There is a lot of buzz around fasting lately. But what actually is fasting? And what are the benefits? Fasting has been shown to have benefits for weight loss, general health, and even cancer prevention. In this post, we will explore the science behind fasting, the different methods of fasting, and the benefits of fasting for weight loss and general health.
The Scientific Benefits of Fasting
Fasting Stimulates Autophagy
What is autophagy? Autophagy literally means “self-eating” and is the process by which your body’s cells break down and recycle old, damaged, or unnecessary parts. This is a normal and necessary process that happens all the time in every cell of your body.
In times of stress, such as during fasting, autophagy is ramped up in order to help your body survive and thrive. When you fast, you are effectively putting your cells under mild stress which signals to them that they need to adapt in order to survive. In response, they increase their production of enzymes that break down cellular waste products so that they can be used for energy or rebuilding new cells.
Why is autophagy important for your overall health?
There are many benefits of autophagy, including:
Boosting immunity and preventing chronic disease
Autophagy helps to get rid of pathogens and damaged cells that can lead to chronic inflammation and disease.
Detoxifying the body
Fasting gives your organs a much needed break from processing food and toxins. During fasting, autophagy helps to clear out cellular debris and toxins that have built up over time. You can accelerate the process by implementing some low intensity fasted cardio as well.
Improving brain health
Autophagy has been shown to improve cognitive function, protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even help with depression.
Slowing down the aging process
Since autophagy helps to get rid of old, damaged cells, it can help to slow down the aging process. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, “”
Improve cognitive performance
Fasting helps to clear out cellular debris and toxins that have built up over time. This allows your brain to function more effectively, with improved focus, concentration, and memory. In addition, fasting has been shown to protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and even help with depression.
Fasting and cancer prevention
Studies show that fasting can help to prevent cancer by inducing autophagy. In one study, rats that fasted for 24 hours had a significant decrease in the number of precancerous cells in their colon. In another study, fasting was found to reduce the growth of tumors and the spread of cancer cells.
So as you can see, there are many benefits to fasting that go beyond weight loss. When done correctly, fasting can be a powerful tool for improving your overall health.
Different Types of Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a type of fasting where you eat within a specific time frame and then fast for the rest of the day. There are different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common way is to fast for 16 hours and then eat during an 8-hour window.
Generally with intermittent fasting, the smaller you keep your eating window, the better the benefits. This is by far the most popular method of fasting because it is the easiest to follow and doesn’t require any special foods or supplements.
OMAD is an acronym for One Meal A Day. With OMAD fasting, you only eat one meal a day and then fast for the rest of the day.
As with intermittent fasting, generally the smaller your eating window, the better the benefits. This type of fasting is a little more difficult to follow than intermittent fasting because it can be tough to fit all your calories into one meal. But it can be a great way to really focus on getting high quality nutrients from your food.
Water fasting is exactly what it sounds like – you only drink water during your fast.
Water fasting is a great way to detoxify your body and can be especially helpful if you are struggling with health issues like chronic inflammation, autoimmune diseases, or cancer. However, water fasting is not safe for everyone and should only be done under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. Typically water fasting is done in conjunction with extended fasting (24 hours or more) for the purposes of weight loss and detox.
Salt Water Fasting or Snake Diet Fasting
Salt water fasting is a type of fasting where you drink primarily salt water during an extended fast. The human body is an adaptive machine, and as such it has developed unique hormonal adaptations to deal with the scarcity of food. The Snake Diet takes this into account by adjusting your diet according not only what you eat but when in order for these natural responses can occur at their most powerful state.
The Snake Diet challenges mainstream dogma by promoting extended periods of fasting followed with small windows feeding. The idea is that humans are built to fast, not eat all the time and this concept has been preserved in many cultures around world including Native American tribes who would go for months at a stretch without consuming any food .
Meal frequency isn’t something new; we’ve always sought ways (both physical & mental) to avoid feeling hungry because when our bodies feel denied something it wants back: blood sugar levels rise which causes stress hormones like cortisol – that’s the fight or flight response kicking in.
NOTE: It’s not just any salt in your salt water or “Snake Juice” recipe. It’s actually a specific blend of Pink Himalayan Salt and Potassium Chloride. This provides a heavy dose of electrolytes which curbs hunger, provides organ support, and helps keep your energy up.
Snake Juice is sold in sachets or can also be very cheaply made at home and is made up of the following ingredients:
- 2 liters of water
- 2 g of Himalayan pink salt
- 5 g of salt-free potassium chloride
Prolonged fasting has many health benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improved blood sugar control. Fasting for longer periods of time also allows your body to detoxify and heal from the inside out. And while water fasting is the most popular type of prolonged fasting, there are other methods that can be just as effective such as prolonged salt water fasting (a method of prolonged fasting we prefer).
How Long Should I Fast?
The length of your fast will depend on your goals. If you are fasting for weight loss, you may want to try fasting for 16-24 hours at a time or an OMAD protocol that fits your lifestyle (either eat in the morning or evening). If you are fasting for detox or healing purposes, you may consider fasting for 24-72 hours at a time.
How Should I Come Off A Fast?
When coming off a fast, it is important to slowly reintroduce food back into your system. This can be done by gradually adding in more complex carbohydrates (like fruits and vegetables) and healthy proteins. It is also important to drink plenty of water and electrolytes during this time.
In conclusion, fasting has many benefits for weight loss and general health. While there are different types of fasting that can be effective, the best way to find what works best for you is to experiment with different methods until you find one that fits your lifestyle and goals. Be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any type of fasting regimen.