People have chosen to fast intermittently for thousands of years. All historic societies have practiced fasting, either by choice or out of necessity.
Many of the benefits of fasting were known in ancient societies. Fasting periods were often called “cleanses or purifications”. The goal was always the same. To abstain from food for a prolonged period of time for health reasons. People often believed that this period of abstinence would cleanse the body or toxins and rejuvenate their bodies.
More recently however, with the advent of agriculture an industrialisation, food has become so readily available the society has basically forgotten all about fasting. Today people have a dependence on processed carbohydrates and sugars, which has contributed to the obesity and type-2 diabetes epidemics we see today.
Fasting can potentially deliver huge benefits such as, weight loss, increased energy and physical performance and even the reversal of type-2 diabetes.
Here are some tips for conducting fasts:
- Drink water;
- Drink black coffee and tea;
- Keep yourself occupied;
- Give yourself a month to assess if intermittent fasting is good for you;
- Follow a low-carbohydrate diet in-between fasting periods. This will reduce hunger and makes fasting easier.
- Don’t binge eat when breaking the fast. Ease back into eating with whole foods.
Remember, fasting isn’t for everybody. There is no real point in continuing an extended fast if you’re miserable. When starting out, it’s probably best to first condition your body to eating a lower carbohydrate, whole food diet. This will reduce the body’s dependence on glucose or sugars as an energy source.
Then begin to extend the duration between meals over time, before attempting a longer fasting periods.