There is ѕсiеntifiс rеѕеаrсh thаt proves intеrmittеnt fаѕting hаѕ mаnу health bеnеfitѕ.
Actually, there is a lot to discuss when it comes to good fasting behavior and why is it so good for our health.
How can you use the Pyramid of Fasting to lighten the load that each food is producing in your body?
What are the physical, spiritual, and mental benefits of Intermittent Fasting?
In this article I am going to explain to you the whole process of fasting and the benefits that come with it.
What are the benefits of intermittent fasting to human body?
A fasting lifestyle has many benefits to human being. It involves not only abstinence from food but also a spiritual fasting.
When you pause eating, you can prevent certain illnesses from occurring. This will help your organs function better.
Here’s my take on the physical benefits of fasting, from the infographic:
Small Intestine Health
Let me know in the comments your fasting experience.
How does fasting work?
During fаѕting, the bоdу firѕt brеаkѕ down glусоgеn intо glucose fоr еnеrgу. After thаt, the bоdу inсrеаѕеѕ fаt brеаkdоwn to рrоvidе еnеrgу. Excess аminо асidѕ (thе building blocks оf рrоtеinѕ) аrе also uѕеd fоr energy, but the bоdу dоеѕ not burn its own muѕсlе fоr fuеl.
How to have ketones present in your bloodstream?
Ketones = Fuel for your body
When you fast, the cells switch from metabolizing glucose, or sugar, to burning fatty acids, or ketones:
After 12 hours of fasting you get into the low sugar mode.
Body uses fat as primary energy source.
Liver produces ketones from fatty acids. Ketones are the only fuel produced by your organism alone.
Now the brain and red blood cells use ketones for their energy.
Your body cleans itself through the entire process.
Your body uses three sources of energy: protein, fat and carbohydrates. Of these three, fat gives you double the energy. So, burning 10 grams of fat will give you twice as many calories as same amount of proteins or carbs.
But fat is almost sugar neutral.
Fat is the nutrient that has the least effect on blood sugar fluctuation over time:
The quickest way to gain fuel is to consume carbohydrates. Complex carbs, such as starches, need to be further broken-down during digestion.
Protein requires insulin for metabolism, as do carbohydrate and fat, but has minimal effects on blood glucose levels.
All carbs are transformed into sugar, except from fibers. For this reason, white bread and white rice are high glycemic.
There are multiple types of fat:
Saturated fats are the most common. You found them in chicken meat, beef, lamb, and pork, and also in butter, milk, and cheese.
Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both polyunsaturated fats. Their molecule contains more than one unsaturated carbon bond. Those oils are liquid at room temperature. Food with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include fish, while some seeds and nuts are high in omega-6. You should strive to stick with the ideal omega-3/omega-6 ratio which is 1:1.
The most common source of monosaturated fat (omega-9) is avocado.
Intermittent Fasting = Naturally Induced Ketones
Abstinence from certain or all foods is what we call intermittent fasting. You can restrict your intake for a few hours up to a few days at a time and resume a normal diet later.
It’s fashionable to say, “I am fasting,” especially in today’s world. Beyond its health and lifestyle benefits, intermittent fasting help you in other ways.
By having a dedicated time when you abstain from food, you strengthen your will. Unlike traditional diets, intermittent fasting is not about what you eat, but about when you (don’t) eat.
The easy way to fast is to skip breakfast or lunch or dinner. Or you can start by doing this:
Finish your last meal at 6 P.M., so at 8 P.M. your body switches to “ready for bed” mode. The circadian rhythms for processing energy go down.
Now, at about 4:00-5:00 A.M, growth hormone, adrenaline etc. – all get pumped up. Early in the morning, you’re basically activating yourself for the day.
This means, you are already ready and energized, so the need for food is only psychological. You can skip your hunger and have your first meal at 12 P.M.
Why does this matter?
By doing this you are following an 18/6 fasting protocol.
