How Do I Start A Fasting Lifestyle?

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The short answer is just by skipping a meal. The long answer is first by educating yourself. I did both. I started skipping breakfast every day and a few weeks later started to skip two non-consecutive lunches a week. I still do this today to maintain my weight loss and keep myself free of the autoimmune diseases I had and the pain of inflammation. Fasting can be used just for weight loss or for healing, or for both.
As I read 11 books on therapeutic fasting, I experimented with longer and longer fasts until 8 months into my journey I did my first 5 day zero calorie fast. All of my fasting is zero calorie. There are fat fasts if you are only interested in weight loss. That’s right fat fasts. It’s nearly impossible to eat enough fat to gain weight and it reduces hunger pain. I fast for healing and I don’t allow hunger pain to annoy me so fat fasts are not my thing.
Fasting is simple. There is nothing to buy, nothing to do, nothing. Boredom during a fast is a nemesis for some so for them it’s important to stay busy. There are over 100 diets that you can choose from or simply eat whatever you like. Fasting is an overlay of whatever diet you choose. I think you’re an adult and know what you should and should not eat. The most detrimental food to the human body is sugar. The Great Saturated Fat Hoax has had its day and we can all forgive the now dead people who took the money and created the deception that put millions of people into an early grave thinking it was saturated fat that put them there. Millions more use palliative drugs that merely address symptoms, but bring no mercy from the disease that causes them. Sugar and in general a high carbohydrate diet is the root cause of autoimmune diseases.
Fasting is absolute. There is no wiggle room. If you are not healing or losing weight fast enough you are eating too much food. If you are considering fasting for weight loss you can blame the fake research, your doctor’s advice, decades of false advertising and on and on for how you got here, but in fasting if the scale doesn’t budge, accept personal responsibility and reduce the amount of food you are eating. I have always, and still do today, weigh myself every morning. After I drain my bladder, but before I eat or drink anything I step on the scale. I don’t have a scale phobia. If it doesn’t say what I want it to say I need to act. I don’t blame the scale, water weight, hormones, God, the weather, I blame myself and make my food selections and adjust my portion sizes to make sure that tomorrow I will like the truth the scale gives me. In 100 pounds lost I never had a “plateau”.
The “move more, eat less” paradigm hasn’t worked. Exercise is optional with fasting. For a healing fast exercise during fasting is not recommended. Exercise to just lose weight is optional.
Hunger pain isn’t fatal, and your healing or weight loss journey isn’t going anywhere without it. The only threat that hunger pain poses is that if you don’t eat something your body is going to start carving off some of your precious fat stores for sustenance. Once I realized that this was good news, hunger became my new best friend.
Okay, so if fasting is so simple why do I need to educate myself about it? Because fasting has side effects. When you experience one you don’t want to run in terror to the refrigerator to end your fast because of some common normal side effect. Nor do you want to ignore a life-threatening situation requiring immediate medical intervention.
Shouldn’t I consult a doctor before jumping into a fasting lifestyle? Yes, you should. However, it should be someone qualified to answer the question. There is one thing that your doctor and the McDonald’s restaurant drive-up window attendant have in common. No training of any kind in therapeutic fasting. A fasting lifestyle is a path of self-discovery. That can prove to be quite frightening for someone who has always relied on “experts” for matters concerning their health. I have been permanently injured three times by incompetent medical professionals. They have no skin in my health game other than my body being a conduit to Medicare money so I consider them to be advisors and nothing more.
Fasting anxiety is a very real experience for most. It can be very frightening to start skipping meals or going days without sustenance. You will very quickly adopt a heightened sense of awareness with every ache, pain, and muscle twitch in your body. Issues that you’ve always had all of a sudden may seem to become greater than before. Cortisol production increases and some see a modest rise in blood pressure. Education and experience are the only things that gave me relief from fear. Part of your education should include the epic zero calorie fast by Angus Barbieri of 382 days in 1965-66.
Don’t expect support from others. This new fad diet intervention that has been around for thousands of years just can’t be good for you. My wife watched me lose 100 pounds, arrest 4 autoimmune diseases, and eliminate chronic pain from an old injury and still thinks I’m crazy every time I sit and watch her eat while a sip a beverage. The concern comes from a place of love, but the lack of support from a place of ignorance.
Food addiction is what brought most us to consider fasting for weight reduction. Sugar in all of its insidious forms can have a powerful grip on our minds. Extended fasting is what truly broke that grip for me. My wife buys and eats sugary snacks ever day. Extended fasting is what took me from a place of envy to a place of apathy.
Fasting is not for everyone. To be brutally honest some people have such a low threshold for discomfort that they are probably already driving their loved ones crazy with complaining about things they can’t change, like the weather, to things they could change, but refuse to do so.
If fasting is so wonderful why does everyone discourage it? Fasting is of benefit to absolutely no one except the person doing it. Once you learn what fasting can do you, you’ll understand the threat it poses to the financial interests surrounding obesity and autoimmune disease. Over 80% of hospital beds are filled by people with autoimmune diseases that can be improved with fasting. The are less than 5 drugs that actually cure disease. The rest are palliative, meaning they only mask the symptoms of autoimmune disease, but cure nothing. Doctors have bills to pay. A six digit student loan, a clinic rent payment, a staff payroll, a mortgage payment and kids to put through college. There just isn’t much incentive to recommend a therapy that is free to the patient. That is probably why therapeutic fasting hasn’t been taught in medical school since about the 18th century. The food industry is terrified of what might happen to them once people learn that the body actually needs only about ¼ of what we consume to thrive. The weight loss industry fears that the old paradigm of “move more, eat less” will change to “fast longer or eat less” because exercise to get healthy might help, but is optional.
I’ve lost 60 pounds twice. First with the low-fat diet and a couple decades later with the low-carb diet and both times gained it all back. I feared a three-peat with fasting. Any weight loss diet will work as long as you follow it for the rest of your life. Other diets proved too difficult to follow forever, but more importantly did nothing to correct the grip food had on my mind. How many recovering alcoholics do you think there would be if they all had to drink just a little booze three times a day. Abstinence works for the alcoholic and for brief periods of time will work for the faster as well to break food’s grip on your mind. As far as the difficulty of following a fasting lifestyle, at it’s core fasting is to do nothing. Nothing is easier to do than nothing. How hard has maintenance been for me? How hard is it to do nothing?
Most of the above points I’ve touched on are discussed in greater detail in the “Files” section of our group page. The claims I’ve made all have links to research, again in the “Files” section, and I invite you to browse and ask questions. I am at your service.
Happy Fasting!

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