A few things you need to know before you start Fasting
So young Jedi Knight, you’d like to join the rebellion against the evil empire of fad diets and start your journey of Intermittent Fasting, master Yoda said the force was strong with you. Before you start this journey I must tell you that Intermittent Fasting is going to be hard at first. There is a dark side to this way of eating that can cause problems when you first start out and today you’re going to learn how you can overcome them.
When you first decide that you aren’t going to eat for 16 hours you’re going to notice that you get hungry. This is because your body is used to eating at certain times of the day and when you change that, it takes a while for your body clock to catch up. Let’s say you wake up at 6 am and always have breakfast at 7 am since you’ve decided to start following Intermittent Fasting, you’re not eating until 12 pm and this will confuse your body since you’re so used to eating at your regular 7 am time. At around your normal eating time, Darth Sidious is going to send hunger signals saying “give in to the cravings, It’s 7 am time for your brekky wrap”. You must fight the temptation and push through the hunger signals. 1 – 2 hours later the same thing will happen again, Darth Sidious will make his appearance and tempt you. This is the sith lord trying to persuade you to give in and just eat that chocolate, but you must keep the force strong and not listen to his voice.
How To Overcome this:
For these first 2 weeks you must avoid the temptations of the dark side and keep the force strong, luckily Yoda has provided you with some special drinks from Dagobah that will curb your cravings and keep you from straying down the wrong path.
These are known as drink zero calorie drinks.
- Black coffee
- Black Tea
- Herbal teas
- Soda water
All of these are all great options to have while you’re fasting and to keep you hunger signals at bay (thanks Yoda).
Sleeping can also be an issue when you first start fasting, especially if you’re doing time-restricted eating, which means you don’t eat after night time. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night like Anakin Skywalker and have no idea why, then it could be because your body isn’t used to sleeping on an empty stomach. Another issue could be that you didn’t eat enough “good stuff” in your last meal and your blood sugar may have dropped.
How To Overcome this:
Get out your lightsaber and cut yourself a big piece of ton ton steak (chicken/beef) and serve it with a heap of vegetables. Lean protein and vegetables take your body longer to break down and digest which means you’re not going to get a drop in blood sugar and can sleep peacefully the whole night instead of waking up in a pool of sweat like Annie.
Headaches – Reason 1
Headaches are pretty common when you’re fasting but they can easily be managed if you take the right action towards fixing them. They’re actually Darth Vader trying to telepathically reach you, and your brain can sense that. The main reason you will experience a headache after trying to keep his voice silent is that you’re not drinking enough water and electrolytes. Foods contain a lot of water and when you’re not eating you’re not taking in enough water.
How To Overcome this:
You must make sure to keep your body hydrated at all time to keep your willpower strong. Start by buying yourself a water bottle that you can carry with you everywhere. When filling up your bottle add a pinch of salt and lemon or lime (Roman prefers the latter) to your water.
Headaches – Reason 2
We have two sources of fuel our body uses, fats and carbs and the body should be pretty flexible in being able to switch from one to another. However, since most of our diets contain a lot of carbs and that’s what we have with every meal, our body depends on that as our primary source of fuel.
When you’re doing a fast and all of your carb sources get used and your body then has to access fat stores. Your body can have a hard time trying to change its fuel source since it hasn’t needed to use fat as a energy in a while. Because your body is slow to swap to fat burning, it fails to compensate for the lack of glucose in the blood (by producing ketone bodies through fat burning), the resulting low blood sugar combined with no ketone bodies leaves the brain short of fuel and triggers a headache/migraine.
When your body gets used to your daily fast it will start to become metabolically flexible and be able to use fat as an energy source without having to try so hard.
How To Overcome this:
Your last meal can help teach your body to switch into fat burning mode and jump into hyper speed more easily if you give it the right fuel the night before.
Keep your carbs low and choose a meal that’s high in lean protein, vegetables and don’t be scared to add a little avocado or butter to your meal.
Not eating enough
Who would have guessed that this might be a problem for you? Trying to eat “enough calories” during your feeding window seems like it would be pretty easy but you might be surprised. You must keep your energy levels high if you want to beat the dark side once and for all which means that you should not be eating like a bird. Personally, I’m just like Jabba the Hutt and have had no issues eating 3200 calories within 4 – 8 hours. If you aren’t like Jabba and are a normal person, then trying to eat that many calories in a short amount of time may cause you to feel ill so you must find the balance. Instead, you’ve got to use a little bit of thinking here to make sure you’re eating enough to lose fat consistently while keeping your energy levels high.
How To Overcome this:
- Firstly you need to estimate how much you need to eat (make sure that you read ROMANS BOOK that explains how much you should be eating).
- Split up your required calories into the number of meals you plan to eat during the day.
- Plan your meals ahead of time so you know you will eat enough.
- If you like to have a few snacks here or there on between your meals, that’s completely fine too, but just make sure you’re eating enough to still lose fat while not starving yourself.
You know the feeling you get after a big lunch and you want to have a nap? You’re going to experience that exact same feeling when you have bigger meals during your feeding window. This is because your body needs to focus on digesting the food you’ve just eaten which means blood flow goes away from your brain and to your gut. This is why I break my fast with my shake or something light because it’s easy to digest and doesn’t take a lot of “energy” for my body to break it down. I like to save my bigger meals for later on in the day because that’s when all of my hard work is done and I can “relax” a little bit and eat a heavier meal without trying to keep my focus on work activities.
How to Overcome This:
Keep your first meal simple and easy for your body to digests such as a protein shake with some fruit or some greek yogurt and nuts.
Save your bigger meals for later on in the day when you don’t have as much “productive” work that needs to be done.
Becoming obsessive, down to the minute, with the fasting/feeding window
When you first start out a new healthy habit you become pretty diligent about it. This can become a problem if turns into an obsession. If you’re someone who is a constant worrier and likes to be in control of everything then you may obsess over your eating window. If you eat at 12:32 pm then you tell yourself that means you get to eat until 8:32 pm or vice versa this can become a vicious cycle. Remember this isn’t a strict 8-hour window that must be followed to the tee. If you go over by a few minutes or you don’t get the chance to eat until 2 pm instead of 12 pm then don’t stress about it. One day difference is not going to radically change your results because the main thing is you’re still in a calorie deficit and that’s what matters most.
The same goes for your weekends, If you go out on a Friday night and you stay out drinking until 2 or 3 am then you have two choices. Fast longer for the next day and break your fast 16 hours after your last drink with just one meal and go back to normal on Sunday or go about your normal fasting time on Saturday and start at 12 pm.
How To Overcome This
Make Intermittent fasting work around your lifestyle.
If you go over by an hour or you have to break your fast early then so be it, don’t beat yourself up over one day here and there.
The oath that I swore to the Jedi council was that I would tell all there is to know about Intermittent Fasting (both good and bad) to new Jedi knights and there you have it. You now know what you’re in for when you join the rebellion and start to follow Intermittent Fasting. With this knowledge, you’re now able to avoid the calls of the dark side and make your journey a successful one. May the force be with you, Jedi Knight.