24 hour Fasting: How to & Benefits of Long Term Fasting!
I was recently filming on National TV for an entire day... and guess what? I did not eat ANYTHING for the entire 24 hours. I know what you're thinking right? Phil that's insane. Why would you not eat for an entire day!? Surely that can't be good for you!!
Well, despite what you may think, it is actually EXTREMELY good for you and can have huge implications for your longevity and long term health. That is why I am SO excited to share with you all of the benefits of prolonged fasting (also known as 24 hour fasting). I am also going to discuss with you HOW TO ACTUALLY DO IT, and my top tips for success, because trust me, when you see all of the benefits, 24 hour fasting is going to be something you definitely want to incorporate into your health and fitness routine.
** HEALTH DISCLAIMER! Long-term fasting is not for everyone, and of course can have health risks if conducted in an unhealthy matter. Make sure to talk to a doctor or health care professional to make sure long term fasting is for you. Make sure you have all the appropriate information you need in order to conduct long term fasting in a healthy fashion before trying it.
Why Try Long Term Fasting?
One of the main reasons why you may want to try long term fasting is because of all the leanmazing BENEFITS it has! Here are the main benefits of long term fasting:
What is autophagy?! To put it simply, autophagy is like a ‘self-cleaning’ or ‘spring cleaning’ for your cells. While your body is in a fasted state, since no food or ‘fuel’ is coming in, your body must rely solely on what you already have within your body as a fuel source. While your body is focusing on finding a fuel source within, it has the chance to get rid of any ‘junk’ cells, which can include dead, dying or damaged cells.
Autophagy allows our cells to better adapt to stress. Autophagy is already an essential function in our bodies. Getting rid of these damaged or dysfunctional cells can help prevent illness, because when these cells accumulate they can cause us harm and have negative effects on our bodies. Studies have been conducted which show that autophagy can help fight illness, infectious diseases, regulate inflammation and help boost your immune system. It can also help get rid of cells that cause the negative effects of aging on the body, therefore, autophagy has the ability to help with anti-aging. Overall, this is definitely one of the biggest benefits of long term fasting, as it can help your body clean out any junk it doesn’t need and continue running smoothly!
2. Productivity and Energy Levels
When our bodies are in a fasted state for a long period of time, our brain goes into a ‘neuro protective phase.” This means that during this time, we have a heightened state of functioning.
This is something I can 100% attest to, since I experienced it myself when I tried my 24 hour fast. Sometimes after eating, I tend to feel lulls, which can have an effect on my productivity. When I was fasted, it almost felt as is my levels of energy and productivity INCREASED as the day went on! I know, it sounds crazy, but it really was an incredible feeling!
Why do we feel so tired after eating? Eating actually take a TON of our bodies energy. It takes about 65% of our overall energy just to BREAKDOWN and DIGEST our food! That is a crazy amount of energy! Digestion really can take a toll on our bodies, especially when eating often. Whenever we eat, the layers of our gut breakdown. Constantly breaking down these layers can sometimes cause auto-immune diseases! Fasting can give our gut the well deserved break it needs to help HEAL and rebuild.
3. Liver Function and Insulin Sensitivity
Our livers go through a process known as lipolysis, which is the breaking down or ‘burning’ of fat. Fasting can help improve this function through autophagy, so your body is able to burn more fat, more efficiently!
Everytime we eat, our bodies release insulin into the body. Insulin acts as a signal to let your body know there is glucose or ‘fuel’ ready to be absorbed from your bloodstream into your cells. When and if it doesn’t get absorbed, it gets stored in the body as fat. When you develop an insulin resistance, the glucose is NOT being absorbed properly by your cells, so your body continues to release insulin and continues to store this glucose as fat. Therefore, developing insulin resistance means your insulin levels will go up and your body will store more fat. Long term fasting can help prevent this. Fasting helps to improve your insulin sensitivity so your body can better respond to the ‘fuel’ entering into it!
4. Immune Boost!
A USC study shows that fasting for longer periods of time can help stimulate the growth of NEW stem cells in our body. Stem cells are a very special kind of cell in the human body. They have the ability to develop into multiple different kinds of cell. Essentially, stem cells bring NEW LIFE! The stimulation of the creation of new stem cells can help our bodies become a whole lot healthier!
HOW to do LONG TERM Fasting EASILY!
- Commit to a day!
Choose a day, and commit to fasting, no ifs ands or buts! Remind yourself why you are doing it and stay motivated! Make sure to choose a busy day! This way, you will have plenty of distractions and won't have time to be thinking about eating! As Mentioned above, fasting helps improve your productivity and energy levels, so you can get more done throughout your busy day!
- Eat Dinner early!
The night before your 24 hour fast, try to eat dinner EARLY! I personally find it easier to get through the fast when this is the case. If you finish your dinner at 6pm, by the time you wake up the next morning, you have already been fasting for 12 or more hours! This helps make fasting a breeze! This way, when you get home from work in the evening, you can now eat right away!
- Stay Hydrated!
It is SUPER important to make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking enough water throughout the day, especially when you are fasting! To change things up, try drinking 0 calorie flavoured sparkling water! The carbonation can help if you are feeling hungry!
- Drink Coffee!
Caffeine is always great to have while in a fasted state, long term or short term. Coffee prevents you from feeling hungry which can be a great help! It also gives you energy and enhances the productivity and energy levels you are already getting while fasted.
- Be Proud!
Be proud of yourself for committing to yourself and your health! Be proud that YOU DID IT, and let this help you stay motivated to continue to take care of your health throughout the new year!