My dear Readers,
First and foremost, my sincere apologies for not blogging for a period of 4 months. In all honesty, I have no real excuse except that I have so much information to share and am overwhelmed by what I should share first. Still, I have no excuse. I do make a pledge though that henceforth, I will try and do at least 2 blogs a month!
Now, let’s get back to the matters at hand.
Fasting is the abstinence from food and it is probably as old as mankind itself.
All three fathers of modern medicine (Hippocrates, Galen and Phillipus Paracelsus) practised fasting concluding, nearly 5 centuries ago, that fasting is the greatest remedy. Plato famously proclaimed that he fasted for ‘greater physical and mental efficiency’.
In this age of over-consumption, we are constantly bombarded with images of food and told that fasting is bad for health. How else are the Big Food companies going to make the Big Money! Their strategy is ingenious really, they have brainwashed an entire generation of people to think that eating constantly is good for their health. When I was doing my thesis on Coca-Cola and Pepsi, I remember reading that Coca-Cola wanted to replace beverages like tea and coffee with its products and devised a strategy to do just that.
Interestingly, all religions, without exception, prescribe fasting for cleansing. Buddhists are encouraged to fast after midday to give the body time to rest and process while both Christians and Muslims have prescribed months of fasting in a calender year. It turns out that the ancients were onto something.
The case for fasting is getting stronger and more scientific research shows the benefits that can be derived from fasting and its positive effects on health.
My own experience with fasting has been interesting, challenging and a revelation. Initially I followed the 16:8 protocol where eating only takes place in an 8 hour window during the day. I would have my last meal at about 8pm or earlier and then not eat until 1pm the following day. Absolutely no snacking in between. I have progressed to a 20-22 hour fasting window now and eat once a day, more or less and sometimes this can extend to 48 hours if I am not hungry. When I fast, I drink coffee with a little bit of milk, bone broth and lots of water. It is really important to keep yourself hydrated.
I did my first 4 day fast a little while ago and after the first 2 days, felt like a million dollars. I had more energy, felt more alert and generally felt pretty good. I could have gone on but social duty called!! I now try and do at least 2 to 3 full 24 hour days of fasting. Some weeks its as easy as pie and other weeks, its harder. The key is to persevere.
So what really is the case for fasting and why is it necessary? Dr. Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore have written a book recently about this very subject. If you are interested then it is available here. I highly recommend that you read it. Dr. Jason Fung has an invaluable series on Fasting where he discusses the need for fasting, its effects on your body and how to fast.
The principal behind the fasting protocol is to lower the levels of insulin in your body. As long as you keep eating, insulin is stimulated and as you know, insulin is a fat storing hormone. As long as you have large amounts of insulin in your body, the insulin resistance cannot be healed adequately nor can you lose weight.
The concept is pretty simple really. Insulin makes you gain weight therefore get rid of anything that overstimulates this hormone. Fasting is the quickest way to do this and produces pretty tangible results from my own experience. Logical, right? Sadly, not so logical for many medical professionals who still advocate insulin injections.
It is also interesting that conventional diets, from my experience, do not address the problem of excess insulin in the body. This is why the weight will eventually come back on. Once the levels of insulin in the body are lower and are sustained at this lower level, your body will have a new set body weight which is considers ‘comfortable’. Provided that the low carb diet is maintained as a lifestyle change, it is easier to then maintain this new weight.
Aside from healing the insulin resistance and the weight loss, it has recently come to light, that fasting aids with autophagy. Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi was, on 3/10/2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his discoveries in the mechanisms of Autophagy. The word Autophagy is derived from Greek words “Auto” meaning self and “Phagein” meaning ” to eat”. Autophagy literally means to eat oneself. Essentially, autophagy is the process by which the body gets rid of all unwanted parts and renews itself. An all Natural Rejuvenation Process, if you will. Imagine, being able to look younger without the help of cosmetics or cosmetic surgery!!! Nightmare for the Capitalists, for sure!!!
In my humble layman’s experience and opinion, Fasting is really the answer to all our prayers. Both in terms of weight loss and health gain.