After reading about the benefits of daily fasting for 16 hours in a study published by the Salk Institute in California, I agreed to try it for a month and to chronicle my experience. What began as an experiment has resulted in a permanent change to my eating habits. Here is a list of my previous posts:
- When you eat matters!
- When you eat matters – Week 1
- When you eat matters – Week 2
- When you eat matters – Week 3
Since that time, it was reported in the Vancouver Sun that UBC researchers, while studying the effect of insulin on pancreatic cells in mice, inadvertently discovered that normal mice fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet became obese, while mice bred to produce half the normal amount of insulin stayed lean. The low-insulin mice were protected from obesity and the ailments that accompany it because they spent more time in a low-insulin condition that mimics fasting, according to James Johnson, an associate professor of cellular and physiological sciences at UBC.
I certainly can’t comment on the science. And besides, these studies report results with mice. But there are well documented benefits to fasting including weight loss, body cleansing, increased clarity and energy. I would agree but fasting for days on end, as I have done in the past, is difficult. However, fasting for extending periods each day makes it an integral part of the day and, consequently, easier to maintain.
This is what I experienced.
- It is not difficult to do. For me, it simply meant skipping breakfast.
- It did not interfere with the family meal times or menus. When I have fasted previously, it was for longer periods and those around me were affected by it.
- Fasting made me more selective with regard to the food I ate. I looked forward to fresh vegetable salads or lentil soup at lunch, snacking on fresh fruit, usually a banana and apple.
- I ate smaller portions of more nutricious foods. It seems when you eat less you crave better foods.
- I stopped snacking on sweets and leftovers, particularly at the office throughout the day.
- I exercised more and, at a higher intensity.
- I have more spirited walks home at the end of the day.
- And, I lost about 5 pounds.
Was this beneficial. Yes!
Will I continue these daily fasts? Absolutely!
And, would I recommend this form of fasting to others? Without hesitation!