Breaking the Fast: What I Have Learned Using Intermittent Fasting

By Adam Arbour

June 10, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

intermittent fasting

Shh. Can you keep a secret?

I haven’t eaten in 24 hours.

And I feel freaking amazing!

Now before you go and call the “eat 6 small meals a day” police, let me say this: I feel better physically and mentally than I ever have. I get more high quality work done, don’t worry about what to eat all the time, and have more energy than I have my whole life. I have lost 30lbs in the past couple months using intermittent fasting as one of my tactics.

Through the process, I have received many lectures, dirty looks, and disagreements, all from people I love and admire. It’s hard to ride a solo trip to the healthy land. People become so used to what they have done and what they have been told to do, whenever you break that routine it sets off sirens. Little did they know they were celebration sirens.

Woop woop!

The longest I have gone through a fast has been a 24-hour window, but there are many people out there who go days! Kudos to you folks. Maybe I’ll get there someday, maybe I won’t.

I have usually kept up with a 16-18 hour daily fast, which lasts from your last meal of the day to your first meal the next day, where most of those fasting hours are when you are sleeping. This allows for a 6-8 hour eating window.

Intermittent fasting isn’t just not eating food for not eating’s sake. It is an eating schedule that has many health benefits. I can really connect with the idea of restricting the time I can eat versus restricting the amount of food that I eat. It was much too time consuming and stressful for me to try to input everything I ate into apps and figure every last calorie out. Intermittent fasting has worked for me.

It has also worked for many influential health nuts like Hugh Jackman (WOLVERINE!), John Romanello (Roman Fitness Systems), Dave Asprey (Bulletproof Coffee) and Tim Ferriss (4HWW).

While there is a ton of content out there that dives deep into the biological implications and positive health effects of intermittent fasting; you can learn more about that by just searching google. There are so many personal and psychological aspects that go along with this habit.

Here is what I learned through the process of implementing intermittent fasting into my daily and weekly schedule:

Food Cravings No Longer Have Power Over You

Do you ever get anxious when you drive past your favorite fast food joint, wondering if you should stop and grab something quick to eat? That used to be me all the time. That food had power over me. Deciding what times I can eat now help deter those cravings. Creating this constraint of time on your eating schedule makes you become more accountable for your health and curb your bad habits because there is less time to make good choices.

I used to have certain rituals and routines that came with the food that dominated that part of the day. Cereal was one of my biggest routines. Now that I don’t eat food until noon or so I don’t have to worry about those Lucky Charms.

Your Discipline Is Greater Than You Give It Credit

food discipline

Never in my wildest dreams would I have envisioned this habit taking place in my life. Eating three meals a day with snacks in between and ice cream at night was routine for me. Every single day.

When I started to phase intermittent fasting into my life, it was really hard at first. But you become stronger and smarter as time goes on. You gain more and more discipline than you ever thought you had.

I can’t remember the last time I had cereal or ice cream. It gives you an edge that makes you want to make even more healthy choices. Discipline helps create healthy momentum.

Others Might Not Have Your Best Interest at Heart

We always want to believe that the people closest to us want the best for us. This is not always the case.

A lot of the times when it comes to making healthier habits, others are quick to make a joke, be passive aggressive, or judge you in some form. Why? You are doing something they wish they could. People will give you their unsolicited advice and opinions of your healthy crusade. These comments will always be autobiographical to the speaker, what they have experienced; not always an educated remark or constructive criticism.

See Also: Ways to Stay Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

There Are Different Ways To End Up At The Same Point

Just as there are different routes to end up at the same destination on Waze, there are different strategies to reach your health goals. People choose the 6 small meals a day, cleanses, and go vegan. I chose to implement intermittent fasting in accordance of working out and making healthier food choices.

Different habits and lifestyles fit better with different people. We must learn to have acceptance and appreciation for other healthy lifestyles, as they help make the world a better and more interesting place.

A Newfound Appreciation For Food

food appreciation

I used to eat my food as fast as can be and chose only what tasted good to my picky taste buds. Now, I cherish the food that I take in. I see the positive effects it has on my health and energy. I choose only the best organic, whole foods that fuel my mind and body to do great things. I see food for what it can be, in the long game, not just the instant gratification of tasting good in the moment.

If I do make a bad choice here or there, my body tells me and I remember that for next time. I am in constant communication with my body and my food.

See Also: 11 Odd but Simple Ways to Improve Your Health

There is definitely a relationship between your food and yourself. Can you hear what your food is telling you?

Now just like all health habits, intermittent fasting and the specific protocol that I follow isn’t for everybody and we all need to find what works best for us individually. Also, I LOVE TO EAT. I just have more discipline and awareness through this practice.

With intermittent fasting, I have learned to savor each bite and enjoy my food more than ever. I have learned to make choices that serve my health rather than my old cravings.

Just the other day I dedicated myself to a 24 hour fast, mainly because I was going to be in a setting with a lot of bad food choices. At first it may be awkward to tell people you aren’t eating, it gives you a rush choosing yourself over the food. I find that my energy never wanes on my fasting days, if anything it is greater! Choose yourself and choose what is best for your health.

I’m going to go eat now.

Adam Arbour

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