The unknown secret of Mind-Body Relationship
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a registered dietician. All my recommendations are based on my own personal experiences. The information provided on this website and blog are not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or other medical practitioner. If you feel you have a medical problem or are in need of professional help please contact a professional. Always consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program.
I would like to dedicate this blog to my uncle Raghu and my Mom. My uncle for guiding me through the entire journey and my mom for believing in me. If I’m able to follow through my clean eating habits till today, its because of my Mom. She puts so much care into preparing my meals everyday while making sure they are super tasty.
Wellness is more than just feeling healthy. It’s about making conscious decisions on a daily basis that empowers you to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. But how do you make the right choices in a world where thousands of websites offer the perfect advice on how to live well? To answer that, there is no such thing as a perfect advice when it comes to living a life of your choice.
When I embarked on this weight loss journey, I wanted to not only lose weight, but also heal my body in that process. I knew healing would take a lot of time and that it will take persistence. I was not allowed to do anything that would increase my heart rate, which meant dancing or exercising was out of the question. The only option I was left with was following a clean eating plan.
Few days after I embarked on my weight loss journey, I reached a plateau and my weighing scale did not show any change in my weight. Although clean eating did help me improve my overall health, I was not sure if it was actually healing my organs. I was also getting frustrated because there was a long way to go before I reached my target weight. After doing tons of research on the internet and speaking to a lot of people, I found that one secret that changed my life; INTERMITTENT FASTING.
The idea of Intermittent Fasting is very simple. You fast anywhere between 14 to 16 hours a day including your sleeping time at night. Our body has its own natural ways to cure disease and heal our organs. But we do not give our body enough rest to heal and remove toxins from our organs. This is because our body’s energy is only concentrated on digesting the food that we eat. Intermittent fast gives our body a rest from digestion so it can focus on cleansing and healing the organs. Our body does a major cleansing job every night. Intermittent fasting also resets your Agni (digestive fire) resulting in better digestion and elimination of toxins from your body.
After all my research, I decide to start with intermittent fasting because I was very desperate to find a way to strengthen my heart. During the first two weeks of my fasting, I had hunger cramps, low energy levels, and food cravings. But what kept me going for those two weeks was the fact that I really wanted to heal my body and most importantly, heal my heart. But after the second week, I was so surprised to see my energy level raising, my cognition and memory became better. This is due to the increase in the production of Neurotrophic growth factor (a protein that promotes neuron growth and protection). In addition, some studies have shown that Intermittent Fasting (IF) can have more powerful benefits on health. It can also reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3–6% and fasting insulin levels by 20–31%, which may protect against type 2 diabetes. It also increases the brain hormone BDNF and may aid the growth of new nerve cells. It reduces all risk of heart disease and may even help you live longer.
There are a lot of myths that we have been hearing all our lives.
The first myth is that eating a big breakfast is a necessity since it's considered the most important meal of the day and you should not skip it. Of course, cereal companies want you to think that, but what you should be doing is listening to your body. I never liked to eat heavy for breakfast since I don’t have an appetite when I wake up. The second myth is that Fasting will slow your metabolism down. In reality, I found my metabolism actually increased through my fasting period. It's all about what works for your body and your lifestyle.
Always listen to your body as its constantly communicating with you.
There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.
The following are the most common methods of Intermittent Fasting (IF)
The 16/8 method: Also called the Leangains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between (including your sleep time).
Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day (Our ancestors had feast and fast days).
The 5:2 diet: With this method, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
I tried all of the above three methods of intermittent fasting and I find the 16/8 method to work very well with my lifestyle and body. It’s also the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. Intermittent Fasting (IF) helped me lose 17 kilos in 10 months and now aids with weight control without having to consciously restrict my calorie intake. But most importantly, intermittent fasting and clean eating helped regularise my heart rhythm to a certain extent (of course I still take my medications).
I finally understand my mind-body relationship and it has provided me the strength I need to fight through my health issues and lead a healthy life. It’s about the sense of freedom that being healthy gives me. I feel like I’m a new person and I’m doing things I never thought I was capable of doing. It’s about being healthy, active and taking care of my body so that I can build the life I want to live.
Tips: It takes 28 days to make or break a habit. One tip I would like to give you is that, if you ever embark on any diet or intermittent fasting, please do it for 28 days before you decide to continue or quit. I promise, within the third week, you will start to see an amazing transformation. I did it and that made all the difference in my life. Intermittent fast and clean eating has now become a way of life for me.
Please read the next blog in this series to get an idea of about my clean eating plan and diet chart.