Doing anything special deserves special treatment. Whether you want to run a marathon or going to get your PHD there are sacrifices to make along the way. If you have decided to do an extended fast or even an intermittent fast, you will need some help.
Encouragement from a loved one or from The Fasting Place may not be enough for you to battle the elements of fasting. Fasting will test your mind more than anything involved. It all starts in the mind. Before you even start you have told yourself “OK we are going to do a fast” immediately that will constantly go through your mind.
Knowing you are not going to eat for whatever period you have chosen will be a constant reminder. A constant reminder to “try again later” or “one more meal, then we will start” or “after the holidays”. Whatever it may be, your mind wants food, you have to make the decision to say “I am the boss and I want to do this”.
The mind is a funny thing, you can double and triple think yourself into anything. When you have to go to battle with your mind and body – the mind will win EVERY SINGLE TIME – BAR NONE. We have come up with a list of fasting tips and tricks – 5 mind hacks. You will have enough to deal with by starting down a fasting road. These mind hacks will alleviate some of them.
Stick around to the end and we have two huge secret weapons to add to your arsenal when it comes to a long term fast.
Overview of Fasting Tips and Tricks
Before we get to far into the 5 mind tricks. Understand that fasting isn’t easy, and if everyone could do it, they would. It is very easy to give up and that is what a few of these Jedi mind tricks are for. To stop making excuses. A few of these are just plain common sense and a few are seriously about tricking your mind into things. It truly is a secret weapon in the fasting world that few can grasp.
So with 5 fasting tips and tricks to cover lets get hacking. I will put a list right below this block for quick reference, so you know what to expect.
- Research – Do a Little Reading Before Jumping In
- Schedule – Set up a Schedule Before you Start
- Log – Keep track of Metrics During your Fast
- Set a Weight Loss Goal – Put a Number to it
- Drink Water!
Research – Do a Little Reading Before Jumping In
Before doing anything it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with said item. For example – if you were going to go fishing in northern Canada for pike and walleye you would need to do some research, at least for it to be successful anyway. This brings up another good point. Some people may be able to fly off the cuff and succeed, these are few and far between. Most things worth having in life are hard…very hard.
The easy stuff is saturated and everybody loves the easy stuff, it also puts you in the 99%. I suggest reading some mindset books before starting down the fasting route. Sure doing some research about fasting as well, but it really is simple if you are going to do water fast…don’t eat.
It all starts in the mind, as stated before. Researching the mind a bit will solidify to yourself that you can in fact do this.
If research isn’t your thing, here is the bones of what you really need to know before starting a fast
- Law of Attraction
- This is going to be harder than you think
- You will feel like you are getting sick
- Watch a few videos of success stories, so you know you can do it also
- You will benefit from this
My favorite reason is that not everyone can do this. You will have plenty of people tell you ignorant things along the way. You will have to ignore them. You have to keep telling yourself, well I am doing something that damn near 95% of the human race can’t do.
Research is an important component before starting a fast. Depending on your goals it will change what you research, we will get into that in a bit. Setting a schedule is number two, just has to happen.
Schedule – Set up a Schedule Before you Start
Scheduling goes hand in hand with accountability. Holding yourself to a standard that is written down will force your mind to argue. It is much easier to tell yourself “ah, maybe next time” if you don’t write it down. I personally wrote down these words when I did a 10-day fast.
“You know at some point, you will talk yourself into giving up – because you are effing smart and can work around your own thoughts. This note is here to remind you to not give up – if you do – time has been wasted”
Writing down these little statements makes it almost humorous when you get to the point of giving up. It really did help me, and upset off all at the same time.
Schedules don’t have to have a blueprint or there isn’t a specific way to schedule a fast. For me it was – I am not going to eat for 10 days – the rest will be figured out. For some it might be down to the hour. Really you just need some evidence that you committed to yourself.
Log – Keep track of Metrics During your Fast
We have said it before here at The Fasting Place – Log EVERYTHING. Leading up to your fast journey start a log. This can be either written down or if you want to keep it on your computer, it doesn’t matter as long as you are tracking. There are plenty of apps out there as well that can do this for you.
If you remember Matt from our article The Beginners Guide to Fasting he is using an app to log all of his progress. And it is working great for him. The app is called Zero Fasting Tracker and it is free! This app helps you set up your window time for re-feed and fasting. It is a real nice tool to have.
I myself like the old school way. I have a journal that I bought from Barnes and Noble and keep notes on everything. I may go overboard on what metrics I use, but you have to see results to keep you moving in the right direction…right? Below I have listed the metrics I use, feel free to pick and chose which ones you like. Also, it is totally up to the person fasting. What is important for “you” to see change.
