Intermittent Fasting: It’s Not a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle Change 67

intermittent fasting - what it is, benefits, why it's healthy and how to do it

I’ve always struggled with changing my eating habits, losing weight and controlling my cravings. After putting way too much pressure in that, I decided to focus more on other areas of my life. After working on becoming self-employed and more productive, and learning to manage my time and money better, I realized I had been losing weight, staying in shape and feeling full of energy during the whole day because of intermittent fasting. What’s even more surprising, is that I never set that as a goal.

If you wonder what intermittent fasting is, let me tell you about it.

What’s Intermittent Fasting and How Does It Work?

Intermittent fasting is a way of eating where you structure your meals around you day, not the other way around as most people do. It’s more about when you eat, instead of what and how you eat. Hence, the freedom it offers and my not realizing I was doing it.

It’s a super simple lifestyle change and has many variations. You can just be skipping breakfast and thus consume fewer calories than every other day. You may avoid food for 24 hours once a week, or you may also be eating in a 4-8 hour period during the day (probably after you’ve done your most important work and closer to the evening).

Isn’t fasting quite strict?

No. It’s similar to some diet fads that also use a cycle between eating and non-eating periods of the day/week, but in this case you’re doing it consciously and because you have your priorities in life in order and don’t want food to consume so much of your time.

This dieting pattern simplifies your life significantly as you just need to decide when to eat, and when not to think about food at all.

You may think that would be difficult in terms of willpower and not overeating, but here’s the deal. You’ll finally keep your appetite under control and will have a clear mind when doing the important things during the way, leaving food for when you think it best fits your schedule.

Why People Think Intermittent Fasting is Unhealthy

intermittent fasting is actually healthy

As it usually happens, the reason is lack of information.

If when you hear about this concept, you ask yourself questions like ‘But isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day and what you body and brain need?, ‘Shouldn’t we eat every few hours?’, ‘How can we skip meals if we’re training daily?’, ‘Wouldn’t we starve if we don’t eat for a whole day?’, and more, then you’ve never actually done your research and gave intermittent fasting a try.

It works, but it’s also what many successful and highly productive people do, it’s what those who regularly go to the gym prefer, it’s how many entrepreneurs, world travelers and business owners decide to live, which is just another unconventional addition to their already awesome lifestyle.

People like James Clear and Steve Kamb swear by it.

It’s a myth that our body needs food ALL the time. We sure weren’t made for snacking every 2 hours, drinking calories or overeating. In fact, elimination plays a big role here. Not only should we stop eating most of the foods we eat (anything that comes in a package, white carbs, etc.), but we also need to eat less calories and less often.

Nothing seems simpler and makes more sense than intermittent fasting.

If you just skip breakfast, you’ll make the period in which you consume new calories shorter. For the rest of the time, your body will be counting on fat and will be burning what’s already stored there.

There are plenty of benefits of that way of eating, but let’s first decide whether it’s the right choice for you. As it depends on the lifestyle and your goals in general.

What Makes Intermittent Fasting The Perfect Diet Pattern for Me

freelancing

Right now, my top priority is my work. I finally monetized my passion, am doing what I love and working for myself. But that will eventually need to be turned into a real business, not just freelancing and the uncertainty and time investment that goes with it, so I need the right mindset, discipline, energy levels and focus if I want to be moving in the right direction.

It took me some time, but I’ve found out how a productive day goes like for me. I believe everyone should define that down to the last detail and then make sure the majority of the days in a week, month and ultimately year are like that.

Related: My Best Practices: 20 Tips to Stay Ultra Productive While Living The Laptop Lifestyle

I wake up whenever I want to, but dedicate the first 4-6 hours strictly to working on my most important tasks, which I’ve outlined the night before.

It’s absolutely necessary that:

  • I don’t do anything else between waking up and work;
  • don’t communicate with others and get distracted by that;
  • don’t read random stuff or use social media;
  • don’t even think about food;
  • haven’t used my willpower for any decision yet;
  • drink coffee and plenty of water;
  • don’t think about what I should be doing later.

That’s what laser focus looks like in my case, and it gives me fantastic results. I get done a lot in a short time.

After that, I keep drinking water or tea and do some other stuff, less important but still things that matter. It may be work-related tasks, some research, some reading or writing for personal projects, chores, etc.

Then, I’m off to the gym for a workout. Yes, still before I’ve put any food in my mouth.

I eat after that. It’s already late afternoon. Then, I may go out, be with friends or do anything else I feel like, even work another shift of 2-4 hours. I may eat again after that, as much as I want.

It’s basically evening at that time. I can still eat my favorite foods but they won’t make me feel full, I won’t be investing too much time or putting in too much thought into the whole food thing throughout the day.

It’s intermittent fasting because I’m only eating in the second part of the day, mostly having 2 meals, and often that’s during a 3- or 4-hour window.

