Intermittent fasting might be the latest trend that celebrities are following to shed those extra kilos, but Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, spoke about it thousands of years ago. The religious leader, who founded Buddhism, one of the most followed religions of the world, set a tradition for the monks to refrain from eating other than from dawn till noon, now known as the Buddha diet.
Buddha's diet is the time-restricted eating in which one could consume anything one wants, be it healthy or junk, unless one eats in a stipulated time frame.
The Buddha's diet, suggested by writer and Zen priest Dan Zigmond in his 'Buddha’s Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind' (co-authored by Tara Cottrell) is less harsher than that followed by the Buddha and his followers.
Here's is what they suggest:
1) Time is the key
Instead of restricting what one eats, focus on the time when you eat.
2) Reduce your eating window
For the first two weeks, limit your eating hours to 13 hours each day, then further limiting your eating window to 12 hours, 11 hours and 10 hours each day, before finally arriving at a 9-hour eating window.
This would mean breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 6 pm and nothing after that.
A crucial outcome of such a diet is that since the meals are so thinly-spaced, you refrain from unnecessary snacking, thus cutting down on those empty calories.
3) Eat whatever you want
There is no restriction on what you eat, unless you do it during the eating window. Following a middle path is the key, which means nor giving up your favourite foods altogether, neither letting yourself go!
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4) Have a cheat day once in a while
Buddha's diet allows you to have a cheat day every week. This means on that day, you can eat outside the eating window.
5) Mindful approach towards eating
Practicing mindfulness is one of the lessons Buddha taught. The same is applied while following the Buddha's diet. If you think more deeply about the origin of food you consume, it'll help you make better eating choices. Also, inculcate a sense of gratitude for the food you're blessed with.
So, follow these tips and lose those extra pounds, the Buddha way!