Fasting: why and how?

hot tea
hot tea
Fasting is a highly effective way of restoring insulin sensitivity.

In some cases, it can even regenerate pancreatic cells and completely cure diabetes. It also stimulates autophagy, i.e., the digestion by cells of non-functional parts of their contents, helping to keep them healthy.

We pay a lot of attention to what and how much we eat, but much less to when we eat. And yet, periods when we don't eat are beneficial to our body's functioning. For example, our bodies alkalinize during the night when we don't eat. That's why it's important to wait at least 12 hours between the last food in the evening and the first food in the morning. When we don't eat, there's also no insulin production, and this helps combat insulin resistance and all the problems associated with it. It also helps fight obesity, by giving our body the message to use fatty acids in reserve for energy production.

Fasting can be practised intermittently or for longer periods:

  • Intermittent fasting most often consists of alternating an eight-hour window, during which you eat two meals, with a 16-hour window, during which you don't eat at all. Other formulas exist with roughly similar benefits: fasting every other day, fasting on two consecutive or non-consecutive days over a one-week period, etc.

  • There are different formulas for longer periods of fasting and it's a good idea to enlist the help of a nutritional therapist:

    • The formula must be chosen on the basis of the metabolism, lifestyle, obligations, and possible illnesses of the person concerned.

    • It must follow a protocol of descent and ascent to avoid damaging the intestinal microbiota. In the descent phase, carbohydrates are stopped first and other foods are gradually eliminated until only cooked vegetables, which are prebiotics, remain. In the ascent phase, the process is reversed, starting with the reintroduction of cooked vegetables, and ending with that of carbohydrates.

    • Beware that fasting can lead to elimination crises, as toxins, stored mainly in adipocytes, are released in a condensed form over a short period of time, when the body releases body fat for energy production. This risk is reduced by preparing the body for fasting several weeks in advance with a hypotoxic diet that is as natural as possible.

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Tea picture by Mehrshad Rajabi