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Is Fasting a healthy lifestyle?

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Experts specialized in fasting from around the world have gathered at the Fasting Transformation Summit to talk about the beneficial strategy of fasting, but I ask myself the question: is fasting a healthy lifestyle? Keep reading to find out what is fasting, how could you fast, what symptoms you might feel when fasting and what are the beneficial effects of a fasting lifestyle.

Is Fasting a healthy lifestyle?

What is fasting?

Fasting is going without food for a period or eating less than 25% of our caloric need for a period. That would be eating from 400 to 600 calories in a day. There are different ways to do fasting: some people do water only fasting, others do bone broth, lemon water or juice fasting.

Is Fasting a healthy lifestyle?

How can you fast?

There are many ways of doing fasting but it is very important that you start slow and go from the easiest way which would be 12 hours overnight. As you get used to fasting, you will work your way up to more fasting hours overnight as your body adapts.

It´s important that when you fast, the meals that you do in your eating window are healthy and that you eat until you are fully satiated. You shouldn´t feel hungry or deprived after the meal, you should feel satisfied.

The key to understand about fasting is that during your eating window you are going to eat well because the main thing is not to eat less but to eat less often so, you don´t have to worry about counting calories, just eat healthy meals that make you feel fully satiated.

  • Short fasting or intermittent fasting: the fasting hours are less than 48 hrs. It can be done daily or weekly.
    • 12/12.
      • Start with 12 hrs  fasting overnight: eat your dinner at 6 pm and don´t eat anything until 6 am the next morning when you can have your breakfast
    • 14/10.
        • 14 hrs fasting overnight: you could eat dinner a little earlier or eat breakfast a little later, for instance, eat dinner at 5 pm and eat breakfast at 7 am the next day
    • 16/8.
        • 16 hrs fasting overnight: you would have to see which hours for feeding and fasting work better for you. For instance, you could have dinner at 4 pm and eat breakfast at 8 am the next day. However, you will need to see which 8 feeding hours and 16 fasting hours work better for you. For instance, It could be eating your last meal at 3 pm and your first meal at 7 am the next day as well.
    • 20/4
      • 20 hours fasting : your last meal of the day would be your lunch at 12m and you wouldn´t eat anything until next day´s breakfast at 8 am
    • 24 hours fasting
      • Eat only one meal a day and don´t eat anything for 24 hrs until the next day. For instance, eat a good breakfast at 8 am and don´t eat anything until next day´s breakfast at 8 am. You choose the eating hour that better works for you. It´s better if you consume your one meal at a time when you would normally eat.
  • Extended fasting: the fasting hours are more than 48 hrs. It could be done once or twice a year.
    • 3 days fast. This could be done every 2 months.
    • 4 days fast. This could be done every 3-4 months.
    • 5 days fast. This could be done one or twice a year.

Is Fasting a healthy lifestyle?

What discomforts might you experience when fasting?

  • The hunger waves.
    • During the fasting hours you might experience an intense craving for food, that happens because the Ghrelin hormone is released when the stomach is empty. You can inhibit the release of Ghrelin by drinking water during your fasting hours, if you feel the craving for food then drink 1-2 glasses of water and the symptom will go away.
    • It´s also important to drink water specially at the specific hours that you would normally eat because Ghrelin gets released at those hours that you are used to eating.
    • If you keep drinking water throughout the day, specially at the hours that you would normally eat, you might not even get the hunger waves.
  • Weakness, dizziness, nausea and headaches
    • The body needs water and electrolytes to have the energy to function well. When we don´t drink enough water and lose electrolytes, we feel weak and might have headaches as well. Therefore, it´s very important to drink plenty of water to feel well.
      • Putting just a little of good sea salt in your tongue and drink a glass of water will restore some electrolytes in your body and will make you feel with more energy and avoid the uncomfortable symptoms.

Is Fasting a healthy lifestyle?

What happens when we fast?

Many experts agree on the many benefits that a fasting lifestyle brings to our bodies, minds and spirit.

At the Fasting Transformation Summit we can learn what worldwide fasting experts teach about this topic based on the latest research and their own personal and clinical experience. Some of those experts are Dr. David Jockers, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Dan Pompa, Dr. Gez Agolli, Dr. Jack Wolfson, Dr. Michael Murray, Dr. David Perlmutter just to name a few.

Dr. David Jockers gave a very detailed explanation at the Fasting Transformation Summit about the main mechanisms of fasting to benefit our bodies, minds and spirits.

You can find further information about this topic,  at  the Fasting Transformation Summit, just click on this link. 

Without further adieu, the main benefits of fasting are:

