Yesterday I did my first ever 24 hour fast. I’m not religious and I’m not a masochist, I did it just because I wanted to prove to myself that I could. Having read up a little bit about the many health benefits of intermittent fasting, I was surprised that many of my initial changes were not physical but in fact psychological.
Here are five things I took away from my day without food:
1) Eating Is A Habit
Obviously, we all need to eat to survive but so many of the triggers for hunger are due to the time seen on the clock. When ‘breakfast time’ was over, so was my hunger.
2) Food Distracts Productivity
When you’re in a creative dilemma or stuck problem solving, food is your insecurity work that steps in a says, “eat something, it’ll distract your brain!” Food = Procrastination. Whenever I felt stuck or confused with a task, I subconsciously reached for the snacks in my draw.
3) Food Advertising Is Everywhere
A short walk from my girlfriend’s house to mine reminded me of just how much food is promoted in this country. Whether it was the 2-for-1 meal deal at the local pub or the latest McFlurry advertised at the bus stop, I couldn’t help but feel like the world was out to tease my taste buds.
4) Food = Friendship
My day without food was pretty lonely. The kitchen tends to be a place where family or work colleagues gather to do there conversing. On my day of non-eating I purposely chose to avoid the kitchen to stem the hunger pangs but found myself mostly alone in my room sipping copious amounts of green tea and water.
5) I Love Food
When it came to my final five minutes of fasting I couldn’t help but smile. I was like a child at Christmas and the fridge was my treasure trove of tasty presents waiting to be ripped open. When I did finally get to eat, I felt a massive sense of achievement that I had seen my fast through and was extremely grateful for the food I was lucky to be eating… Even if my face was too full to show it.
Could you last a whole day without food? It may change your relationship with food forever and make you a more mindful eater. Let me know how it goes in the comments below.
(I’m not a doctor, so make sure you have all the right health checks before trying your own 24 hour fast)