Fasting

Let’s not measure fasting in when we eat, but in how much we eat.

“I tried fasting once.” Okay, that is not really funny but it is one of my favorite jokes about fasting.

I hate the word “fast.” I was never fast in my whole life. And the idea of skipping a meal, much less fasting for a whole day, always terrified me. That was before I learned to adjust how my body felt hunger by eating small meals often. More about that to come.

Our bodies are incredibly made, highly efficient machines.

Here is the problem with fasting; as morbidly obese we are at greater risk of diabetes and therefore have to be very careful about getting low blood sugar.

So, fasting means something different to us. Normally, a fast means you either choose a period of time to abstain from all food, or certain types of food.

A new fad today is intermittent fasting. Many claims have been made about the health benefits of intermittent fasting. Most studies about intermittent fasting were conducted on animals, not humans. So the jury is still out on health benefits.

Let’s be different. Let’s not measure fasting in when we eat, but in how much we eat (caloric intake).

Fasting reminds me to listen more than talk.

Why fast? The only reason I fast is to prevent plateaus, or bust through them. I do not fast to show off, be popular, follow a fad, claim health benefits or to pretend I am spiritual. I only fast to prevent plateaus.

Our bodies are incredibly made, highly efficient machines. Our metabolism adjusts to whatever calorie count is typical to our diet. We need to fast to keep our bodies guessing by consuming different caloric loads from day to day.

When I began this journey, fasting was something I only did five days per month. On those days I took the average calories I was consuming and reduced it by 25% just for that day. I still ate about six meals per day.

Now, I fast twice per week, Wednesday and Sunday. Those are convenient days for me to fast.

On fasting days I am more thoughtful and less on auto pilot.

Today, when I fast, I cut my average caloric intake by half. I skip First Breakfast but still eat the other six meals per day. For more information about meals and a sample of my diet look at my post called “Meals: Winning the Battle Against Hunger“.

On second thought, fasting does have at least one spiritual significance for me. On fasting days I am more thoughtful and less on auto pilot. Fasting reminds me to listen more than talk. Fasting helps me reset. It helps me clear my thoughts as well as my body. It brings me a sense of renewal. It prepares my body for the changes to come.

No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made.

Reminder: Talk to your physician and dietitian before fasting.
Remember, we get much of our water intake through the food we eat, so drink more if you are on a fasting day.
Quote from Mark 2:21, NIV
Photo credit: USDA, photo of vegetables in trays for delivery.

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