I think the one thing we can all agree we want more of is time. Trailing closely behind this is a desire for more energy with which to adequately enjoy that time.
So the question becomes how do we maintain a consistent, high level of energy that allows us to fully experience life’s moments? It can be tricky balancing the many demands that are made of us spiritually, physically and emotionally. Most people turn to diet and exercise to boost energy, in addition to an obvious plethora of other benefits, but could it be that most of us are approaching diet in a way that is not exactly ideal?
If someone asked you what the most important meal of the day is, you might be quick to respond that it is, indeed, breakfast. What if I told you that this adage with which we are all so well acquainted was nothing more than a ploy, a 19th-century marketing scheme launched by General Foods in the hopes of boosting cereal sales?
For the masses, at that time, breakfast was not prioritized and certainly not heralded as the key to the start of a successful day. If you take this concept a step further and consider the conventional meal structure, does it actually work in our favor? Do humans really need to eat 3 or more meals a day to operate optimally? To answer the latter question, let’s dive into some of the eating habits of our predecessors.
The Romans typically ate just one meal per day and considered anything more to be gluttonous. If they could see us now! For those driven to replicate the eating habits of our cavemen ancestors, you might be interested to know that their meal frequency did not correlate with what is considered normal in modern mainstream society. Similar to the Tsimane Indian Tribe, one of a dwindling population of hunter-gatherer tribes, early humans ate based on what they foraged and hunted.
Even in the most health-conscious fitness fanatics, the level of activity we now experience is incomparable to the level of physical exertion that the bodies of early humans underwent. Even still, the amount of food consumed by them in comparison to what we consume now was considerably less, most likely due to forced fasting proceeding unsuccessful hunts.
While all bodies are different and largely adaptive to a range of habits and conditions, research suggests that the benefits of intermittent fasting may add years to your life. Here are the ways that it has positively impacted mine.
Humans evolved eating once per day and had a much more physically taxing existence than we are accustomed to. When you eat, your blood rushes to your stomach to aid in digestion and as such, other areas of the body are left with less blood, which can often result in low energy. The more often a day we spend in a digestive state, the more often we will feel this way.
Less time eating means less time cooking, which in turn means less time cleaning! You get the picture. We all know that time is our most valuable resource, so any means of putting more of it back into a day gets a vote in my book.
For years I was affected by pharyngitis constantly and soon realized that our eating habits have a tremendous effect on our bodies’ healing capabilities. Your body can only operate in a mode of digestion or repair. It can’t do both at the same time so essentially, eating less offers more opportunities for your body to fight against illness and disease.
If you’re interested in trying intermittent fasting, I recommend researching the variations that exist and trying what you feel will work best for you. As with any new venture, you’ll experience some discomfort within the transition, but the results in how you’ll feel long-term will be well worth it.