Intermittent Fasting: a small step but a big leap
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Many people think that Intermittent Fasting is just the craze of the month, it will pass and soon be replaced by some snazzy new term, some new crazy way of dieting. But that is highly unlikely. Fasting is like your basic wardrobe of white shirt and black pant, it is timeless, it is effective and it is here to stay.
You see, just like your basic classic wardrobe, fasting is nothing new. We just forget about it from time to time. Fasting is not a new concept, infact it is the oldest way of living: you feast and you fast. Yes, it used to be as simple as that. Today, all we do is feast :-P infact, we have made even feasting complicated :-P.
The early humans knew the significance of fasting. For centuries, civilizations had mandated periods of fasting and feasting. But with time the fasting window kept reducing and feasting window kept increasing. With time, we permitted certain carbs during fasts and introduced even worse carbs we could eat during feasts. The fasts lost their meaning and now we are stuck in an era of feasting and mega feasting :-P. Fasting and feasting is how life was supposed to be, it is the principle our body works on, it the principle almost all animals live on. Feast when there is abundance of food, store it in the body and fast when there is scarcity of food and use the stored food.
Have you seen the routine of a lion? They sleep majority of the time, rest of the time they will roam around and flirt :-P most days. Then every few days, they will hunt and eat. Why every few days? Well because prey doesn't kill itself and fall in lion's lap. Lions have to work hard, they have to use their brain, tactics, teamwork and a lot of strength and energy from a bunch of lions combined in order to get that meal, that too only if they are lucky that day.
Getting food is so much easier for modern humans. You just have to go to the nearest supermarket or get it delivered at your doorstep. Most days it is just the effort of a few steps to your refrigerator :D. That's how hard we have to work to get food. The modern human is smart, he doesn't have to work for his meal. Some farmer far away is sweating to grow our food, someone else is transporting it, someone else is making it, someone else is delivering it to us and we are just eating it effortlessly in front of the television. And then, sometimes we go out of our way to the GYM, we work our asses off, we grunt, we get injured, we come home in pain and collapse on the bed just to burn a little bit of what we ate :D.
Makes you wonder how smart are we :-P?
Over the past century, we have seen evolution in every field BUT our bodies have not evolved at the same pace. As a result, there is a huge disconnect between technology and human body's capability to adapt to it. There is nothing natural about our lives anymore. We are feeding on unnaturally genetically modified food, we are slathering chemicals on our skin, we are watching a screen with artificial light 24x7, we are surrounded by mesh of radio and microwaves with Wifi everywhere, the air around is heavily polluted. It is fair to say that we don't even know the impact of new technologies on our body anymore.
We are facing the consequences: kids have spectacles from spending too much screen time, adults have bad posture from sitting jobs, addiction to social media and gaming has become the most common addiction, kids, adults and old age people everyone is less mobile and getting fat irrespective of age or gender, Type-2 diabetes has brought an epidemic of Chronic Diseases, Cancer is far more common now, our planet is in a state of emergency, the list just goes on.
Not much among all this is in our control, we cannot control the radio waves, we cannot avoid the artificial lights, we cannot control the availability of unmodified natural food. There is very less a common person can do today to keep self healthy, let alone think of the planet.
But what if I tell you that there is one thing among all this chaos which is pretty much still in your control. Will you take control of that?
You can control the "When". Everyone thinks that fasting is all about restricting food but it is so much more. Fasting is about resisting temptations and developing control over yourself, your thoughts and your deeds. Of course fasting starts with food because food is the biggest temptation with worse consequences but it is not limited to food. You can fast by restricting food, restricting social media time, screen time, restricting yourself from bad thoughts and speaking ill. The impact of a fast is phenomenal, it remove all distractions and gives you time for self reflection, it gives you time to know yourself from your individual perspective.
Intermittent fasting is just a small step towards reconnecting with your body and mind, it is really the bare minimum one can do in today's world.