The Secrets To Fasting
Fasting is as old as time with many religions practicing fasting; Christianity, Islam and Buddhism! Our ancestors would fast at times when food was scarce, so it just occurred naturally. Many of us have heard the term fasting and may cringe just by the sound of it because it seems extremely difficult to achieve but we may be already fasting without knowing, say we stop eating a 7 p.m. and begin again at 7 a.m. with only water in between – that’s an intermittent fast!
So what is fasting?
Fasting can be dietary such as fruit or vegetables juicing and elimination of certain foods or true removal of foods, drinking water only. Today we have many different methods of fasting which allow us to incorporate in a way that is manage in our daily life.
Here are the most common methods of fasting:
1. IF – Intermittent Fasting
12-18 hours periods without eating (only water and black coffee). And benefits in less than 24 hours!
- Enhances cognitive performance
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces heart rat
2. Time Restricted Fasting
Time restricted feeding
- 5 to 6 hour eating window (eating all your food within this time frame)
- Warrior Diet 4 hours window at night with may be snack of fruit or vegetables
- In many ways it’s the same as intermittent fasting
3. PF – Periodic Fasting
‘Water’ Fast which lasts 2 days or more and is separated from the next cycle by at least 1 week of re-feed
- Stem cell regeneration of immune cells
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces rheumatoid arthritis (after 3 cycles) followed by a vegetarian diet
4. The 5:2 Fast
Caloric Restriction – 5:2
Twice per week of eating 500/600 calories
Non-consecutive or consecutive
- Reduction in body fat
- Reduction in blood pressure
- Reduction in insulin resistance
5. Alternate Day Fasting
Eating every other day
- Extension of lifespan is more pronounced than fasting for 1 day every 3 or 4 days e.g. the 5:2 way
- Same benefits as the 5:2
- Significant reduction in inflammation in asthma sufferers
6. Fasting Mimicking diets
Diets which restrict calories to the point that they mimic fasting and the benefits of prolonged fasts
- Example (Valter Longo)
- Day 1 – 1090 kcal – 10% protein, 34% carb, 56% fat, 27.25g protein, 92.5g carb, 67.8g fat
- Days 2 to 5 – 725 kcal – 9% protein, 47% carb, 44% fat, 16.25g protein, 85g carb, 35.45g fat
7. Fasting *5 days every month for 3 months
- Reduced oxidative damage
- Optimized energy metabolism
- Enhanced cellular protection (antioxidant up-regulation such as SOD and glutathione)
- Rejuvenated the immune system e.g. Autoimmune/ MS
- Improved cognitive performance
- Reduction of cancer incidence
- Reduced insulin, glucose, CRP, Cholesterol, BMI, Blood Pressure
How does fasting Work?
It’s exactly like cleaning your home! If you are having a party you can’t clean up till everyone goes home. Then you can get on with the job getting rid of the rubbish, putting things back in place and cleaning things up. The body is exactly the same!
A time to clean house
- Autophagy – removes worn out cell
- Mitophagy – recycling of mitochondria
- Cellular senescence – cells that have stopped functioning normally are recycled
REMOVES RUBBISH, REPAIRS AND RENEWS
Overall Benefits of Fasting
- Burns fat and therefore reduces weight
- Anti-ageing & longevity – increase in lifespan
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves mental clarity, long and short-term memory
- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
- Lowers cardio risk – lowers cholesterol, lowers blood glucose, improves insulin sensitivity
- Improves allergies
- Improves autoimmunity
- Improves energy
- Improves gut repair
- Retardation of a large range of tumour growths
- Enhancing toxicity of chemo drugs to cancer cells while protecting normal cells
How to practically Implement Fasting?
- Convenience – what’s easiest for you
- Preparing – Body and Mind
- Where are you at – sick or well
- Practice – need to adapt or train
- Start with what is easiest for you – Is that starting with delaying breakfast?
- Miss meals when not at work
- Start to reduce the what you eat for one meal of the day
- Prepare – what are your beliefs about fasting? e.g .never skip breakfast?
- If you think it’s bad then psychologically you won’t be able to do it
- If you already have a chronic disease then working your fast with this in mind
- Like every single thing us humans do that is new we must adapt and train just like an athlete trains to become a marathon runner!
Ideas to start with:
- Start with shorter IF
- Stop eating after dinner
- Skip a meal – any meal even if lunch
- Start by restricting calories a couple of days a week
- Early dinner 5 or 6 pm
- Find other pleasures
- Delay gratification
- Meals must be satisfying/enjoyable
- Delay breakfast from 8 to 10 then 10 to 11
- Food cannot be your only source of pleasure otherwise you will find it difficult/impossible to miss /delay meals
- We are pleasure seeking organisms – so we are designed to seek pleasure and avoid pain
- Exercise the art of delaying gratification
- Ensure that the meals you do have are enjoyable and satisfying
- Growing children or teenager
- Pregnant women
- Breast feeding women
- Those with who are underweight e.g. BMI <20
- Eating disorders
- Gout – fasting causes a decrease in uric acid being eliminated from the kidneys causing more pain
- Gilberts Syndrome -issue clearing bilirubin (breakdown of RBC) – the enzymes reduces in fasting states
- Medications – some medications need to be taken with food so work your fast around that
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Thyroid problems
When it comes to fasting, we need to look at the context which we are applying it to!
Context is foundation to fasting, ask yourself, are you eating a wholefoods non-processed nutrient dense diet, do you regularly move especially outside, what your stress levels are, do you have human connection and life purpose and are you exposed to environmental toxins?
Good Candidates for Fasting
- Fighting chronic infections
- Trying to lose weight
- Have a weak immune system
- Neurological Issues
- Diabetes type II
- Metabolic Problems
- Otherwise healthy but want to optimise for longevity
What to drink if you are working out & Fasting?
- Drink water, stay hydrated, add some minerals
- Clear Bone broth with Celtic sea salt
- Sea minerals in water
- Electrolyte drink – Siebecker’s,
- Supplements Basica Vital/ Active).
- Black coffee and teas, herbal
Check out this Electrolyte Formula
1 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
Optional ¼ cup orange juice or carrot juice or apple juice or papaya juice (high in potassium)
The great benefit of fasting is that you can still enjoy your foods – fasting is a convenience!
Apply Simple Lifestyle and Eating Habits to Improve your Brain and Body!
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