Got to Go Fast

3min read

Yesterday I discussed me getting back into intermittent fasting and the individualistic (and very Western) reasons why.

The short of it is: I want to feel good about my body, I want people to find me attractive and one way I can go about that is by slimming down a little.

Now, are there less selfish reasons why someone would decide to start fasting?

Well, of course, fasting, and dietary restrictions in general, are commonly practiced in many faiths. Food is a universal part of the human experience so it makes sense that organized religion would have something to say about it.

By definition, fasting is a choice. By fasting you can feel a small part of the suffering felt by those who don’t have a choice. The person fasting can develop compassion for his fellow human beings who don’t always have access to food and, thus, build a more empathetic community.

For me, the mind breaking feeling I get from removing a tiny bit of food from my diet brings into perspective how privileged I am. I’ve always had enough food (and usually more) to keep me satiated and healthy.

The same can’t be said for everyone, and that’s easy to forget when you’ve gone your whole life constantly surrounded by everything you need, and most of what you want.

Even when I’m not fasting, I think about food all the time.

Everyone loves food but I love food.

Knowing this, am I torturing myself by fasting?

A little but not much.

Eating less means that I can focus on preparing and eating better and less boring food. At the start, fasting is hard but eventually my body gets used to the new normal and it’s not that big of a deal anymore. If I want to stop fasting, there’s nothing stopping me from doing that.

Should everyone fast?

No. Also, I’m not a doctor. What works for me might not work for you.

Keep in mind no corporation wants you to be consuming less. That’s not how capitalism works. So you’re not going to be seeing intermittent fasting ads anytime soon. That doesn’t mean it’s less effective than getting overpriced “healthy diet” cookies from your favorite influencer shipped to you in the mail.

The research that I’ve read seems to suggest that it’s the most effective way of losing weight and keeping it off in a sustainable way for a lot of people.

Use your brain, do your research, come to your own conclusions and maybe next time you or someone you care about decides that they want to lose weight, get them to talk to their doctor about intermittent fasting.

If you’re lucky, maybe it’ll make you or your friend a more empathetic person along the way.

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