36 Hour Fasting… A few weeks ago I experimented with 36 Hr fasting, why?, Well it wasn’t for the hunger pangs and the need to drink gallons of water to keep myself satiated. Yes, fasting may not be for everyone and it can be a bit of an eye-opener, but it is worth the effort for the many benefits you could reap from partaking in just one 36 hour fast per month, and here’s why.
It may be uncomfortable and even looked on as almost sacrilege by “eat every few hours” bodybuilders, but there is a lot to be said for the beneficial effect of 36-hour fasting on human physiology. You see, the thing is, as a species, we did not evolve in a world of plenty. Chocolate and assorted snacks were not an option for early man, far from it.
as a species, we did not evolve in a world of plenty. Chocolate and assorted snacks were not an option for early man, far from it. Click To Tweet
When you live in a cave and stand a good chance of being attacked and eaten by wolves, sabre-toothed tigers or bears every time you leave your cave, you would get as much food together as you could each outing and make as few excursions into the big dangerous outside world as possible.
In short, we evolved on a feast and famine physiology.
So what do you get for your 36 hours of water and your own fat reserves?
Well for one, you will give your digestive system a well-earned rest.
If you read “gut” by Giulia Enders you will learn that your stomach rumbling is just your villi cleaning themselves and not, as we seem to have been taught, as a signal to eat more because we are starving.
Another big point to consider, during 36-hour fasting…
is that during the fasting period you are allowing your detox pathways to concentrate more on detoxing your existing stored bodily toxins and not just working overtime to mitigate the effects of the toxins taken in from our regular meals.
You would be surprised at the number of toxic fillers that are in pretty much everything you consume, but that is for another post.
36 Hour fasting may help prevent cancer
Just to clarify 36 Hour Fasting and Cancer
I am not saying that intermittent fasting, once a month, for 36 hours will definitely help prevent cancer.
But there is some research out there that strongly suggests that it may at least significantly help mitigate the chances of developing some certain types of cancer in later life.
36 Hour Fasting and Cell Apoptosis
It is also worth considering cell apoptosis, as this is another major benefit of conducting 36-hour fasting.
During a period of extended fasting, the body can take time to help regenerate cells and if the cell is beyond the point of useful regeneration, it will be killed and cleared safely away.
During Fasting, the body will increase the rate at which worn out or damaged cells are broken-down.
Removing these under performing or broken cells has the advantage of preventing the cells from making multiple copies of themselves with the broken DNA, which may also help to prevent the development of cancer.
As most cancers are from this type of cell over replicating to the point of damaging all surrounding cells, anything you can do to get rid of them more effectively can only be an advantage, right?
During Fasting, the body will increase the rate at which worn out or damaged cells are broken-down. Click To Tweet
As a side note, prolonged fasting has also been shown to lower levels of
IGF-1, or Insulin Growth Factor 1.
This Growth Factor is a hormone and an excessive amount of this hormone has previously been linked to rapid ageing, Tumour progression, and even certain cancer risks.
Some Protein shakes are marketed as promoting IGF-1. So do our own research on this one, as the advantage to disadvantage may be a personal choice for bodybuilders and the sports performance conscious.
Fasting has been shown to help in the development of new white blood cells.
During a period of intermittent fasting, or extended periods without food of up to 2 to 3 days, some research has actually shown that, over this period, old white blood cells will be broken down and new healthy white blood cells will be generated to help replace them.
This is one of the reasons why intermittent fasting is also closely linked to slowing ageing and extended life.
So what’s the takeaway from my experiment with intermittent fasting?
Well, I’ve been doing this on and off now for a number of years so I have built up to 36-hour fasts. It’s not something I’ve jumped straight into and, if you’re interested in trying this, I would recommend you don’t just jump into 36-hour fasting either.
The best way to start will probably be something like the 16:8 diet. This is where you fast for 16 hours and eat for 8.
A typical example of this would be having your last meal at 8 pm and then not eating again until 12 pm the following lunchtime.
Between 12 pm lunchtime and 8 pm you would usually have two to three large to medium sized healthy meals, remembering that you are still looking at hitting your daily calorie requirement, so eat nutrient-dense foods and enjoy the meals.
The problem for new people and intermittent fasting is that there’s a perception that you will constantly be hungry. As previously stated a “Rumbly Tummy” does not constitute ravenous hunger, just make sure that you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Flush the Toxins
Drinking plenty of water will also help flush out the toxins that are being purged from your body during the fasting period. Not only your digestive system but your body as a whole is flushing toxins from fat stores that are being burnt for energy.
If 36 hour fasting or fasting, in general, is not for you, then maybe try other versions of some other diet, but if you’re not looking to just simply lose weight and you’re looking for some health benefits, then certainly intermittent fasting would be something to consider, if only because it helps you get rid of the old worn out cells and regenerate new healthier ones.
I am not trying to push fasting on anybody, let’s be honest, even intermittent fasting is just calorie controlled dieting with a different name.
While some diets are slightly better than others, simply because some diets also promote nutrient density of the foods that you eat, all diets basically work because of the same principle, you managing the consumption of the calories that you take in.
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