I have a sensitive stomach because I am a sensitive guy. Un-wholesome food gives me indigestion and sets my guts on fire.
I began fasting out of necessity. Most places in America, eating on-the-go and getting whole food for cheap is all but impossible. At least not without spending a lot of $$$.
The mass-market production model lowers costs for corporations, so food here is manufactured to keep over long distribution routes and stay for weeks on the shelf.
The seller gets a better deal buying in bulk, and the agri-corp gets more product out the door. Win-Win for business; a big loser for the consumer.
Whole food doesn’t keep.
Whole food rots and spoils quickly.
As a general rule, we can say that the amount of time something lasts on the shelf is an indicator of it’s wholesomeness.
Nutrition is considered a nice bonus to agri-corp, but is anathema to the max-profit model.
And your average schlub doesn’t care… so long as it is salty, fatty, sweet and fills him up… he won’t be bothered to consider the nutrient density of his calories.
But I digress…
There is an old maxim that goes ‘to lengthen your life, lessen your meals’ and I have come around to see the wisdom of this statement.
Aging happens because of the constant stress you put on your system. Stress breaks down your organs and they become less efficient over time… and that lack of efficiency, in turn multiplies the magnitude of the stress.
As we age, the body loses the ability to regulate itself and maintain a balanced state of homeostasis.
While your guts are made to take a lot of abuse in the digesting and processing of food, there is no other activity that delivers more stress and inflammation over a lifetime than eating.
Most people dig their own grave with their teeth.
There is a ton of science explaining the technical benefits of calorie restriction, but the gist is that giving your body a regular holiday from eating gives it a chance to ‘adjust’ and ‘reset’ homeostasis. It renews itself at a cellular level.
This is a good podcast on the subject. The rest you can Google.
While the benefits of longevity, reduced inflammation and disease prevention are most pronounced, the immediate results of ritual fasting are:
- Rapid weight-loss by increasing your fat-burning hormone and decreasing your stress hormone.
- Improved memory and concentration – as more blood is freed up to your brain; not wrapped up in your guts for digestion.
- Increased energy – through better efficiency of your metabolism.
- Increased testosterone – for men.
- Decreased exposure to toxins – flush in our food supply.
- Reduced insulin sensitivity
- Better sleep – this is my experience.
All of these things also lower stress on your system… thus multiplying the anti-aging benefits of simple calorie restriction.
The break you give your gut while sleeping every night gives you these benefits.
But extending the fasting cycle from to 6-8 hours to 12-16 hours gives you compounding returns on them.
For ages men went through long periods of fasting in between meals simply because food was not always readily available, as it is today.
By evolution, your adult body is wired to accept food at regular intervals and STOP in between. As a youth we eat to grow, but now that we are grown, we don’t need three meals per day.
Today food is marketed as a hobby, rather than a biological imperative. We have conditioned ourselves to eat for pleasure rather than sustenance.
We impulsively eat to experience the sensation of consuming food, rather than the energy it provides us.
Eating gets you HIGH.
Fat, salt and sugar especially trigger your brain like a potent opiate.
And I enjoy the high as much as anyone.
But again, I digress…
Being hungry is a good feeling if you are otherwise eating clean and healthy.
Your primal, survival circuit is engaged and that sharpens your mind and your senses.
Primitive hunters, faced with do-or-die on an empty stomach, had super-awareness, far-seeing eyes and pin-drop hearing. Mother nature gave them superpowers to survive.
How good does your favorite food smell, look and feel when you’ve gone sixteen plus hours without eating? Is your sense of taste not amplified to super-human sensitivity when you finally indulge?
Three ways to FAST
The tried and true method for daily rejuvenation.
For example, on weekdays I’ll stop eating at 7p and not eat anything again until 11am.
That is 16 hours of fasting on each 24-hour cycle… ended with a high-protein meal.
Once your body adjusts to this mode, the change in your energy levels are incredible. Say goodbye morning coffee. You will sleep more soundly on an empty stomach.
Perhaps you are lifting heavy weights and trying to bulk up or otherwise do not have the energy in the morning to skip breakfast.
It takes some time to condition yourself, but after a few weeks of honest trying, intermittent fasting might not be right for you. Everyone’s body is different.
In that case, you can pick a day of the week – Sunday probably – and fast for a full 24 hours. This method of fasting can be just as effective if you are religious about it.
If you are really into self-experimentation and higher-consciousness, and are in a position to have an exceptionally relaxed lifestyle at the moment, then you can try a marathon fast.
The longest I’ve heard someone doing is 52 days with no solid food. I am sure there are monks on a mountain top somewhere going longer still.
An extended fast is reported to be a religious experience. One is completely rejuvenated at a cellular level and becomes ‘like a little kid again’.
The body transforms itself into something new – a re-birth, a metamorphosis… so I’ve heard. It’s a trip further into the other side than any psychedelic drug can offer.
I plan to do this soon, when I can afford the loss of time and energy. Soon!
There are four liquids that will be of major advantage, no matter what kind of fasting you are doing:
Dissolved in water. If you are lifting a lot and are otherwise active, you are going to need this. I used to use the isolate, which has no carbs, but I really think if you are fasting you should go with the full-body stuff. I have tried a lot of different blends over the years and in my opinion, this one is the best: ON Whey here is the zero-carb isolate: Isopure
When the tummy starts to growl and you need to soften the pains of hunger, warmed organic vegetable broth is a godsend. You won’t survive a marathon fast without it.
You’ll need a juicer, and technically a juice-fast isn’t the same thing as a fast fast in terms of the bodily response.
But juicing is magic for a lot of reasons. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out. Invest in a good masticating juicer if you like leafy greens like kale and a centrifugal juicer if you are on a budget of time and money. The latter makes juice faster and is cheaper.
I have the masticator linked to above, and am very happy with it. = You could also get a Vita-Mix blender… which many smart people consider better than juicing.
Tea is magic for reducing hunger pains and for giving you shot of energy and relief. Buy loose-leaf and learn how to prepare a pot of tea the right way.
The bottom line is that your gut needs a holiday from time to time.
I am of the opinion that there is nothing you can add to your routine that will impact your health more dramatically than ritual fasting.
This is a great resource for more information… and also an example of an extremely effective sales page.
Keep it real,
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