Fasting has been with us for centuries. Fasting is abstaining from all or some types of foods and drinks. There are many types of fasts and many reasons people choose not to eat.
Most fasts are done one to three days. A daily fast of a set number of hours is called an intermittent fast. People eat during part of the day and fast the remainder of the day. Healthy aging along with reduced health risks are a product of fasting.
A total fast is one that does not activate our metabolic system. Drinking water, unsweetened tea, or coffee does not create a metabolic response – the body reacting to carbohydrates, fats, or proteins and beginning the normal digestive processes.
Some will argue that lime or lemon in a glass of water and sipped over thirty minutes will not create a metabolic response. I agree with them. One lime is about one calorie. One calorie consumed over thirty minutes (give or take) has little to no digestive response.
There are many health-related reasons why people fast. Studies show that blood sugar control is improved during fasting. Caloric restriction is known to reduce the risks of age-related diseases. This is achieved through decreased levels of inflammation. Studies of both fasting and caloric restriction lower inflammatory levels in the body.
Triglyceride and cholesterol levels are decreased during fasting. Blood pressure moderates to a healthy range. Coronary heart disease and diabetes risks are lowered by fasting regimens. Brain function improves and neurodegenerative disorders are reduced through fasting. Interestingly enough, grand mal seizures were controlled by fasting decades ago.
Many people fast to improve their appearance by losing mass and fat. Dieting is not a successful long term compared to changing your lifestyle and eating less food daily. Muscle mass must be sustained to align with the fat loss to maintain good health.
The human growth hormone is secreted more during a fast. This is key to maintaining normal metabolism, weight, and strength. The daily slow degradation in the body’s production of human growth hormone leads to aging and age-related disease. Fasting is probably the easiest way to improve human growth hormone levels in the body.
Many studies show the benefits of extended fasts with delayed aging and longevity. Survival rates and life extension of many animals have been observed with fasting and caloric restriction.
There are a few studies investigating the benefits of fasting and cancer treatment. I do a 72-hour-fast monthly to reset my immune system. The University of Southern California determined this several years ago. Today, they are treating cancer patients with 72-hour-fast and chemotherapy. Fasting and chemotherapy have similar biomarkers for success. However, combining both significantly enhances patient recovery.
Fasting can be water only, juice only, intermittent (a set number of hours daily), partial fasting (restricting certain foods), calorie restriction (total number of calories reduced daily or weekly), and more. Fasting can be done every other day, in conjunction with the moon, one meal a day (OMAD), ketogenic (mostly fat and little to no carbohydrates), low-fat, low-carb, and more.
I did the Atkins Diet in the mid-90s. I read five books on the subject before I started and felt it was safe for me to do. I did it for six years. I lost lots of weight and kept it off. My annual flight examinations were all normal.
I was living in Germany for a couple of years during this time and drove down to Italy for long weekends (three or four days). I would eat bread and pasta and gain twelve pounds over that weekend. It would take me about twelve to fourteen days to lose the pounds I had gained eating the foods I avoided on Atkins.
What I did not know until I retired from the military and had my first bone density test was that I was osteopenia (losing bone density). I had been a runner and lifted weights for decades and never figured that I would have bone density problems.
It turned out that my body was in acidosis from eating too many fats and proteins. My body’s pH was consistently below 7.0. The same thing happens when you eat carbohydrates and not enough fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables leave the body in an alkaline state. Breathing, exercising, digesting food, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins leave the body in an acidic state. There must be more alkaline intake to keep the body alkaline. Otherwise, the body will leach calcium from the bones to maintain blood pH at 7.35-7.45. That is how I developed osteopenia.
There are many benefits to fasting. Do not start any type of fast without checking with your physician first, especially if you are taking any kind of prescription drugs, have high blood pressure, pre-diabetic, low blood sugar, or have other risks that can be exacerbated by fasting. Hydration is critical when fasting.
Angus Barbieri fasted under a doctor’s care for 382 days on tea, coffee, soda water, and vitamins. He lost 276 pounds.
Life Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – https://RedOLaughlin.com