May 14, 2019
March 12, 2019 by Dr. Varner in Intermittent Fasting
Let’s cut the nonsense, losing weight is tough whatever way you look at it.
Even once you’re aware that fasting can be the quickest way to shed weight, finding the self-discipline and grit to follow through with it is a whole other story.
Luckily, self-discipline and grit are not the only elements to success.
In fact, I strongly believe that when you rely on these things alone, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, real success in fasting, dieting and any other aspect of life actually comes down to planning.
When it comes to fasting, that means being honest about the challenges you’re going to face on your fast and then developing a plan to deal with them before they come up. Because without a plan, you’re much more
So what’s the number one reason people fail on a fast and how can we overcome this challenge? Read on to find out…
You CRAVE quitting
The number one reason why people fail on a fast is simple: it’s cravings.
Does this come as any surprise? You were used to eating throughout the day, and now you don’t. You’ve completely flipped the script on how you eat.
Your body craves sugar. It wants a quick boost, anything to remove the discomfort. This is perfectly normal.
But what you need to understand is that this is a false hunger. Your body craves calories, but you already have them –they’re in your body.
It’s just a matter of time until your body works out it can use those ones instead of the calories from your food.
It’s the same story as the ketogenic diet. There’s a transition period where you feel a bit wobbly and confused, but then your body shifts gears and burns fat for its energy.
That transition-period feeling can be really overpowering. It’s not dangerous, but it’s certainly uncomfortable.
If you want to be able to push through, there’s one thing you need to do…
There is no such thing as willpower
That voice in your head might say, ‘If only I were stronger I could simply override these feelings and just tough it out.’
But hunger is one of the most powerful feelings we can experience. It can override pretty much every other desire.
Moreover, the idea that you don’t have a strong enough willpower is just a distraction from the truth. The friends you think have an ‘ironclad will’ actually aren’t actually anything special. They just have better habits.
The key to success in any goal is to have a strong plan. To help you be prepared for events that try to throw you off course.
For example, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, you may be tempted to cheat and eat carb-heavy foods. Instead of just forcing yourself to avoid them, you can prepare keto alternatives to be in easy reach to satisfy your cravings.
When it comes to fasting, don’t attempt to power through bad feelings and hope it works out. I used to make that mistake a lot.
Eventually, I learned to cultivate good habits and plan ahead. You can too…
Proper planning prevents poor performance
When you start a fast, you need to ask yourself some questions and come up with some honest answers. Then, armed with this knowledge, you can embark on your fast and feel safe knowing that, when the challenges come along, you’ll be prepared.
The first thing to ask yourself is: How long will I fast? This is key because different fast lengths have different requirements and difficulties. Eating for eight hours a day maximum is comparatively straightforward for a lot of people and doesn’t require too much thought.
If you’re fasting for a long time, as I will be (I’m gearing up for a 21-day fast –details to come!), you’ll need to work out how you will sustain your micronutrients during that period. This is particularly relevant when it comes to electrolytes and hydration, as they’re the main things responsible for that shaky feeling.
The second thing to ask yourself is: What triggers will tempt me? This will be different for each person. Some people have a sweet tooth, other people love carbs, while others go for more savory indulgences. (And let’s be honest, some love all three.) Working out what you’ll fall for early on means you can put those foods out of sight and not be tempted.
Now, let’s think about your family. Do you cook for them? That can make things more challenging, but not impossible. If you cook for your family, you’re probably constantly around food which can be a big temptation. You need to figure out how you can feed them while you stay empty yourself.
The final question concerns your job: Will I be surrounded by food at the office? There can be a lot of social pressure to eat amongst your business peers, and you need to work out how to get around this issue.
Download my Fasting Success Planning Checklist to help you map out your answers to these questions and more. I’ve also included 5 lock screen images with motivational triggers to help you stay strong against the temptations.
Fasting can be easy if you properly prepare and cultivate good habits in advance.
It’s a lot like many other challenges in life, really. You have to be realistic about your goals and what might get in your way –and be strategic about how you approach it.
Once you do these things you’ll already be on your way to a healthier life and a slimmer waist.