I spent most of my childhood enjoying sweets and playing video games. Food helped me through difficult times, including those when I felt bad about being overweight.
My First Fasting Experience
I’m open to new experiences, willing-to-try-things-once kind of guy.
My first fast was a juice fast. Which lasted about 24 hours and ended when I realized I was too tired to make myself juice to drink.
My first “real” official fasting experience happened in March of 2018, probably after watching a documentary and thinking it was something my Mom would have done. I went 72 hours only drinking water, no food. I also ran 7 miles each day.
It was truly an experience to remember. I could not believe it, but it actually removed some inflammation in my knees that had been bothering me for a long time. I began to look into other fasting options.
I’ve accepted one of my biggest weaknesses is avoiding eating whatever I see. I take a picture and record the calories of everything I eat to help make myself accountable. An additional way to help prevent me from boredom eating is intermittent fasting.
The most common intermittent fasting technique is to not eat for 16 hours and then you have 8 hours where you can eat. I found 16 was a little too long, so I do 15 or 14.5, 14 is the absolute minimum on days where I am seriously struggling, but I also sometimes go 16+ if the day works out ok.
My most common fasting period is 6:30 pm to 9:30 am. I’ll have my dessert and/or alcoholic beverage and then I commit to no more calories the rest of the night. This is relatively easy as I know Future Tom is going to be pissed if he has to avoid eating until noon or later. Sometimes I’ll even stop eating before dinner so I can have breakfast with the family.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
For me, the benefit of Intermittent Fasting (IF) is restricting the time in which I can eat. Doing that may encourage me to overeat during the time I am allowed to eat, but that’s better for me than snacking on Peanut M&Ms morning and night.
I am basically limiting my opportunities of failure. It doesn’t take willpower to say no because eating anything is just not an option. I know that whatever I eat will be recorded and that if I eat late at night I’m going to be very hungry the next morning and it’s rarely worth it.
But there are scientifically proven benefits as well. It may support weight loss and improve blood sugar, brain function, and longevity.
The science also suggests the longer the better for fasting and since I also eat 100 grams of protein every day, I don’t plan to fast for more than 24 hours any time soon.
If you are struggling with making wise food choices, look into intermittent fasting, even Harvard recently suggested it!