Random friend: You wanna get some breakfast?
Me: Nah, I don’t really eat in the mornings.
Me: Yeah. I pretty much just fast.
Random: Isn’t that a little unhealthy?
Me: …… (big smile on my face)
Even though fasting (and more specifically, intermittent fasting) has been on a meteoric rise for a few years now, the virtue of it is not as common as I thought.
So here is a short post to answer the question, “Is it healthy to go without food?”
In short, the studies say yes, my own experience and energy say yes, and the current science and the evolutionary perspective say yes as well.
At the root of these “Yeses” lies the why: It gives our digestive system a rest.
Less energy for digestion = more energy for other processes
If we can give our digestive tract a break, it not only gets to work on cleaning and repairing itself, but the whole body is “cleaned” as well. This often entails improved skin complexion, better tissue repair, and enhanced mental clarity.
And when we do eat something, we will break it down faster and more efficiently (good poops is a good life).
Like anything, though, to really understand the benefits, one has to do it.
So how do we fast?
Let’s not make this rocket science.
- Go once a week for 24 hrs.
- Or go every other day for 18 – 20 hrs.
- Go 5 days a week at 14- 16 hrs.
Note: The fast is the length between meals. Most people wake up rocking a 10 hr fast already. Go without solid food to noon or 1 pm and you’ll be there.
In the end, do what is natural. It may feel totally unnatural in the beginning, but that is simply because you are running on different instructions (your current software). To change any habit (code), will require work.
For this, let the caveman of our past be your inspiration: Wake up. Hunt / gather = Move. And then relax and eat in the afternoon.
That is, get busy. Do what is most important. If you must, drink a coffee concoction like I do. Then when the work is complete, eat and/or nap.
Remember: Your health is your energy.
If you become mentally fuzzy, physically fatigued, and your libido dies, than fasting may not be healthy for you. Often, however, we just have to adjust some variables (like a shorter fast or more sleep) to make it be.