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Fasting and Healing

There is so much information out there about how to heal your body that it can get very confusing very fast.  Not to mention, so many diets claim to provide the best regimen for helping you lose weight and live longer. The truth is though that many of these claims are not backed by any evidence-based research. On the other hand, fasting has been shown time and again through research to help reduce the risk of disease.  Let’s explore a bit about fasting and what it can do to help your body heal.

Fasting has been shown time and time again
through research to help reduce the risk of disease.

About Autophagy

Autophagy is a fancy name for a process of the body cleansing itself of damaged or old proteins and organelles in the body that are no longer needed. It also helps cell growth, regulation, and is known for helping to prevent chronic diseases and other illness.

How Can Autophagy Help Me Heal? 

Research shows that autophagy can help heal the body and mind and can be triggered by short-term fasting.  Not only that, but preliminary research reports that autophagy may be linked to the treatment and prevention of certain cancers.

Intermittent fasting is a type of short-term fasting that can be helpful for those at risk or with diabetes. One study looked at the effects of intermittent fasting on those with type 2 diabetes. This study found that after two weeks, those on the fasting regimen had improved fasting blood glucose and body weight.

Another study looked at men with prediabetes and the effects of intermittent fasting on their health. After five weeks, the men on the intermittent fasting regimen had improved insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress with weight maintenance. This study shows that the benefits of fasting go way beyond weight loss. For example, oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage, has been linked to increased risk of inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, and diabetes, as well as skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, to name a few.

So, How do I fast?

Fasting can be done in many ways. The way that you choose will depend on several factors such as:

  • Your health status
  • When you work out and how often
  • Your current eating regimen and history

Intermittent fasting is a great way to start dabbling in the fasting world. If you fast too much too fast (no pun intended), then you will likely not be able to maintain your fasting regimen. Therefore, intermittent fasting, which involves a few to several days a week of 12+ hours of fasting, will get your body used to a longer non-eating period.

If you have a history of diabetes or low blood sugar, then you may want to do a shorter intermittent fast such as 12 hours of eating and 12 hours of fasting, informing your healthcare provider ahead of time. The biggest risk in this situation is having your blood sugar levels drop too low. The same recommendation goes for someone that would be on a certain medication that requires eating when taking it. You will want to plan your fast around this. Perhaps make your fasting time during bedtime, and your eating time during the time when you must take your medication.

If you work out at a certain time each day and work out intensely, then you will want to plan your fast around these times. It would be best to plan your eating time for the time before you work out and a bit after, then plan your fast for later that day or evening. This will ensure that you are able to consume enough protein and carbohydrates for muscle recovery after working out.

Finally, you will want to be sure you are used to eating a healthy diet before you start fasting.  This is because if you start fasting and just eat lots of processed foods during your eating hours, then you are not doing much good for your health. It is important that you understand how to balance your meals with plenty of whole foods like unprocessed proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fiber-rich nuts and seeds. These foods will provide your body the nutrients you need during eating hours.

If you want to fast, but don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook meals, try FastBlast® Smoothie to supplement your meals. FastBlast is a delicious banana-berry smoothie that contains a balance of organic protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat to help curb your cravings and appetite all day. Just replace your meals on your fasting days with six smoothies and eat sensibly on your non-fasting days.  If you feel like you may not be getting all of your nutrients on fasting days, use FastBlast® Daily Essentials to give you a daily dose of fermented foods and gut healthy beta-glucan for digestive support.

“If you want to fast but don’t have a lot of time to prep and cook meals, try FastBlast Smoothie to supplement your meals.”

Weight loss and intermittent fasting

The popularity of intermittent fasting has stemmed from the fact that it has been shown to help people lose weight. Although for some, just the avoidance of over-grazing throughout the day can help with this success, fasting is effective for reasons other than weight loss too.

Recent research has shown intermittent fasting to help with improving metabolic factors such as glucose and insulin sensitivity in the blood. In other words, this type of diet regimen can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other related chronic conditions.

So, should I fast?

The bottom line is that there are many ways that fasting can help your body heal. And every day, more research is showing us these health benefits. Therefore, unless your doctor shows concern, a little bit of fasting may do your body good.

FastBlast Makes Fasting EASY.
By giving you the tool you need to get “unstuck” — FastBlast Smoothie — 
and hit your weight goals.

Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN.