Sticking to a diet is a skill. And you can train that skill with fasting. Fasting is simply going a period of time without eating. At the end of the day all diets help you control what you eat. The most pure way to control what it is you eat is to eat nothing. If you’ve never tried it before fasting for 24 hours will change your relationship to food.
Is Fasting Safe?
It’s generally safe to fast for short periods of time. It actually has many health benefits including helping your body clear out old cells (autophagy) and reducing insulin resistance in prediabetics. It is a common ancient medical technique that ancient civilizations, all religions around the world, and even animals use when they are feeling sick. Even in the modern medical community it's commonly used before surgery. Your body is designed to be able to go without food for a period of time. That is why you store fat on your body. Some preexisting conditions do affect your body's ability to fast so if you have one or are on medication please consult your doctor before trying this.
Why 24 hours?
I recommend 24 hours because there is something magical that happens when you go through a full day, sleep, and wake up the next day realizing that you’ve never eaten. You realize that you don’t need to eat and you will be okay. Cravings will subside and they don’t actually correspond to how hungry you are. Many people have probably never gone a full day in their life without eating. If you do this it will change your entire relationship to food for the better.
How Do I Do This?
All you need to do is consume 0 calorie drinks throughout the day. This includes water, unsweetened tea, coffee, apple cider vinegar, and even diet sodas. You will be hungry at times. It will rise about 1-2 hours before you normally eat, plateau until about 1 hour after, and then drop over the next 1-2 hours. Distract yourself during that time. Taking a walk is a great activity. You will also notice how you use food to make yourself feel better, alleviate boredom, and you will notice how other people always talk about food and how they influence what it is you eat.
24 hours is an easy fast to break. Just have a light meal, low in carbohydates, such chicken or veggies and hummus. And then you can resume your normal eating at your next normal meal time.
By doing this fast you will realize
- You do not need to eat when you feel hungry. This is essential for sticking to a diet.
- You will realize how to say no to unhealthy food when you’re out with friends.
- You will realize that you have a relationship to food where you eat to entertain yourself, as a way to bond with others, and as a strategy to feel better, but it’s not necessary to do so.
Best of luck on your fast. Plan your day full of activities and study yourself like a scientist.
Thanks for getting better,