Fasting comes with some psychological benefits as well. First of all, it helps us cultivate mental toughess and resilience. Seneca once wisely stated, "Fasting is the greatest self-discipline that a human being can impose on themselves."
One of the prominent voices in the realm of discipline and leadership, retired US Navy officer Jocko Willink too perceives fasting as a gift. In his book Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, he advises, “Fasting demands that you exercise your will. It is not easy. In this modern age, we are surrounded by food all day every day. Your caveman survival instinct, which is afraid of starving, screams at you: ‘Eat that food! Eat as much as you can! This might be your last chance!’ DON’T FALL FOR THAT. This isn’t the last food you will ever see. In fact: You will see more food in about ten minutes. You don’t need it. You won’t die without it. In fact: Just the opposite is true. In this age, much of the food around is actually trying to kill you. It is poison. Donuts? Poison. Soda? Poison. Potato chips? Poison. YOU DON’T NEED IT.”
Fasting also has the potential to enhance mental clarity and focus. When we eat fast food, it often leaves us feeling lethargic and mentally foggy. In contrast, during a fast, our bodies enter a state of increased ketone production, which can provide a stable and efficient fuel source for our brain. This can result in improved concentration, heightened productivity, and an overall sense of mental well-being.
Furthermore, fasting can be a mindful practice that encourages us to develop a healthier relationship with food. Instead of mindlessly devouring a greasy meal on the go, fasting encourages us to pause, reflect, and listen to our body's true hunger cues. It helps us differentiate between true hunger and emotional or boredom-driven cravings, allowing us to make more conscious and nutritious food choices when we do eat.
And so, while fast food may seem like a convenient solution when we're out and busy, fasting offers a myriad of benefits for our health and well-being. As it allows our bodies to energize and heal, both physically and mentally, fasting proves to be a better choice in the long run. After all, Dr. Michael Mosley refers to fasting as “a cleanser of the soul, a purifier of the mind, and a rejuvenator of the body."
So, the next time you're rushing through a hectic day, consider the power of fasting and nourish yourself in a way that truly supports your health and vitality.