Dr. Daniel Pompa
Fasting is one of the most powerful ways to promote health and longevity. This ancient healing method is incredibly accessible and with a wide range of adaptations. There is a style of fasting that can benefit every single person. With proper guidance, everyone can reap the benefits of fasting.
Today we will explore a brief history of fasting, its benefits, and how you can guide your patients through an appropriate fast based on their current health status and needs.
The Fasting Comeback
Fasting is a healing modality that has been around for a very long time and utilized in various cultures throughout history. Pythagoras preached the benefits of fasting in ancient Greece, as did renowned 14th-century Renaissance doctor Paracelsus. Fasting was pursued for its benefits, both physically and spiritually. Fasting is practiced in Judaism during Yom Kippur and the Day of Atonements, Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan, and Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodoxy observe the 40 days fasting during Lent.
In recent times, fasting has made a resurgence, and the science supporting its benefits is encouraging the movement even more. It was in 2016 that Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi of the Tokyo Institute of Technology won the Nobel Peace Prize for his discovery of autophagy– the revolutionary mechanism that explains one of the most profound benefits of fasting.
Benefits of Fasting
The benefits of fasting are vast, but many of which are rooted in this concept known as autophagy, a process by which the body self-eats damaged cells to regenerate newer and healthier ones. Autophagy happens when the body is ‘fat-burning’ mode, brought on through ketosis and even more-so during fasting. While the body is in this fat-burning state and starved of food, it resorts to burning old, unwanted, or unneeded cellular debris. In doing so, the body rids itself of a wide range of potentially diseased cells that may have resulted in illness down the line.
During the re-feeding period, the body created a surge of new stem cells, which go to work to replace the lost cellular material with new and healthy cells.
How to Support Your Patients Through a Fast
Although fasting may benefit every person’s health, it’s essential to tailor fasting to the individual wants and needs of each client. This might include their health status, as well as their current lifestyle. Water-only fasting is typically the most profound method to reap the deepest levels of autophagy and cellular clean-up, but depending on the individual’s wants and needs, it may not always be the most beneficial route.
The studies supporting the benefits of fasting extend beyond water-only fasting. The mechanism of autophagy itself requires a certain degree of metabolic flexibility and is also accessible with other variations of fasting (like intermittent fasting, as well as fasting-mimicking diets).
Start By Fat Adaptation (Ketogenic Diet)
To reap the most benefits from a fast, the body must first transition into a fat-burning ketotic state. The quicker this transition, the easier the fast will be, and the more profound the benefits will be as well.
The easiest way to promote fat-adaptation is to implement a ketogenic diet, followed by periods of diet variation. A ketogenic diet is a very low carb, moderate protein, and a high-fat diet. By restricting carbohydrates and protein, the body can use ketone bodies from dietary fat for fuel, instead of relying on glucose that comes from dietary sugars.
Although a ketogenic diet is an integral part of training the body to burn fat for fuel, ultimately diet variation is the key to metabolic flexibility. Diet variation is like the cross-training of eating habits, whereby including some low carb days, some higher carb days, and some fasting days will keep the body guessing and adapting. Once the body has tapped into ketosis, throwing in the higher-carb and complete fasting days will ensure it doesn’t get too comfortable in ketosis and down-regulate the metabolism.
Diet variation will look different for each person, depending on individual wants, needs, health, and lifestyle. Someone who is sick, hormonally challenged, or very active might do better with more high-carb days, while someone who is in peak health condition might do better with an extra fasting day.
Breakdowns of diet variation (from mild to more intense) include:
- 5/1/1: five days of intermittent fasting in ketosis, one day with a single meal (eat until full or partial fast with one meal of caloric restriction and low protein), and one day of feasting (increased carbohydrates)
- 3/2/2: three days of intermittent fasting in ketosis, two days with a single meal (eat until full or partial fast with one meal of caloric restriction and low protein), and two days of feasting (increased carbohydrates)
- 4/2/1: four days of intermittent fasting in ketosis, two days with a single meal (eat until full or partial fast with one meal of caloric restriction and low protein), and one day of feasting (increased carbohydrates)
Make Sure The Fasting Method is Tailored To Their Particular State of Health and Needs
Although water-only fasting is a powerful tool for healing, it can be too taxing on a body that is sick or overly active. There are various methods of fasting that can promote the healing benefits of autophagy, and could be better suited to a patient depending on their current state of health and lifestyle.
Such methods include:
- Intermittent fasting: fasting daily between 12 and 18 hours (feeding between 6 and 12 hours) to promote mild autophagy and digestive rest every night.
- 24-hour fasts: including one or two 24-hour fasts per week, to increase metabolic flexibility and tap into deeper autophagy.
- Bone broth fasting: reap all the benefits of nutrient-rich bone broth while still providing the body a rest from digestion. Transitioning into fat-burning mode and tapping into autophagy occurs while still providing the body with minerals, gelatin, and collagen– which allows for much more energy during the fast. Bone broth fasting is ideal for anyone new to fasting, who is dealing with weak adrenals or other illnesses, or for anyone who is still relatively active during the fasting period. It is imperative to use only the highest quality organic, pasture-raised bone broth during a broth-based fast. Want to sign up as an affiliate to kettle and fire broth and share with your clients? Sign up HERE.
