Thursday, January 17, 2008
Yon Cassius Has a Lean and Hungry Look ...
Generally, once a week, I take a break from food. Works out to be about thirty-six hours without eating. Nothing spectacular, and I'm not a fanatic about it; I drink a couple-three cups of black coffee in the morning; lots of water during the day; and now and then, I'll even have a glass of wine in the evening. (Often a breath mint, though that is for the benefit of others -- fasting tends to give one bad breath, though not so much in the first day or so.)
Vitamins and minerals, I allow, but nothing with any degree of calories from food.
If my fast day happens to fall on Thanksgiving or when we are going somewhere for dinner, then I skip it until next week. Usually, I try and do it on silat class days, the theory being that lean and mean makes for sharper uptake and movement.
I've been doing this for about twenty-five years, and I feel that there are great benefits.
The scientific evidence is not in on the assorted forms of fasting, but speaking from my small and personal experiences, I feel better. I may not be any healthier, but I also feel healthier.
On the morning after a fast, I have noticed that my sense of smell seems to be much more acute, and that I tend to wake up sooner than usual, and more alertly, too.
Good to know that if I have to go a day or two without eating, I can function pretty well.
For me, it is, more than anything, an exercise in discipline rather than in dieting, but my clothing sizes and weight have held pretty steady for a couple decades and some, so it's likely of some use there.
The only real drawback is in the winter. I feel the cold much more on days when I don't eat. If on Tuesday, talking a walk when it's chilly, if I feel comfortable in shirtsleeves, then on Wednesday, if I fast and if the temperature is the same, I need a jacket, and almost surely, gloves. My hands, having relative poor circulation, cool off in a hurry.
This is to be expected; if there ain't any wood in the stove, you don't get a lot of heat. Your metabolic system tries to tell you, Hey, eat something!
It is interesting, how subjective such things as the cold can be, and it makes you realize that there are people who suffer in the cold or heat and whose thermostats don't match your own.
Food -- or not -- for thought ...