I’ve fasted for 24 hours a few times because I’m aware of its benefits. Once I heard about Autophagy, I started doing more research and learned a lot more important benefits. So I decided to try fasting for 3 days. Here’s what I experienced and why I did it, to begin with.
“I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency.” – Plato
Day 1 (Monday)
I had my last meal on Sunday at 10PM. When I woke up on Monday, I drank some water and had a cup of black coffee. No problem skipping breakfast. Quick 30 min run on my lunch break. Lots of water throughout the day with another cup of coffee in the afternoon. Started feeling hungry for dinner. Just had a cup of tea and some trouble falling asleep. I also noticed that I had a lot more free time today.
Day 2 (Tuesday)
Tuesday I woke up feeling more hungry. I had some black coffee for breakfast and lots of water until lunchtime. Suddenly I started smelling food everywhere. It seems like my sense of smell has increased. My gym session lasted only 35 minutes (usually it’s between 45 to 60 minutes). I also noticed that my strength wasn’t there as usual. 48 hours after my last meal I’m learning there’s more to the feeling of hunger.
Day 3 (Wednesday)
Woke up hungry which now seems to be a usual thing. I’ve already done this two days now and know what to expect today. In addition, I noticed my other senses are increasing and I am able to focus better and sharper than usual. I’m counting down the hours till I have my first meal again. I was super excited to finally make a smoothie.
But why go through this?
Fasting improves the function of cells, genes, and hormones. It induces loss of body fat, reduces the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. It reduces oxidative stress and inflammation. It induces the cell repair process (Autophagy) as well as the detoxification process. It also increases brain-derived neurotrophic factors and increases levels of endorphins.
Autophagy is cell renewal. The cells are digesting its own parts due to lack of intake, which makes the cell do two things. First, it rids itself of unnecessary proteins that may be damaged or otherwise malfunctioning. Secondly, it recycles those amino acid ‘spare parts’ into new cellular components.
Our body is constantly growing. Everything, including the bad things like cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, polycystic ovaries, etc. This happens when we have food. When we don’t have food, our cells eat up the bad pieces to continue survival. Yoshinori Ohsumi wrote an astonishing lecture about it which won the Nobel Prize.
So basically, fasting makes us younger, smarter, fitter, healthier, happier, more disciplined and better looking. I should do this more often.