How to induce autophagy fast

Learn how to induce autophagy fast and keep your immune system in great shape. Plus you’ll be reducing inflammation and gaining multiple health benefits.

Autophagy is a natural process and norally takes place in our bodies without us having to do too much to trigger it.

Unfortunately, due to the modern lifestyle, autophagy takes place a lot less often than it used to and when this happens there is a negative effect on health and wellbeing.

The frequency of Autophagy can decrease

The process of autophagy slows down as we age.

For this reason, if you’re an older person you should consider learning how to increase the amount of times you can trigger the healing state of autophagy.

If you’re  in this age group you  can often compensate by introducing a few healthy new habits into your daily life.

If you are not already familiar with the process of autophagy, and why it is important for our health, see here:

Autophagy and Fasting

The Science of Autophagy

There has been increasing interest in the scientific world about autophagy.

This has led to  a mounting body of evidence of how important and beneficial Autophagy is to  health and continued health as we age.

There is overwhelming evidence that we need to be in Autohagy regularly to achieve maximum health.

Fortunately, there are several ways that can be employed that will allow us to do this more often than maybe occurring naturally.

Fasting to trigger autophagy How to induce autophagy

Fasting is the best and most well-known cause of autophagy; even a short fast of 12 hours is enough to trigger this natural cleansing and resetting process in your body.

This makes it important to rethink how often we eat between meals. Most people snack multiple times during the day.

Snacking and grazing leaves many people with too small a window of time without food for them to enter this important process.

Despite all the current advice to eat small and frequent meals, it is now accepted that its important to leave some time between meals.

This time can be during the night while sleeping, several hours during the day or even a longer time of 12 – 36 hours which occurs during intermittent fasting.

We evolved to make the most of the times we were without food

Autophagy would have happened much more often in our distant past when food was only sometimes available.

Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle has caused these breaks from food it to take place much less frequently, with some serious consequences.

Easy and frequent access to food stops autophagy dead, and we pay the price with our health.

You can read more about this by visiting Autophagy and fasting .

Cold Exposure For Autophagy

How to induce autophagy

We may not be big fans of feeling cold, but the stress caused to our bodies when in this state will initiate autophagy.

The idea of taking a daily cold shower for its health benefits has been around for years, but its only recently that science has shown why this is.

There are various ways practiced of regularly giving the body a boost via cold stress.

These methods include (for the brave) winter swims in near freezing water and walking outside in the cold in a t-shirt.

Fortunately, people have been getting creative when finding ways of getting their dose of cold without suffering too much.

If you’re tough enough, you’ll be reaping a lot of health benefit for a few moments suffering.

Furthermore, for those of us less tough than  the hole-in-the- ice swimmers, it seems that a quick cold shower is definitely worth your trouble.

Try taking your regular shower, and then turn the water to cold for the final 2 minutes. You can increase this time as you become more adapted to the cold.

Heat exposure

For centuries people have been visiting hot springs to ” take the water” in the belief that it is good for their health.

Amazingly, modern science has put its weight behind this idea. It’s proved that both hot showers and saunas are able to trigger this important process of autophagy.

This is another way to put the body under stress as you’ll need to adapt to the higher than normal temperature.

If you’re really not a fan of  being cold, this method of getting hot will set in motion the same healthful process:

Stress – autophagy – health benefits.

So the next time you’re at the gym, try to make the time for a sauna before leaving.

Better still, a cold shower followed by a sauna will turbo charge your whole system and here’s why:

Alternating heat and cold

How to induce autophagy

A study observed a group of swimmers who swam in freezing conditions in the winter sea and then took a sauna.

It was discovered that this group entered autophagy quicker and stronger than others.

Their ability to quickly enter autophagy was stronger than those who were subjected to just heat or just cold.

If you don’t have easy access to a sauna, alternating between hot and cold water while you shower will produce the same effect, and it’s a quick and healthy way to start your day


The importance of exercise is now well-known; we all know we can’t be in great health if we spend all our free time on the sofa.

This study on exercise and autophagy demonstrated how exercise targeted autophagy in peripheral tissues and in the brain. They concluded that exercise induces autophagy in the cerebral cortex of the brain.

Fortunately there are endless ways to get your much needed excercise.

So, even if you’re a stranger to the gym there are plenty of things you can do to get fit. Try walking, taking the stairs more often or swimming.

Sooner or later you’ll find a form of exercise that you enjoy.

However, the more rigorous forms of exercise are the ones that will help you get into autophagy.

Again, this is due to the fact that  your body needs to  experience stress to make Autophagy happen.

High-Intensity Interval Training, running, jogging and weight training are all great choices.

The fact is that there is a direct correlation between how strenuous your work out is and how quickly you will get into autophagy.

The ketogenic dietHow to induce autophagy

The keto diet restricts carbohydrates and lowers the levels of both glucose and insulin in the body.