- Fasting-mimicking diet: studies suggest that a 5-day fasting-mimicking diet can have a profoundly beneficial impact on the body, without the stress of a water-only fast. This heavily calorie-restricted fast enables most people to continue with their daily business while still reaping the fasting benefits, including stem cell production, weight loss, and maintenance of metabolic health. Companies like ProLon offer pre-packaged meals for such five-day mimicking fasts that are perfectly proportioned to promote the benefits of a fast, made easy.
Encourage The Support of A Community
Having a practitioner guide and monitor a patient during the fasting period is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ensure the patient is on track with the safest and most effective method– but encouraging the support of a community is the best way to ensure adherence to the protocol. Fasting is not always an easy task, and apart from tailoring the specific style of fasting to the patients wants and needs (ensuring it’s not too drastic a method for them at that particular time), being a part of a supportive community could be the difference between a success story or a failed attempt.
Family, friends, and real-life community are an obvious choice– but unfortunately, the fasting methodology doesn’t always resonate with people, and this can become a source of tension for some. The Fasting For A Purpose Facebook group is our community that offers such support, and we are continually updating it with live videos, tools, and resources to support fast-based healing around the globe.
Encourage Certain Fast-Assisting Supplements
Some various supplements and herbs can promote autophagy during fasting, and our favorites are a duo called CellCLR and CellReNu. The first is taken during the fasting period, and the latter during the re-feeding period. Both are a combination of herbs and all-natural ingredients that support the fasting process.
CellCLR promotes detoxification, fat burning, energy levels, cognitive function, and autophagy; while CellReNu boosts stem cell rejuvenation and supports immune function, healthy hormonal balance, blood glucose levels, and faster recovery.
Fasting With Tea
The advantage of fasting with tea is that your clients consume no calories, and yet get nutrients that support the metabolism, suppress appetite, and give energy. Fasting with tea, in most cases, will produce the most dramatic weight loss results.
The best tea for fasting, in my professional opinion, is Pique Fasting Tea. Here’s why:
Their Fasting Matcha has been reformulated to contain the following ingredients…
1) Proprietary blend of high catechin green Tea Crystals – Catechins in green tea suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin, and increases thermogenesis (burning fat for fuel). This helps people stay fasted – caving into cravings is the #1 reason fasting doesn’t work.
2) Organic highest ceremonial grade matcha – Using the same grade matcha as our renowned Sun Goddess Matcha, increased levels of l-theanine calm you during fasts so you can overcome the mental challenge of fasting. This top grade matcha also has a creamier, umami-rich (instead of grassy) taste.
3) Organic peppermint – A natural appetite suppressant with calming properties.
(Fun fact: Geishas in Japan eat mint leaves before dinner so they don’t overeat!)
And this is only their green tea! They also have a ginger tea that further helps with inflammation and fat-burning. If you would like to become an affiliate for Pique Tea to use in your practice you can register here.
Fasting with Ketabo-Shake
One of the biggest challenges with the Keto diet is finding quick/easy meals that SUPPORT you going deeper into ketosis. What’s more, many ketogenic foods — like meat or butter — take time to digest and don’t provide a quick source of fuel.
Ketabo-Shake provides highest-quality, core-level, broad-range, ingredient-expansive nutrition for people who want to stave off hunger… experience more energy… and go deeper into ketosis.
Ketabo-Shake meticulously adheres to the ratios of macronutrients that support ketogenesis – helping the production of ketones (acetoacetate, β-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone) from fatty acids. Translation: you get abundant brain energy and cellular fat-burning via mitochondrial-produced energy pathways that normal diets never tap into.
Some of the benefits your clients may experience with Keto Shake include:
- Nutritional support of normal cellular energy
- Support mitochondrial function
- Support fat-burning regimens
- Athletic endeavors and stamina
- Enliven brain function
- Youthful vitality programs
- Support cellular longevity
Here are some things that make it special:
Premium Collagen – Chosen from clean sources for its low mTOR (mechanistic Target Of Rapamycin) to properly support normal muscle-building activities and low insulin response, the ready-for-use cellular protein can help support autophagy—the innate removal of defective cellular components.
Cranberry Protein – A plant protein containing all 9 essential amino acids and powerful cellular antioxidants such as α-proanthocyanidins.
Chia Oil Powder – Excellent source of Ω-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Research supports that these fatty acids can help raise HDL cholesterol – a nutrient that the body requires for cardiovascular integrity.
CLA Oil Powder – Conjugated Linoleic Acid ignites the body’s fat-burning power at the cellular level. CLA helps the body build muscle rather than store fat, and supports anti-inflammatory processes.
Although fasting is an ancient healing modality that has been utilized for health and spiritual advancements for a very long time, it has made a resurgence in popularity in recent times due to the abundance of scientific literature supporting its benefits. One of the main mechanisms in which fasting promotes health and longevity is called autophagy, a self-cleaning cellular clean-up that occurs when the body is in a ketotic, fasted state. Although fasting may benefit all people, it is essential to tailor the style of fasting to the individuals’ wants, needs, health status, and lifestyle. Such adaptations include intermittent fasting, 24-hour fasts, and bone-broth fasting. Becoming fat-adapted before a fast is one way to reap more benefits, and having a supportive community encourages proper adherence to a fasting protocol.
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