Fasting, my favourite topic. Fasting has been called the great equalizer, and I absolutely agree.
If you take away nothing else from this course, please, consider implementing some kind of fasting routine or protocol into your day to day life. The benefits are just too many and too massive to ignore at this point.
Both for your health and immunity.
When we fast, we induce something called autophagy in the body, which literally means self-eating. This is a process where our body cleans up toxins and dead, sick, weakened, and diseased cells. Basically, any unwanted material that otherwise would remain in our body and cause problems gets recycled into healthy building blocks for new cells. This is a natural and vital process that you will induce and support through fasting.
If we just keep eating and eating and eating from the moment we wake up in the morning to when we go to bed, every day, like most people do, our body only has a few hours of sleep to dedicate to this process of autophagy, so you never get a proper clean out of all dead, sick, unwanted elements in your body, you just stockpile it day after day year after year.
And eventually, this obviously contributes to various states of illness and disease. So, for this reason alone, fasting is crucial for your health, long term, AND your immunity short term.
Cycles of prolonged fasting have been shown in studies to trigger regeneration of the immune system.
There was one study on mice where well-fed mice were injected with a kind of pathogen, and it took them one week to recover, whereas fasted mice were infected with the same pathogen and they recovered in 2 days.
So the difference here can be substantial.
Fasting can also counteract and counterbalance the effects of a bad diet to some extent. So if you have periods of time when you eat worse, maybe you're on vacation or have a stressful time at work and don't take care of your nutrition, then I really suggest you incorporate fasting protocols during and after that time to mitigate the harm from your diet and give your body a chance to recover.
During the Soviet era, the Russians did a lot of research and studies on dry fasting, when you don't eat OR drink anything, and the positive effects it had on everything from arthritis to chronic disease to one's overall state of wellbeing. And obviously, we don't have to go overboard and dry fast for several days to get the benefits here. A lot of people see great results from just intermittent fasting, going a day here and there without food, or skipping breakfast once in a while, and things like that. Dr. Rhonda Patrick has a lot of research on time-restricted eating where you shrink the eating window during the day, so instead of eating during the whole day, you might compress it to 8 or 10 hours of food intake, so to speak, meaning you fast 14-16 hours out of every 24 hours, and that has profound effects on performance and health. The bottom line is to just find something that works for you, your situation, and your lifestyle. Don't make it harder than it has to be. This is not rocket science. Just give your body a break and some time to recover and heal.
Reflection: grade your eating frequency from 1-10, where 1 is all-the-time. What can you do to improve it?