The FastDay Forum

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Good morning all,

It's weird, but since I've been delving into the studies on the benefits of fasting, I feel like my entire outlook on eating has changed, and is still changing.

I used to eat breakfast religiously, hungry or not. But after reading about the benefits of not eating breakfast, I can totally see how it can be helpful. Apparently studies show that it is not harmful to skip breakfast (as long as you aren't stocking up on lattes and doughnuts at lunchtime!), it doesn't decrease your metabolism, it doesn't inhibit concentration, and exercising in a fasted state appears to be more potent than training fed. Our ancestors won't have woken up to a full breakfast, they will have had to go out and hunt for food, using their fat reserves until they found more food. I find myself thinking more and more of the cave people and how they functioned where food is concerned. For me, also, eating breakfast just increases my overall hunger, if I have breakfast at 7:30am, before taking the children to school, I am starving hungry again by 10:30am, if I skip a solid breakfast and instead have water or herbal tea, I can stave off hunger until the early afternoon.

I used to be almost afraid of feeling hungry. I liked the idea of six small meals a day, or three meals and snacks, because it never left me feeling hungry. Yet I can now safely say that the feeling of hunger is almost welcome to me. It tells me that my body is working, and pushing that hunger a little further doesn't mean the end of the world - my hunger comes in waves and I can sometimes quieten it with water or herbal tea. For the first time in my life, I feel in control of my appetite, rather than the other way round. I enjoy the feeling of control that fasting gives me, I enjoy feeling hungry, keeping it at bay and then truly enjoying the food that I eat.
I sometimes practice the 16 hour fast too, just eating within an eight hour window, or less. It seems that there are so many ways to modify your eating habits for the better.

Don't get me wrong, I fall off the wagon, I have a Friday or Saturday night where I scoff pizza and wine and probably chocolates too, but I am slowly coming to learn that tomorrow is another day - when I awake I can exercise, have a mini fast to knock myself back on track and I feel better about myself (and I'm always the first to beat myself up for straying and slacking!). I've also starting the C25K and although I'm only starting my second week, I love it. I never thought I could enjoy running as exercise, but I have learned how to run properly, no more jarred back! I feel light on my feet now and I love it :heart:

I just wanted to post this as encouragement to those just starting, or finding it difficult - work out what feels right for you, what works for you. Experiment, adapt, be hungry and don't be afraid! Be in control of your stomach, don't let it control you!! :grin:

Have a good day!
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Good Morning Sophie,

I read your headline and thought "ohh a bit early in the day for an epiphany", then found myself nodding along with what you said.
Not being afraid of being hungry has been a big eye-opener for me too, and the idea of being in control whether sipping fruit tea on a fast day (which I'm doing now) or deciding to have pizza and wine on a weekend.
I've seen several mentions of C25K, and will look into it, not that I'll be putting running shoes on today, as I live in snow-bound Kent.
I'm fasting today too, Thank you for sharing your epiphany! :smile:
What a lovely post. All so true and thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Hi Sophie

I was exactly the same as you, 'knowing' that I had to eat at least 3 meals a day, 'knowing' that missing breakfast would make me eat something fattening and unhealthy at 11am, 'knowing' that if I missed a meal my body would go into starvation's amazing all the stuff that we 'know' because we have been told by parents, dieticians or other authorities.

I've had 3 children,all now grown, and pushed the same knowledge onto them, that they must eat breakfast before school/uni/work, that it is fatal to skip meals....all based on information from people that I thought would know the truth. As parents we do our best for our children, and following the advice of 'experts' seemed like a good idea.

Interestingly, my daughter has taken the 3 meal mantra on board the most, and says that if she misses a meal she will get so hungry she won't be able to concentrate, she will start shaking with hunger etc (she's a little dramatic with her descriptions :-) ) so she never misses any meal, and even eats early (when she isn't hungry) just in case she has to miss a meal. She struggles with her weight.

My youngest son is lazy. He's at university and often skips breakfast. On days when he doesn't have to go out to university he often doesn't bother with much food, just eating lunch or dinner made from the ingredients (not a lot!) in his store cupboard. The only days he eats a lot, and three times a day is when he comes home at the weekend. He doesn't have a weight problem.

I am going to stop berating him for not eating his 3 meals because subconsciously he knew better than I did that eating 3 meals a day, every day, isn't necessary!