Doing such an intermittent fast means that you are eating within a 6-hour window and fasting for 18 hours. This is really a good thing for your physical and spiritual health.
More eating arrangements:
12:12 (Fast for 12 hours and eat within a 12-hour window) – the easiest type of intermittent fasting.
15:9 (Fast for 15 hours and eat within a 9-hour window).
16:8 (Fast for 16 hours and eat within a 8-hour window).
Also you can try OMAD (One Meal a Day) or 2MAD.
Now I want to hear from you:
What Intermittent Fasting protocols have you tried?
Let me know by leaving a quick comment.
I do an intermittent fasting protocol: I dip in and out of ketosis. I do one week of ketosis where I have ketones present in my bloodstream and then I do a higher protein cycle after that. I always postpone my first meal as long as I can. I’ve usually been up for about four or five hours before I eat. I’m up around 4 A.M, so by the time I eat, it’s usually 8 or 9 A.M. Every day I am in bed by 9:00 P.M.
If I have a meal late at night and I go to sleep after an hour and a half, I don’t get it to the deep sleep that I normally do. My heart rate never goes down into the 40-beats-per-minute range. It stays up high. It needs to slow down, and if you have food, the factory is open and the heart is moving stuff around it and can’t slow down. Your heart needs that rest at night.
What breaks your fast?
Water has almost no calories, so, it has little effect of your intake of energy. It takes only 15 minutes to be digested.
Water is the only thing permissible to eat when you fast and don’t want to break your fast. But tea (2Kcal) and coffee (2Kcal) are also safe to consume under some circumstances. Anything above 50 Kcal will also break your intermittent fasting.
As a rule of thumb, 1 day of dry fasting equals 3 days of water fasting. This is because if you do not stay hydrated then your body will alarm other mechanisms. Your organs need to work harder and so you gain more quickly the fasting result.
Minerals in water
Won’t I become nutrient deficient if I am water-fasting?
No. Pick the right type of water. It is called mineralized water. Or look for the water label. Water has all necessary minerals for your body: calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, copper, potassium, and others. Look for the water label to see adequate amounts contained.
Research of the University of Southern California: Fasting for 2-4 days on a regular basis over a 6-month period could reduce the risk of cancer and tumor growth. 3
Here I will give you a few tips on what therapeutic fasting is and who can practice it. First, one principle: Anything that is done wrong or without any recommendations from a specialist can be harmful for your health. This is also valid for fasting.
As Hippocrates said:
“Everyone has a physician inside him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick is to feed your sickness.” – Hippocrates
We can use fasting as a way of healing – and it works physically, psychically, and spiritually. There are numerous testimonies from people who healed through fasting. Listen to the Apostle who said: “Whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12, 10).
Therapeutic fasting process
As Dr. Michael Klaper said: everyone can do a three-day water fast at home. It’s a lovely reset.
But therapeutic fasting is not simple.
Below, we have tried to explain the process of a 40-day water-only fasting protocol:
From Day 3, your insulin level goes down and you start metabolizing fat tissues. Ketones come into the bloodstream and will suppress hunger.
On Day 4 the energy that’s used to digest your food is freed up. This is why you feel light and energetic. A sensation of hunger pangs may come.
But why is so important not to start this journey alone? Because being in a supportive environment really helps a lot. Watch this video.
Somewhere inDay 4 to Day 10, you will feel the difference of having other people (even a dietician) who know about what you are doing. Just being together in the same spirit with someone else really helps.
A 40-day fasting protocol is not for everyone.
You might think you will starve to death. Some people would be better off with a different approach then long-term fasting.
No matter of what diseases you are suffering you can feel a change for the better. You can even start to get twinges of pain on and off. You learn that now, this moment, right now is the only one that matters…
Don’t forget to thank God if you manage to arrive on Day 20. It is the middle of a journey of huge blessing for you, a source of healing. Again, do not go alone on it.
