Co-Movement Gym: A is A Health Podcast S1E12 - 3 Day Water (Only) Fast Results
Benefits of fasting:
1. Autophagy – Recycling of old and damaged parts of your body/cells
2. Longevity – many animal studies show that fasting increases their average life expectancy though no human studies have been performed
3. Increases Awareness – neurons fire faster and you actually become more alert when in a fasted state
4. More time throughout the day – because eating takes approximately 3 hours throughout the day especially when you factor in time to prepare your food. This means you will need to fill at least 3 more hours throughout the day
5. Most people will have more energy – but if you don’t experience this then this might be a sign of metabolic issues and you should consult your doctor
6. Lower inflammation – fasting can help reduce inflammation in the body which is the root cause of a lot of health problems
7. Weight loss – mostly from water weight at first, but generally you can lose from 0.5-1 lb of fat every day you fast after the first 24 hours.
Fasting is great for Metabolic Training which helps you switch to being more efficient at burning fat for fuel. Most people consume carbs every day and their body is better at burning carbs, but not as efficient at burning fat. When fasting over a 24 hr period most of the sugar in the liver will be depleted and your body will shift to burning fat for fuel vs carbohydrates. You will still continue to burn other glycogen stores within the body, but the primary source of fuel would have switched over to fat after the first day.
People are afraid of their metabolism slowing down from a fast, but fasting doesn’t really show a slowed metabolism. In fact, there have been a number of studies done that show fasting doesn’t hinder your metabolism at all and in some cases even improves your metabolism by 10%. The reason people think this slowing of their metabolism will happen is due to the fact that when you reduce your calories from 2000 to 1500 after about a week your body will adjust to that number of calories, and then you have to drop it down to 1000 to continue the weight loss process. Eventually you will reach a point you cannot lower your calories any further, and you have to go back up in calories. Unfortunately, your metabolism has already slowed down as you decreased your calories over this extended period of time and your body will start to store these new excess calories as fat. When you fast for 1-3 days your metabolism doesn’t really have time to adjust. Therefore, the fat you burn during a fast will stay off as long as you go back to maintenance calories after (don’t binge).
Fasting can also improve insulin sensitivity. Essentially when we over consume sugars/carbs our cells can become over stuffed with these chemicals and insulin can no long get any more material into the cell. Since a normal amount of insulin cannot get these into the appropriate cells, you still have an excess of these sugars in your blood stream forcing your body to compensates by producing more and more insulin. Your body produces this excess insulin to try and help force this excess sugar into the appropriate cells. This is what causes insulin resistance, but fasting actually gives your body and cells a break. This gives your cells a chance to get rid of the excess sugar and helps to reverse the process of insulin resistance.
Tips for a 3 Day Water Fast (things you can add without breaking the fast):
1. Find something to keep you busy/distracted – boredom is known to lead to overeating, making sure you have activities planned or projects to preoccupy your time with during the fast is important to prevent you from caving and ending your fast prematurely
2. Hydrate a lot – making sure you drink enough water during a fast is very important, you should at least drink 1 gallon of water every day when you fast
3. Sparkling water – can give you a little bit of flavor while fasting
4. Sodium/Salt/Trace Mineral Drops – adding a little salt to your water can also help reduce headaches during a fast, trace mineral drops can also help to keep your electrolytes balanced during a fast
5. Black Coffee – can kick-start autophagy, can help jump start the weight loss aspect of the fast, gives a little flavor and is an appetite suppressant
6. Tea – the caffeine can help reduce headaches for people who are caffeine deprived
7. Keep your activity light – the first time you do an extended fast you should try and keep your activity light, once you know how your body reacts to a fast then you can add in more activity, remember that recovery can be hindered during a fast and pushing yourself too hard is not a good idea
8. Have support – find some friends or family that are interested in trying a 3 day fast with you, having a group of people to support you will help keep you motivated and give you someone to bounce ideas off of to make the challenge even easier for both of you