  • Metabolic optimization
    • The body becomes more energy efficient because it learns to effectively adapt to use either glucose or fat for fuel.
    • Stimulates fat burning
    • Improves energy levels.
    • The body becomes fat adaptive, in other words, learns to use fat for fuel which gives more energy to your body with less metabolic waste
    • During fasting we produce ketones which give more energy to our bodies and make us more energy efficient
    • It´s an effective strategy for losing weight and keeping it off
    • Increases dopamine and happiness
    • Norepinephrine increases. It is a neurotransmitter which gives us more mental clarity, better memory and cognitive function.
  • Hormone optimization
    • Growth hormone increases to preserve lean body tissue
    • Increases insuline sensitivity, lowers insuline levels and lowers glucose levels.
    • Improves hormones sensitivity
    • Is fasting a healthy lifestyle?
  • Reduces inflammation
    • Inflammation is the root cause of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, Alzeihmers, Parkinson, dementia, autoimmunity, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, thyroidits, Hashimotos, cancer and more.
    • Fasting regulates the immune system and down regulates the inflammatory pathways (genetic pathways, tumoral necrosis factor alpha, interleukines, cytokines, nuclear factor kappa beta).
    • Fasting breaks the cycle of chronic inflammation.
    • Fasting is the most powerful natural strategy to reduce chronic inflammation
  • Cellular healing and repairing
    • The digestive system is put to rest and it heals and regenerates when fasting.
    • Fasting resets the microbiome, in other words, it balances the good and bad bacteria in the gut.
    • Is fasting a healthy lifestyle?
  • Stimulates cellular “Autophagy”
    • During fasting, the body breaks down bad cells and older cells and rebuilds new healthy cells
    • Fasting optimizes the body to get rid of viral infected cells and form new healthy cells
  • Genetic repair mechanisms
    • Fasting repairs the damages produced by epigenetics, in other words, fasting repairs the bad changes that our genes might have gone through as a consequence of environmental factors
  • Stimulation of stem cells
    • Fasting is a natural way to increase stem cell production, which are the cells that can differentiate to form any kind of tissue in the body that needs to be repaired.
    • As we age, we produce less stem cells, but when we fast we can increase our stem cells production at any age.
    • After 48 hrs water fast is when the stem cells benefits increase.
    • After 4-5 days water fast is when the best stem cells benefits happen.
    • Is fasting a healthy lifestyle?
  • Fasting reduces your risk of developing chronic disease
    • A 5 days water fast done once a year decreases your risk of cancer by 95%
  • Improves your relationship with food
    • Food adictions are healed through fasting
    • Sugar cravings disappear
  • Fasting improves mental health
  • Improves our spiritual life
    • When you fast you are more receptive to inspirations from the Holy Spirit
    • When you fast you get a closer connection to God
    • Fasting and prayer is the most powerful healing strategy

Is fasting a healthy lifestyle?

My final opinion about is fasting a healthy lifestyle.

I would like to share what has been my personal experience doing intermittent fasting.

I began to look for information on the effects of fasting and, I was very surprised when I learned all the benefits that fasting offers to our health.

Therefore, I decided to start doing intermittent fasting on a daily basis because I have been trying for many years to heal my insulin resistance. Even though I kept eating a healthy diet, exercised regularly and took my medication every day, my insulin levels never went down.

I was so surprised when, after one month of doing intermittent fasting daily, my insulin levels went down to normal values and my cholesterol and tryglicerides were the best ever, in fact, they were as good as when I was a teenager. All my sugar cravings (that I had been fighting for years) disappeared.

There was a turning point for me, before fasting I felt like my body took over my mind sometimes, in other words, sometimes I would fall for an intense sugar craving or an intense craving for food that I felt was stronger than my will power and I couldn´t resist.

But now, since I started intermittent fasting daily, I feel that, I have control over my body for the first time in my life, mi mind or will power can control the feeling of hunger that might come once in a while because the craving for food is not overwhelming anymore, it is under my control.

In my case, fasting has been a powerful healing healthy lifestyle strategy for the cure of my hyperinsulinemia.

In my opinion, fasting is certainly a healthy lifestyle that has been practiced for centuries because of the many beneficial effects it has in our mind, body and spirit. Fasting is a very doable healthy lifestyle that I highly recommend along with a healthy diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices.

Fasting has the ability to unlock the healing potential within you and it can transform your life.

If you would like to learn more about fasting, read my post about the latest news on fasting at the Fasting Transformation Summit, just click here.

Have you had any experience doing fasting? How has fasting transformed your life?  Feel free to leave your comments below.

God Bless you,

Dr. Verónica Giannoni

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Dr. Verónica Giannoni

11 Comments

  1. I tend to fast once a month. It seems to help cleanse out my system as well it helps me stay disciplined. I’ve been doing it for about 10 years now. I agree with you that it’s not about eating less food but it’s more about eating less often. 

    I definitely agree that water has kept the hunger pangs away. In my culture, women fast once a year for their husbands. It’s a tradition to fast in this way. This fast generally lasts 12 hours or until the moonrise. I love your article about fasting and how healthy it is. I’ve seen the health benefits in my own life.

  2. Smiles. Fasting. Well fasting has two views to it, there’s the religious side and the nutritional side. I believe this is from the nutritional view. I like the benefits of the fasting, especially the hormones and the metabolic optimization. If not eating through the night is fasting, then I think i fast every day. 

    • Hi Dhayours,

      I like all the benefits of fasting too.

      I find very easy to fast overnight as well.

  3. Hi Dr. VG,

    I agree that fasting can help or at least spark losing weight. But I believe that it has to be intermittent. Otherwise you risk low energy, fatigue, shakiness if prolonged. Also, those on medications that require food should be very careful. That may seem like common sense but some people will fast at the expense of their health and meds.

    • Hi Julian,

      It´s very important what you have just pointed out. People with chronic conditions, who are under medication, should consult their physician before doing any kind of fasting strategy because in most cases, the doctor will need to adjust the treatment. It is very important to do so specially for extended fasts because there are some people who should not fast.

  4. While I could definitely afford to lose some weight, I fast for the mental clarity aspect. Sure, there’s sometimes hunger but the hunger fades. The energy and alertness linger until I eat. My goal is 16/8 5 days a week but sometimes I go longer. I originally started it because someone told me it would improve insulin sensitivity. I was so afraid to try it because hunger sucks and I was worried about side effects but imagining it was way worse than doing it. It makes me feet fantastic. 

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