There’s no denying that vegan intermittent fasting changes your life, but you may be surprised to learn that the benefits of plant-based IF go far beyond the simple weight loss aspect.
Here are five unusual benefits of vegan intermittent fasting – specifically how this diet changes your brain – in turn facilitating weight loss and improving your health almost immediately.
(If you prefer a video version, please check out my YouTube channel where I have this and other intermittent fasting and vegan content!)
Skip Instead of Splurge
Vegan intermittent fasting trains your brain to skip instead of splurge.
I can’t tell you how many times as a vegan I “had” to eat a plate of fries and chug two beers for dinner. It always seemed like a reasonable choice at the time. After all, the choice was often that or nothing!
I thought I was doing what I had to do, but intermittent fasting illuminated the other option: having nothing at all.
Now, this isn’t to be confused with disordered eating. On the contrary, intermittent fasting retrained my brain to understand that sometimes nothing at all is better than less-than-ideal options.
Hunger is a Fleeting Sensation
Intermittent fasting retrains your brain to understand that hunger is not an emergency. It is simply a sensation – and just like the hundreds of other passing sensations we feel throughout the day – hunger is also fleeting.
Hunger isn’t linear. Hunger ebbs and flows, and appetite comes and goes. Take a drink of water, get busy with a mindless task (this isn’t the time to begin a complicated project or mentally consuming task) but knock an errand or do a quick chore, and odds are you will completely forget that you were “starving”.
Reestablish your relationship with the sensation of hunger. It’s one of the most important things you can do to make fasting 10x easier on yourself.
Vegan intermittent fasting will help you discover this much quicker than in you were following another eating plan, for the simple fact that you will likely encounter hunger much more often in the beginning. This helps you rip the bandaid off the adjustment period and sets you up on the path of success much faster than if you were just following a plant-based diet – or only intermittent fasting.
A Mental “Switch”
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a terrible dieter. In the past, all of my dieting attempts were met with a hefty dose of self-sabotage right out the gate – pretty much ensuring that I would fail at weight loss before I even had the chance to try. Like countless others hoping to find the next magic bullet of weight loss, I was looking at it all wrong.
Instead of a holistic approach, I was determined to find every loophole and cheat code imaginable, always searching for a way to not only lose weight – but hack the whole system to make it as painless and effortless as possible. Day one of a low-carb diet? I’d immediately be on the lookout for the tastiest fake bread I could find, ignoring all cues from my body in favor of the quick-fix solution that would magically make me forget I was even on a diet in the first place.
Spoiler alert: this “technique” was a massive fail. Not only did I GAIN weight on every diet I embarked upon, but I became so disconnected from my body that I stopped hearing what I needed from me long ago. I was only focused on what instant gratification ‘me’ wanted, which was a recipe for disaster.
Intermittent fasting and adopting a plant-based diet both helped reset my brain for weight loss success – but it wasn’t until I combined the two that my results took off.
You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide!
Intermittent fasting and veganism have a way of removing the veil of denial from before your eyes – illuminating every aspect of your life in the process.
Both of these lifestyles are a form of minimalism, and when you start to subtract things from your life that are no longer serving you the light of truth begins to shine on every aspect of your life. Suddenly you see your world for what it is – and it isn’t all pretty.
I used to be a hopeless, depressed, fat, addicted mess. It wasn’t until I began removing the things that were causing me the most pain that my life dramatically took a turn for the better. It sounds stupidly simple now, but as humans, we have a strange aversion to not only the new but anything that requires digging under the surface.
Our culture lives for the bandaids. But just like swiping the 12th swipe of nail polish over coats of chipped paint, there comes the point where you have to start fresh and remove all the layers that are no longer serving you.
My Embarrassing “Aha” Moment
For the majority of my adult life, I had it all backward. I was so hyper-focused on the “main event” of socializing (the food and the alcohol) that I failed to see the forest through the trees. I never stopped to ask myself the important questions, like “do I even want to be here?”
This was one of the most eye-opening realizations I had when I adopted the vegan intermittent fasting lifestyle – and a pretty embarrassing one at that. But it quickly became apparent that the driving motivator for social activities was not the people I was spending time with but rather the food and drinks that came with them.
It wasn’t until I combined a plant-based diet with intermittent fasting that my weight loss took off – in large part thanks to the mental changes that took place this moment I adopted this way of life.
The benefits of vegan intermittent fasting will change your life, and once you get over the hump of starting, you will be amazed at how the world around you changes for the better.
If you’re just getting started with a plant-based fasting lifestyle, check out this comprehensive beginner’s guide to vegan intermittent fasting.