Yesterday, I started a 24-hour fast.

Actually, I started fasting about 7 o’clock Monday night, so the 24 hours was up at 7 o’clock Tuesday night.

This morning, at 7 o’clock, I hit the 36-hour mark.

I may wait until 7 tonite to eat something and make it a 48-hour fast, but I’m also thinking if I come up a little short of 48 hours, that’ll be close enough!

I didn’t start getting really hungry yesterday until right around 1 in the afternoon. My stomach was a little upset and growling at me, so I heated up a cup of chicken bone broth and sipped on that.

So why am I torturing myself this way?

Well, first, it’s really not THAT bad. Sure, your body gets a little angry and growls at you when it wants food, but too many of us eat too much food anyway, and it’s good to practice a little self-discipline once in a while. Not only that, it’s good for you in a number of ways.

But the main reason I’m fasting is to help kick-start a little weight loss. I’ve been on what is called a weight-loss plateau for a while now, hovering between 200 and 205, and I can’t seem to get down past that. I’m 6-2 and my goal is 185.

When you don’t eat solid food, your body after a while says, OK, no food coming in and I need some energy. Where is some? Oh, yeah, this dude has plenty of fat still stored away, especially around the ol’ midsection, so let’s go grab some of that and burn it.

Yay! Go burn all you want, baby …

Along with burning fat, the body also reacts to lack of food intake by getting rid of stored-up toxins and other nasty stuff in the liver and kidneys. Since it doesn’t have to do the hard work of digestion, the body has a chance to do a little clean-up work.

Fasting helps the body reduce inflammation and balance insulin levels. Cortisol levels — the stress hormone — are also reduced.

Doing a 24-hour fast is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s plenty doable. Consider maybe starting out with a more modest goal (12-hour fast) and work your way up.

Whatever you decide to do, always remember to drink plenty of fluids. Don’t give in and eat solid food — those hunger pangs will subside; they always do — but drink plenty of water. DO NOT let yourself get dehydrated. Sip on fruit juices. Drink some bone broth or bouillon.

If you have something like diabetes, fasting might not be an option, so talk to your doctor first. If you are pregnant or have an eating disorder, same thing. Talk to the doc first. It might even be a good idea to have your blood tested first to make sure fasting is safe for you.

After your fast is over, something to keep in mind is to not start stuffing your face with food to catch up. That’s not the idea!

Start back with small amounts of food, and this is a great time to clean things up a little. Now that your body has had a chance to clean itself up some, you can help out by eating a little healthier. Don’t get too crazy with it, though. Ease back into eating the first day and let your body re-adjust.

So there you go: fasting. It does a body good …