…or fat is a commercial issue.
Another new year, another raft of resolutions and get fit/thin/gorgeous with the minimum of effort plans. No sooner has all the tinsel tat been cleared from the supermarket shelves and they’re filled with yoga mats, mini plastic dumbbells, the latest DVD installment of Davina‘s pension plan and copies of the new miracle diet. This year it’s the fasting one.
The UK’s interest in fasting started rumbling around summer last year with the BBC Horizon programme presented by Michael Mosley where he famously did a three day fast. When I say UK – I mean the majority of people here who aren’t familiar with fasting as a part of a religious or spiritual life and ‘going without’ means having a regular – instead of chunky – KitKat. There was the interest as the health benefits were so seductive – and so based in scientific fact – but it just seemed too difficult, too extreme for the average person and besides where was the money to be made from people not actually consuming anything? So congratulations, in a way, to the multi million pound diet industry managing to get itself a piece of the action. So how did they do it?
First off – a book of course, by the man himself: Mr Mosley. It’s only fair, he did get in at the start, didn’t he? Although, to be fair the ancient mystics and a large chunk of the world’s current population who can’t afford regular meals may want to argue that one. A book, okay – but a diet plan?! Am I missing something here? Ah, right it’s for people who want to fast but want to eat food at the same time, I get it.
Now, I have dallied with the whole fasting thing over the years, liquid-only days without much thought as to the healthy quotient of the liquid – tea, coffee, cup-a-soups… but I did draw the line at G&Ts and liquidised Mars Bars! I had got back into doing a weekly fast before the Horizon programme aired but using that as inspiration, well – challenge, really – I went ahead and did the three day fast – the full three days – 72 hours. It wasn’t easy, but it was do-able. I would recommend starting off by doing regular, weekly 24 hour fasts first, which means: having dinner finished by around 6pm one evening and not eating until the same time the next evening. It’s that simple – actually it can be tough when you first do it, but like anything you get used to it. Now, after a few weeks it becomes like second nature so the first day of your three day fast is easy-peasy, the second can seem a bit weird and by the third you are on a different plain altogether! But the benefits are great – increased energy, clearer skin, educating your body to expect less food. Those are just some of the short term benefits – the long term benefits to your health are staggering and I’d encourage you to read up on them. I’d recommend doing a three-dayer maybe twice a year, say – in the Spring and at the end of Summer/start of Autumn to give your system a boost. Keep up with the weekly 24 hours and you’ll be fine! Also, obviously, before starting to fast regularly you may want to check with your doctor first if you have any health issues, that is if you can get an appointment but that’s another story for another day…
So advice generally for losing weight? Don’t let it become an issue. Focus on what really matters – your health. Do whatever it takes to get healthy – fasting, exercise, not eating crap, relaxing more, stressing less – just do it. Don’t become a ‘diet industry muppet’ letting someone else plan your life for you. Read up! Wise up! And take control!
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