We all know this: Plane is landing. New culture. New continent. New time zone.
First of all: organizational stuff. Then something to eat would be neat.
After that follows: Jet-lag. No routine at all. Articles to publish. And a shitload to do.
Do you see yourself in this? Yes? Then I have the ultimate productivity and health hack for you!
I write about Intermittent Fasting and 4 ways to benefit from it as a digital nomad.
Intermittent Fasting (short: IF) – An Introduction
IF presents itself as an unconventional way of eating compared to „normal“ eating patterns.
I would even describe it as a way of life.
The word stems from the Latin „intermittere“, which literally means to „break“ or to „skip“ something.
„Intermittent Fasting contains a longer period of no food intake. Stopped by a relatively short period of food intake.“
Men fast about 16 hours and have an eating window of 8 hours.
Women, however, regarding their hormonal composition and also considering they get hungry and moody faster, fast 14 hours and eat 10.
Most people in the IF community prefer 3 meals in that time:
- one to break the fast
- one before training or midday
- one meal (the biggest) after training or shortly before beginning fasting again
F.e.: I break fasting at 12am and eat until 8pm. So, most of the fasting time I’m sleeping 🙂
Martin Berkhan, Swedish author and pioneer in this concept, blogs about the fasting principle on Leangains. There you can also find different meal plans and the complete guide.
I’ve been testing IF for over a month now and I am intrigued about a series of benefits that come along with it.
BENEFIT 1: Less hunger. Less money to spend.
Considering you eat healthy anyway, you will notice that you save money being abroad.
Travelling Colombia, Thailand & Co, you can get tons of healthy greens super cheap and suuuper yum.
Especially in the morning, fasting has a hunger suppressing effect and it will be easy for you to have breakfast just a bit later.
To all the emotional eaters, including me 😀 : I noticed being fully saturated in the 8 hour eating window at all times. Munchies and emotional overeating belong to the past. As well as all the excessively consumed calories. Ultimately this concluded in some serious weight loss!
After 8pm at the social gathering with friends in the restaurant I didn’t need to pressure myself to also order a meal or caloric drink because I knew: I was eating again at 12am anyway and I am fully saturated!!!
Conclusion: You not only save a lot of money excluding meals here and there. You also save yourself some extra calories and kilos on the scale 🙂
BENEFIT 2: Routine & Structure
Like I’ve written before, it often happens that I feel overwhelmed in a new culture or time zone and have a hard time settling and organizing myself.
Personally, I find that IF adds more structure to my days.
First and foremost, I don’t have to consistently think about what to eat, where and when, and with whom. This is my personal game changer! I got set times. 12Am „breakfast“. 8Pm fasting. Having this planned at all times leaves more room and energy for other stuff in my head.
By the way: As long as you keep your times set you can design a plan on your own. F.e. rotating the fasting windows on some days and so on. Being a lifestyle concept, I think IF offers the possibility to individualize your times.
Just try it out.
BENEFIT 3: Focus & Productivity
Here it comes. The ONE benefit.
We, digital nomads, are downright computer freaks.
If you substract the idea of thinking about your food and meals all the time, ultimately you will have so much more energy to do the things you need to and love to do.
Directly after waking up I would grab my coffee, boot my pc and be focused and productive on my work. That’s plain perfect for focused writers and super productive nomads!
You need to bridge the fasting time anyway which works best when working or not thinking about food.
Usually, I would sit and work after having a meal. But to be honest, my energy would go right into my stomach digesting and not into my brain thinking. I would then find myself on Instagram or Youtube but not with my work. Really.
Doing fasting I noticed is 2 times as productive as usual!
BENEFIT 4: Health.
It is no secret and science proved fasting relates to higher insulin sensibility and preventing cancer.
For all the king-kong-nomads out there: I also noticed having more strength. I could boost all my weights in squats, deadlifts & co.
I feel lighter. Fitter. Better!
In this article, I mainly write about my OWN experience and I suggest you do your own! (It is worth it)
Martin’s statements are well researched. Anyway, I suggest with everything on the internet nowadays, that you do your own research if you are really interested in the topic.
Intermittent Fasting is in no means an invitation to fuck up your eating behavior.
You should still get the most of your calories from meat, veggies, fruit and starchy carbohydrates like potato, oats & co.
Do you know the system already?
Did you already gain some experience on it?
I would love to hear from you!