Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.


Posted at — Aug 2, 2020

I’ve recently started fasting. I restrict my eating to a 4 hour window (usually from 4PM to 8PM). In other words, I fast for 20 hours each day.

It’s brought immense clarity, drive, and energy.

In doing some reading on human evolution, this eating strategy aligns much more closely with how our bodies were initially used. We’d hunt and gather for our food for days at a time, when we finally close our scavenge with a celebratory meal.

We often don’t give our bodies enough credit for the intelligence they possess. There are systems in our body that, for instance, enable us to generate energy through many ways, like the degradation of ketones through ketosis. Similarly, processess like autophagy are encouraged, and are responsible for the degradation and recycling of cells.

Our bodies like to hold on to fat as a safety mechanism. If we aren’t able to find food for a few days, our body uses these repositories as its primary energy source.

In the traditional Western diet, there is no time to exercise this safety mechanism. We’re in constant consumption, and many of the medical, emotional, and physical problems of today’s society are a direct result of this over consumption.

We aren’t meant to be constantly nourished. It’s normal to feel hungry, and this wasn’t an idea that was particularly clear to me. I’ve enjoyed exploring these ideas through fasting.

It’s normal to be hungry.

Hunger is a fundamental feeling meant to push the human body and mind beyond limit. Without it, it’s a lot harder to accomplish the things you want.

We are hungry to achieve our long-term goals, but on a day-to-day we live nourished. If our day-to-day dictates our long-term position, then being constantly nourished works against us.

On a tangential point, I find it extremely interesting that most religions prescribe some sort of periodic fasting. While in some senses I’m not religious, I can appreciate that most religions are founded on basic and common human principles with ideas that have stood the test of time. Fasting, discipline, temperance, and morality are almost always prescribed regardless of which religion. It becomes really clear why.

Whether it’s Ramadan, Lent, Yom Kippur, Navratri, or one of the many others, wisdom across generations has consistently vouched for its benefits.

Its a practice in control, discipline, and detachment.

I used to be the biggest foodie. I loved all aspects, and still do, but it’s no longer at the core of what I do.

I eat for function. I eat to live, not live to eat.

It’s scary because there was a time when all I would do was look forward to the next meal. As lousy as it sounds, I lost some purpose in my life. It’s scary face to the truth, because your whole world is thrown up in the air.

To question your own beliefs is accepting that the way you’re currently living doesn’t make sense, perhaps the most uncomfortable feeling there is.

comments powered by Disqus