Never did I ever think I would say these words. Fasting has always been one of those things that I thought I would never do. I love eating. A lot. Regularly. All the time. You get the idea! Not eating over longer periods of time sounded to me like pure torture, plus I am the worlds angriest person if I don't eat. That was so 2019- I have changed a lot since then (at least regarding my view on fasting). During this lock down I have started to experiment with different things, some of which turned out to work better than others. Fasting as it turns out was one of the better things.
I started my fasting journey with this method. Given that I get so hangry I thought juice fasting will be a good introduction. I did pretty well I think. Having six juices per day instead of eating sounded like a do-able situation. I followed the juice plan from curiously conscious (https://www.curiouslyconscious.com/2015/06/diy-3-day-juice-cleanse-recipe-plan.html/) and did one juice cleanse per week for a month. I loved it. Fasting resets your body- or at least that's what it feels like. My sugar cravings- gone. My overeating habits- gone. My constant urge to snack on something- gone. I was blown away.
The Eat- Stop- Eat Method
After a month or so I couldn't be bothered to make 6 juices on my fasting day so I thought f**k it, let's not eat anything today and go for the full experience. And Wowza- that was a jump... I didn't get too hungry until about 3 pm and then it really kicked it. One thing I will stress about: DO NOT WATCH TV... The number of scenes with food in it... I mean really people? So I decided to go for a walk in the common outside the flat and boy did the hunger fall into the background. I started to just enjoy nature and did breathwork. Lots of warm herbal teas also helped with the hunger sensation. Also, it is normal to have peaks of hunger and then be completely fine the next minute, so keep that in mind when you first start your journey.
The 16/8 Method
After I had done a month of traditional fasting I had given myself a few weeks of just not fasting at all. Then realised... nope... gotta continue otherwise I will fall back into old habits. I tried the 16/8 method which is probably the easiest method out of all of them- fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours. This translates to eating between 10 am and 6 pm and fasting from 6 pm until 10am. This is completely realistic and achievable as a few of us do this type of fast naturally anyway. You can play around with it and maybe start eating after 12 pm so you can have a later dinner if that works for you. Either way try to keep the ration of 16/8 and watch the magic happen.
The more as I read into fasting, the more I got interested in the science behind it. And there is quite a lot of it. Animals do it. Humans used to do it. Religions still practice it. It's something that we have lost over the time of so-called 'civilisation'. It helps lowering insulin levels which makes it easier for the body to access its bodyfat. Instead of glucose, the body converts fatty acids into ketones and utilises them as an energy source. You basically use your fat for energy and lose weight. Furthermore, the body starts to repair itself and healing can take place (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3106288/). It also lowers inflammation markers in the body which can be causative for many (modern) illnesses (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1905136). I could go on but I won't. Fasting is such a great way of healing and resetting your body and it doesn't cost anything!
If you have suffered or are still suffering from eating disorders then please do not fast! This article is just my personal experience with fasting and I am not a trained health care professional that specialises in fasting. Please consult a professional to determine whether this is the right path for you. We are all so different and so are the ways of healing the body- find your personal way.