For new readers and skeptics, I’d just like to preface that this is about intermittent fasting, which is the short version that won’t get you jumping against walls and feeling your stomach trying to eat its way out.
Not that those fears are warranted. Longer fasts are absolutely fine and unlikely to kill you, but you can’t exactly do them daily. Which happens to be an important qualifier for making a habit bulletproof. We’re building them up to be unstoppable through unrelenting repetition.
Whether you’re having a great day, or you’re still half asleep at 3pm, you get the deeds done and check your way down the list. Motivation and energy can’t be relied on, at least not yet. For now, it’s down to your ability to stay committed and disciplined.
With intermittent fasting, you’re aiming to go anywhere between 16 to 23 hours without a bite to eat. But that’s the target, we’re not quite there yet. If you’re new to the idea of quitting breakfast, there’s a risk of shooting too far too soon. The brain can react by spiking up hunger and cravings in response, and then you’ll be stuck feeling like this was a bad plan all along.
That’s why last week had the simple step of using an app as a stopwatch to track how long you went between meals. Even if you’re only lasting as long as your sleep does, tracking works to get you mindful of the length of your fasts. It might get you a little competitive, but that’s just a happy bonus.
Now with week 2, we still won’t add any perturbations to your mornings. Instead, the added goal is to quit food and caloried drinks for the last two hours before bedtime. And here is the best way of tackling fasting. Not only will it naturally increase the abstinence window, but it’s also going to severely restrict your ability to destroy sleep and dietary control.
Your decision making will naturally erode as the day stretches on, and late night food coincides wonderfully with the dangerous end of the curve. If you’re having to actively decide what to fish out of the fridge, then the diet’s probably not finishing the night on a happy note. Regret and self-loathing will probably be your last thoughts before you nod off. And this is open for debate, but if you’re sleeping with negativity, it’s going to make for a shoddy morning.
Week 2 – Fasting Walkthrough
1. Plan your last meal to take place at least two hours before bedtime. This should be easy to figure out, because your naptime should be set in stone, as I’ve laid out in the third Bulletproof Habit.
2. Start the stopwatch after the last meal.
3. Once you wake up, you have the freedom to choose when your first meal will be.
4. Speaking of which, technically it doesn’t matter when you have that meal. It’s still going to be breakfast.