Have you ever been curious about what exactly happens to your body when you abstain from eating? Many people know that fasting has many benefits for the body, but may not be sure of the specifics.
In this blog, we will take a look at some of the major changes that occur in the body when it is starved of food. We will also explore some of the health benefits of fasting.
So if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, keep reading!
What Happens When You Eat Regularly?
In the period between eating meals, your body takes in energy by digesting food, which raises insulin levels, which we don’t want.
High insulin levels can mess with hormones, add stress and belly fat, and create fat in the liver.
The more sugar you eat, the higher your insulin rises. Your body uses this insulin for energy, but if it doesn’t use it all, it stores it as fat.
If you eat every four hours, your body never has to be efficient because it never runs out of material.
This leads to carbs & sugars burning unclean in the body and leaving excess material. When you have too much raw material going in, your body starts storing it as body fat.
6-8 Hour Fast
If you only eat every 6-8 hours, it can have incredible benefits for your body. After this period, your body will start to break down the excess food that is stored in your body.
Your body will begin breaking down fat because it’s used up a lot of the glucose inside of your cells and blood.
At that point, your body will begin to tap into storage to build new cells because it needs raw materials to do so.
One of the biggest challenges to this length of fasting is eating late at night.
Late-night eating shortens the window during which this process begins. Big breakfasts can also disrupt it, but the easiest time to fast is overnight while you sleep.
At the 16-hour point of abstaining from food, your body starts producing ketones.
Normally your brain is fueled by glucose. Once you burn up all of the glucose, the brain starts running off of ketones, which has several advantages.
It gives you better mental clarity and concentration, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s, and clears plaque from the brain.
The cleanup mode that produces these ketones is called autophagy, during which your body will clean up old cells, viruses, and bacteria.
Autophagy only happens if you’re not giving the body new materials (such as glucose) from food to build cells with.
If you eat a carb-heavy meal, it’s going to take longer for your body to go into autophagy. If it’s a fat or protein based meal, your body is going to enter autophagy a lot faster.
16-24 Hour Fast
You can also extend your fast to 16-24 hours without eating. I do this about once a week. Most days I like to do a 16 hour fast to make sure my body enters autophagy.
But if you fast for 24 hours, the sugar built up in your liver starts to burn up.
When you start to lose weight, your body is going to start by burning it from your liver.
That means that when you start to fast, you’re not going to immediately see external changes. However, you want to get rid of excess fat in your organs as fast as possible, because it can lead to health disorders.
Going 16-24 hours without eating can reverse fatty liver syndrome, and put your body in a fat-burning mode that will eventually break up external fat, too.
If you want to fast for more than 24 hours, make sure you talk to your doctor first, especially if you have any medical conditions.
But with a 24+ hour fast, there are hunger pains from not eating the first 1-3 days, but the benefits it has on your body will blow you away.
Research out of UCLA shows that your immune system’s virus protection gets a huge surge when you get to the 72-hour mark.
Still, doing 14-16 hour-long fasts is going to help with reducing fat and liver problems. I recommend only going up to 72 hours once a month.
Reducing carb intake, increasing protein and fats, and drinking apple cider vinegar will keep your insulin levels down. That will help get to the benefits of fasting much quicker.
If you don’t like the bitter taste of apple cider vinegar, you can also get it in a powdered form, which you can find in my Metabolism & Hormone Support supplement here.
I’ve also put together a month-long process called rotational fasting. This will help you tap into the benefits of fasting more gradually, and ensure that your body won’t plateau, which is a common problem with fasting.