Life hacking experiments: Fasting

I like to experiment with different "life hacks". From changing my name based in numerology, to spending a year in India practicing yoga daily at 4am, to going vegetarian for 5 months, to going without alcohol for 5 months, to blood tests, DNA tests, supplements, detoxing, energy healing, and much much more.

These days, I'm trying out something new: Fasting. I've done two days of fasting before, at the tail end of a 3-week detox cleanse. It was interesting to do the two days, but I haven't gone anywhere near fasting since then. In fact, some of the dieticians I've worked with have stongly advised that I should eat lots of protein and eat at least six times per day (I don't).

But a good friend of mine told me that he'd started this fasting regimen, where two days each week, he'd limit his calorie intake to 600 calories or less, and that it was really improving his energy level and overall well-being.

One of the arguments is that the body isn't designed to take in that much food all the time. It needs downtime to process it all, and to start detoxing and repairing and rejuvenating. Alejandro Junger says some of the same in his Clean Program.

Losing a couple of pounds wouldn't hurt, either. So I decided to give it a try.

I started by watching this documentary from the BBC, which is where my friend Anders got the idea from. It's an hour long, but it's entertaining and informative and worth watching:


I started on Monday, and had a good experience fasting there. The next day, my weight was down by 3.5 pounds. Wow! After eating normally Tuesday, I was up 1 pound over the day before, but still 2.5 pounds lighter than before starting fasting.

Today is Wednesday, and my second and last day of fasting for this week, and so far it's going well. I've had a soft-boiled egg for breakfast (78 calories according to Google), and have another one for later if I get too hungry. Then maybe a glass of coconut water (45 calories), and I'll still have 400 calories left for dinner.

It feels good. I feel lighter and fitter. If this will dramatically improve my health, slim down the waistline, and mean that I can eat pretty much anything I want for the rest of the week, that's perfect. I feel like I can easily fast two days per week, if that's the trade-off I'm making.

My life hacking doesn't stop there, however. I've let myself be inspired by Tim Ferriss' 30-day NOBNOM challenge. I'm not going all-in on the booze part, and I'm going to Burning Man later this month, so I don't plan on doing 30 days, but it has heightened my awareness of the "cost" of alcohol.

So when I chose to go out for a couple drinks last night with a good friend from Munich who's in town, it became very obvious to me how much those two drinks hurt my sleep and my ability to focus and concentrate today. It's very clear to me that, even though I really love champagne and cocktails, it's time to cut down significantly on my drinking, so I can focus more on the things I really want to create in my life.

Take a look at the links and see what speaks to you. It's always great to push your boundaries and bring the little things you do to avoid feeling certain things to light. Eating, drinking, and masturbating are high on the list of things that are frequently used to numb out.

Most of all, play with it, and have fun with it!

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