OK, So for most of my friends, family and clients, they all know that I'm a huge fan of fasting.
I don't fast for any of the trends for things like weight loss or to tighten up for a wedding let's say but for the many health benefits that come with fasting.
When I'm walking my clients through fasting I start with the basics of fundamental health and wellness. If you can't eat a balanced lifestyle and have good sleep and exercise routines then fasting is something that for me doesn't happen. I need my clients to make sure that they have good control and a great relationship with the 6 foundational principles I teach, (Eating, Drinking, Thinking, Movement, Breathing, Sleeping).
Fasting for me is not the quick fix to any of your health problems and unhealthy habits on any level, and you can't band aid poor habits with a quick fast.
Now fasting has a long list of benefits but that said, it should only be used when you have a good grasp on your body's many needs and messages. Many people struggle with the basics that I see and work with on a daily and weekly basis. People have an unhealthy relationship with food and drink and the other foundational principles that I teach in long term health and wellness.
Now when you have a good grasp of what your body needs in terms of food and sleep and hydration this is when you may want to start to try to introduce fasting into your diet. In the next few paragraphs i'll explain some of the many benefits of why I fast and how you can start to implement this ancient technique to bolster your health and wellness. On a side note this is my approach to fasting. Before I add a stressor to the body like fasting, I like to know that the body feels safe and has a foundational routine steeped in health and wellness practices that build the life force up, not break it down.
Autophagy (auto: self, phage: eat) is a natural process that occurs in the body, it is a regulated mechanism of the cells that removes unnecessary or dysfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components, it's kind of like cellular housekeeping and good spring clean that’s crucial for “cellular quality control, and that allows for cells to better adapt to stress. Basically your body gets rid of the cell components unnecessary and dysfunctional parts that it no longer needs and that no longer serve the body. When the body does this it makes room for more cells that are better suited for the life you live. It's like cleaning out your closet to make room for more new clothes that fit better and work better for you.
Now the how long question until you really step this up is still a little unclear but more and more research is coming out on this as a lot of it right now is on mice, but more human trials are taking place with great results. The go to 24-hour marker was pulled from mice studies, and mouse metabolism doesn’t necessarily correspond to human metabolism. Fasting researcher Dr Jason Fung suggested that autophagy, in which “your body will take the oldest, junkiest proteins and burn them for energy,” happens “probably in the later stages of a long fast — somewhere around 20 to 24 hours, is my guess, and it probably maxes out somewhere around 32 hours, again is my best guess.”
Human Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (HGH) is an important hormone produced by your pituitary gland. A small bean shaped gland at the base of your brain. HGH plays a key role in growth, body composition, cell repair, and metabolism, and for anyone who wants to improve health and wellness this is something of importance.
HGH also boosts muscle growth, strength, and exercise performance, while helping you recover from injury and disease. You can boost this with fasting.
Low HGH levels may decrease your quality of life, increase your risk of disease, and make you gain fat .
Studies show that fasting leads to a major increase in HGH levels. studies are finding that 3 days into a fast, HGH levels increased by over 300%. After 1 week of fasting, they had increased by a massive 1,250%. This alone for anyone who works out should be a light going off kind of scenario. One of the fastest ways to boost health and fitness performance is to naturally boost your HGH. Fasting is one of them and is now highly studied.
Digestive health and regeneration
During a fast, your body's digestive system is given a good long overdue rest. It basically shuts down as long as you're fasting as nothing is being put into the system. It will still digest what is in the stomach but after 24 hours this becomes minimal. Now the energy that you use will vary from 5%- 15% of your daily calorie intake, and depending on size of meal and the macronutrients can take up to 70%. The most energy demanding foods come in the forms of proteins and alcohols. And all of this energy is put into autophagy and the clean up. Oh and another thing, when you fast for say 3 days it accelerates the healing of the intestinal lining, this is the body's most regenerative organ and has a complete overhaul every 5 - 7 days. But guess what when fasting this is believed to be accelerated as you are not needing it to deal with any food you are processing and or digesting. Fasting helps accelerate the epithelium regeneration as it has to withstand constant wear and tear it suffers while breaking down food.
Your gut has roughly 100 trillion bacteria in the digestive system alone, You may be thinking that replacing all these is a mission impossible, but let me tell you that you can really accelerate this healing with a little fast. Research has shown that with 2 - 4 days of fasting and then eating right to your metabolic type you can change your microbiome and heal yourself.
Boost your immune system
How does fasting do this? I hear you asking. Well you can start with this. At the university of Southern California they have been studying the cellular effects of fasting. Fasting after 24 hours really starts to boost your entire body and all of its systems. It kick starts your stem cells into producing more white blood cells which fight off infection. The research says that it seems to flip a switch and prompts the body to generate new cells and boost the immune system.
Fasting and Ketones
Ok here is some great information for you all to digest. Scientists have discovered that fasting increases ketone levels more than anything else. Ketogenic diets can increase ketones fourfold 4X whereas fasting has been shown to increase ketones by up to twentyfold 20X. Getting into ketosis can take 2-4 days depending on if you either fast or eat a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates usually derived from food and any form of carbohydrate that it will use to burn for energy. Instead, the body starts to burn fat and makes things called ketones. The body can then convert these and it can use it for fuel. Ketosis is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss or if you're looking for diet trends. The ketogenic diet is very popular but from my research has many challenges and is not designed for long term sustainability. But Fasting accelerates this and switches your body into a fat burning machine.
Fasting and brain fog
One of the biggest feed backs i get when clients try fasting and done correctly for the frist time. Is the mental clarity they get when you fast. I cant tell you any other reason than this alone. It is insanly unbelievale how clear your mindset becomes. it changes the way your brain works and how you feel. Now Researchers at Yale School of Medicine were able to find that a compound produced by the body (B-hydroxybutyrate) when fasting inhibits an inflammatory response (NLRP3.). Fasting is a way to protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases, mood disorders, and brain fog. In the case of the brain, cognitive function, learning, memory, and alertness are all increased by fasting. Now the research and studies on this are really looking into the benfits and time frames of fasting. It is know that smaller time frame fast are better and the reseach is looking into thet longer fast and theimpact on breain health. wtach this space as i see and find more i will alwasy galdly share and help you all master this process.