Benefits Of Fasting (Hour by Hour)

Knowing about the Benefits Of Fasting (Hour by Hour) is a great boost to your fasting resolve. Discover the benefits you’ll gain with each hour.

Without a doubt, fasting can be an amazing way of boosting your health as well as adding years to your life.

There is evidence based research which shows multiple benefits to both Intermittent fasting and longer fasts.

Fortunately there are varying lengths of intermittent fasting:  Anywhere from 8 hours each day, all the way to 23 hours daily. You can choose any length of fast that you feel comfortable with.

Length of fast

The daily 23-hour fast is commonly known as OMAD (One Meal A Day) other popular intermittent fasts are:

  • The 16/8 method: This is the most popular, probably because it’s easy to follow and can be made to fit around social and work commitment. The most simple way to do this is to miss breakfast and have an 8-hour period of eating, which starts when you have lunch. You then wait 16 hours without eating before starting with lunch again. Not as tough as it sounds as the time you spend asleep counts towards your fasting time.
  • Alternate day fast: This involves fasting for 24 hours, and eating normally on alternate days.

Further, a fast of 72 hours has been shown to completely reset your immune system.

One of the main benefits of a fast is its ability to trigger the super healthy state of autophagy This is your body’s inbuilt spring-clean and renew process that takes place once you’re not eating.

Benefits Of Fasting : Autophagy

One of the main benefits of a fast is its ability to trigger the super healthy state of autophagy This is your body’s inbuilt spring-clean and renew process that takes place once you’re not eating.

Our bodies contain both damaged cells, and senescent cells.  When we fast, the natural process of  Autophagy is triggered.

This is a necessary process which has evolved to help to repair and heal our body.

Autophagy will  clean out all your damaged cells that are accumulated over time. These cells trigger inflammation which is now implicated in the development of numerous diseases, if not all of them4 .

Moreover, Autophagy and the immune system are now known to be linked and the immune system uses Autophagy to regulate many of its systems. Autophagy is involved in seeking out pathogens, and has a role in the fields of vaccines and aging 6

When you start a fast

As soon as your body senses that there’s no more food being eaten, it begins to use the store of glycogen in the liver.

This is a natural survival process and you’ll power through your store of glycogen somewhere between 24 and 36 hours, depending upon your glycogen levels, activity level and metabolic rate.

Once all the glycogen has been used and insulin levels have dropped,  you’ll enter the state of ketosis even if you are not on the keto diet.

This is because the drop in insulin is the trigger that will enable your body switch to metabolizing fat.

This is an important point to remember; once you have used up your store of glycogen you are using the same energy source as a person in ketosis due to following the keto diet.

The keto diet can super charge the effects of intermittent fasting (and vice versa) By combining fasting and the keto diet, you’ll be speeding up both weight loss and health benefits.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is not a calorie restricted diet, it’s a way of timing your meals to gain health benefits. You should eat normally at the times you are not fasting.

This is because its now widely known that it’s not what you eat, but when you eat that is important.

The all important process of Autophagy will only take place in the complete absence of all food. Only water, black tea, green tea and black coffee can be taken while on a true fast.

Benefits Of Fasting for metabolism

However, autophagy is not the only benefit: Intermittent fasting, or fasts of up to 72 hours can be used to reset your metabolism.

This is also of great benefit during the times that you chose to eat. An increase in metabolism will help you to lose weight at the fastest possible speed.

Indeed, it is the ability of fasting to increase metabolism that makes fasting a much more effective strategy for weight loss than calorie restriction.

Calorie restriction will decrease metabolism, and lead to the need to continue to reduce daily intake regularly. Without the frequent reduction in food, weight loss very often stalls.

Intermittent fasting, or a short fast, will not only keep your metabolism working well for you, you’ll benefit from the extra energy and nutrient burning that will take place.

Hour by Hour Benefits Of Fasting

Benefits of fasting hour by hour

Within hours of starting a fast your blood/glucose levels will begin to fall. With this fall there will be a corresponding fall in Insulin levels.

Insulin is the hormone which signals your body to store fat, so an important health benefit of a fast is to re balance too-high Insulin levels.

By 12 hours, you’ll have used all the food in your stomach, and your levels of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) will begin to increase.

HGH helps to build, and repair healthy tissue in the brain and other organs. HGH can also help to speed up the healing process after an injury.

Further, HGH will help to build muscle mass, boost metabolism, and burn fat. The levels of HGH build up dramatically at approximately 18 hours into a fast.

The 24-hour point in your fast

It is at the 24-hour point that Autophagy gets to work, repairing and renewing damages cells and proteins.

By this time you’ll have used up all your glycogen and your body will be forced to begin to burn fat for all your immediate energy needs.

This will result in you entering the healthy state of ketosis which is the aim of the keto diet.

Autophagy will continue to increase over the following hours; increasing by as much as 300% after 36 hours.

48 hour benefits

Once you’ve fasted for 48 hours, you’ll be starting to feel the benefits of ketosis. Your appetite will have reduced and your body will start to become efficient at burning fat for energy.

Autophagy continues with its healing and regeneration program, and there will be reduction in any dangerous chronic inflammation.

Chronic inflammation can make multiple diseases worse, or cause other health conditions. These include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Some cancers
  • Neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease
  • Lupus

The 72-hour fast for a complete immune system reset

You may want to try a shorter fast, or intermittent fasting before attempting a 72-hour fast.

However, once you’re ready, you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts when you go without food for 72 hours.

Studies have confirmed that at 72 hours, you’ll be  reaping all the benefits that fasting and autophagy can bring.

Plus once you’ve fasted for 72 hours you’ll notice all the  cognitive benefits. You’ll have more focus and will be able to think more clearly.

Moreover, it’s at 72 hours that your immune system will have been completely overhauled. This makes a fast of this length super important for your health and your ability to fight infections.

It’s important to note that here’s no need to do this length of fast regularly. Its been suggested that once or twice every few months should be enough. This is especially true if the boost to your immune system is your main reason for fasting.

In summary:

Any fast which lasts for more than 4 hours is great for your health. This means that by simply skipping one meal, you’ll be helping your body to lose weight as well as boosting your health.

While its true that the longer fasts have more benefits, shorter intermittent fasts have been shown to be of value. If you’re on a low carb or keto diet, intermittent fasting will increase the benefits you  achieve.

Intermittent fasting will not only help you to reach your weight goals. It will increase your metabolism, reset your Insulin levels, and improve your health by reducing inflammation.

If resetting your immune system is important to you, a 72-hour fast will achieve this as Autophagy will be at its maximum at this time.

Consider starting with a short fast, and as you become more adapted to fasting, you can increase the time. Always remember to stop any fast if you feel ill. There is nothing to be gained by pushing through a fast. You can always start again another day.

Finally, its important to take care of your electrolytes when fasting. If you don’t do this, you could run the risk of suffering the keto flu.

Learn more about electrolytes here.



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