One of the most important things when making decisions that impact your health and wellness, is acknowledging the motives behind that decision. Implementing something new with the wrong motives will only set you up for failure. Additionally, it’s always good to consult your doctor or a professional before embarking on any new lifestyle change.
Overcoming obstacles with fasting
One problem that people can run into as they start implementing fasting into their lifestyle is breaking the fast, it’s extremely easy to overeat. At first, this can be challenging for some people, but as you progress and get used to the routine of fasting you will overcome this challenge easily. It helps to have a plan; if you plan out exactly what you need to eat, then you will only eat that and nothing more.
Many people also tend to skip meals during fasting. Let me be clear, fasting is not just about skipping meals to eat less. It’s about getting all of the calories and nutrients you need, over a certain time period. It can be hard at first to eat all your food in a smaller window, but as you progress slowly you will become accustomed to this new routine.
Additionally, people can use fasting as an excuse to eat whatever we want, this is very easy to do even unconsciously. Partnering good nutrition with fasting is key to reaching your goals – these goals won’t be met if we are filling up on fatty, sugary foods. It is a tool we can use to partner with other healthy habits like eating well and exercising. Fasting is just about when you are eating and making sure you have time spent in the fasted state for your body to rest and reset.
Fasting can also be an asset to your busy schedule. Instead of rushing around in the morning trying to get breakfast ready, you can use that time to do other things. You can schedule your fasting around times you are busy anyway, that way you don’t have to scarf down a meal before a meeting and feel sluggish during it. Let fasting work with you as an asset that will free up your time and efforts.
But before you start anything, you must be in the right mindset and motivated by the right things. If your only motivation is that you want to look good, your motivation will fade. If your motivations are just about you, they will be short-lived and will not produce lasting results. This is why so many people do yo-yo dieting these days, they lose their resolve because they aren’t anchored to anything bigger than themselves.
Takeaway: Your motivation must be a long-term element that anchors you to something other than yourself.
Another main question that I always ask when looking at a diet program or the newest fad diet (which fasting is not) is what are these people trying to sell me? Almost every new fad that is created is because people want to make money. They want to sell you a plan, a bar or supplement. My favorite thing about fasting is its not a ploy that companies have supported to make a quick buck, it is a proven principle that has been around for thousands of years. Now don’t get me wrong, people will always try to sell you something that you can do while fasting, but you don’t need any of that to do it successfully.
Despite the evidence, fasting is not the end all be all. It is a tool we can use to walk in a balance. We don’t advocate diet plans, we support lifestyle changes. Fasting is not just something that you do to lose weight, it is a lifestyle.
We see all throughout the Bible how there are times for fasting and times for feasting. There are times to deprive our brains of the dopamine it gets when we eat that tasty treat, and there are also times to celebrate and feast.
It’s when we are able to walk in a balance of these things that we are able to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The problem is, people are constantly feasting. This leads to food addiction and other diseases that are crippling and teach our bodies to require a constant supply of food.
Our bodies are wonderfully made, and fasting is a great way to partner with our Creator in how He created them to function.
Next month we will talk through how to practically apply fasting into your day to day life.
Ashton Tate is the founder of Glory to Glory Fitness in Franklin, TN. His passion is helping leaders use their health as an asset to do all that God has called them to in every season.