Okay, so you’re going to want an explanation for the title.
Fasting is the topic of the day; the master key to nutrition and success in all endeavors can be found in this article. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration but fasting is actually a pretty life-changing skill.
What is fasting?
So there are many different kinds of fasts. But for the sake of simplicity we’ll describe it as the act of deliberate abstinence from nutrient consumption for a period of time. No physical food, no juiced foods or liquids of any kind. Some may argue that natural (no additives) tea and coffee are okay. The point is, you’re going a period of time without consumption.
The history of fasting goes back thousands of years and can be seen as cultural practice all over the world, especially in religious communities.
Fun Fact: The regularly used term, “breakfast”, was created around the concept. As the 1st meal of the day, we are literally breaking the period of fasting that occurs as we sleep. Woah.
So how does not eating help with nutrition? Even more, how the heck does it help with success in other endeavors.
We’ll start with the physical...
In a 2019 article by New England Journal of Medicine, authors wrote, “evidence is accumulating that eating in a 6-hour period and fasting for 18 hours can trigger a metabolic switch from glucose-based to ketone-based energy, with increased stress resistance, increased longevity, and a decreased incidence of diseases, including cancer and obesity.”
Let’s unpack that a bit. First of all,
Metabolic switching: refers to the preferential shift from the use of glucose as a fuel source to the use of fatty acids and ketone bodies. Your ability to toggle back and forth between these two metabolic states is an indicator of your metabolic flexibility. (Peter Attia)
Your body is the perfect worker; it will do whatever is asked of it and repeat the behavior until directed otherwise. Many of us have accepted the culture of constant consumption, the 3 square meals a day. Being in a constant state of digestion forces our body to utilize the most appropriate metabolic state, not necessarily the healthiest.
Fasting allows your body to RE-LEARN its ancestral bodily processes by taking stress off of the digestive systems and other systems as well. Now it has the ability to choose between which metabolic state is appropriate, not just the only one it has been conditioned to.
Stress resistance: mechanisms caused by fasting and fasting-mimicking diet (FMDs) to promote protection of normal cells and induce cancer cell death.
Now this is powerful. Again, the body has an overall positive experience when appropriate and educated fasting is introduced. Less stress on the body allows it to fight off and protect the cells of the body. Remember, your body is the perfect worker-a soldier even. Direct it in the direction you want by choosing how to feed it and move it.
The last few: increase longevity, decrease in disease, cancer and obesity. These follow the same philosophy conveyed above. There are many articles and studies that give a WAY MORE detailed and scientific breakdown of the physical effects of fasting so we leave you with this overview.
NOW onto the good stuff. Your mental and spiritual tanks will OVERFLOW.
There is something magnificent and powerful about self-control. The hardest things to control for humans are negative thoughts and our impulse to satisfy our hunger and sexual desires. Nutritional fasting seeks to control 1 of those carnal desires.
When you can deny yourself from physical consumption, your mind releases chemicals that, once you get past the hunger, make you feel accomplished. You even get a hit of that magic drug, endorphin, the feel good chemical.
Not surprisingly, that same feeling of control and strength then spills over into other aspects of your life. If you can go 24-hours without eating, you can most certainly finish this workout. If you can go 24-hours without eating, you can definitely get that report back to your boss before the deadline. If you can go 24-hours without eating, there’s no telling how happy your partner will be now that you can control your emotions.
More energy. Fat metabolism produces the most energy than any other form. Less time spent eating gives you more time for productivity. And an increase in fat metabolism has been shown to promote weight loss.
To be honest, for most people the last sentence is probably the most enticing of this entire post. Yes, you read all this to find out that fasting can help you lose weight and tone your body. It’s actually very effective!
So, there you go. Fasting is a super-hack to achieve anything you want in life. That level of self-control allows you to make strides in your business, relationships, and fitness that would have otherwise seemed unavailable to you.
Please consult with your primary care physician before adding fasting to your regular diet.