Freedom in Fasting
Do you have questions about fasting? If so, keep reading. The positive influences of fasting are amazing. As you will see below, there is a long list of improvements. They all lead to a highly efficient metabolism.
Fasting has a historical place in religious rituals, but fasting has also been shown to be a powerful and safe way to change and even reverse many damaging body processes that accumulate over time.
In the fasting world, there are no complicated rules. It is easy to fit into any schedule and it is free. But this simple practice is easily misunderstood, loaded with fears and myths.
Many people think that fasting is a quick weight loss hack that is followed by weight gain “rebound”. This is true if not used knowledgeably. Others fear this it is a path to eating disorders. That is why we need to talk about why, how, and additional hints.
Why Fasting is a good idea:
Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his research on how cells recycle and rebuild their content in a process called autophagy. He showed how fasting activates autophagy, thus slowing down the aging process by having a positive impact on cell renewal.
Sounds good but how do you begin?
Plan Before You Implement
These fasting techniques can be used immediately but my advice is to first prepare your metabolism. That way you will find fasting easier and avoid the rebound effect. Begin with switching the fats and oils you use to fuel the mitochondria.
Switch the fats and oils
The energy machines, called the mitochondria, can utilize both carbohydrates (and sugars) and fats to supply the energy for all their functions. However, if they are primarily depending on carbs for fuel, this type of fuel needs to be supplied frequently, and any excess carbs that are not used immediately is stored as fat under the skin and around your organs.
A lifetime of carbohydrate dependency has made our systems expect a steady intake of sugars and starches, accumulating all excess as fat tissue. [This statement may require some explanation. I'll be introducing a module on this topic soon. Look for updates.]
For fasting, you will be much more comfortable and successful if you switch your metabolism to "fat burning mode" before you begin. Why? Because during a fast of 20 hours or more your mitochondria are going to be using your own fat stores for energy production. It is a cool and effective mechanism and allows us to survive long periods of time when food may not be available.
How to Switch Modes
You will want to become a fat-burning machine by re-introducing your mitochondria to natural oils and fats. Relying on these as the primary fuel source, mitochondria run efficiently and there is no danger of the insulin excess that accompanies the diet that consumes high amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. In this way, metabolic balance is achieved and weight gain is halted and reversed.
Bonus: if you have already been eating a Paleo or Keto diet, you are probably ready to try fasting without any further preparation.
Three Flexible Plans
The benefits of fasting can be achieved using one of the 3 approaches below. The one thing they have in common is arranging your eating schedule to give your body at least 20 hours without food. These styles are components of a mix and match personal plan. You decide what makes sense for you. Use these ideas to get you started with a fasting plan of your own.
Narrow Eating Window
This option limits eating to a 4-hour window each day. Some people choose to have their first meal at noon and a second meal before 4:00 PM. To receive the benefits of this “semi-fast” it is essential that no food is eaten outside this 4-hour window. It is equally important to eat a modest or typical size meal and not try to double up just because it is only 4 hours of eating time.
Using the "narrow eating window" option becomes the regular eating pattern for many people. To help your body adjust, try to be consistent once you have chosen a window that works for you. Eating at regular times helps the appetite adjust, too
One Meal a Day
When you choose this option, you limit eating to (obviously) one meal a day. Many "Keto-ers" regularly eat this way because, being “keto-adapted”, it is easy and convenient. When your body relies on ketones for fuel, you avoid the roller-coaster energy fluctuations created by a carbohydrate-heavy diet.
Eating One Meal a Day (OMD) does not mean eating once, all day long! If you choose the OMD pattern, try to get the entire meal eaten within an hour.
Just as with the narrow eating window, you get to choose your time to eat but then try to keep it at the same time most days.
When things don't work out
What do you do if you have a dinner invitation that is not in your chosen time frame? Don’t worry. Enjoy the exceptions because you are metabolically flexible when you use these fasting methods.
