Have you ever considered...
...fasting? Not eating food for a designated period of time can be an unpleasant or even scary concept for a lot of people (especially those of use who live in the land of plenty). If you're a foodie like me, then you most certainly enjoy healthy food, plain and simple. The prospect of depriving oneself of food for ANY length of time presents an interesting set of questions. Why should I fast? How long do I fast? Do I need to consult my doctor before I fast? Do I fast all food or only certain food? What do I drink during a fast? I will do my best to answer some of these questions and provide guidance on why and how to include fasting in your healthcare routine.
People haven't always had plentiful resources for food storage and food accessibility, such as refrigerators, freezers, and grocery stores. Nowadays, these things are readily available to most people, but they weren't 100 years ago. The human body has since evolved into a modern-day food processor of the not-so-healthy calorie glut that we are faced with consuming very day. It's not the way the human body was designed to function. It makes good health sense to tolerate and even embrace intentional periods of time with either little or no food to cleanse our body and boost our overall health.
You may be one of the lucky few with a great metabolism and who can go without eating and NOT experience a blood sugar crash. If you aren't, which is most of us, then fasting may be the solution you're looking for to improve your health and well-being. That being said, if you have adrenal or thyroid issues, or even other chronic health issues, I highly encourage you to work with someone to guide you through the fasting journey, or consult your doctor before beginning.
Clearly, fasting is not starvation. Long-term starvation slows metabolism, decreases energy, and negatively affects your adrenals and thyroid, among other side effects. On the other hand, you can safely "starve" for a short time period and gain health benefits, especially if you have ample fat.
One fasting method that has been found to be very beneficial is the Fasting Mimicking Diet, invented by Valter Longo. This method involves reduced calorie intake to 40% of your average calories for 5 days every month.
Intermittent fasting compresses the times of day that you are eating into a smaller span of time, such as a 6 or 8 hour eating window, i.e. between noon and 8pm, instead of the normal 10 to 12 hours or more. Optimally, you would have 16 hours of not putting food into your system. This promotes a hormonal reset, improving insulin and blood sugar levels.
Starting gradually is recommended - don't jump into it by doing a multi-day fast. If you feel so inclined to do a 3-5 day fast, work your way up to it. Start with 14 hours, then 18 hours, then 24 hours, and gradually work up to the multi-day fast.
The benefit of a longer fast is that it triggers autophagy, which literally means "self-devouring." One definition is "the maintenance of bodily nutrition by the metabolic breakdown of some bodily tissues." After 24-30 hours on a 3-5 day fast, autophagy kicks in. This process gets rid of all of the dead cells in your body that aren't functioning optimally, which allows your body to create new and robust cells. We all know that if you don't take out the garbage on a regular basis, your home or office will soon get very cluttered with junk.
It's important to note that you should not restrict overall calorie intake in the long term. On a 5-day fast, it's important to ease into it by gradually tapering off what you eat a few days before you begin. And on the days after the fast, really load up on calories. Be sure to consume sufficient water and healthy salt (Himalayan or sea salt).
In order to highlight what a fasting routine might look like, I’ll share what has become my personal goals with regard to fasting. It involves doing a 24-hour fast once a week usually Sunday night after dinner to Monday night dinner. Then once a month I usually stretch that 24-hour fast into a 36-hour fast from Sunday evening after dinner until Tuesday morning when I break-fast. Then once a quarter my goal is to complete a 3-5 day fast.
An unexpected perk of adding regular and intermittent fasting to your overall healthcare routine is that it saves you money. How, you ask? Fewer trips to the grocery store, more money in your pocket! Be sure to watch the video below :)
Have a great week, and as always, please feel free to pass this along!
Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Yoshi Rahm, DO. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or another healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging.
Do not use the information provided in this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or another healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this email.
Information provided in this article and the use of any products or services related to this article by you DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Yoshi Rahm, DO. or any other physician featured in this article. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.