Intermittent Fasting Made Easy — Part 1 — Fear Is Not Reality

Mike Uhrlaub coming at you again from the Flex compound with another episode of Power Your Life. It is so great to be here with you all. I want to share with you something I was thinking about the other day. Have you ever let fear stop you from doing something? This happened over the summer to our dog Sadie, she’s a little a multi-poodle mix, about seven or eight pounds. She was standing right outside the open patio door. Both the door and screen door were open but she was just standing there and refused to go through the door. She just would not do it. She was just kind of sitting there like she really wanted to go through, but there was this invisible force field that wouldn’t let her go through.

We stood inside the house looking at her and calling, “Sadie come on through the door, come on.” She just kept acting like she wanted to get through the door so bad but it was like there was this invisible force field keeping her outside. All of a sudden it hit me, I realized earlier in the day she thought the door was open when in fact it wasn’t. There was a screen door in place and she walked right into it. I guess that experience was fresh in her mind. She was just scared to walk through the door even though it was open.

Stopped by Fear

I ended up having to step through the doorway to show her the screen door was not in place and in fact the doorway was indeed open for her. Now, I don’t know what really made me think about that over the weekend, but for some reason that was just in the forefront of my mind.

As I thought about Sadie’s reluctance to step through an open door, it got me thinking about how in a way we’re all like Sadie. She didn’t want to experience running into the screen door again. I guess the experience was not all pleasant for her. She was hesitant to take that first step even though there was nothing in the way. The experience of running into the screen door had paralyzed her with fear. Despite all of the encouragement I gave her she still wouldn’t take that first step until I physically showed her it really was open.

So many times in our lives I think we let negative experiences block us from taking the next step. We may have been hurt or experienced something we just didn’t like and now we have a fear it might happen again. Even though fear is now irrational, there’s no longer any danger to us, we still get stuck. We get stuck moving forward. We get stuck in a rut and it robs us from the joy life has to offer.

Fear Is Not Reality

We let that fear paralyze us and it ends up enslaving us. The reality is these fears are not real. They’re just stories we’ve made up in our heads as a result of those negative experiences. It takes someone to show us the doorway is open and it’s okay to take the first step through. You are meant to live a life free from fear, free from worry, free from anxiety, and free from darkness. You are meant to live in the light. Let’s take the first step through the doorway of health and into the world of intermittent fasting.

I want you to know one thing, intermittent fasting is safe, easy, and effective to do. I’m going to be starting this two-part series with the first part today, show you and talk about how easy it is to adopt intermittent fasting into your life. I’ve been intermittent fasting now for well over a year. I’ve got some really great ways and tips I can give you that will really help.

The first thing I want to do is I want to cover a few things with you. Recently, there was an article that came out and I’ve referenced it before but I want to talk about it again. It was in The New England Journal of Medicine and there was a really good report on intermittent fasting and it’s titled, Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease. It’s a bit of a technical report so I don’t want to bore with all of the scientific details, but this report shows the proven benefits of intermittent fasting backed by science.

Benefits

  1. Weight Loss, that’s a big one.
  2. Improved Stress Resistance in the Body. Could be physical, mental, or emotional, your body tolerates
  1. stress better
  2. You Live Longer.
  3. Improves Balance and Coordination.
  4. Improves Thinking and Memory.
  5. Prevents and Reverses Type Two Diabetes.
  6. Improve Blood Pressure
  7. Lower Resting Heart Rate
  8. Cholesterol Levels Decrease
  9. Lower Triglycerides
  10. Glucose Levels Decrease
  11. Reduce the Markers of Systemic Inflammation.
  12. Reduce Oxidative Stress: which means it lowers atherosclerosis. Because of this…
  13. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke.
  14. Reduces Incidents of Cancer.
  15. Reduces Incidence of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
  16. Improves Asthma Symptoms.
  17. Improves Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
  18. Helps Your Body Heal Faster from Wounds and Trauma.

I don’t know about you but wow. To me, that is a whole bunch of benefits. All you have to do is change one thing! The time of when you eat.

Even with all of those benefits right now, we could go back through and talk about them but I’m going to tell you right now, almost all of those benefits……. Guess what? There’s probably a pill out there for each one of those. This intermittent fasting replaces the medication. It can free you from being enslaved into the never-ending cycle of taking pill after pill, after pill. Many times, you have to take a pill to counteract the effects of the first pill you were taking.

Even with all of these benefits, many folks still have such a hard time with the idea of intermittent fasting. I know some of you might think this is just all too complicated. There’s just no way it’s that simple. Listen! This is just a lie many of us tell ourselves: That just isn’t true.

The truth is…

It really is that easy. It really is simple. The numbers don’t lie. The research is there to back it up. All you have to do is change the timing of when you eat and cut yourself back to two meals a day. Another reason a lot of people don’t want to start intermittent fasting is they get too hungry or have a low blood sugar issues.

There are medical conditions that can affect your blood sugar. Just like anything, you should always consult your physician before you any intermittent fasting or diet program. When first starting intermittent fasting, you will be hungry. I’m not going to lie to you. You’re going to get hungry because you’ve conditioned your body for years to expect food when you wake up. Any change is going to take your body a few weeks to adjust.

