Fasting is getting really popular. The science is now convincing, and the practice of not eating, contrary to what you first hear, is quite fun.
For food lovers, the slight deprivation makes eating even more fun. I met a woman the other day who has fasted on Wednesdays for years. She told me, she and her husband do it because they love food so much and wanted to enjoy it even more. I think she might be right.
So here are my top 5 fasting tips if you haven’t tried it.
Fast five fasting tips:
1. Be fat adapted.
Unless you are a fat burner, fasting is going to hurt. The only really effortless way to get there is to be a low carb eater most of the time. This drives the physiology of fat burning over carb burning. Because you have lots of fat to burn (even the leanest of us does), you can go on for a day or two without food no worries.
2. Get psyched.
In my experience, there are some social and other hurdles when you aren’t eating. Know that they are coming and be prepared.
3. Get at least someone else to do it too.
If you live in a family then your partner is critical to this. Who wants to be the weird one here? Obviously you’ll feed your kids and there’s a few hurdles there, but the two of you sitting it out and having a quiet fruit tea will be way more fun than going it alone.
4. Actively avoid the smells and sights of really yummy food.
You and I are humans and when we see and smell food we have the start of a chain reaction of getting ready to eat. It’s as simple as walking past a cafe with everything spilling out onto the street including the food smells. Take another way around. It’ll help.
5. Know the science.
Okay I’m a research scientist, so I’m biased, but to me if you understand what fasting does for your brain and body from the cell up then it makes the whole process much more enjoyable. You’ll feel good about explaining to others what you are doing, bring in others with you, and feel virtuous about what you are achieving.
Test: Can you explain to others what autophagy and apoptosis are?
- Autophagy – the self cleaning program in the cell nitrated by the (lack of) nutrient stress from fasting. The particular cellular organelle is called the lysosome and it moves around the cell scavenging bits and pieces and generally tidying up and repairing the cell.
- Apoptosis – The process where old cells which are past their “use by date” are recycled and the nutrients recycled. The lack of food (fasting) can help this process.