Benefits of prolonged fasting and how to do it safely
What is it for and is it suitable for me?
Prolonged fasting is a process of not eating for an extended period of time – anywhere from 24 hours to multiple consecutive days. Some people choose prolonged water fasts, but at TNC we use the ProLon 5 Day fasting mimicking food kits to help us stay in a fasted state while still being able to nourish ourselves.
Fasting is part of our natural process to our evolution as humans. Our modern lifestyle has afforded us an abundance of food, at all times of the day, constant snacking can affect our metabolic flexibility.
What happens to your body when you do a prolonged fast safely and correctly?
Fat burn and Ketosis
When you don’t consume calories, the body looks for other ways to generate energy from. The body starts to draw from the glucose or sugar stored in your body. Once the glucose in your body is significantly used up, the body starts burning stored fat.
Autophagy and cellular renewal
Prolonged fasting activates autophagy, a process critical for cell health and renewal. Your body is comprised of over 72 trillion cells and over 200 billion of those cells replicate every day.
Experts agree that after the 48th hour of fasting, the process of autophagy is triggered in the body. Autophagy is a natural and regulated mechanism of the body where dysfunctional or damaged components are removed.
*Other benefits to fasting include:
Improving biomarkers of disease
Stimulate the secretion of growth hormones (a fat-burning hormone)
Stabilise blood sugar
Help with memory function and mood
Lowering blood pressure
Reducing inflammation and lessen free radical damage
However, prolonged fasting is not for everyone. Consider these points before deciding to go on a prolonged fast:
Make sure you’ve fasted before so that your body doesn’t go into a shock
It is particularly important to ease into long fasts
If you are under a lot of stress, work on releasing some of that first before attempting to fast. Fasting under stressful conditions is more harmful than beneficial
Remember to listen to your body and don’t push past your limit
Prolonged fasting is unsuitable for you if:
You are underweight – prolonged fasting can heighten the side effects of fasting such as dizziness and fatigue.
You are pregnant or breastfeeding
Have Type 1 Diabetes and require insulin
And it’s always better to seek a professional’s help first before to assess whether you are suitable for prolonged fasting, especially if you have existing medical conditions
If you’re confident that prolonged fasting is for you, then make sure to stay hydrated, have enough sleep and don’t wear yourself out with heavy exercises. It will help you fight the hunger and sluggishness you may feel.
Ready to reap the benefits of prolonged fasting? Join our functional wellness coached 5-day fasting programme here.
*Please note that a pre-programme consultation call will be arranged to determine suitability.