Have You Ever Done an Extended Fast?
Fasting is the Oldest Form of Healing – Physically and Spiritually
Intermittent Fasting Is One Of The Hottest Topics On The Web Today.
This VERY simple practice can help with Fat Loss, Metabolic Syndrome, Neurological Disorders and resolving Hypoglycemia. WOW!
get into a little Geek-Out on why this practice can help almost everyone living in a modern country.
Several types of fasting exist, the most common of which include:
- Absolute fasting: Involves not eating or drinking, usually for a short period.
- Water fasting: Allows intake of water but nothing else.
- Juice fasting: Also known as juice cleansing or juice detoxing, and usually involves the exclusive intake of fruit and vegetable juices.
- Intermittent fasting: This eating pattern cycles between periods of eating and periods of fasting, which can last up to 24 hours.
There are several ways to approach this practice.
In this article I will discuss:
- Intermittent fasting 101
- How fasting affects your metabolism
- How fasting is the most effective for fat loss
- How fasting affects your immune system
- A Simple Lab Test Can Ensure Your Safety
- How to Begin and End a Fast
Ancestral Autoimmune Protocol
If you have not read these articles,
they may have some important answers, perspective, and guidance.
The Three most effective approaches to Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is just what it sounds like. You take breaks from eating and then you enjoy eating. The easiest way to give this a try is to fast one day a week. You can have water or broth, just no food for 24 hours, once a week.
If you feel that this would make you go crazy, do it with a friend or family member and go crazy together – or not. Keep in mind that Humans have evolved through the worst famines in history, so trust your Ancestor's genes.
Make it an event. Journal, meditate and stretch out the cobwebs of your Soul.
My personal favourite form of IF is called an 18-6 Method. In this version, you basically eat at noon and at 6 PM. Said another way you can eat during a 6-hour window and then fast for the next 18 hours. I usually follow this approach 6 days a week and then go out for a yummy Sunday morning brunch. Mmmmmmmmm…
This is the most extensively used method around the world. Some people use an 8 – 16 0r 10 – 14 split to get started, but this is about fasting. If you are trying to lose weight and fix your metabolism, and you are healthy enough, you may want to stick to this for at least 24 days in a row before starting a weekly brunch break. Some people just eat one HUGE meal a day to really give their metabolism and mind a boost.
Again, you can eat a normal amount of food, so calorie restriction is not the point. The more Nutrient Dense your food is the better your long-term health outcomes will be. But, have fun getting there.
The third approach to IF is to fast for 3-4 days per month or season. This form of Intermittent fasting not only balances your metabolism and gives your brain a boost, it also has amazing benefits for your immune system. Fasting for this long is not easy and it is not for everyone. If you have any serious diagnosed medical condition, have a chat with your clinician to make sure this makes sense and will help you more than hurt you. It is perfectly safe for 90% of people, but you should always make sure if you are being treated for something. On a 3 Day fast, you can have broth with some seaweed and a pinch of sea salt.
RECAP: Get Started with a 24 hour per week fast. Water or broth is allowed.
If you want to change your metabolism, work your way up to a 16 – 18 hours a day fast – (6 days a week)
If you REALLY need to change things up and get some momentum started, try a 3 day fast per month. Water or broth are allowed.
The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous. As de Cabo and Mattson explain, they include
- Healthier Blood Pressure
- Better Heart Rate Variability and Resting Heart Rate
- Improved LEvels of LDL and HDL (Cholesterol Lipoproteins)
- Lower Triglycerides
- Better Glucoise Tolerance
- Reversed Insulin Resistance
- Reduced Inflammatory Markers
- Lowered Oxidative Stress
- Reduction in Arthereosclorotic Plaque
Once you have had a meal, let’s say supper. After you have eaten, for the next four hours you are in a ‘Fed State.’ That essentially means that your metabolism is VERY busy turning your meal into usable nutrients and calories. For the next four hours, your metabolism is in an ‘Assimilative State,’ which means your body is VERY busy putting all of those nutrients into your organs and cells. If, after eight hours, you have not eaten anything, your metabolism shifts into a ‘Fasted State.’
If you had supper at 6:00 PM, you will be in a Fed State until 10:00 PM, then an Assimilative State until 2:00 AM. From then on you are in a Fasted State until you eat Breakfast – a word which comes from break your fast. The basic theory is if you stay in a fasted state for longer, your metabolism will have to adapt to life with deeper resources and processes that you have inherited from your early Ancestors.
If you are interested in the bigger picture and precise changes in your metabolism, listen to the podcast below.
Glucose Tolerance Self Test - link<?>
Here is a link to a podcast where I Geek Out on the science of how it works.
Fasting and Your Metabolism
There are several ways to approach this practice.
