Fasting : Process & Benefits
How does it work?
When we eat, our body is essentially fed with exterior food. When we fast, le body is also nourished but by "interior food" also named self-restauration. The transition between one state to another, specially during the first fast, require a particular attention. So it is important to be ready in your head, but being in a group, fasting all together in beautiful areas, away from our busy lives makes it much easier to remain determined to do it. Also, no need to be completely convinced that you can do it. YES, you are able to do it and you will!
A normally constituted man has reserves for 40 days while a woman has even more than that. So, without going that far... your first fasting week will go very well ;)
Doctor Wilhelmi de Toledo, responsible of the therapeutical fasts at the Buchinger Clinic in Germany and the Docteur Le Maho, Research director at CNRS explains why it is much more physiological to fast at regular intervals than to never fast:
"During a fast, the proteins are protected by protein saving mechanisms: the main fuels of the fast are the fats and the ketone bodies which derive from them, even for the brain which adapts more slowly. Vitamins are also spared."
For them, on the contrary, fasting has undeniable advantages:
"Fasting deactivates the genes responsible for ageing and activates those responsible for cellular repairs. Caloric restriction and various forms of periodic fasting protect against the onset of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic inflammatory diseases. Fasting puts the cell in a protective mode and makes it resistant to multiple stresses."
Benefits: The effects on the brain
Our brain is normally fed by the sugar we consume. After 24 hours of fasting, it no longer has reserve. It then sets up a process called Gluconeogenesis (GNG): the liver produces glucose from fat stores via ketone bodies. Humans have had a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates for 3 million years, so their body is well suited to "burn" fats instead of sugars.
(here more about the Keto Diet)
For a brain to work perfectly, three strategies can be put in place:
1 - any physical activity that exceeds 30 to 40 minutes.
2 - a calorie restriction that forces the body to tap into its fat reserves.
3 - The ketogenic diet, rich in fat and low in sugars. This diet is used to fight epileptic seizures and in cases of brain tumors. It is designed to treat certain degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease.
Benefits: The effects on blood pressure
A person who is undergoing blood pressure treatment should continue to take it during the fast, checking his or her blood pressure every morning upon waking, and adjusting the dosage to the result.
After 24 hours of fasting, the blood pressure begins to fall.
The fasting person therefore reduces the tablets dosage, the blood pressure goes up again to descend. The fasting person removes the other seals and the tension goes up to go down again. At the end of the fast, the tension is often too low, without any treatment. It is important to continue to control it during the weeks and months following the fast.
Benefits: Effects on the skin
Just like the body, the skin regenerates itself. Normally, when you are not fasting, the skin has to do a lot of "clean-up" work: many dead cells come to the surface to be eliminated. Over time, the abundance of these cells makes the complexion dull ... When we fast, these "old" dead cells will serve as fuel and be recycled. The body organizes itself to assimilate the available proteins and it is like reused cells, transformed into energy, which will not have to be eliminated by the skin.
They are fresh cells, all young, that come to replace those that are naturally detached on the surface of the epidermis to be renewed. Experience shows that the body needs 10 days to remake the entire skin: the complexion becomes radiant, we rejuvenate!
Fasting is a fountain of youth!
For more, see René Lejeune's book "Fasting and Aesthetics"
Benefits: Effects on vitality
One third of our daily energy provides basic metabolism: regulation of body temperature, circulation and respiration.
The second third is used to digest and assimilate food. The third third is at our disposal to lead our lives as we see fit.
33% is appreciable, it ensures a good vitality.
Two factors can ruin this beautiful image: eating too much and not moving regularly.
By eating too much, the food does not occupy a third but rather half of our daily energy, because of digestion. The sedentary lifestyle makes it difficult for the body to ensure the rest of our daily schedule: the basic functions and everything we need and want to do in life; the vitality is on all levels. We are obliged to use coffee and sleeping pills to ensure the day ... and the night.
But libido and erectile function also drink. (see my article about free and efficient stress relieve)
An italian research has shown that a 10% dietary restriction improves erectile function by 25% for overweight people. So be creative ... eat less and move more!
Benefits: Effects on the immune system
Stimulation of the immune system is one of the reasons for dietary fasting. During a week of fasting, the body settles a lot of small problems. Countless are the testimonies of fasters who spend the year following the fast without any health problems. This is the reason why some health funds in Germany pay a week of preventive fasting!
Everyone wins and science proves that fasting rejuvenates the immune system.
According to recent studies by Valter Longo, fasting for 72 hours is enough to trigger a regeneration of the immune system. It is ideal for restore the body after illness, chemotherapy treatment and, more generally, when the immune system is weakened. Moreover for Valter Longo "there is no evidence that fasting is dangerous, but there is great evidence that it is beneficial".
Excerpts from Le Jeûne : Mode d'Emploi by Sophie Lacoste & Gisbert Bölling - Editions Leduc.s