To fast or not to fast?

In a world utterly obsessed with food and multiple meals and snacks daily, it sounds insane but I love, love LOVE fasting.  Most people believe they cannot miss a single meal, let alone five or six in a row.  Not only do I love intermittent fasting, I love short extended fasts.

So, yep, it seems I’ve tipped over the looney bin.  And that is okay with me!  I’ve never felt better!

I was first introduced to the idea of fasting, at a time in my life when I had pretty much resigned to my fat fate.  Buried deep in the googles, amongst mountains of nutrition nonsense I stumbled across the writings of Dr Jason Fung.  Here was this medical doctor making the outrageous claim that the Eat Less/Move More weight loss gospel was not only completely wrong, but should be considered malpractice.  Malpractice – whoa!  What? I read his book The Obesity Code in its entirety over the course of two days. I wanted to understand – desperately.

The day I finished that book, I stopped trying to make myself exercise, except for leisurely dog walks, I stopped calorie restricted meals, I stopped snacking limiting myself to 3 meals per day and I limited processed sugar and refined grains.  That day, I started fasting between meals for 4 – 5 hours and I fasted nightly ~12 – 13 hours after dinner to breakfast.

To my utter delight, within 4 months I easily passed through my previous never-obtained weight loss goal, and within 6 months, I was done.  For the first time in forty years, I was done trying to lose weight.  Astounded – I was done dieting!  Can you imagine? Done with dieting, forever.

To be honest, over a year later, I am still astounded, and I still occasionally fall back into my diet mentality thinking, with my if then, rules… my justifications/rationalizations… and my annoying internal arguments.

The hardest thing to unlearn was the ‘fat-is-evil’ doctrine.  Fat was vilified in the late 70’s with the introduction of the American Food Guide and it’s deeply flawed recommendations.  Being nice (and perhaps lazy) the Canadian government adopted similar recommendations and the great North American experiment began.  Eat low fat.  We listened.  And we got fat.  And are getting fatter.  The experiment failed spectacularly.

It’s time to try something else.  Cut the sugar. Skip the flour. 3 meals a day.  No snacking. Fast at night.

I love the way I feel physically when my gut is empty, or at least near empty.  My sleep is deeper, longer and more refreshing.  I am happier and more optimistic.  My brain fog is gone, replaced with a mental clarity that is most welcome.  I rarely get sick.  My achy joints are resolved.  And contrary to common expectation, my energy is revved.

So yep – I totally LOVE fasting.

Give it a try – but shh! Don’t tell anyone.  They will think you are crazy.

Have a fantastic week,
Dr Karen