Do you have a strong Holding Pattern!?!
You need one! It will likely determine if you reach your health goal AND if you are successful with maintenance (sub in weight-loss, diabetes reversal, etc).
You may have heard me talk about the importance of having a strong Holding Pattern in thefastingmethod.com community, but this is actually the first time I’m writing about it.
I have written a blog post called “The Critical Importance of TRE” and this is not only the 1st of My Five Pillars to health, it’s also the EPITOME of Intermittent Fasting! It’s the Beyoncé of the Show, the main event, the thing that you should put all your weight and effort into! And not surprisingly: it’s the basis of your Holding Pattern that is going to get you where you want!! If you’ve figured out TRE, you’ve got yourself a strong holding pattern.
Why do you need a holding pattern to reach your goal? I‘ve often said this “No one’s healing journey is linear”. “Sometimes the dog really does eat your homework”. “Life is nice and wavy, we need to learn how to surf”. Bla, bla, bla. Pick your favourite cliche, but the reality is that no matter how good you are at fasting, no matter how much weight you’ve already lost, no matter how quickly, life will inevitably happen, and you need to be prepared for when it does. You won’t be able to fast every week, even if you love it and find it super easy! You’ll eventually go on a trip, have a holiday, get stressed and god-forbid maybe get sick. You might have sleep troubles for a while, or require a new medication that needs to be taken with meals…it will all be fine! Don’t worry, you won’t lose all your gains…IF you have a strong holding pattern!
So what is a Holding Pattern? Some people in the intermittent fasting community call this a “base fast”. I’m going to use analogy again. Just like when I told you the story of “David and Goliath” in the blog post “Don’t Feed The Insulin Beast”. Picture a monkey going about it’s business on a tree. Swinging from branch to branch. Successfully getting to where it needs to go. All of a sudden, something happens. Life happens. It misses a branch. Eeehhhhh (sound of it dropping down a couple of branches) Unless it’s dead, the monkey is NOT going to fall all the way to it‘s doom, nor miss a million opportunities to grab on. The smart, intuitive, kick-butt monkey is going to maybe fall down a branch or two, but then grab on tight way before it hits rock bottom. It will grab on tight to that new branch, maintain a holding pattern, as long as it has to, keep those muscles nice and strong and then LEAP at the very next chance and keep on climbing that tree until it gets to where it wants to get to. And then, when it gets there, it will maintain that same holding pattern, stay nice and strong, as long as it wants to stay there.
What do we humans often do when life gets in the way, and we fall down a branch or two? Do we all have this strong Holding Pattern? No, unfortunately we do not. Some people do, and that’s what determines that those people eventually make it to their goal, and have success at maintenance. Those are the people that when life gets in the way (and it does) don’t lose all their gains, take a million steps back, are right back to square one, or worse, hit rock bottom!
Can you create a holding pattern for yourself even if you’ve never had one before? Of course! Do you have to be ”all or nothing”? Of course not! Does ‘all or nothing’ work for reaching health goals? Ah, does it really ever work for anything else? NO! If you want to make sure your health goal and healing approach is sustainable, make sure you have a Holding Pattern and use it whenever necessary. It’s never a step back! It’s always a positive, step in the right direction.
What should your holding pattern be? If you read the “Critical Importance of TRE” you know your Holding Pattern must include full meals and no snacks, on good days or bad days, whether things are going according to plan or not, if you’re eating healthy or junk. Time-Restricted Eating is the epitome of Intermittent Fasting, it is the basis of any Holding Pattern regardless of if you’re eating three meals or one meal a day, and it is the key to your long-term success.