucket of popcorn on my laptop the entire time while the two of them munched away. Not a piece did I partake of.. and trust me, avoiding movie popcorn is something I’ve always struggled mightily with.
I feel that fasting is helping to heal my body from the inside out and that’s exciting to me. Cleaning the digestive tract out this frequently has to yield some great benefits.
So when does it become easier to resist food while fasting?
If you’re not experiencing cravings on a long fast, this is a strong implication that blood sugar and insulin is being more properly managed. Being able to complete a 24 hour fast without hunger pains is a sure-fire way to check how well blood sugar is being maintained but if you find yourself struggling with severe hunger, dizziness or any abnormal body conditions.. eat some food.
Fasting works best when your body is processing food as it’s supposed to. Don’t try fasting without first having a firm handle on your diet.
There’s also a mental clarity to fasting that was unexpected to me. On my fasting days, I’m simply able to better focus on any information I’m trying to absorb. Quite frankly, it’s a great time to just read.
Fasting is Liberating
Being a slave to food gets old and if you have to have calories every two or three hours, you’re a slave to food. I’ve spent my entire adult life being a slave to calories and now being able to look the other way, without temptation, is a freedom that I didn’t know existed and certainly one I didn’t think I would ever feel.
I’m also discovering the reason that fasting is often done for spiritual purposes as there’s a cleansing aspect to it and a an inner strength that is gained as it becomes easier.
I would recommend fasting to anyone who is mature in his/her fitness life and wanting to create a more powerful mind and body relationship.