As you all know, I started a program 6 weeks ago called “Eat Stop Eat”, written by Brad Pillon, which basically is the observance of a regular intermittent fasting day, over a twenty four hour time period, where the only intake is water and black tea/coffee.
I wanted to report back to you all on my experience so far for your own information (and for some of you perhaps morbid curiosity?)
The truth: it hasn’t been as much of a struggle as I thought, and I have been able to see the benefits in my body composition immediately, with a drop in body fat whilst maintaining (and for me, increasing- which is my personal goal) my muscle mass. I have experienced no headaches, no feelings of dizziness, and in fact on the days that I do fast, I feel more relaxed than usual.
For most of us, the though of not eating for any length of time at all is a daunting prospect, as we have been trained to eat on a regular 3 times a day at least basis, and our society bombards us twenty four hours a day never to forget that fact. To fast regularly to encourage our bodies to function well, its a new concept for sure, and one that you need to get your head around.
Rannoch Donald, my buddy from Simple Strength in Scotland, turned me on to this method, and we have supported and encouraged each other by having weekly fast fall on the same day (which happens to be a Friday, the traditional day of observance of this practice for many older cultures and religions). This has made it a lot easier. We also tease the hell out of each other about the first meal afterwards too, which for me is an exercise in really slowing down and savouring the great tastes of whatever that meal provides. Reminding me how I usually just gobble down my food and dont really pay attention to the way I eat. For me, this is all good- more mindful living means better health.
Of course, you do get hungry, but in general when your stomach makes its presence felt, it is asking for water, which you need to drink copious amounts of in order to enjoy the cleansing aspect of the fast.
What is really amazing are the knee jerk reactions that people give when introduced the concept of intermittent fasting.
“Why starve yourself? Just monitor caloric content!”
While this is good in theory, its not so easy to perform in practice, and essentially means you have to watch every little thing you eat every day.
I am not purporting that you starve yourself every day either: that is physically and mentally unsound. What this system does offer you is an easily definable, immediately quantifiable result and relationship to your body that normal diets cannot sustain in the long term.
We live at an age and in a society where we are in a constant state of being fed. My last trip to the US two years ago after an 8 years absence, the first thing that struck me so powerfully when I got off the plane in O’Hare was the fact that more than 75% of the people I saw were not just a little overweight, but considerably so. My home country too has bad stats on this as well ( Australia).
If you are wanting to lean up, and you are conscious of the things that you put into your body generally, then perhaps Brad’s book is worth a read for you.The key point to remember is that if you choose this method, its about long term outlook: that is becomes a part of your lifestyle and something that you plan to do regularly.
The biggest issue will be this- your mind, what it tells you, how you usually respond to external stimuli and constant advertisements that never want to see you hungry ever again.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating as they say 😉
Go have a read!
So what do you think? Feel free to post your opinions on this as well. I am very interested in your comments!
*** One very important point: I only recommend this practice for those of you in good general health. For more information, please read the material and do some research first.