fbpx

I Just Did A 3 Day Fast. Here’s the Top Lesson I Learned:

Dec 20, 2020 | 0 comments

Blog

I Just Did A 3 Day Fast. Here’s the Top Lesson I Learned:

Dec 20, 2020 | 0 comments

It is Sunday Morning, I just finished my workout, and I can’t believe I just went 70 hours without any calories! Last night was my first meal since Wednesday, I had vegetable soup and some spelt toast to break the fast.

 

The fast itself was challenging both mentally and physically, but got easier each day and overall I didn’t suffer. At no point in time did I feel ill or in danger, I stayed well hydrated including salts throughout. Coffee was there, but less than usual. I did light exercise such as walking and yoga.

 

I don’t have the luxury of a Vipassana retreat, Adva and I have three small children whose needs require constant attending. So real life happened and I’m glad it did. I don’t feel I was extra irritable, if anything more calm, although my wife may have a different version if you ask her! I definitely confronted some primal emotion around hunger, but I feel I learned a lot about myself in a way that I can’t explain. 

 

Before I start, let me preface by saying that nobody should take on extreme activity such as fasting without prior experience and you should always consult with your doctor first.

Fasting should not be used for weight loss as it will not work in the long run.

 

That being said, the medical benefits to prolonged fasting are well studied and documented. Fasting will refresh your immune system, kill precancerous cells, and reduce destructive hormones while increasing the good ones. These are all among the many benefits of fasting.

 

But none of those were my main goal in this. Mindfulness was.

 

The more I learn and experience, the less dogmatic I become about any particular diet or method. I have become convinced that the key to long term sustainable health and body weight is a combination of eating whole foods, mostly plants, along with mindful eating (and living). In other words, developing and awareness of, and paying attention to, the signals from the body. (I am ignoring exercise here, which is obviously a critical piece, but that is beyond the scope of this essay.)

 

Fasting MAY help you set the reset button in your relationship with food by allowing you to be more mindful of your emotions around food. Since the fast, I have felt that I am paying closer attention to eating the right foods, in the amounts that my body needs. The good news is that you can do this without fasting. In fact, that is the recommended way!

 

This was my main motivation in this fast. To cultivate an attention to the signals coming from my body.. To stop eating mindlessly. To be aware of the pleasure in eating delicious food instead of stuffing my face with it and missing all of the spectacular pleasure in the gift of good nourishing food.

 

To pay attention when the body says “enough” instead of trying to beat the system by guzzling down the whole plate. You cannot imagine how intricately connected is the body system which controls hunger and satiation. When you’ve had enough to eat, the all-powerful kidneys release infinitesimally small molecules which travel throughout the body talking to other organs, while the fat cells communicate directly with the brain. It is a sweet symphony for those fortunate enough to stop and listen. If this remarkable system were to God forbid break down, you would be in grave danger.

 

So let’s thank our bodies for keeping us alive. Let’s show our gratitude by respecting our bodies (and the Planet itself) by not overconsuming. Let’s begin to have a healthy relationship with our bodies and the environment.

 

I offer you an easy exercise which takes about 5 minutes. Put away your phone. Take an apple, any color. Look  at it. Eat it slowly. Try to chew each bite 30 times. Feel every stage of digestion from the flavors exploding on your tongue to the feeling of satisfaction as your body takes it in. 

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

P.S. My gym is closed for group classes but I am taking a limited number of Personal Training Clients. Send us a message at 054-313-2568 if you want to talk. I would welcome that.

Will Intermittent fasting Help me Lose Weight?

Intermittent fasting is the hottest topic in diet related research and for good reason. Age old wisdom backed by preliminary research shows that abstaining from food for lengths of time can deliver truckloads of benefits. Fasting can improve metabolic and...

How to Strengthen your Abs to Get Rid of Back Pain Permanently

17 years ago my life changed forever in the blink of an eye. I was playing (American style) Football with friends and I stretched out to catch a pass. I got a hold of the ball but before I had a chance to regain my footing I was smashed by two guys coming in from...

Do You Have Any Idea of What You’re Capable Of?

You Are Capable of Genuine Happiness. I’m talking about that real contented feeling in your chest that comes not from ACCOMPLISHING any one thing in particular but from accepting and loving your life, not in spite of its imperfections but BECAUSE of them.  You are...

These Two Primal Exercises are the Foundation of Any Exercise Program

These Two Primal Exercises are the Foundation of Any Exercise ProgramThe year is 180,000 BC. It is early morning, but already the hot sun bakes the African plain. A new species of Hominid has been rapidly expanding across the continent. Their secret weapon?...