And here’s the big picture:

  • I’m eating less in general;
  • I’m enjoying my food much more than when eating from the beginning of the day and snacking during it;
  • I’m on top of my game and with a clear mind;
  • I get done anything I need to without thinking about food (which was a big issue for me);
  • I drink plenty of water because of this new diet pattern;
  • I don’t feel sleepy or full and thus ruin my productivity after I’ve eaten, like it was before.

Related: How to Never Be Tired Again

What Makes Intermittent Fasting a Lifestyle Change?

intermittent fasting is a lifestyle change

The fact that you’re doing it not for the joy of food (although this improves too), but because you’re serious about following your goals, being productive, doing focused work, completing your to-do list with attention to the detail, and having a successful day.

The way I do intermittent fasting doesn’t need to be how you do it.

After experimenting, you may find out that you stay fit and productive if you fast for 2 whole days during the week. Or when eating regularly only during a 5-hour period of the day and giving your body time to burn all these calories during the rest.

Whatever that is, make sure it gives you results. Especially with energy levels, but also in terms of having a good mood and being happy in general.

If you’re going to try it, be in it for the long game. Don’t just start fasting to lose a few pounds. Look for the long-term benefits, like boosting your metabolism, simplifying your daily life a lot, saving time, boosting productivity and maximizing efficiency, living longer (Yep, longevity is another thing you’ll get.)

And if you ever think this way of eating is unnatural, just think about your ancestors.

They were in a good shape, strong, and lived longer (but, unfortunately, died because of other things like being killed by a wild animal). They were hunting all day and mainly eating in the late evening, when they consumed one big, high-calorie meal. But that gave them enough energy to do the same the next day.

By the way, that’s how most animals live too, and it’s more than natural.

It’s the way things should be. The day is for work and doing important things, not for thinking about food, eating meals every few hours, plus junk food in-between, and not eating at the same time every day either.

It’s okay to stress your body, it’s what makes it stronger. That’s what you do in the gym too. Cardio is all about strengthening the heart by making it experience something closer to a heart attack. Each time you lift heavy weight – which you should be doing – you’re basically breaking the tissue of the muscle. Later when you sleep at night, it’s rebuilding and that’s when the real growth happens.

So don’t be afraid to go back to the way you ancestors lived. in fact, eat what they were eating and you won’t have most of the health problems people share these days.

Have you tried any form of intermittent fasting? How does it work for you?

See also:

Life Experiment: Eat Once a Day for a Month
Real Life Extension: Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting

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How I Make Money from My Freelance Writing Services (And How You Can Do The Same) 18

How I Make Money from My Freelance Writing Services (And How Can You Do The Same)

I’ve been offering my freelance writing services professionally nearly 7 years now. And what started as a one-time project every now and then, has now turned into the online business that allows me to keep working remotely and operate globally, although I’m based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Forget about the competition, the broad niche you’re trying to enter and that it takes time to build a name for yourself. We live in the digital era and thanks to all its opportunities you can make a living as a freelance writer if you decide to.

Let me share the things that helped me make money from my freelance writing services. Maybe they can help you raise your prices, get started as a freelancer, or write and publish your first post today.

I started from the bottom.

I believe those following their passion, who are interested in becoming lifestyle designers and finding meaning in their days, should start from nothing.

Even if you have your family to support you, or connections in the field, or are given opportunities already, leave that behind and go ahead and build something on your own.

That’s important because the years you’ll dedicate to learning skills, making mistakes, getting to know your field and finding what works best are priceless. No business degree, internship, parent, easier career choice, or even initial capital, can do that for you.

The only millionaires I respect, for example, are the self-made ones. That’s because I’m all about self-improvement and it means following your own path. But first, defining and creating it.

If you decide you want to be a writer and to make money from that online, you need to invest years to get better at this and be able to call it your craft. You need a new mindset that will help you understand what your clients want and give them exactly that. And you need to be truly invested in doing it right as it’s all about providing value with your content, not making a few bucks.

You’ll build habits, find focus, work from home, ditch distractions, make sacrifices, and eventually start earning a bit. But you’ll be doing what you love. Then, there will be more doubts and challenges to overcome. Again, you’ll stay consistent if you’ve decided to make a living from your freelance writing services and achieve something bigger.

I make sure I cover topics I’m passionate about.

I believe anyone should be doing work they are passionate about. While the way you do it may vary, its main topic should be something you truly care about.

For me, that’s self-improvement, spiritual development and business growth. I have always been reading about this, and so it made sense to also start writing about them on my blog.

Such passion never goes away.

You take it with you whenever you write something, be it for a client, for a social media post, an email, or your own book.

Find your passions in life and make sure you incorporate them into your writing.

I build my portfolio every single day thanks to my blog.

6 Tips for Transitioning from Office to Freelance Work

Building your portfolio is a never-ending process. Leave conventional wisdom aside and think of the way people do business online today.