If you’ve eaten a lot of carbs or sugar, the adjustment will take a little bit longer because believe it or not, sugar is a drug. That’s another proven fact. It has a similar effect on your brain chemistry cocaine does. Now, if that doesn’t wake you up……. They’ve done the pet scans where they look at the brain chemistry. The neurotransmitter’s being released when somebody’s eating sugar and those that are on cocaine are similar. You can get addicted to sugar.

There will be period of adjustment as your body detoxifies itself, but this is temporary. Once you get through it, I’m telling you guys the payoff is huge!

Another fear many people have with doing intermittent fasting…

They just don’t think it can match with their schedule. I get it. We’re all busy. But listen. Intermittent fasting fits better with a busy lifestyle. You only have to find an eight-hour period in which you eat followed by 16 hours of not eating. So guess what? That’s less time making meals. Less prep time. Less eating time. You have more time to live your life.

This can be adapted to any schedule. Let me go over a few tips with you that will make this process even easier for you. These are things that I’ve experienced and I want to share with you.

TIP 1:

Cut the sugar before you start. The biggest thing new and experienced intermittent fasters struggle with is the sugar cravings and withdrawal symptoms. I’ve even noticed this. If I take a couple of days off and eat too many carbs or sugar, I experienced that craving within the next 24 to 48 hours as I got back on my intermittent fasting.

You start feeling those withdrawal symptoms and here’s the thing you have to remember. It isn’t so much that you’re really hungry during those times you spent not eating. It’s more that you’re craving something. Your body’s telling you you’re hungry, but you’re not. You’ve had plenty to eat. It’s just those cravings of sugar.

The best way to deal with this is before you go into intermittent fasting, cut back as much sugar from your diet as you can. You already know it’s not good for you. Just take a week and wean yourself from the soda, sweet coffee drinks, lattes, the Masha, Moto, or whatever it is you’re getting at scooters or Starbucks. Just wean yourself off of that. Guys, empty out the cookie jar. Stop eating ice cream as a late-night snack. Stay off of the peanut butter. Once you’ve eliminated a lot of the sugar you’ve been consuming, you’re ready to get started with your fast.

TIP 2:

Stay well hydrated. Water is your best friend when you are fasting. Not only is it going to keep you full, but quite frankly, it’s going to give you something to do when you’re not eating. It will also make sure you keep up your energy and are able to continue to function throughout the day.

The main reason many people start to feel bad and start getting headaches when they’re fasting is because they’re getting dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water will also help your body burn through the excess body fat for energy.

TIP 3:

Get plenty of sleep. This is really, really important! I can’t stress enough how important this is. You’ve got to get plenty of quality sleep every night of the week. But in particular, you need to do this when you’re intermittent fasting.

Here’s the deal. When you’re tired and sleep deprived, it is harder to make smart decisions.

Your willpower goes down, you find yourself drawn to those cookies or chips in a vain effort to stay awake at that time. You start telling yourself little stories in your

mind. It’s not going to hurt. You can eat that. It’s okay. This one time won’t hurt. You know what? When you’re tired you start listening to that little voice a lot more and your willpower drops.

As an added bonus, going to bed a little bit early will help keep you from those late-night snacking temptations.

TIP 4:

Go for a walk. Sometimes the best thing you can do when you’re struggling with fasting is go out and walk. It takes you away from your fridge and the pantry. It gets you thinking about something other than food. Plus, walking or any other type of exercise boosts your endorphins and makes you feel better. I don’t know about you, but most of us could really stand to move around a little bit more than we already do. Instead of breaking your fast or fixing a snack, go for a walk around the block.

TIP 5:

Coffee and tea are your friends. Coffee and herbal teas are going to be some of your best friends during those fasting hours. When you get up in the morning drink a big cup or two of black coffee. Don’t put anything in it. You have to drink it straight black. This usually fills you up enough that you won’t miss breakfast. Herbal tea works really well at night; Especially if you’re a snacker. I know herbal tea may not be your favorite treat, but guess what? It gives you something tasty to sip on and fills your belly. When you drink something hot or warm it makes your belly feel fuller a lot sooner than it does when you drink something cold. If you do the herbal tea, it’ll make you tired so it’ll help you calm down and be able to go to sleep.

Try these tips. Try the herbal tea. See if that’s enough to keep you from grabbing your favorite snack before you go to bed.

TIP 6:

Now, your next tip is, you know what? You’re going to have to wait until next time to find out more. Remember, I said this is a two-part series. I can’t give you all of those tips in one sitting.

I’ve already given you guys some great advice on how to start intermittent fasting, but I do know there are some of you who may need or want that extra help. That’s why we’ve created a weight loss system that follows intermittent fasting. It guides you through the process and it’s called The Four Week Weight Loss System for Busy Moms and Dads. You can learn more just by clicking HERE.

Like always, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking quote. This time it is from the great CS Lewis. “This world is a great sculptor shop. We are the statues, and there was a rumor going around the shop that some of us are someday going to come to life.

I’m going to let you chew on that one for a while and remember, it’s progress, not perfection.

Until next time, Power Your Life and keep moving forward.

Work Cited

Cabo Ph.D, Rafael de, and Mark P Mattson, Ph.D. “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Aging, and Disease: NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine, 30 Apr. 2020, www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1905136.

I am a Physical Therapist and CEO/Owner of Flex Physical Therapy.