In January food and beer sales take a dive and gym and yoga studios see more business. The world is eager to start the new year off right, take advantage of a fresh start, and shed the grime and weight we’ve built up over the previous year and holiday season.
At WebPunch, we’re all about being healthy and staying fit but for us, health also resonates with the health of our business, brand, and reputation. If a business owner or operator isn’t healthy, it’s possible that the business’s brand reputation is suffering as well or at the least, could be improved upon. When you’re not well, it’s harder to summon the degree of focus that’s necessary to run a business optimally.
So this month as we talk about different health initiatives important to us, it coincides with knowing that a healthy life naturally rolls over to the health of that person’s business or working life. Being healthy, whether it’s eating right, hitting the gym, meditating, or getting a little more shut-eye, translates into having a clearer head, more energy, a boosted immune system, and hopefully more focus. All of these are no-doubt tools for running a business at optimal speeds.
For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with fasting, or the act of not eating for extended periods of time. I’m a nervous eater. I eat when I’m bored, stressed, bummed out, or just don’t have anything else to do. Also, I’m not the best at keeping a strict exercise routine and my schedule doesn’t necessarily allow one either. But, I still wanted to shed some pounds, get my eating under control, and have a challenge while doing so. So, I started off with a fasting program.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about going days on end without food, that should only be done under medical supervision. There are many ways to fast and even short-term fasting can help you lose weight, give your organs a rest, and allow your cells to rejuvenate.
Researchers at the National Institute for Aging in Baltimore have found evidence that fasting for one or two days a week can prevent the effects of Alzheimer & Parkinson’s disease.
There are a handful of ways to do this safely. For example the 16-8 method. This entails fasting for a 16 hour period, only drinking water, coffee or other non-caloric beverages every 24 hours and eating during the remaining eight-hour block. This is what I’m working on right now. And during that eight hours you can eat pretty much whatever you want, but keep it within reason. If you end up going beyond the normal caloric intake during that eight hours or eat a bunch of junk food, it kind of defeats the purpose.
At first, I was wildly hungry after that first 16 hours of not eating. I’d wait until noon to eat and stop around eight at night. More and more it’s becoming more manageable, I eat less when I am eating, and am more thoughtful of what I do want to eat, especially when breaking that fast.
At the start of the New Year, I took it a step further and cut out booze and coffee, the latter of which was probably the harder of the two, especially in the morning when I need that hot elixir to get my synapses firing. (My jokes just didn’t have the same umph!) However, I feel like I get tired at normal hours, I’m waking up earlier naturally, and just feeling overall lighter in body and mind.
It’s Saturday morning and usually, I’m hitting the snooze button at this time. Today, I was up and at ‘em to write this article.
In a study, overweight participants exhibiting asthma consumed only 20% of their normal caloric intake and lost 8% of their weight over 8 weeks.
Other methods of fasting include doing a whole 24 hours once or twice a week without eating anything; skipping a meal or two every day; the Warrior Fast, which has you fasting 20 hours every day, then really feasting for the remaining four; eat light during the day, like fruit and veggies, and have a big meal for dinner; eating when the sun comes up and then when it sets, with nothing but fluids in between.
Maybe you’ve already got a steady routine. Maybe you’re in the gym or doing yoga every morning. That’s awesome. Fasting can be a great addition to any workout regimen, but it’s also very useful on its own. As the saying goes, just as there are many roads to that lead to Rome, there are many ways to change your body for the better.
If you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.
Fasting isn’t necessarily the one-off that will put everything in tune, but I’ve found that it is a great method for ridding bad eating habits and gets me thinking more carefully about what I consume. As a result, I feel lighter, as I said earlier, in mind and body and it’s reflected in my work ethic even in the last few weeks.
Getting healthy whether it’s losing weight, working out, or setting your head straight and then staying healthy is great for yourself and for your business. You’ll be feeling good about yourself and have the energy it takes to successfully run a business and get it where it needs to go.