I’ve been on a journey of discovery concerning fasting and I’m surprised how wrong my perspectives were. My mind has been blown by reading the secular book the Complete Guide to Fasting – Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting, by Jason Fung and other books and articles that reveal how wrong our perspectives on nutrition and dealing with type 2 diabetes have been. There’s a better way! It’s called fasting.
See my first article on fasting called “Science proves the bible. Again.” I share a whole list of benefits that fasting brings to our physical health.
After sharing with our church, the scientific benefits of fasting and addressing a bunch of misconceptions around fasting, we’ve been hearing many breakthrough stories of our people beginning to fast and actually enjoying it! We were made to fast.
Did you know the world record for fasting is 382 days!? A 27-year-old Scottish man fasted for 382 days, in the 1970s on noncaloric fluids, a daily vitamin and various supplements. He went from 200kg to 80kg and was still only 85kgs five years later. He kept his weight down as his body discovered a new “normal” weight. A physician monitored him during the fasting period and determined that there were “no significant deleterious health effects”. In other words, the fast wasn’t bad for him at all. We were made to fast!
Did you know that every one of us is fasting daily? Every night, while you sleep, you are fasting food. If you ate at 6 pm the previous night and eat again the next morning around 8 am, then you’ve fasted for 14 hours and you broke your fast with what is called breakfast or break fast. Why not simply stretch that gap further between eating? It’s not as hard as you think it is. Some people are beginning to skip one meal a day (skipping breakfast for instance) and eat their other two meals within a four or five-hour window period (say 2 pm and 6 pm). The results are huge in terms of losing weight without feeling hungry the whole time.
“I don’t have much fat, I’m actually quite thin, should I fast?” Scientists have determined that endurance athletes with only 5 to 11% body fat can go for 40 days without eating. We all have more than enough fat on our bodies to fast! More and more endurance athletes are training their bodies to move into the fasted state so that the body switches from burning glycogen (sugar) to burning fat of which there is almost unlimited supply in our bodies. The body doesn’t burn muscle, it burns fat when glycogen is in low supply. We were made to fast.
“I can’t skip a meal, I feel like I’m going to die!” Hunger is partly a learned phenomenon and otherwise, it is simply a hormonal signal telling you to eat. You slept, you woke up having eaten 10 or 12 hours ago, yet you’re not starving? Most people aren’t hungry when they wake up in the morning. Much of our eating habits have been learned over the years. We’ve been taught that you better eat three meals a day and snack in between or it’s bad for your body. We were taught wrong.
Hunger is a state of mind, not a state of the stomach. Hunger pangs are hormonal, and they come in waves. When the wave comes, simply drink a bit of water or other fluids and let the wave pass! You will feel good to go in a few minutes.
“Practical experience with hundreds of patients shows that while they’re on an intermittent fasting regimen, they most often see their hunger diminish, not increase. Eating less than half their usual amount of food on a daily basis, yet they feel completely full. For most people, this is the most pleasant surprise of fasting.” Jason Fung
Where to start?
- Change your perspective on fasting. You are made to fast.
- Give it a try! You won’t discover the benefits of fasting unless you give it a try.
- Ease into it. Don’t jump into a long fast immediately, rather start with fasting for 20 or 24 hours once or twice a week so that your body gets used it.
- Drink lots of water and maybe some tea or other fluids if you’re battling with water only.
- You could still train on days that you are fasting. Your body is designed to simply switch from burning glycogen (sugars) to burning fat.
- Use the times you would have been eating to pray. Heal your body and spirit!
Come on, let’s fast!
PS: Feel free to post a comment and share what your experience of fasting has been.