Be very careful to start the re-feeding process by eating food that is easily digested.
Many people used long-term water only fasting to heal from various sickness. Fasting: The Movie, a documentary, shows a woman healed of a never-ending headache. She went down to the True North Health Center. The pain had been reduced progressively. Finally, on Day 41, she had had a whole day without pain for the first time in 16 years.
After she had ended the 40-Day fasting protocol, she asked Dr. Goldhamer to continue. But it was too soon. She needed to rebuild her nutritional reserves.
Well, the length of the fast does matter. When fasting 40 days, it will take at least six months to rebuild your nutritional reserves.
She had tried all alternatives, everything that traditional western medicine had to offer. That’s why her witness is important.
What’s the bottom line?
Prolonged fasting can be done safely at a fasting clinic.
Medically Supervised Fasting Clinics
If you live in the U.S., my advice is to call to one of the medically supervised fasting clinics available. On this map are a few, but their number is increasing.
Click on the specific center to find what supervised fasting facilities they offer:
TrueNorth Health Center – Santa Rosa, California – (707) 586-5555
Fasting Escape Center – Yorba Linda, California – (714) 936-6367
Dr. Cinque’s Health Retreat – Buda, Texas – (512) 295-4256
Balance for Life Florida – Deerfield Beach, Florida – (954) 947.5888
Dr. Gracie’s Wellness Center – West Farmington, Ohio – (330) 989-8099
Some of those centers requires a Non-Refundable Deposit: $260 to $500 per person. Many are offering services like daily doctor visits and consultations. Laboratory tests and evaluations are also included. You may be eligible to have some fees reimbursed by health insurance or Medicare.
TrueNorth Health Center is one of the popular fasting clinics in the U.S.. Single room prices vary from $149 to $369/night. Double rooms costs start at $139/night each with the most expensive being $219/night each.
Fasting Escape Retreat Center is offering educational programs. You have meals before and after the fast, and Internet access. Accommodation and medical supervision here will cost you $199/night (single) or $159/night (double)..
Dr. Cinque’s Health Retreat Rates are from $130/day – private room and $120/day – shared room (must come together).
Balance for Life Retreats Florida slogan is Cleanse Your Mind Body & Spirit. Their offer includes Whole Foods Plant-Based Menu, Juice Cleansing and liquid-only fasting. Prices vary depending on the length of stay. 6 Nights Single of Water Fasting ~ $516/night.13 Nights Double of Water Fasting ~ $415/night.
For our friends living outside the U.S., here is a list of clinics from all over the world:
Buchinger Wilhelmi offers many therapy packages. The cheapest single room here costs 3.340 € for 10 days of fasting. Included are compulsory initial and final medical consultations and relaxation programs.
Ascetics recommend “moderate” fasting, according to your own nature and occupation.
Don’t allow the body to be weakened too much, for then the soul, too, is harmed. 38
Don’t undertake fasting too suddenly. Everything demands practice.
ASK A DOCTOR BEFORE COMBINING DRUGS & FASTING! It can be lethal.
Be very careful when taking insulin or metformin.
Woman should limit fasting during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
What makes a healthy lifestyle?
The Pyramid of Fasting. It’s not what you eat – it’s how you eat. How to chew your food? How to quit addictions and break bad habits? Active people: the importance of sleep and exercise.
This chapter provides advice for a healthy lifestyle, backed up by ancient wisdom.
The Pyramid of Fasting
The Pyramid of Fasting provides guidance for your physical and psychic load when consuming different types of food.
The inspiration for the Pyramid of Fasting comes from Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Pyramid of Fasting describes the load that each food is producing in our body. At the universal level we include water.
The next level is Plant-Based Foods, except oil and wine. This includes grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and even honey. Not any kind of oil.
Alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
The tertiary level of the pyramid describes the situation when we add wine and oil to our meal.
The forth level is fish. Finally, comes dairy products and meat.
If you want to “lighten your physical load,” meat should be the first thing to go, or at least to be eaten in moderation.
