I’m love it when people ask me about Paleo, which happens more and more often. They are normally very interested as I explain to them why I don’t eat grains, or avoid fat. I explain about fitness and how I don’t do chronic cardio – they’re still interested. I explain about the importance of sleep and sunshine – they’re even more interested. This is the point at which I’ve learnt to stop.
Every time I’ve mentioned Intermittent Fasting they look at me like I’m crazy – and I realise I’ve completely lost them. To someone carbohydrate adapted the thought of not eating every few hours is unthinkable. The response I often hear is how dangerous fasting is, as, apparently, your body will immediately go into “starvation mode”, storing fat and using muscle for fuel. They never have any evidence to back up this belief, it’s seems to be just a repetition of conventional wisdom they once heard. From a source they can’t remember.
I did a lot of research before I first tried Intermittent Fasting. I think it’s best done on easy, stress-free days and as yet, I’ve not fasted on training days. My preferred method of Intermittently Fasting is to have my evening meal and then not eat again until my evening meal the following night. Because my diet is very low in carbohydrate (so I don’t have to worry about avoiding wild fluctuations in my blood sugar levels), and not shy in fat, I don’t feel hungry and find it easy to wait until the evening for my first meal of the day. I also find on the day of the fast and the day after, I often have a lot more energy than usual.
I think fasting is a good exercising in learning hunger isn’t something that must be feared and avoided. It makes a lot of sense to me from an evolutionary standpoint – we haven’t always lived in times where food was constantly available. I’m also very interested in studies suggesting fasting appears to be very beneficial from a biological perspective.
What do you think about Intermittent Fasting? Do you fast? How do you explain it to people?