We are being bombarded with study results from every which way on daily basis. It’s impossible not to notice a few patterns in this never-ending stream. They flip-flop more often than a politician trying to appease various audiences; one day we read about red wine preventing heart disease, next day they tell us the opposite. Cheese goes from bad to good to tolerable in moderation, milk follows the suit, and don’t even get me started on red meat. You must eat your breakfast according to one study even if you are not hungry, until the next one tells you to stop it at once. Saturated fat kills you on sight or cures most of the known diseases. It goes on and on.
Whenever I discuss my weight loss approach with interested folks, there is that dreadful moment that comes after we go over sugar/starch replacements and fermented foods. These two topics are usually received with curiosity and enthusiasm. Then we touch on the topic of intermittent fasting, and almost invariably doubt and anxiety appear. “Fasting? Isn’t it too radical? Can I fast?”
Sometimes things that happen “up there” remain, at least for a time, largely abstract for most of us. Sometimes they are of immediate concern for us, as they touch on something significant, with which we deal on daily basis. And what can fit that description better than food?
In December of 2016, a group of almost 200 Canadian Physicians and Allied Health Care providers sent an open letter to Health Canada, urging to rework the dietary guidelines. The letter suggests making an emphasis on real food, on actual scientific evidence and, well, common sense. To illustrate just how far from common sense current recommendations are, let me quote from the letter:
Sad to say, but it probably is. Worse yet, it’s doing so while pretending to be your friend – the one you miss, wait for impatiently, and embrace when finally get to see. How treacherous. If you feel betrayed, you should – and not only by the snack, but first and foremost by a misleading nutritional advice
Seriously? JOY? Doesn’t fasting involve hunger, ergo suffering? Nope. It doesn’t. Or at least, it doesn’t have to – if you do it right. If you are tempted to joke that the only joy in that is the moment you break your fast, go ahead, have your fun. I’ll join you in just a minute. Rest assured, I am far from subjecting myself to any kind of suffering. I am a strong believer in a motto “No pain? Good!”
So, how can fasting be enjoyable? In quite a few ways.
When two great forces fiercely battle each other, what happens to the battlefield upon which they fight?
Right. It gets destroyed.
You are a battlefield. You probably don’t think of yourself this way but that’s what you are nonetheless.