How To Get Back To Fitness When You Are In A Rut: The Number One Rule Revealed!

When trying to change, be kind to yourself. I have never seen anyone truly succeed by beating the shit out of themselves or harping on what is flawed in themselves or their circumstances. Tiger Woods was (is?) the greatest golfer ever to play the game. But his drive...

Those Big Family/Holiday/Weekend Meals: A Two-pronged Approach for to Staying on Track

You know this story because it happens to all of us. You have a great week. You make it to the gym for multiple legendary workouts. Eating is clean. Work is going well. You look and feel great!  Then the weekend rolls arounds. So you allow yourself to splurge on...

How hard should you workout? (The answer might surprise you)

You want results and you want them fast. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.  You want to get leaner, stronger, and healthier.  One factor which will have a massive impact on your results is the intensity you apply in your workouts.  Unfortunately...

A Tale of Two Sisters

(Names have been changed to protect privacy) Kate and Judith are sisters. Like many parents, they have never put their own health and fitness as a priority, and over the years they’ve gained weight and seen their energy levels decline. Tired of being overweight and...

Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

When I was experiencing the most severe pain of my back injury, the worst part wasn’t the physical pain. It was the humiliation of not being able to instruct my body to perform on demand. I literally couldn’t put my shoes on in the morning, but I insisted on doing it...

How should I lose weight? (Tell me exactly what to do Josh!)

Did you know that the word Diet comes from the Greek word Diaita, which means Way of Life?   For many people, the word Diet is associated with periods of restriction, sometimes extreme, followed by periods of reckless abandon, during which the loathing is deep....

Will Intermittent fasting Help me Lose Weight?

Intermittent fasting is the hottest topic in diet related research and for good reason. Age old wisdom backed by preliminary research shows that abstaining from food for lengths of time can deliver truckloads of benefits. Fasting can improve metabolic and...

How to Strengthen your Abs to Get Rid of Back Pain Permanently

17 years ago my life changed forever in the blink of an eye. I was playing (American style) Football with friends and I stretched out to catch a pass. I got a hold of the ball but before I had a chance to regain my footing I was smashed by two guys coming in from...

Do You Have Any Idea of What You’re Capable Of?

You Are Capable of Genuine Happiness. I’m talking about that real contented feeling in your chest that comes not from ACCOMPLISHING any one thing in particular but from accepting and loving your life, not in spite of its imperfections but BECAUSE of them.  You are...

These Two Primal Exercises are the Foundation of Any Exercise Program

These Two Primal Exercises are the Foundation of Any Exercise ProgramThe year is 180,000 BC. It is early morning, but already the hot sun bakes the African plain. A new species of Hominid has been rapidly expanding across the continent. Their secret weapon?...

How To Get Back To Fitness When You Are In A Rut: The Number One Rule Revealed!

When trying to change, be kind to yourself. I have never seen anyone truly succeed by beating the shit out of themselves or harping on what is flawed in themselves or their circumstances. Tiger Woods was (is?) the greatest golfer ever to play the game. But his drive...

Those Big Family/Holiday/Weekend Meals: A Two-pronged Approach for to Staying on Track

You know this story because it happens to all of us. You have a great week. You make it to the gym for multiple legendary workouts. Eating is clean. Work is going well. You look and feel great!  Then the weekend rolls arounds. So you allow yourself to splurge on...

How hard should you workout? (The answer might surprise you)

You want results and you want them fast. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.  You want to get leaner, stronger, and healthier.  One factor which will have a massive impact on your results is the intensity you apply in your workouts.  Unfortunately...

A Tale of Two Sisters

(Names have been changed to protect privacy) Kate and Judith are sisters. Like many parents, they have never put their own health and fitness as a priority, and over the years they’ve gained weight and seen their energy levels decline. Tired of being overweight and...

Will Lifting Weights Make You Bulky?

When I was experiencing the most severe pain of my back injury, the worst part wasn’t the physical pain. It was the humiliation of not being able to instruct my body to perform on demand. I literally couldn’t put my shoes on in the morning, but I insisted on doing it...

How should I lose weight? (Tell me exactly what to do Josh!)

Did you know that the word Diet comes from the Greek word Diaita, which means Way of Life?   For many people, the word Diet is associated with periods of restriction, sometimes extreme, followed by periods of reckless abandon, during which the loathing is deep....