Like you, I used to be afraid of hunger, fearing that it would build and build and I wouldn't be able to concentrate on anything. Yesterday was my first fast. I felt hungry at 9am, which subsided, and then hungry at several points throughout the day - but none of the occasions were so unpleasant that I was driven to distraction. A mildly uncomfortable feeling would be the best way to describe my hunger pangs.

Thanks for your inspiring post. I look forward to the time when I feel in control of my stomach, and not the other day around!
Yes, it is amazing how much expert advice is conflicting! Fasting is the only WOL that's actually made sense to me when I really think about how the human body is designed. Like you say, we are conditioned to eat everything on our plate, and eat at certain times, even when we are not hungry - and it's not good. My children are only 4 and 6, so on school days, I do ensure they eat breakfast, but in the holidays or on weekends, I am much more lax and I just wait until they ask for something to eat. I think as children we were probably more in tune with our bodies and when we were actually hungry as opposed to now, as adults, when we have had years of "training" on how to eat! I used to think hunger was the enemy, how wrong I was!
If you're interested in these sorts of things, have a read round about Paleo (Mark's Daily Apple), IF generally (Leangains/Stop, eat, etc.) and Chi or POSE running.

All good stuff.

Great post.
Hi Sophie
Im a bit like Pavlov's dog!!!
I think we are all conditioned into believing we need food when we dont!!!
Our morning tea break in the office is 10 30....dont need a clock on the wall to tell me when 10 30 tummy says tea and biscuits!
12:30 is lunch...I can promise you at 12:25 my tummy will tell me its feed time
Fasting has taught me Im just conditioned to eat!!!! I dont require it and I can work through it and not die !!!!! lol
Wow, I think your epiphany has triggered an epiphany for me!

Reading all these posts has made me realise how brainwashed I was as a child into eating everything on my plate... I used to hear these phrases on a daily basis from my parents ' 'if you don't eat your dinner, there's no pudding and nothing until breakfast tomorrow'. And that old classic 'there are starving children in Africa'!! Damn, the times I've said both of those to my 2 kids!

Whilst I don't agree to them eating 'junk' between meals, and then leaving their healthier meal, I definitely need to retrain my brain into realising that if the kids leave their tea because they are full, that's OK. If they ask for a snack later, it's because their bodies are telling them they are hungry. And if they don't want breakfast one day before school, they aren't going to faint during PE....:-)
oops - double post!
I have spent the day thinking about all the mis information I have fed to my kids in school as a Home Economics teacher for 25 years!!!!!!...scary!!!!
The number of times I told the kids that breakfast was the most important meal of the day as it was literally 'breaking the fast'....thank god Im retired from teaching 12 years ago or Id still be at it !!!
makes you think though????
Lovely post, Sophie!

Hope you don't mind, I've taken the liberty of linking to it from the current Mumsnet thread. I'd love the posters on there to see it as well.

I'd echo your thoughts about gaining more knowledge about our own bodies - and it chimes with all I've been saying about eating in the morning turning on the 'hunger switch'.

Great stuff, B&W
Fab!!! Don't mind at all :smile:
What a lovely cheerful post, sophieh! Thank you for sharing your new outlook! We in the Western world, with food available 24/7/365, seem to be only just learning that there isn't one appropriate eating rule for everyone, any more than there is one shoe size for everyone. IF does seem to encourage individuals to find what is right for them. Hurrah!
Hi, Sophieh - your positive outlook just caught my eye and, although it is early days for me yet (first 2 fast days done), I really agree with you and find myself now with an entirely different, calm and much more healthy attitude toward food. I hope this will continue.

I know I will have "down" days and I know it won't always be easy. I definitely think the "mindset" is just as important as what we eat and when, etc.

Love this board with all the help and encouragement from you all. Good luck Sophie and everyone!!!
Thank you for this post, I read it last night and it made me question my own routines, every day (except now fast days) I have breakfast shortly after waking, it's just what you do, every day at around 9.30-10.30 I am ravenous, rumbly tummy and all! This leads to me eating snacks particularly biscuits! I decided this morning to apply your idea, I didn't have breakfast with the kids at 7.15, I had a cup of tea, now I've got back from the school run, the rumbly tummy has kicked in and I've just eaten my breakfast, snacking eliminated! Can't believe this never occurred to me before. I think I was convinced without breakfast I would feel sick and the fast days have debunked that idea, but I still hadn't applied the 'eating like a slim person' idea to the rest of my week. I am going to keep experimenting with my eating particularly this breakfast business and find what actually suits my body rather than what I have conditioned myself to do!
Think this may also eliminate over consumption of calories on non fast days! Yey!
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