Fasting is generally received with a sideways glance of disapproval or a beeline for the ice cream cooler. We rarely seek out the uncomfortable and saying no to food is on the list of taboos.
Ten years ago I fasted every Tuesday for a year. Somewhere in there, was a 5-day fast. Tonight I conclude a 72-hour water-only fast (I did cheat at hour 62, with two tsp of coconut oil). The weekly fasts were for spiritual reasons and the last few days have been primarily to understand the physical implications for me.
Compounding scientific studies conclude; fasting from food is a good practice to embrace. Benefits include life extension, cancer cells are sensitized to respond to treatment, and a bit of weight loss.
One of my favorite findings is discovering it is easier to go without food if the schedule gets crazy. I don't have to eat every 4 hours to avoid death, and the time between hangry episodes is extended.
Fasting also quickly reveals if I am eating out of boredom or using food as a way to self-medicate some form of unhappiness.
Major religions assume fasting as a practice. The intentional removal of something we count on every day allows us to see the world in a new way.
The practice of fasting is not limited to food. Establishing a set period to, not touch the smartphone, watch TV, or another self-imposed restriction forces the need to reevaluate what is held dear. Note: fasting from exercise doesn't count.
In Wired to Eat, author, Robb Wolf, recommends starting by eating dinner earlier and the next breakfast later. This practice is an easy way to implement a 16-hour fast. Once established, begin to extend the time between eating, and see how you respond.
Please seek guidance from your healthcare provider before jumping into dietary fasting. Fasting from cat videos does not require the same oversight; just do it.
What do you think about the practice of fasting?
How have you used fasting in the past?
What were your struggles and victories?
What did you learn about yourself during and after you were done?
What non-food fast, would be helpful for you?
Why would you avoid fasting?
What would you hope to gain from a regular fast?