If you were to commit to a three-day water fast, this is what would happen to your metabolism.
after 12 hours—
There is a spike in growth hormone. Growth hormone is involved with:
- Fat burning
- Healing joints
- Protein synthesis
Metabolic Effects of Fasting after 18 Hours:
- You develop autophagy. Autophagy is involved with:
- Recycling old and damaged proteins as well as microbes
- Decreased amyloid plaquing
- Reduced AGE’s
Metabolic Effects of Fasting after 24 Hours:
- Depletes your glycogen reserve
- Early activation of Ketogenic Pathways
- Decreased hunger
- Decreased cravings
- Increased antioxidant reserve
- Increased oxygen
- Increased stem cell production – repair
- Better fuel efficiency
- Decreased inflammation
- Gut healing - die-off of rapid cycling bacteria – fast feeding and breeding
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Improved cognitive function
- Brain boost – BDNF – over 300% more than exercise
Metabolic Effects of Fasting after 36 Hours:
- protein sparing (unless catabolic)
- Intracellular yeast/fungus mold destruction
- IGA – increases during a fast – great news for your gut – research has shown even salmonella reduced faster
- Now autophagy is an active metabolic process. Early autophagy is like cleaning your house – but only tables and deesks
After 36 hours you are getting under the couches and beds and even behind your fridge,
Daily salted water
Metabolic Effects of Fasting after 48 Hours:
- Stimulate stem cells
- Decreased risk of cancer/tumors
- Make more mitochondria
Metabolic Effects of Fasting after 72 Hours:
- More stimulation of stem cells
- Better immune function
If you feel agitaded and have intense graving - exercise
Day 4 – 6 are challenging emotionally
Shift in stress tolerance – biochemistry – hormesis – personal adaptability and patience
7 – 10 euphoria also careful
How to get these incredible effects of fasting:
- Do intermittent fasting on a regular basis
- A good average pattern of intermittent fasting is doing 18 hours of fasting with a 6 hour eating window
- Do periodic prolonged fasting to achieve additional fasting benefits
- Take minerals during fasting (water along with nutrients )
- Exercise in the mornings
- You may have increased LDL (This may not be something to worry about)
Potential Intermittent Fasting Benefits:
- Weight loss (especially in the mid-section)
- Cognitive improvements
- Less inflammation
- Improved memory
- Improved quality of sleep
- Less hunger
- Fewer cravings
Potential Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting:
- Spike of uric acid
- You're cold
- Increased stomach acid 6. Feeling nauseated when you eat
- Fainting (only if you do prolonged fasting too quickly)
- Hair loss
Fasting Induces Nutritional Ketosis
The term Nutritional Ketosis refers to a shift in normal human metabolic energy production. Most of us get our energy by eating at least three meals a day. Each meal normally takes about four hours to digest and then another 4 hours to be completely assimilated or metabolized on a cellular level. This is referred to as a ‘Fed’ State.
If your last meal is at 6:00 pm, you are digesting it until 10:00 pm and you will be in a Fed State until your cells have finished the assimilation process at about 2:00 am. If your metabolism is in balance you will gradually shift into Nutritional Ketosis at about 3:00 am. This means your body, and especially your brain will begin to burn fat for calories. This is referred to as a Fasting State and is a normal daily metabolic function.
Well, it used to be…
This only happens if you give your body regular opportunities to make this happen. If not, you will wake up at 3:00 am feeling ready to get up and make breakfast, or break your fast.
So, how does all this really work?
The best way to understand exactly how your body burns fat is to understand how your body burns and stores carbohydrates.
Your Carbohydrate Metabolism
Let’s start with the essentials. Any food that is not a fat or a protein, it is a carbohydrate.
When you eat a carbohydrate it breaks down into a simple sugar like glucose or fructose. As the glucose enters your bloodstream your liver tells your Pancreas to release Insulin, which literally pushes the glucose into your cells. When your cells have enough glucose to do their job, your body starts storing the glucose as glycogen, especially in your muscles. A simple analogy is to think of glucose a quarter and glycogen as a roll of quarters.
If for some reason (hint, hint), you keep adding to the pile of glucose in your blood, your liver will start turning the glycogen into triglycerides. And as you have probably already heard, triglycerides are stored in your fat cells, making them and you ‘bigger’.
On an evolutionary level, this was a rare event and only happened in fall when there was an abundance of fruit and starchy foods to be had. The rest of the year, particularly in Spring, your cells would become little fat-burning machines.
All of this happens inside your trillions of cells, through what is called the Krebs Cycle. This is kind of like a little car engine inside of your cells. This engine loves sugar but will rearrange itself to burn fat, specifically as ketone bodies.
