If skipping meals is something you have always been taught was poor health practice then the idea of intermittent fasting may take a moment or two to sink in. Over the past few years, intermittent fasting has made a come-back especially outside of the weight loss space. Now, intermittent fasting practice is being used to clear the mind, sink into spiritual revelry and to put you in a more mindful and present space for meditation and prayer.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
An Intermittent fasting schedule often refers to a method in which you take one or two days a week and don’t eat. For those who don’t want to face a whole day without food, you can simply graze on 25 % of your normal calorie intake being sure to stock up on smoothies and healthy foods. On the days when you don’t fast you eat normally, AKA no bingeing or playing calorie catch up.
What Are The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
There are physical benefits that come with intermittent fasting. As mentioned some people turn to this method for better dietary control and weight loss. Other studies say it can help across a range of health issues, including – solving problems like high blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep issues, and even Alzheimer’s.
Aside from the physical health benefits, intermittent fasting can also help finetune your spiritual wellbeing. By denying the body just a little and at select times, those who have embraced intermittent fasting say that they are able to embrace life with better clarity, practice self-discipline, sit in humbleness for a while, and feel more spiritually connected to their authentic self, their body, and the world around them.
Tips For Safe and Spiritual Practice Around Intermittent Fasting
Go from hero to zero when it comes to your food intake and your body is bound to suffer. Nothing will put you off intermittent fasting like throwing yourself in headfirst without a plan. You need to prep your body into this. The best method is starting with shorter fasts – for example, fasting for 16 hours, then eating a couple of meals within that 8-hour window. You can move that up to a 20 hour fast and so forth once your body gets used to being without food for these amounts of time.
Fit Around Your Life
While some people swear by the 16 hour fast you want to try and pick a fasting routine that fits with your lifestyle. If you are an early riser than opt for your 8-hour food window early, or if you tend to be someone who skips breakfast or doesn’t get hungry in the mornings, then fast for the first part of the day. Being flexible and finding a solution that suits your own body is your best chance of making a fast successful for your health and overall wellbeing.
Get an App
Intermittent fasting apps can be a great way to map out your fast in a safe and effective manner. As normal in the modern world, there are a ton of great apps to get you fasting in a smart way. The ‘Zero’ App offers a beautifully simple design that helps you to customize your fasting plan. You can set up a schedule and analyze your fasting habits over time. It's fresh-faced and user-friendly reminding us that fasting can be simple and stress-free.
Drinking water while you are fasting will help you deal with those hunger pangs tenfold and also helps your body to stay in a healthy state. The last thing you want while fasting is to be dealing with dehydration symptoms like headaches and fatigue. As we normally get 20-30 % of our water intake through food it can be easy to fall into dehydration when fasting. Be sure that you are drinking more than usual to counteract this.
Listen to Your Body
Intermittent fasting can be a fabulous way of getting back in touch with our bodies. If you start to feel unwell beyond the usual hunger-induced issues, then be sure to stop fasting immediately. If you feel overwhelming nausea or fatigue so deep that it prevents you from going about your day as normal, this is usually a sign to cut short your fast and grab a snack. FYI it is normal to feel a little more tired and irritable than normal during a fast.
Have you tried fasting? Share your stories and let us know how you found the experience.