What makes a healthy lifestyle?
There are many well-known factors:
First: Make sleep a priority.
Nowadays people are not getting enough hours of sleep, and those are of poor quality. As Arianna Huffington proves in her book: The Sleep Revolution, lack of sleep is like being drunk.
Second: Most people in big cities are missing good air quality. Try to open your windows every morning for 15 minutes and take a deep breath. Freshen up the indoor air and oxygenate your brain.
Again, drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Finally, practice sport daily:
Swimming is one of the healthiest sports. Whatever you choose it is important to be consistent. If you are going to walk, walk for 30 minutes every day. No cheating. If you are going jogging, do this
systematically. Same about cycling.
Don’t grieve over changing foods but rejoice over the health of your soul (St. Basil the Great’s First Homily on Fasting).
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
At 6 o’clock I get on my bike, I go down to the gym, and then I go back again for my breakfast. I like the empty stomach workout because I have enough fat that I will survive a one-hour workout and a one-hour bike ride.
I get a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and I stick it under the tongue, and when you do that you feel like you had a meal, and so you’re telling your body: everything is okay.
- 100% Organic / Bio
- Local food
- Without chemicals
- Pesticides free
- Hormone and preservative free
- Locally sourced, grass-fed animal foods
- Local, organic and farm-fresh dairy products
- Added sugar
- Overly processed foods
- Junk food
- Food with preservatives, additives, pesticides
- Bad carbs
- Foods full of trans fats
- Hydrogenated oils
Limit the saturated fats
How can I overcome addictions with fasting?
First, fasting is not a diet, it is a way of life. It is not so important what you eat, but how you eat. Start by abstaining from food during certain periods. If you do not snack every time, you are on the good path. Then slowly but surely try not to partake of meat and diary on Wednesdays and Fridays.
This is similar with 5:2 diet. If you do this you will be in communion with 200 million people who follow the Orthodox fasting rule.
This little step can help you with your addiction and to overcome bad habits. You can personalize even more your own fasting diet: if you are a chocolate eater, do one month of no-sugar fasting. You have the ability to improve your discipline.
What things are you doing wrong? Try to improve in those areas of your life. You can overcome your addiction, if you really want to. Porn addiction can be defeated (nofap). Quit smoking, give up sugar, and overcome bad habits.
How to break the bad habits?
Below is my improved version of the progressive extremism technique step by step:
- Pick something that you know you want to stop. Eating, in this case, if food is the behavior we’re trying to change. The criterion is to pick something that you can give up without too much trouble.
- Set specific time and space when it is valid. For example: You must be at home (=space) between 6 P.M. and 12 P.M. (=18:6 intermittent fasting).
- Give it up for the rest of your life when you meet conditions from step 2. Example: when you are at home you will never eat from 6 P.M. to 12 P.M. (18:6).
I tried specific progressive extremism and even I was surprised how easy it was to stick to the hours.
Want to know how to stop overeating? First, you can give to the poor what remains over. Second, try to stop eating while still hungry – before your last or penultimate sip. Think of this: you are full and want more… Then repeat in your mind: finish, finish, finish!
Third: Slow down and enjoy your food! It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. So, chew, chew, and chew some more. Count to 30-40-50-60 bites if you need to. Practice chewing until your jaw is tired 39.
”Drink your food and chew your water” – Ancient Chinese Taoism proverb. This means chew your food in mouth until it becomes liquid. You can incorporate as much of your saliva with your food to mix the amylase and to begin the process of digestion.
When you do drink water chew that as well to clean your mouth before you swallow.
Do not focus on what you eat, but on how you eat. Leave the table feeling good in your soul, even if all you ate was a baloney sandwich!
Eat at a table, without distractions like the television. Savor a meal, pay attention to tastes and textures, and appreciate each mindful bite.
What are the benefits of eating slowly?
- It gives your body time to recognize that you are full 40.