This is the limiting factor in the health of everyone’s metabolism. It takes a while for your Kreb’s Cycle to adapt to changing its primary fuel. For this transition to be successful and comfortable you have to pace your dietary transitions to your individual response.
If you have hypoglycemia or metabolic syndrome or several other metabolic glitches, making this transition is going to test your willpower. The craving and mood swings can get intense. I always recommend my patients move to a low carbohydrate and nutrient-dense diet for a month and then practice intermittent fasting for another month before attempting full Nutritional Ketosis.
Here are the Top Ten reasons everyone is talking about the Ketogenic Diet.
- Consistent Abdominal Fat Loss
- Loser Blood Sugar Levels
- Slower Aging
- Lower Triglycerides
- Lower Blood Pressure
- Better Concentration and Memory
- Increased Stress Tolerance
- Better Mood
- Increased Endurance
- Prevention of most chronic illness (MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, PCOS and Cancer)
Fasting and Your Immune System
Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly
producing new white blood cells, which
- fight off infection.
- beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems,
- such as cancer patients on chemotherapy
- help the elderly whose immune system becomes less effective
The researchers say fasting "flips a regenerative switch"
Fasting directly changes how your immune system functions, which determines your daily symptoms, in five specific ways.
new research suggests starving the body kick-
- Prolonged fasting forces the body to use stores of glucose and fat but also breaks down a significant portion of white blood cells.
- Your body’s first store of choice is glucose, which is mostly found as glycogen in your liver and muscles.
- Once your glycogen is depleted, which generally occurs after 24–48 hours, your body starts using amino acids and fat for energy (1Trusted Source).
- Using large amounts of fat as a fuel source produces by-products called ketones, which your body and brain can use as a source of energy (1Trusted Source).
- Interestingly, one particular ketone — beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) — was observed to benefit the immune system.
- immune cell recycling and limiting the inflammatory response.
In fact, researchers at the Yale School of Medicine observed that exposing human immune cells to BHB in amounts you’d expect to find in the body following 2 days of fasting resulted in a reduced inflammatory response (2Trusted Source).
recent research showed that fasting for 48–72 hours may also promote the recycling of damaged immune cells,
allowing for the regeneration of healthy ones recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged, or producing unnecessary and reactive antibodies due to Autoimmune Dysfunction"
Intermittent fasting has similar benefits, but they take longer to have an impact on your symptoms. A combination of Intermittent Fasting and an Anti-inflammatory Diet have never been tested, but I am confident you would see results almost as soon as a prolonged 2 – 3 day (48 – 72 hour) fast.
fast for between two and four days over a six-month period.
reduced the enzyme PKA, which is linked to ageing and a hormone that increases cancer risk and tumour growth.
A Case Study for Fasting and The Seasonal Flu
Common cold and flu-like symptoms can be caused by either viruses or bacteria.
To be perfectly clear, cold and flu infections are initially caused by viruses, specifically the rhinovirus and influenza virus.
However, being infected with these viruses lowers your defence against bacteria, raising your chances of simultaneously developing a bacterial infection, whose symptoms are often similar to your initial ones.
This Could be an Evolutionary Advantage
Interestingly, there is research to support the idea that the lack of appetite you often feel during the first few days of an illness is your body’s natural adaptation to fighting the infection (4Trusted Source).
Below are three hypotheses that attempt to explain why this might be true.
- From an evolutionary perspective, lack of hunger eliminates the need to find food. This saves energy, reduces heat loss and essentially allows the body to focus solely on fighting off the infection (5Trusted Source).
- Abstaining from eating limits the supply of nutrients, such as iron and zinc, that the infecting agent needs to grow and spread (6Trusted Source).
- The lack of appetite often accompanying an infection is a way to encourage your body to remove infected cells through a process known as cell apoptosis (7Trusted Source).
This study suggested that fasting may best promote healing from bacterial infections, while eating food may be a better way to fight viral infections (8Trusted Source).
Fasting and the Treatment of Chronic Disease
In addition to the potential benefits against infections, fasting may also help with the following medical conditions:
- Type 2 Diabetes:Intermittent fasting may have positive effects on insulin resistance and blood sugar levels for some individuals (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
- Oxidative stress:Intermittent fasting may help prevent disease by limiting oxidative stress and inflammation (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).
- Heart health:Intermittent fasting may reduce heart disease risk factors like body weight, total cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides (15Trusted Source, 16).
- Brain health:Animal and human studies suggest that fasting may protect against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
- Cancer:Short periods of fasting could protect cancer patients against chemotherapy damage and increase treatment effectiveness (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
Fasting and Consistent Fat-Loss
There are several ways to approach this practice.
- the three week rule
- Alternate day Fasting
- resistant starch
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