The Amazing Benefits of Extended Fasting
Extended fasting or prolonged fasting is a stretched out form of intermittent fasting, where you go fasting for 48 hours or more.
Extended fasting has amazing effects on your body: it retards the aging process, lower the chances of cancer and a number of other diseases, lower body inflammation - the list is long.
Extended fasting: The do’s and don’ts
The protocol for a 72-hour long extended fast is outlined below.
A Day before: Try not to eat after 6 pm. Stop eating altogether till 8 pm.
In the first 12 to 24 hours, take the following steps.
For a quick switch over to ketosis, your body needs to consume some energy. The best way to use up this energy is to go for a walk for an hour. You can also hit the gym, but don’t go for rigorous exercise.
Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day.
After Day 1 is successfully done with, the do’s and don’ts of day 2 are:
Consume water throughout the day. Add a pinch of salt- you need those electrolytes in your body. You can also have some coffee.
Same as day 1, go for a walk or some light exercise.
For the last day of your extended fast, don’t indulge in any energy consuming activity. Keep up the water and salt consumption, have some coffee as well.
Your fast is about to end, keep going!
Breaking The Fast
Have a meal when you break the fast but watch what you are eating. Do not overeat.
What extended fasting does to your body
Extended fasting on a regular basis enhances your cognitive function, helps you lose weight and increases your insulin sensitivity.
For obvious reasons, weight loss is the immediate and most noticeable effect of extended fasting.
You lose all the water weight at first and then your body starts consuming the stored glycogen in liver and muscles. This might sometimes lead to dehydration, that’s why it is emphasized to increase water intake during the fasting period.
After all the glycogen is burned up, your body starts to burn fat leading to even more weight loss.
Autophagy is actually your body’s recycling cycle. All the old cells are removed or recycled into new, healthier cells.
Autophagy basically reverses the aging process and helps in muscular development.
This is of special importance in cancer patients or prevention of potential cancer.
An extended fast is minimum of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 hours. The ease of the length of the fast varies from person to person depending on the amount of body fat that they have, but on a general notion, a human being can live without food till 30 days. Extended fasting for 30 days is never advised or recommended as it is more harmful than beneficial, keeping it in the range of 48 to 120 hours has its benefits though.
Extended fasting within that time frame gives a boost of brain’s productivity and enhances cognitive functioning. It also increases the body’s resilience to stress.
Extended fasting increases stem cell revival due to the reduction of white blood cells. For patients with immune system deficiencies, extended fasting works wonders. It helps to rebuild your immune system and strengthens your body’s response to combat diseases.
The benefits of extended fasting are countless. Some of the most highlighted benefits are,
● Increased regeneration of body cells
● Strengthened Immune system
● Increased regenerative processes in the brain, which in turn enhances cognitive functions
● Enhanced autophagy, hence retarded aging
● Higher self-restraint and increased willpower
Extended fasting can be somewhat challenging but the effects and benefits are worth the struggle!