Intermittent Fasting has become exceptionally popular over the last couple of months, which is probably both good and bad.
Good that it raises awareness of a style of eating that could help a LOT of people. Bad that people are already trying to make fasting more complex then it needs to be.
In my opinion it has also lost its way a bit. So today I thought I would share with you exactly what Eat Stop Eat style intermittent fasting means to me…
It means taking a break from eating. That’s it. How long you take a break for is completely up to you. I recommend 24 because it’s simple, but there’s no magic to it. Pick the time that works best for you. Then, just take a break from eating for a while. Then when you feel your done, start eating again. No pre-fast meals or post-fast meals. You go back to eating as you normally would.
It’s just a short break.
It also means learning to go without. I’m not a fan of trying to cheat your way thought a fast. I don’t like the idea of chicken broth or beef broth or other ‘zero calorie’ foods. A large benefit of fasting is the lessons you learn that carry though to when you are eating. Learning to go without is a big part of that. It’s a form of patience.
However, it also means flexibility.
My rule of thumb with fasting and the things you can eat or drink during a fast is as follows: If I can go without I go without, if I absolutely can’t then I don’t.
So those people who want to know if they can have beef broth or greens drinks or ‘a little milk in their coffee’ during their fasts, I say if the difference between them fasting or not fasting at all (eating as usual) is the need for some beef broth then go have the beef broth, but if you are just trying to find ways to cheat your way though a fast then don’t use the beef broth.
Finally it means ease. Granted, every one of your fasts is not going to be easy, but they shouldn’t feel like punishment. If you are constantly dreading your fasts you are doing it wrong. Stay flexible. Find times that work for you.
It’s a lifestyle, and it’s your lifestyle, so please, Eat Stop Eat is about flexibility, ease and effectiveness. Don’t fall victim to the idea that fasting has to somehow be complicated.