For the last four months I’ve been experimenting with fasting, mostly for health reasons. I’ve been trying to fast starting Sunday nights and ending my fast on Tuesday at lunch, and every 3 months I go for a longer 4-5 day fast. As usual, Tim Ferriss turned me on to this in his podcast (click here to listen to it) but I’ve been surprised at some of the benefits for musicians that I didn’t expect. Health benefits aside, here’s my top 5 things fasting does for your music career that nothing else can:
1. It sharpens your senses.
I was amazed at how strong my sense of smell and taste became after a few days without food. More importantly, it feels like your mind clears after a few days of fasting. I found myself being more efficient, and becoming aware of my body and environment in ways I’m not used to doing every day. This helps me be more sensitive to the music I work on, and the way that I handle my professional life.
2. It focuses you.
When combining fasting with prayer and meditation, it’s been amazing to see how much more creatively open I am, and it creates a great “reset” for me every week mentally and physically. Just by giving myself rest in a single part of my life (not having to process foods through my system) I've been able to focus on the other aspects of my life more purposefully.
3. It makes you realize that it’s possible to go without.
Before I started fasting regularly, I felt like there was no way that I could ever go without food for 24 hours, much less 5 days. Practicing denying myself the essential of food once a week has helped me to gain perspective on a lot of other things I think I can’t do without, which has helped clear my schedule and save me money.
4. It saves you money.
Did I mention it saves you money? I’m saving about $50 per month on food by not eating once a week, and when I go for four days with no food I save about $60ish. That’s over $800 that I get to spend each year on something that I don’t eat and leave in the bathroom within 12 hours.
5. It it makes you deeply thankful for the simple things.
There is literally no better feeling on earth than the first few bites of food after fasting for a few days. Having a weekly reminder to be thankful for food has helped me to be more thankful in other areas of my life, too.