As you may have guessed from the title, I’m on a fast day today.
I’ve been following the ‘diet’ (I use inverted commas there as I don’t really see it as a diet anymore) for about three months now, and as you might know already, I’m a big fan. Yes, partly because it shed that last stubborn few pounds that refused to leave my hips after having two kids, but these days, more because of how beneficial I believe it is.
I know there are still sceptics out there, who make very valid points about the fact that it is ‘unproven’, no-one knows the long term effects etc etc. But the way I see it is that people have been fasting for centuries,whether for religious reasons, such as Ramadan, or spiritual ones, or simply just to cleanse the system out a bit. Last I heard, none of them suffered too much as a result.
Anyway, enough of that. As I’ve been doing it for a while, I just wanted to share some tips on strategies I’ve developed to have a successful fast day. (though don’t get me wrong, there are still days where I struggle!)
Tips for a Good Fast
1) Work on the mindset: I think a lot of it is to do with being in the right frame of mind. If you feel as though you are denying yourself, if you look longingly at the cake in the shop window and feel really hard done by that you can’t have it; then you probably will struggle to get through the day.
I try to get in a different mind set. Instead of thinking of how I’m feeling so hungry, or suffering with not eating tasty treats etc, I think of how much better I’m going to feel tomorrow after doing it. I also just keep reminding myself that it’s only one day, which isn’t much at all really.
2) Don’t leave temptation in your path!: Half opened packs of sweets, or crisps or anything like that are not a good idea. Fasting takes will-power anyway, don’t make it harder for yourself by having tempting treats that are so easy to sneak your hand into and pull one out. It’s horribly easy to think ‘Ah, one won’t hurt! It’s only small…’, then before you know it, ten have gone. Been there, done that, learnt the hard way.
3) Think about what works best for you: Some people choose to spread their calories out throughout the day. I personally found this method murderous. Once I start eating, I can’t stop! I personally do a complete fast until around 7pm, then eat all the calories at once. This helps me not to feel hungry at bedtime too, which is a not very nice feeling. I like doing a really long, uninterrupted fast as well, I think it really benefits the system, in terms of allowing it a breather and a chance to cleanse itself!
4) Keep busy! Keeping busy definitely helps to take your mind off food. I always fast on days where I know I’m going to be running round like a mentalist and thus far too busy to think about being hungry.
5) Remember that cheating only cheats yourself: I don’t want to issue a lecture. But cheating only adversely affects one person, which is you. (and it does get easier, I promise!)
I personally really would recommend a day’s fasting a week to anyone (health permitting). It really makes me feel so much better after doing it!