By Keiyia George
Last issue, we covered some basics about fasting. Many myths were debunked. For instance:
There are WAY more myths that can be debunked than these, but I think these may be the most common ones. In this issue, we will not spend so much time on that, though. Instead, I will focus on autophagy. Autophagy is the process of your body recycling damaged, diseased, old, and sick cells. It’s the Department of Waste Management (not to mixed up with the digestive system’s waste system). This department waits until the optimum time to do its searching and recycling. It looks for them, finds them, eats them, strips them for spare parts, and makes new, better, stronger cells or uses them for a clean energy source. Are you looking for a true way to detox your body? Well, this is it! Forget the drink mix. Drink the huge juicer. Let autophagy do what it was designed to do.
How to Get There
There are quite a few ways to get the body to recycle itself. One is exercising. Scientists have not confirmed the exact numbers to get into it for humans, but they did find an increase in rats after a 30-minute tread run. Another way is to keep the carbs low. If truth be told, at the beginning of lower your carbs, your body will go through several phases including cravings, grumpiness, and low energy. It WILL pass though. This method forces your body to go to your cells and use fat as an energy source (remember the body is super smart). But the best, quickest, cleanest, most detoxifying way to let autophagy happen is to fast! Yes! FAST!!!! Fasting does more than help you lose weight, it helps your body run efficiently and cleaner through autophagy.
In a fasted state, the body can rest from digesting. You know that ‘i-tis’ you get after a big meal? Digesting takes up so much of your energy that it literally forces you to lay down and do nothing so that it can do what it needs to do. That’s why you get sleepy after a heavy meal. You are overworking your body! How can the body heal if it is spending all of its time digesting? It is not possible.
So what do you do? You simply stop eating! Super easy! For the disciplined mind, this may be easy. For the undisciplined mind, you can start small. Miss the first meal of each day. Break your fast for the day at noon or later instead of 8 AM. If your last meal was at 8 PM the night before, you’ve just fasted for your first 16+ hours. Depending on what your last meal was, your healing should have commenced around midnight. If this is the case, you’ve had 12 hours of healing! And that’s a great start.
While there is no definite time that is the same for everyone, a study that looked at liver cells found that the auto phagosomes (which is what is produced when a cell digests itself) increased by 300% after the first 24 hours of fasting. When looking at the numbers again 36 and 48 hours later, the study showed an additional 30% increase. Running a few 48-hour fasts back to back can do wonders for the healing of your body! Fasting for 1-3 days a week (having water, black coffee, and herbal teas only) can help you see a great improvement in your overall help. So why not give it a try?
Benefits of Autophagy
There are numerous benefits to fasting. Just looking at a summary of the studies can lead you to believe that EVERY illness and disease can be healed if the body can be left to simply do that: heal.
Psychological– The best thing about reaching the maximum level of autophagy is the mental satisfaction of accomplishing something. The Navy SEALS are trained to feel accomplished because a mind that accomplishes can accomplish anything. They train that you should always make your bed when you get out of it. By doing so, you have accomplished something.
The same concept can be applied to fasting. Setting a fasting goal and accomplishing it gives you the satisfaction that you can do it! And that satisfaction can be euphoric. As a matter of fact, it WILL be euphoric! Your body no longer controls your brain. Instead, your brain now has control over your body and that’s the perfect place to be. Food will no longer rule you.
The other psychological benefit is that your brain is using a better energy source called ketones. When glucose is low, the body uses some of its reserved glycogen stored in the muscles and liver. Before they are depleted, the body turns to its fat cells. When this happens, the cell’s mitochondria (used convert food to energy) uses the ketones to produce energy. These energies that are produced cause the fog in the brain to be lifted and you are able to think clearer.
Life-Saving – Autophagy may be one of (I said ‘one of’ not ‘the most important’) the most life-saving processes your body does. When you are extremely stressed or have infections, autophagy kicks in to minimize damage to the body and its organs. Just think: a weak immune system (the cells) cannot fight off anything. Strengthen the cells of the immune system and the immune system can be more effective.
Improve Quality and Length of Life – Recent studies have shown that cells that are undergoing autophagy recycle cells rather than take in new nutrients. They also remove toxins and repair themselves. Repaired cells are more efficient cells. Efficient cells create a more efficient body. An efficient body is a better quality life and that leads to a better quality of life.
Autophagy Minimizes Apoptosis – Apoptosis is the process a cell goes through when the cell dies. When a cell dies, it’s not a clean process. It leaves wastage and junk throughout the body. In order to clean it up, inflammation must happen. Who reading this enjoys inflammation? Raise your hand…no one I bet. If there are more cells that are repairing cells BEFORE they become too damaged and die, then there is less to become inflamed. The energy can instead be used to renew more cells, such as skin cells which can clear up baggy, stress, saggy, or damaged skin. With autophagy, your body will have more repair and less clean-up.
Other Benefits – There are a ton more benefits to getting into constant autophagy.
This list can go on and on and on and on and… As you look at the basic definition of what autophagy is, you can find a new area in your life that this process is beneficial too. The longer you fast, the better off you are. Periods will differ from person to person as health levels are different from person to person. You have to spend some time to get to know your body. Gauge what works and what doesn’t work. Look at what affects you and how it does and adjust accordingly. Not everything is for everyone, so how you get here is your own personal path. One thing you can be sure of though: autophagy IS for everyone.
Next time we will cover Types of Fast. Stay tuned.