It’s not about a polished resume or a ton of experience working for other people anymore. I don’t have that. In fact, English is my second language and I have no degree in Journalism or anything. What I have though, is more than 1000 articles on my blog (which eventually turned into an authoritative platform), each of which is written to provide value, to help those who find it through social media or search engines, to give advice and share my thoughts on the issues of life that I care about the most.

Such portfolio can only get better. The more things you publish under your name, including guest posts, then more you’ll have to share with your clients.

The way I do it when promoting my freelance writing services now is this: When I’m about to pitch someone who seems to be a good fit, I give them samples of relevant articles. That means I always make sure he wants me to write about topics that I’ve covered before. So I simply get 2-10 links, share them with the client and tell them this:

If you like any of these, I can provide the same quality for the work I’ll do for you.

Simple as that. And I do keep my promise. Also, there are no wrong expectations here as I will do for them what I’ve done before for my own projects.

If you’re wondering how to become a writer and offer your freelance writing services, start a blog today, write about whatever it is you’re interested in and share it with the world.

I make it a win-win situation.

There are many parties involved when you do work for a client. First, there’s you. Then, there’s the client. But there’s also the reader this content will eventually get to.

Whether you’re writing something for a company or an individual, you’re helping them grow their business, improve their online presence, build a following, sell their products or services, or educate their audience. Whatever it is, your content matters. Keep in mind everyone your writing is going to affect and let that inspire you to be a better freelancer.

I enjoy the process.

How To Boost Your Energy and Vitality for A Successful Life

Because I started my freelance career in order to have an enjoyable lifestyle, not the other way around, I do make sure I take a step back every now and then and evaluate the situation.

I’m a lifestyle designer. That’s why I started working online, doing what I love, left my home country and relocated to Amsterdam, Netherlands, but still operate globally and work from home.

I need that freedom and independence in order to be doing my best work, to keep my focus and to have peace of mind. Without them, I won’t be able to make my clients happy.

That’s why you should enjoy the process as a freelance writer. Even the unpleasant moments. It’s a journey with ups and downs. But no one had it easy.

I stopped underselling my freelance writing services.

I wasn’t charging much in the beginning and that’s okay. I believe every freelance writer makes this mistake when they start out. It’s because of the competition, wanting to please every client, being scared you’ll never make more money out of this, not being confident enough in your writing, etc.

The only way to overcome this barrier is to do more of the work only you can do. As your reputation grows and you see you have enough clients, you’ll start saying ‘no’ to low prices and will learn to ask for what you deserve.

I diversified my income.

Is Owning a House and Mortgage Financially Sensible?

Freelance writing goes together with a lot of insecurity. From not getting paid on time (or at all), to not finding new clients, not meeting a deadline, not scaling, or else. If you don’t do something about it, this will cost you your precious focus and creative energy. And as a writer, you need these with you all the time.

So, I made sure to diversify my income. In my case, it was thanks to my blog, growing it and monetizing it by offering sponsored posts.

For you, it will be different. I sell my books on Amazon too, do affiliate marketing and many other things on the side. But these aren’t a significant part of my monthly income.

I make half of my money by selling my freelance writing services. Which means that even if I don’t necessarily find enough clients soon, or something else happens, I’d still make it until I get back on my feet.

Find your other income stream that will help you stop worrying too much and focus on doing what you do best.

I’m picky with my clients.

Saying ‘yes’ to every project that comes your way means you’re desperate to make some money, don’t have priorities and are trying to please everyone. I made big changes to my approach when I started being serious about selling my freelance writing services.

For a start, I ditched the clients who didn’t pay on time. From then on, I set the right expectations from the very first chat we had and discussed all the details such as payment, deadline, whether they would require me to make changes to the articles, etc. All these matter and after doing it for years, you start noticing recurring issues. But when you talk about each one prior to working together, it’s all good.

I’m absolutely okay with rejecting clients or projects that seem big or tempting in some way. It’s because I know exactly who I want to be working with and can feel whether we’d be a good fit from the first few emails we exchange.

That’s been a game-changer for my work and freelance writing business. Some amazing individuals reach out to me personally because they liked the story I share on the About page of my site and decided to work together. Or because they saw my name on another platform, liked my work and now want something similar for their blog.

From clients like that, I get positive feedback, an enjoyable working experience, no pressure, honest communication, regular payments, good mood, and referrals. These are the people I can do a good job for. And while it’s not always easy to find them, it’s worth the wait.

These are the things I did to be able to make a full time living from my freelance writing services. It took me years and a lot of mistakes, but you can do it differently. Stop being afraid to ask for more. Go build your portfolio, learn everything you can about the topic you’re covering. Be confident when you pitch potential clients and see how big opportunities are coming your way.

If you have a question about this, or if you’re interested in hiring me to help you out with content creation for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out.