- Physical Dimensions (weekly)
- Waist dimension
- Bicep dimension
- Neck dimension
- Thigh dimension
- Wrist dimension
- Weight loss (daily)
- Water intake – ounces daily
- Sparkling Water intake – ounces daily
- Calorie intake (only if intermittent fasting of course)
- Coffee intake ounces daily (usually 8 ounces, no more than 12 ounces)
- Duration of uninterrupted sleep
- Bed time (i.e. 8:00 pm)
- Awake time (i.e. 5:00 am)
- Type of exercise
- Weight before and after workout
- I always write a brief summary of how the day went. How I was feeling, hungry, upset, tired, full of energy etc. What I did that day also as far exercises. I always end with what I did with my kiddos and wife. Did we go for a walk with the dog, jump on the trampoline, yard work. I like to keep it a journal of personal experience as well. This will be something to look back on in the years to come. Enjoy the ride
Set a Weight-Loss Goal – Set a Bunch of Goals!
Personal experience here is always set a weight loss goal…ALWAYS. Even if your reason to fast has nothing to do with weight loss make this a goal…here’s why.
Whether you are 10 pounds heavy or 10 pounds underweight, there is an emotional attachment to that magic number. It is a number that defines a part of you. Whether you tell yourself it is important or not…it is. It is one of the few things in a person’s life they always know. Maybe not exactly but they always know roughly how much they weigh.
There are psychological advantages to tracking your weight. This is very useful when fasting of course. Because you are going to lose weight, there is no way around that if you stick to your guns…so track it. This shows progress.
Set more Goals
Set as many goals as you want. I set daily and weekly goals when I go on an intense fast. These goals can be simple, very simple. I set them sometimes just so I can achieve them. Confidence is something your mind will need if you are on day 5 of a 10-day fast. Believe that.
Here are few examples of “mini goals”
Mini Goal Setting
- Read 1 chapter of a book or simply start reading a good book
- Do 50 push-ups today – anyway, anytime no matter what
- Take the kids for a half mile jog in the stroller
- Drink 1 gallon of water
- Give 5 people during the day a “big thank you” show gratitude
These are silly goals, and I am sure you get the idea. Keep yourself busy by setting goals. This will consume your time and push you toward checking each on off.
We have gone over a few of the more psychological hacks, which are very important. But fasting is very much so a physical chore. Your body is going to hate you for a little bit, and that is fine. Exit the comfort zone and get pleasantly uncomfortable.
This may sound simple, that is because it is. There is a recurring theme with fasting and weight loss – SIMPLICITY. That is what I love about it. It is binary and simple. The hard part is training the body and mind. Drink, drink and drink. Water.
Some people stray away from drinking too much water, afraid they will get what is known as water intoxication. This is a real thing. Fun fact about it –
Andy Warhol’s family accused the hospital of water intoxication as what constituted his death.
Nonetheless death by water intoxication is extremely rare and usual cases are from “water drinking contests” – yea that is a thing. Drinking a gallon of water for 10 days straight with no electrolytes is fine for most. If you are worried about it, consult a physician before and you can find way to measure your balance of electrolytes if you get too worried about it.
If you are intermittent fasting, water intake will not be a big deal at all. You will (or should) be balancing your electrolyte level daily. If you are going on an extended fast, you are more than likely aware of risks and dangers of water intoxication, and everything else that goes along with side effects of a long term fast.
If you have questions about this issue, email me and we can dive in further to it. We are happy to help, always!
OK, I said we had some secret weapons to share with you if you stayed to the end of the article. Or if you just by passed all the goodies above and got here. Either way – 2 hacks that will trick the mind into thinking your body consumed calories. These 2 hacks really work and will help you through the toughest of times.
Carbonated (Sparkling) Water
We recently dove into Carbonated Water Good or Bad. You can read in the link <=== back there, or just take my word for it…it is fine and actually good for you.
Sparkling water has a carbonation when opened (obviously) and this simple element tricks your mind in to “fullness”. Drinking 32 ounces or so of sparkling water (16 each time) will help to replace unwanted hunger pains in the beginning of a fast.
Furthermore the flavor will add some color to your palate, this is essential when fasting. Just plain water can get pretty boring. So mix it up with some sparkling water.
Keeping little packets of salt on hand when fasting is great satiator…(is that a word?) whatever. If will do the same as sparkling water. Throwing a pinch or two of salt underneath your tongue will retain some water in your system.
More importantly than that, the salt dissolving under your tongue will again make your mind think you ate a meal. Your hunger pang and pains to a minimum.
Fasting Tips and Tricks Summary
This has been a great introduction to how I have started a fast. I still use all of these methods today. There are always hacks to add in and take away as time goes on. These are the most important hacks I have come up worth for weight loss. These hacks will get you through the tough times.
By doing the research, logging your experience, drinking the water etc. – will hold you accountable and will make it hard to not follow through. Otherwise, that would be a big waste of time. When it comes to committing to a diet or weight loss plan, wasted time is the culprit of resentment.
Fasting is binary, black and white. It is you vs. you. You are the one to say “nope” and you are the one to say “let’s do this”. It isn’t that easy, but with a few fasting tips and tricks, you will be well on your way to satisfying all of your goals.
Please post below in the comments if you enjoyed this read. We want to here your experiences, post ’em!
Thanks for reading and have a pleasantly uncomfortable day