On Fasting

“In poor countries, people die of starvation. In rich countries, people die of over-eating.” – Fauja Singh, world’s oldest marathon runner (aged 101).

Single black olive and parsley
Congratulations, this is what you get to eat today.

Fasting is not yet fully accepted.

Despite mounting evidence of the health benefits, there are still doctors who tell you to “never skip a meal, least of all breakfast!”

I, on the other hand, believe we were designed to starve occasionally, and even perhaps regularly. I also think breakfast is bullshit.

But anyway. I fast in hopes of longevity. We don’t have enough time in this world, and I want to live forever so I can do all of the awesome things.

Does it work? It seems that way. Right now, periodic fasting and caloric restriction are some of the only practices showing real promise in extending our lifespans and improving most markers of health.

I also don’t think fasting hurts. At least not most people. As a filthy atheist, fasting is the closest I get to a spiritual practice.

Here’s what I do

Weekly: I usually do a full water fast one day/week, but I don’t keep it regular, and I don’t track it. Some weeks I just do two VERY low cal days each week (as in 5:2 plan). Weekly fasting is VERY easy to do, I don’t even think about it I just do it subconsciously.

Monthly: Each month, I make sure I fast 2 full days, water only. Usually on the 1st or 15th of each month).

Seasonally: 4X a year I turn my 2 day fast into 3 days!

Keep in mind

Fasting isn’t for everyone, but it’s probably great for most.

If you never skip a meal, just start by doing that every once in a while. Unless you have an actual medical issue, skipping meals is good for you. You also shouldn’t fast if you’re underweight.

Contrary to popular belief, fasting does NOT increase your appetite in a manner that will lead you to gain weight. In fact, regular fasting will most likely decrease your appetite. As far as compensatory eating? It happens for some, but generally not to the extent of the caloric loss you experience while fasting.

Of course, this may not apply to disordered eaters. And fasting may not be right for you. Even so, I think IF could be great for binge eaters and yo-yo dieters.

A 5:2 plan is VERY easy to do and may alter your appetite completely. For more info, check out the book “The Fast Diet” by Michael Mosley

You can also check out this awesome documentary, also featuring Dr. Mosley.

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