I am a fan of intermittent fasting – I think it’s very natural to our bodies and how we developed as species. Gentle fasting has been working for me really well – I only do 16-8 (fasting-eating hours) maybe 17-7, depending on what is my body feeling like and I don’t do it every day. I also noticed this fluctuates with my menstrual cycle, and that is completely ok.
My goal with these gentle fasts are not to lose weight – but to allow my body to digest, reset to it’s natural balance, learn to manage it’s energy long term and reset to it’s natural balance. Small break in my eating window often help me to hear the signals from my body about what nourishment it needs and when.
Is it for you?
I have often seen questions from people who have never fasted if they should do One Meal A Day Fast, or how many kilograms they can lose within a short period of time if they fast.
Often these questions come from women who have previous history of dieting, and potentially problematic eating habits or relationships to their food and their bodies.
It’s not for you if you have struggled with disordered eating
If you have been struggling with dieting, or you have suffered from an eating disorder, intermittent fasting can bring you back into those well worn tracks – neural pathways in your brain. Embarking on a big restriction like eating one meal a day will likely trigger extreme craving responses and will not be sustainable – especially if you have only just started with fasting.
Starting fasting with a big restriction goal in mind would likely only lead to short period of intense over-commitment and then natural drop of when your motivation runs out, life happens, or your natural – instinctive hunger prevails.
Befriend your body – and listen to its cues when fasting
Fasting van help you to have better immunity, better mental focus and clarity, better connection to how your gut and digestion works and yes – it can help you lose weight.
In my case, it also aids in my good night sleep, and overall feeling of lightness and vitality.
I have learnt to enjoy sensation of hunger in the morning, and more clarity in what food does my body desire to feel nourished. I have never felt this as clearly as when I started fasting.
It’s all about mindset
Mindset and beliefs play a big part in the way to get the feeling of contentment and satisfaction.
Approaching fasting from the perspective of fixing yourself, or putting yourself through full day fast and an hour of eating without learning this skill of self regulation first – will likely create more damage in your mind and soul and probably long term in your body as well.
On the other hand, approaching fasting as a tool to learn to listen to your body, allow it to restore, reset and attune will bring you benefits in the long run. Approach it with focus on nutrition and self care and explore opposites of satisfaction, hunger and nourishment in gentle, curious and caring way – and your fasting journey will likely serve you very well.
To help you find that mindset here is mantra I love working with – try it for a minute every day.
I am beautiful
I am strong
I am loved
I love my body
I trust my body.
Do it with mindful movement, or sitting down – let me know how did you feel?