The month of April saw us really focus on our eating patterns and bringing periods of fasting into our lives. Working with Daniel O’Shaughnessy otherwise known as The Naked Nutritionist, we’ve been spending the month fasting and seeing how this affects out energy levels.
Daniel works with brands, individuals and corporations across the world creating bespoke nutritional plans, workshops and talks to help people boost their energy and wellbeing through nutrition.
We all know we should eat our 5 a day but few of us focus on the story behind what happens in our bodies. Our gut controls so much of how our mind and body functions via the gut-brain axis. The modern landscape of 24/7 snacking and easy to access food has meant our digestive systems are overloaded. We are never more than a few minutes away from a packet of salt and vinegars. The gut is not designed for this level of activity.
So, we’ve spent April giving our digestive system a little holiday. With a 4-week plan where we pushed ourselves to fast for a little longer each week, noticing the impact it had on our energy levels as we went…
It looked like this:
- Week 1 – 13 hour fast
- Week 2 – 14 hour fast
- Week 3 – 15 hour fast
- Week 4 – 16 hour fast
Our group seemed to fall into one of two camps this month; those who knew about fasting, had used it previously, and loved it. And then those who were new to fasting, and had their eyes opened to a whole new world.
Whether new to fasting or seasoned pros, the feedback was pretty universal…
- Everyone felt like they had better energy levels, especially in the mornings, waking up feeling less lethargic and more energised and ready for the day.
- Apart from a few hunger pangs and changing up our established evening routines, it was easier to get to the 15-16 hour mark than we thought.
- We even started to enjoy the feeling of going to bed a little hungry as we knew it meant we would wake up with more energy.
However, the biggest take-out by far has been how unconscious we were of our eating habits. This experiment has really woken us up and made us aware not only of when we eat but also what.
Eating a big healthy breakfast and lunch became a favourite tactic. Healthy snacking became the norm, with nuts and fruit taking the place of the salt & vinegar crisps! And most impressively, herbal teas became our evening drink of choice, to distract us from wanting food or wine!
The last big learning for us has been how often you can do this in reality…. We found twice a week was OK…3 times a week was a push. And it’s almost impossible to keep it up over the Easter holidays. There’s just too much temptation…!
So, when it comes to fasting, does it boost your energy. 100% yes. But it’s not something to do every day of the week for us… As Oscar Wild said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation”.
Now, pass the herbal teas…
Big thanks to Daniel O’Shaughnessy for all his help this month, and if you want any more info on nutrition, the follow Daniel on the social channels below…
Next stop is May and looking at how walking and talking affects our mental and emotional energy levels.
More to come soon….