During 2019 I undertook a year of intermittent fasting. My typical routine was 16 – 18 hours of fasting. This meant that I consumed my calorie intake in a 6 – 8 hour window, usually between 11am – 5pm.
I also switched to a plant based diet. The menu was pretty simple consisting mainly of smoothie for breakfast, salad or soup for lunch. There were occasionally more substantial meals such as vegetarian roast dinner or a dahl or chickpea curry.
It was surprisingly easy to transition to the lower calorie plant based diet. The food itself was tasty and the timings actually suited me quite well. I found skipping breakfast to be highly energising. Once I’d found my rhythm for taking my evening meal before 5pm, it was easy. The more I cultivated the habit, the stronger it became.
I felt a heightened awareness of cravings, mainly for sugar, which led to sporadic binges on chocolate and biscuits. The ability to see these cravings as attachment to sensory experience was helpful. Letting go of the attachment to the sensual aspect of consuming food was liberating.
There were benefits for my meditation practice too. I felt I went deeper each session and could sit for longer. The desire to wake early to sit to meditate came more easily. As did the discipline to organise my time effectively and to complete tasks.
Overall I found that the combination of intermittent fasting and meditation provided a solid foundation for a happy and balanced way of life. It was a pretty Spartan way of being but my body was grateful for the chance to rest, repair and rejuvenate.