Why I fasted for 24 hours…and other curious things...
Between noon on Saturday and noon on Sunday I didn’t eat any food. None. Zero. Please reference the benefits of intermittent fasting I wrote about in previous newsletter:
My reasons for not eating for 24 hours this past weekend include:
Of the many benefits, three that I specifically wanted to focus on were:
Cellular turnover and repair - autophagocytosis - think of it as cleaning up your cells;
Fat burning - increase in fatty oxidation later in the fast;
Reduced risk of cancer - in a fasted state our bodies are hostile to cancer cells in part because their fuel - glucose - disappears from the bloodstream. The same is true of precancerous cells, the type that lead to cancer; the act of fasting itself can kill cancer cells - the director at the University of Southern California Longevity Institute, Valter Longo, has shown this.
Monthly challenge - telling yourself that you won’t be eating for 24 hours plays a little with your mind. I wanted to challenge my mental toughness and chose this for my July challenge
More focus on the mind - in a fasted state my activity level was low, allowing a great opportunity to exercise my mind. See below for more detail
What did these 24 hours look like? After lunch on Saturday I took some multi-vitamins and later in the evening added a couple of tablespoons of trace liquid minerals in my water. I drank a lot of water, including sparkling water, Pellegrino, which helped to feel full. I didn’t get hungry until 9:00 PM that evening but it wasn't terrible. Definitely manageable. The next morning, still fasted, went for a 30 minute walk. Then about 8:00 AM started to feel really hungry, like I needed fuel, not feeling so great, a touch of light-headedness. Resisting the urge to eat breakfast, I instead took two amino acid capsules, MAP (Master Amino Acid Pattern). I felt better right away and was able to continue with my day. When noon came I broke the fast and ate a couple of eggs with a nice sea salt and a dash of pepper. Awe, that tasted so good! What does focusing on your mind mean? Aside from the slight light-headedness I experienced at the 20-hour mark (had I consumed more water immediately after my walk, perhaps wouldn’t have felt this way; will experiment next time), the not eating was really about the power of your mind or lack there of as the case may be. The mind or ego (as Ryan Holiday would argue) wants to be comfortable. All. The. Time. You know, that little voice inside your head that says, “it would be much nicer to stay in bed or on the couch instead of training…don’t pass up that extra slice of pizza!…”. This is what we must keep in-check. Daily. Additionally, I used this opportunity of being in a less active state to read. Over the weekend I completed Ryan Holiday’s new book, Ego is the Enemy, which was very timely and gave much opportunity to practice control of not breaking the fast. Instead of watching my favorite series right now on Netflix, I instead chose something else on Netflix to view - a documentary that is getting much press in the circles I follow; "Tony Robbins: I’m Not Your Guru”. Never before has Tony allowed cameras in during his week long program that attendees pay around $5K for the opportunity to improve themselves. It goes deep and will make you cry but also provides a sense of hope, healing, and gratitude. At least that is what I experienced watching it. One thing that stood out very clearly - we have to be honest with ourselves and others... if we want to…be successful…be in a good relationship…be healthy… Very powerful. Worth the watch. Will I fast for 24 hours again? Yes. Maybe not next weekend but will again in the future. In the mean time, I will continue with intermittent fasting i.e. not eating for 12 hours and perhaps an extended time of say 16 to 20 hours. The benefits are compelling. That is what I focused on, especially when I really wanted to eat something. It helps to focus on the big picture to get through the tough parts. Overall I felt really good, had mental clarity, and felt a little “lighter”. Self-imposed challenges can come in many shapes. The important thing is to complete one. Then another. Then another. I will leave you with this thought that Tony mentioned in the documentary, “If you work on yourself, you can add more value to other people." Ditto. To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Checkout my Facebook page for inspiration. https://www.facebook.com/GreenNoteFitness **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**