I’m sure you’ve heard about fasting and how it’s good for you. For most people the thought of going without food for a few days seems daunting. But what if you could get all the benefits while eating real food? Well, there is a way and it’s called intermittent fasting. You pick a window of time each day to eat and the rest of the time you fast. The key is to go twelve hours or longer without food. I know that sounds tough, but you have to consider eight hours of that time will be spent sleeping. Add a few hours before going to bed and it’s easy to hit twelve.
So what is so important about going a full twelve hours without food? It takes that long for a natural process called autophagy to kick in. It’s your body’s own internal cleanup program. Autophagy is the natural process of cleaning up cellular debris. Damaged cellular material are gobbled up and eliminated from your system. It’s like sending in a crew of janitors after the office is closed. Everything is cleaned up and prepared for a fresh start.
Calorie restriction has been shown to extend life by increasing the presence of the SIRT_1 gene and regulating insulin. The SIRT-1 gene is highly protective of telomeres, the cap on the end of chromosomes, which protect them from cellular damage and death associated with aging and cancer. Insulin resisitance and elevated insulin promote the type of inflammation associated with cellular damage, aging and cancer. You can see why calorie restriction is beneficial.
For most people, this always meant dieting or a form of daily starvation. That has all changed with intermittent fasting. It’s more like having your cake and eating it too. You can eat good food and fast all in the same day. Another great discovery was finding that the nutrient resveratrol produced a lot of the same effects as intermittent fasting such as increasing the presence of SIRT-1 and insulin restriction. It also builds immunity and is promising as an anti-cancer nutrient. It functions as an amazing substance for lowering inflammation and promoting mental clarity.
All of these reasons are why we include a therapeutic dose (100mg) in our formula for TianChi. Of course you could also drink 1000 glasses of red wine to get the same amount of resveratrol, but I don’t think you want to go there. The one thing you’d still be missing out on is the process of autophagy. Resveratrol may control some aspects of fasting but autophagy is dependant on intermittent fasting exceeding twelve hours. Can you imagine the added benefits of doing both? I can and I do it every day.
It’s even more important to enhance autophagy if you have a chronic disease. Cancer is a condition of damage mitochondria and intermittent fasting and autophagy can stimulate your own natural defenses and help clear it out. When I had cancer, I would usually go from sixteen to eighteen hours without food on a daily basis. Combined with a ketogenic diet, I created an environment where cancer was starving and being cleaned up naturally. In a few months I was cancer free.
Give it a try – eat dinner before 7pm and don’t have breakfast before 7am. In between you can have water, coffee, tea or MCT oil and it will not break your morning fast, as none of these things cause insulin to react. Try stretching it out to fifteen hours by taking your fast to 10am. It’s not that hard and the benefits are tremendous – you’ll have more energy and mental clarity.