When I tell people they should try not to eat for a whole day, they are terrified. They often look at me with that “I’m going to starve” look, which is just nonsense.
I’ve done several 24-hour fasts, often spontaneously, either because I had an early dinner on the day before and wasn’t really hungry until 11 am or because I just didn’t feel like eating in the morning or around noon, so I skipped everything until dinner.
My longest fast was 4.5 days, which actually should have been 5 days, but I was writing about food all the time, so it good really bad.
My next fast should be a week, but I recommend to start with a short fast at the beginning, i.e. either a 24 hour fast or intermittent fasting (IF). IF is basically eating for 8 hours, i.e. 1 pm to 9 pm and fasting for 16 hours, i.e. 9 pm to 1 pm.
Fasting is not only free it will also save you money and time. When I fasted for 4.5 days I had so much time at my disposal I couldn’t believe it. I’m usually cooking at least 2 times a day, so maybe it was an extreme case for me, having 3-4 hours more during the day, but even if you don’t cook you free up a ton of time.
Depending on the length of your fast it will also save you some money, but this shouldn’t be the main focus.
Fasting has many health benefits as many studies confirm. It triggers immune cell regeneration, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory hormones. It can also help you lose weight, lower cholesterol and blood pressure while also protecting against diabetes and other diseases.
Experiments with mice also showed that mice who fasted became healthier, leaner and more resistant.
Fasting can also increase your willpower because you can live without food for some periods of time. When doing a longer fast, you will also notice that the hunger we feel is not real hunger, it’s more of psychological hunger.
Part of that is caused by our environment. When I was on my 4.5 days fast, I realized that we bombarded by food or eating all the time. Whether it’s advertisements or people eating while walking, you can’t get away from this.
If you want to try fasting, I recommend you try intermittent fasting first. It provides basically all of the health benefits, but fits more into our social life and isn’t that scary in the beginning as fasting itself can be. You can basically continue with your life as usual when doing IF.
When doing a 100% fast I recommend you don’t exercise and don’t do any strenuous work.
Fasting is really great and quite easy once you got over that first hurdle or anxiety. Try it tomorrow. Have an early dinner and skip breakfast, but keep yourself occupied until noon. Don’t think about food and you won’t even notice that you just finished your first fasting period ever!
Steps to take:
- Skip a meal. The first step to fasting is skipping a meal. You’ll realise that you won’t starve, but actually, feel better. You can try intermittent fasting, which is basically skipping breakfast all the time.
- Skip breakfast and lunch and do a 24 hour fast.
- Inform yourself a bit more and go for a longer fast.