The definition of hunger, real physical hunger, shines new lights on perspectives when eating may be permitted. All for the sake of shrinking our waistline to one’s preferential circumference.
Habits to eat have crept into our 24-hour pattern, surrounded by the questions ‘why’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ’with whom’, and ‘when’. Each of these momenta in re-feeding our internal system with nutrients may not always be needed when I rise the question, “Were you really hungry?”
When volume exceeds expenditure – and excess volume does not vanish in thin air -, it is stored. Excess energy is neatly backed in our bodily barn, ready to be tapped when winter strikes. Unfortunately, our barn has flexible walls in all directions. So stuffing it with more and more, the barn expands. Sealed tight like a fridge container, we must force the barn door open to tap into an abundance of energy.
Fat has more than twice the amount of energy compared to the same amount of carbs and protein.
Count out your caloric profits!
In effectively using our barn, jacking the doors open and use our carry-on calories, the hunger definition is brought back to the stage. We have so much energy in our body that allows us to thrive for an extended amount of time. It does not mean you go immediately on a hunger strike; a sustainable approach means taking it slow, one step at a time.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is like firing up the pitchfork digging into the barn to harvest the energy for homeostatic balance. We ensure that we stay away from anything spiking our insulin levels. It is then we use what we already have as to fuel our sparkplugs to keep on moving. As simple as it sounds, and the effects of IF are well-known, there are moments we adhere to the 16/8, 18/6, OMAD, TMAD, Monk’s Fast, or the 5/2 principles yet do see our barn upholding comfortably its bulky shape.
Like with everything you do, being aware is essential. I almost want to call it the Principle of Awareness. When milking the cows has been done, we planted the seeds, and mowed the lawn (i.e. we completed our IF cycle), we ticked off our box for the day and head back into the world of good food and a bit of partying. We forget the work done for a couple of hours.
The caveat lies right here.
Intermittent Fasting will fail when not keeping to the Laws of Thermodynamics and how your body balances out its energy levels. There are numerous reasons why it can fail, and I summarize a few here. There are a few more but we will touch on these before getting you on the thriving path with me.
Alcoholic liquid intake remains high
We often underestimate the amount of calories coming via our drinks. Particularly alcohol is hugely underestimated as a source of high-caloric intake. When the time has arrived to eat again, this is one of the things still turning up during my talks. It is by far easier to drink 200 calories than to consume it.
Stress is a part of your life
A hard day at work, an unpleasant home situation, or seeing the stock market dip to below break-even points can have an impact on how successful IF will work. The hormones fueling up that pitchfork are not working optimal when stress gets in their way and even may have a counter-effect. Stress also can be the trigger to start eating more, and more of the “lesser” nutrient-rich foods.
Going wild on nutrient intake
Seeing that last second fading away in the past after completing a 16/8 cycle, we are so eager to get our hands on some gastronomical delights. It is not uncommon to see that we are overconsuming within the hours we are permitting ourselves to eat. It is not rocket science that stuffing your barn with more hay after some has been used to feed the cows will diminish the size of the barn.
Your weekends are holy
It still is a biggie for many. Sticking to the rules from Monday to Friday and dropping all habits when the weekend arrives. There is a notion engrained in many minds that our body clearly has a concept that it knows when it is weekend and when Monday kicks in. Overloading with friends and family on a Saturday weekend-warrior breakfast, a movie night with crisps and beers, and a Sunday brunch that can feed a whole orphanage will nullify all your great work done the week before.
Sleep is eluding
There is so much scientific study material now available; it reaffirms what I, too, had to relearn. Sleep is magic when it comes to weight loss. Hormonal balance, rest and digest, restore and rebuild, the list goes on and on of why quality shut-eyes is a founding member of the bodily weight loss committee. In addition, the correlation between elevated stress levels and bed time routines definitely weigh in as soon as you hit the IF circuit.
It’s so cool to see our barn shrinking when the energy in and out equation is respected. It can go from a slow, steady pace to seeing results within a couple of weeks.
Trusting the system.
It is sticking to it consistently, and be properly guided on the whatnots and must-dos should be small sacrifices to make when you know why you are doing it.
Of course, for certain people, IF may not be the right tool, and there are always exceptions to the rule. This is something we will take up during the assessment stage. But there are always alternatives and sustainable work-arounds.
Are you ready to dig into your barn?
Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit. | Ezra Taft Benson