- Helps you eat less 41 42.
- The more you masticate, the more you expose food to the anti-bacterial enzyme (lysozyme) 43.
- Saliva, which is alkaline may help neutralize any acid that refluxes from the stomach 44.
- It helps to lubricate the food, allowing for less stress on your esophagus 45.
- Decreases the risk of food poisoning.
- It can encourage good oral health.
The best way to quit addiction is prevention.
Fasting is for those who have courage and vision of mind. And it helps also in marriage. It is like a castle for couples and like a brilliant ornament for woman, because a husband lives in harmony with his wife when he sees her fasting. A wife doesn’t fall apart with jealousy and happily accepts the husband she sees fasting.46
Fasting fits very well at all ages.
Children who fast have fewer weight-related health and medical problems. There is a lot of info out there about how can kids do intermittent fasting. It is a great instrument to find the root cause of why of all their problems occur. I encourage children over the age of 7 to begin fasting.
Fasting is an instructor of youth, because it teaches discipline. It helps to gain control of those things that are indeed within our control but that we so often allow to control us.
Fasting is an adornment for the old. The benefits of fasting apply to elderly persons that take part in it.
If you feel hungry, you are probably improving your health.
- Fresh fruits, raw honey
- Homemade, whole, real bread
- Brown and wild rice
- Legumes, such as black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and others
- Yogurt and milk
- Added sugar
- Processed grains
- Baked goods made with white flour, pastries
- White pasta
- White rice
- French fries
- Snack foods: chips, crackers, and pretzels
- Candies and standard milk chocolates
- Sugary drinks, fruit juices
For every 1g of carbs, you hold 3.7 – 4g of water
We do not recommend skipping bread completely.
Why does this matter?
Because two slices of whole, homemade (real) bread/day has many benefits for your brain.
What are you losing when not eating bread? Mineral salts. Calcium, magnesium, potassium. Chlorine, sulfur, silicon, zinc, manganese, cobalt, copper, iodine, arsenic, phosphorus. Amidon. Vitamins: A, B, E, K, D, PP. Ferments, diastases, antioxidants, vegetable pigments, phytohormones, glycosides, alkaloids, tannins.
Spirulina & Chlorella Provide More Protein than Red Meat
There is no vitamin or protein that you find in meat which cannot be found in natural, herbal sources.
You might be wondering:
How to completely replace meat in your diet, without missing proteins? You can add one teaspoon of spirulina and/or chlorella to each meal. This will give you four grams of protein per teaspoon. Both spirulina and chlorella contain all of the essential amino acids you need.
But here’s the kicker:
Chlorella bio is the best vegan B12 source.
This vitamin is almost only present in animal foods. Algae are the building block of a genuine vegan B12 supply.
We recommend powder over tablets. Always buy bio/organic chlorella.
ORGANIC ON A BUDGET
Fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues. Organic label matters most for:
Apple Strawberry Grape Celery Peach
Spinach Bell-pepper Nectarine Cucumber Cherry-tomato
Snap-pea Potato Hot-pepper Blueberry Lettuce
Fruits and vegetables with the lowest pesticide residues.
Safe not to buy organic:
Avocado Pineapple Cabbage Sweet-pea Onion
Asparagus Mango Kiwi Eggplant Grapefruit
Cantaloupe Cauliflower Sweet-potato Melon Watermelon
All foods have a pH value and are either acid-forming, alkaline-forming or have neutral pH. 47
There’s a mild euphoria. I’m in a much better mood, my focus is better, and there’s a constant supply of energy. I just feel a lot healthier. It’s helping me be a better CEO.
Getting into fasting is definitely one of the top two or three most important things I’ve done in my life.
