A lot of our posts and shares debunk the idea that there is a magic one best way when it comes to eating. This is the number one reason why it’s essential to quit letting your eating choices be dictated from the outside in the form of diets, research, or even advice from experts. Here’s an example.
This week the topic of fasting came up in a social conversation. When I indicated that I generally wasn’t supportive of any form of fasting for my clients this was protested. It appears that a recent documentary (which I haven’t seen) showed research supporting water fasting as an amazing way to detox after chemotherapy. All well and good, but not applicable unless you are undergoing chemotherapy.
Here’s the problem: Specific ways of eating can be indicated (or contraindicated) for specific situations. The current trendy “keto” high fat diet was originally developed for children with epilepsy for instance. If you aren’t a child with epilepsy it might not help you. And it might even have devastating results. Which is why it is recommended that any form of extreme restriction be medically supervised.
If you diet then regain, experience a lot of emotional eating (overeating, binging, etc.), have strong cravings, or have any form of an eating disorder, then fasting will likely make your problems worse. The same applies to the reason why you are fasting or detoxing. If you are doing it to achieve inner enlightenment it might work (in conjunction with a retreat) but if you are fasting to achieve long term weight loss it’s less likely to work (especially in the midst of your normal busy life).
The bottom line is that whereas fasting, or any food or way of eating, may have miraculous benefits for some people and some situations, it may be completely contraindicated for you. Listening to your own body while experimenting with new ways of approaching food choices, timing of meals, and other variables is the only way to figure out your own best approach.
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This week I’m reading an old book: Suzie Orbach’s On Eating, published in 2002. She also wrote Fat is a Feminist Issue, published in 1987 and often called the original anti-diet book. It’s sobering to find that it was well known that diets don’t work back when I was trying the green beans and boiled eggs diet.
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