And just like with the narrow eating window, you may choose this pattern for one or two days a week or just occasionally. It is easy to slip into OMD if you maintain the high fat/low carb pattern. [It is also important to eat adequate protein. More on this in future updates.]
OMD is a good way to adjust a runaway appetite or to recover from an occasional day of eating excess (which happens to everyone). So the take home message is "don’t fret. You are flexible."
36 Hour Fast
Here is how you do it...
Broth is good when you are new to fasting because it is comforting and simply "something to sip". You shouldn't need more than a cup or two in a day. Once you are used to a 24 hour fast, you may not even think of adding it.
When you resume eating, don’t try to “make up lost ground". You have given your digestive system a little vacation. Don’t pile more responsibilities onto it by eating a large meal. Use this as a time to appreciate quality food when you return to a normal schedule.
Enhance the Benefits...
When you read labels and begin to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet, you will naturally eat cleaner – meaning fewer factory processed (junk) foods. This happens because processed foods are loaded with carbohydrates and seed oils. These are the very items that will highjack your appetite and will power, while adding on lbs. Staying away from these leaves you with “cleaner” choices.
Eat During the Daylight Hours
The natural circadian rhythm favors taking food before dark. This is the natural timing, leading to smooth and efficient digestive functions. It can also mean better weight control even without changing the number of calories eaten.
Use the clock to improve your sleep by eating your last bite of the day at least 4 hours before your bedtime. Your sleep becomes more restful when you are not digesting food at the same time.
Make the switch
Avoid harmful industrial/heat-extracted seed oils like canola, corn, peanut, and safflower.
Replace them with natural and minimally processed oils from oily plants like olives and avocados and include animal fats like natural tallow and butter or ghee. Your cells burn healthy fats cleanly and efficiently and will be more easily satisfied with less food. See my video called “Change Your Oils”. Your mitochondria are designed to operate on these healthy natural sources and don’t worry, natural saturated fats will not make you fat. Remember: industrialized seed oils are health disruptors.
Regular exercise enhances all the benefits of fasting.
Move to circulate. That is another way of saying get out of the chair, move away from the work bench or desk and wiggle, dance, jump, swing a kettlebell, or stretch like the yoga teacher taught you. This will shift the fluids in your body, refresh your brain, and relieve micro-tensions.
If it makes you feel Yucky
If you don't feel good on a trial fast, you may be releasing toxins. Try taking some activated charcoal tablets to mop up those toxins. Use caution with the charcoal and stop using it after 3 days. To help avoid constipation, it is recommended you also increase your water intake at the same time.
What to eat when you eat
According to Dr. Jason Fung, The Complete Guide to Fasting, the best diet would emphasize whole, unprocessed foods. You will want to choose foods low in refined carbohydrates and high in natural fats with a moderate amount of protein.
What about special occasions?
The lovely part of becoming a “faster” is the occasional special occasion. Once you become familiar with various fasting options, you don’t need to worry about that piece of wedding cake. Then, after the party, return to the satisfying eating style that allowed you to fit into that new party outfit!
Share your reactions. Have you tried this life-improvement?
I want to know your thoughts. Put any comments or questions in the comment section below.
Autophagy and intermittent fasting: the connection for cancer therapy? - PMC (nih.gov) Nutritional restriction is a promising protocol to modulate autophagy and enhance the efficacy of anticancer therapies while protecting normal cells. 2018
Video: Lose flabby skin with fasting: Autophagy and Fasting: How Ketosis Plays A Role (bozmd.com) Fasting’s anti-aging benefits come directly from the autophagy triggered when people stop eating for longer blocks of time. Fasting triggers two reactions. First, your body finds nutrition although you haven’t consumed any calories. Where? Your body converts old junky proteins from within your cells into energy. Second, your cells experience a burst in growth hormone production. Human growth hormone promotes muscle and bone growth. This compound also pushes your body to empty its fat cells.
Interview with Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi: Yoshinori Ohsumi: Autophagy from beginning to end - PMC (nih.gov)