Here are 5 psychological benefits of fasting. That includes also mental benefits. And they’re backed by science.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
- Strengthens willpower, helping to achieve your goals
- Helps with self-discipline
- Cools anger
- Great control over your thoughts
- Tempers the body’s sexual impulses
- Helps with building of confidence
- Frees from passions, lust, vanity, lies, envy, pride, and hypocrisy
- Nourishes the soul, feeds the mind
- Destroys a guilty conscience
- Repels temptation
- Calms the senses
- The heart is humbled
Intermittent fasting is not just a proven way to heal from various illnesses but also a great way to be a better person, both physically and spiritually. Receive fasting into your home as a habit. You can observe Lent.
Another aspect about fasting is that it is compulsory when it comes to blood tests. You want your blood test to look good, so make sure that you are not influencing your results. Have at least eight hours of fasting before your blood test. Do not exercise and do not drink coffee, chew gum, or anything like that.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What you think about fasting, and how good is or was for you?
Or maybe you have unanswered questions.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.References:
- Apparent prolongation of the life span of rats by intermittent fasting – Carlson AJ, Hoelzel F.
- Influence of short-term repeated fasting on the longevity of female (NZB×NZW)F1 mice – Hiroshi Sogawa, Chiharu Kubo
- Study Finds That Fasting For 72 Hours Can Regenerate The Entire Immune System
- In pursuit of healthy aging
- Keto and Intermittent Fasting
- Your Complete Guide to Keto Intermittent Fasting
- Are There Any Proven Benefits to Fasting?
- Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program – Dale E. Bredesen
- Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: Two potential diets for successful brain aging
- Intermittent Fasting in Refractory Epilepsy
- Intermittent Fasting and ADHD
- Water, Hydration and Health
- Benefits Of Water Fasting For Skin Health And Acne
- Harvard study shows the surprising impact of intermittent fasting on the aging process
- I fasted for 24 hrs. Here’s what happened.
- Short-term fasting induces profound neuronal autophagy – Mehrdad Alirezaei, Christopher C. Kemball (Department of Immunology and Microbial Science; The Scripps Research Institute; La Jolla, CA USA)
- Fasting: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Applications – Valter D. Longo, Mark P. Mattson
- 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- How to Do Intermittent Fasting on a Keto Diet
- Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. (Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago)
- Effects of intermittent fasting on metabolism in men – Fernanda Reis de Azevedo, DimasIkeoka, BrunoCaramelli
- The pros and cons of intermittent fasting
- 7 Benefits of Fasting + the Best Types of Fasting
- Fasting Research
- Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of hypertension – Goldhamer A (Center for Conservative Therapy, Penngrove, Calif, USA)
- Medically supervised water-only fasting in the treatment of borderline hypertension – Goldhamer AC (TrueNorth Health Center, Rohnert Park, CA 94928, USA)
- Effects of fasting therapy on irritable bowel syndrome
- Fasting For Just A Day Can Regenerate Your Stem Cells
- Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging
- Fasting boosts stem cells’ regenerative capacity
- The Silicon Valley execs who don’t eat for days: ‘It’s not dieting, it’s biohacking’
- Increased p70s6k phosphorylation during intake of a protein-carbohydrate drink following resistance exercise in the fasted state – Deldicque L
- Fasting and Polycystic diseases – Dr. Jason Fung
- Tina’s 26-day Water Fast to heal HPV and create greater emotional balance
- Natural cure for HPV? (Ascorbic acid)
- Intermittent dietary restriction may boost physical endurance
- Dr. Dale Bredesen on Preventing and Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease
- Way of the Ascetics
- “Drink Your Food and Chew Your Drink”
- All About Eating Slowly – Brian St. Pierre
- 7 Tips to Eat Slower so You Can Move Faster –
- How Eating More Slowly Can Help You Lose Weight
- Drink your food and chew your water – John Immel
- Chew on this – 7 reasons not to gobble up your food
- Eat slowly and chew food well to prevent acid reflux
- St. Basil the Great’s First Homily on Fasting
- The ultimate acid-alkaline food and drink chart
- The Diet Trick That Will Keep Jet Lag at Bay This Thanksgiving