What I learned in My 12 Weeks of Partial Fasting and Mobile Detox



During our recent family visit to Nepal, we had the opportunity to visit various religious sites in both Nepal and India. In Nepal, we visited Swargadwari (Pyuthan), Maula Kalika (Gaida Kot), Pandawesor Mandir (Dharpani, Ghorahi), and other sites. In India, we visited Vidravana, Barsana, and Ayodhya. My reflections on these visits will be shared in separate posts.

These visits inspired me to reflect on the disciplined lifestyle practiced by Hindu monks. They walk barefoot on temple premises, eat while sitting cross-legged (‘sukhasana’) on the floor, practice silence, intermittent fasting, and show kindness to others, among many other traditional rituals.

Sukhasana: There is a lot of wisdom and scientific reason behind this traditional practice. Sukha means “at ease” or “easy” and asana means “posture” puts the mind and body at ease, and when the brain is calm, it can better focus on the food, which helps the body in digesting and assimilating the nutrients well.

– Dr Dimple Jangda (source: The Indian Express)

After conducting some research, I realized that two commonly practiced religious rituals—fasting and silence—appealed to me the most. These practices are observed in various religious groups and are also backed by scientific evidence for their therapeutic and health benefits.

Why Fasting?

Fasting is when you refrain from eating (and sometimes drinking) for a while. It’s a practice with deep roots in many cultures and religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism. Beyond its spiritual importance, fasting has a lot of health benefits, like helping with weight management, improving metabolism, repairing cells, boosting brain function, and even promoting a longer life.

For me, fasting is a way to build self-discipline, deepen my spiritual connection, and take care of both my body and soul.

I decided to take this challenge myself for three-months, practicing intermittent or partial fasting and social media silence, and to assess whether these practices will enhance my healthy lifestyle and promote mental well-being.

Inspired by my initial experience with partial fasting and digital detox, I began a 12-week experiment to develop healthier eating habits and cut down on social media use. These past 12 weeks of fasting and using social media only once a week have been eye-opening and life-changing. Here are a few things I’ve learned.

Establishing a Structured Routine

In the first few weeks, I focused on finding the right balance. I typically fasted for about 16 to 17 hours each day, gradually settling into a more structured eating routine. Breakfast usually included fruits like bananas and apples, sometimes with oatmeal. Lunches were light or skipped altogether, and dinners were satisfying yet simple, such as pumpkin curry, sweet potatoes, and whole grain bread.

Starting the digital detoxes was a big change for me. I turned off my phone and stayed away from social media for about 39 to 40 hours every weekend. It was tough at first, but the rewards were worth it. These detox times gave me a break from the digital world, allowing me to reflect deeply and truly unwind.

Mid-Journey Adjustments

As the weeks passed, I found the whole thing got easier. I started noticing small shifts in my energy and how clear I felt mentally. I used to do my digital detoxes on Sundays, but I switched them to Saturdays. It fit better with my weekly routine, giving me a peaceful end to the week and a fresh start for the next one.

During these detox days, I enjoyed silence – no music or TV in the background, just pure, uninterrupted time. This quiet time became a great opportunity for creativity and learning. One thing I really got into was prompt engineering, a fun way to use those peaceful detox periods productively.

Consistency Was Key

Staying consistent was crucial. Even during social events like Erik’s graduation party, I tried to stick to my routine. I kept my fasting windows between 15 to 17 hours, sticking to fruits and oatmeal for breakfast, and having varied but nutritious dinners.

Travel added another challenge. I did my best to stick to my fasting schedule even while on the go. The digital detoxes helped too, giving me a break from the constant connectivity that traveling usually brings.

Final Thoughts

Over the past twelve weeks, I’ve experienced a real sense of achievement and clarity. Practicing intermittent fasting has become a natural part of my routine, helping me be more mindful about how I eat. While I don’t use my mobile phone much except for checking weather or tracking my daily activity on apps, reducing social media checks to once or twice a day on my desktop has significantly lowered my stress and helped me appreciate simple, quiet moments more.

This short experimental journey has shown me how important it is to live mindfully in our fast-paced world by taking intentional breaks from social media and practicing intermittent fasting. One of the benefits of this practice was that my blood glucose level slightly improved compared to six months ago. Moving forward, I will continue to make these habits a crucial part of my daily life, further exploring how powerful mindful living can be in the long term.

If you’re considering trying something similar, remember that your journey is personal. Adjust things as needed, stay consistent, and enjoy the simplicity and clarity that come with these practices.