This very low carbohydrate way of eating helps get Autophagy underway because the keto diet activates many of the same pathways to autophagy as fasting.

The aim of the keto diet is to achieve  the state of ketosis.

Once you’re  in ketosis certain pathways to autophagy are activated. These pathways cannot be  activated while eating, unless on a very restricted calorie diet. The keto diet gets around this by mimicking a fast and resulting in low glucose and insulin levels.

Both low glucose and low insulin levels are two of the conditions necessary to induce autophagy.

Further, if you choose to start an intermittent fast while on the keto diet, you’ll get into autophagy even faster.

This is because Ketosis will only be reached once you’ve burned through all your glucose stores to meet your immediate energy needs. When fasting, you’ll be keeping your glucose levels as low as possible.

So, although you don’t need the keto diet to trigger autophagy, combining this diet with any of the other ways to produce autophagy will get you into autophagy a lot quicker.

MCT oil

This amazing oil has many health benefits and you can read more about it here mct oil for keto .

By itself MCT oil will not bring about autophagy, but it still has a place in the list as an autophagy-supportive supplement.

By using MCT oil with the keto diet or with intermittent fasting you’ll be reducing your appetite and increasing your ketone levels in your body.

This  raising ketone levels will cause autophagy to be triggered sooner.

Due to these properties of MCT oil, together with the multiple health benefits, it’s another way to boost the benefits that autophagy will give you.

How often should autophagy take place?

How to induce autophagy

As with all things in life, just because something is good for you it doesn’t always follow that even more of it will be even better for you.

You don’t want to be in autophagy all the time because that would prevent growth and repair of your body.

Your body can do the cleaning work of autophagy or it can put its energy to growth and repair.

However, it can’t do both at the same time.

Too much autophagy may lead to muscle wasting and dysfunctional cell death, which is why you want to balance autophagy against growth.

Holding on to lean muscle is good for your health, and a necessity.

For this reason, you need to stimulate protein synthesis and induce mechano overload on the muscles, both of which raise mTOR and inhibit autophagy.

So, you need enough autophagy but not too much. As with all things, moderation is the key.

In Summary

Autophagy is an amazing and natural process that sets in motion the destruction of damaged cells or proteins and pathogens.

It’s a process that has evolved with us, and will occur naturally throughout our lives although there is a tendency for the rate to slow down as we age.

Due to the modern lifestyle of grazing and rarely if ever going without food for more than 12 hours at a time, this process is taking place less often than it used to.

If you are older, have been eating too often, or are short on exercise you’ll  need to consider  making some changes if you want you body to experience all the health benefits of autophagy.

Diet, exercise (especially intensive forms of exercise) exposure to heat or cold and intermittent fasting can all trigger autophagy.

Many studies now support the idea that by combining two or more of these interventions dramatically increases both the speed of entering and the strength of autophagy.

This has multiple implications for your health and your future health.

Autophagy causes a decrease in inflammation that has been linked to many diseases.

Autophagy can also help with skin problems, inclucing loose skin:

autophagy for loose skin.

There is now much evidence that links being in autophagy often enough to longevity.

There is  without doubt  a huge amount of evidence that proves that you should be in Autophagy an optimal amount of time if you want to live a long and healthy life.



  1. Hi,
    I really enjoyed your article and learned so much. I had never heard of autophagy before let alone what I needed to do to kick start it. Ironically enough I was just reading up on the Keto Diet and after reading this your post now know that it will help to induce autophagy. In your post you mention that as we age autophagy slows down so we have to be more proactive to kick start it. At what age does it start to slow down? I’m 42, is this something that I should now be more conscious about?

    Great article, thanks for the great read


    1. Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for your comments, it’s always good to get feedback.

      I’m not aware of any study that gives a set age range for the slowing down of autophagy, beyond there being a consensus that as our cells age this process naturally occurs less often.

      In my opinion, at 42 this probably isn’t anything you need to be too concerned with at this stage. However, as I mentioned in the article, autophagy is not happening enough for most people due to the modern carb heavy diet and pattern of eating.

      It’s not possible for me to say if this is true in your case as it would depend on your diet and lifestyle and the amount of exercise you take.

      Unless you are taking care of all of these factors, the chances are that you would benefit from increasing the amount of time you spend in autophagy.

      Take a look around the site and discover more about the factors that add up to a healthy lifestyle. You will then be able to decide what changes to make for your own health goals.

      All the best,


      All the best,

  2. Really great and informative article, Judy.
    I usually fast once a year for one month and I can’t really express how amazing feeling it is after that month.
    very light and healthy especially if I watch my food intake and exercise regularly. Just wanted to share my thoughts on this.
    Awesome article, thanks for that.

    1. Hi Adel,

      Thank you very much for your kind words.

      It sounds like you’re already enjoying all the benefits that fasting and autophagy can bring.

      It’s always good to hear from someone who knows first hand how great you can feel when doing this.

      All the best,


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