The 4 Phases of a Complete Fasting Cycle
Part 7 of the Autophagy .
A complete fasting cycle addresses each point in the recycling process of autophagy AND incorporates the lifestyle in which it’s applied before, during and after.
To ignore any phase or piece is to turn the process into a gimmick, or pop-health fad.
Some concepts are very counter-intuitive, I get that, but when you invest in learning the “why” behind the process, look at the mechanisms and physiology, things start to fall into place as it becomes more intuitive and makes better sense.
One side of this cycle isn’t better than the other, or bad with the other good. They are both 100% crucial to each other, and in this case, to life itself.
Like the forest rising from the ashes of a fire, the net benefit and beauty could not be obtained without the devastation it grew from.
This is the planning and prep phase building up to the targeted extended, multi-day fast.
The plan starts with insulin friendly eating and entry level modified fasting strategies like meal timing, spacing, alternate day variables, and specific eating windows.
Once the metabolic ball is rolling calming the hormonal gatekeepers for hunger, the stress response, and sleep, we can move on.
Cutting caffeine well before the extended fast and loading up mineral stores are important, as are resilience practices and regular exercise before, during, and after the fast.
The second phase is the fast itself, lasting anywhere from 3-7 days.
When the first phase is successfully executed, the fast is surprisingly comfortable and easy to manage. Hunger pangs, emotional eating, and cravings all become much less as you go through phase one.
During the fast it is important to have a plan for any potential road bumps by having your acceptable “bends” ready so you don’t have to break your fast. In my program I call these crutches, they can’t walk for you but they can help keep you on your feet so you can keep moving forward.
What is acceptable or not when considering bending the fast depends on your objective for the fast and usually includes things like salt or electrolyte mixes. I have a homemade electrolyte drink recipe in the files section in my group. Herbal teas, lemon water, and sometimes coffee are included.
All crutches are on a need to use basis, not part of the fast and can include low insulin, low residue foods like olives, pickles, and even a small piece of protein if the need arises. Bending the fast is better than breaking it and the only rule you break is the one you set yourself.
The third phase is the refeeding phase reintroducing food a little at a time and is best tolerated by low digestive residue foods (fats and protein) and minimal plant foods or astringent spices and oils.
Fiber is an irritant and something I stay away from for 2-3 days post fast as are coconut and MCT oils, essential oils, and spicy foods.
Maintaining a high quality, whole food diet that’s low on the Insulin Index and not over your reasonable amount is the goal and will yield better results across the board.
Sugars and grains are not on my eating list, if they are considered on yours wait 4-5 days if possible.
The fourth phase is the reinforcement phase locking in the new stem cells into their places in the body. Here you continue with the best insulin friendly foods you can and make sure you keep up with your exercise plan and put a great deal of attention to sleep quality.
Exercise and sleep seem to be 2 of the most important factors in keeping our new stem cells and making sure they keep their jobs rather than being recycled.
Resilience practices like mindfulness, paced breathing and multiple walks each day are to be maintained or even upgraded.
Essentially you keep up with your “Insulin Friendly Living and supportive lifestyle with as many magnifiers as you possibly can.
Hold the line on your efforts for at least 1 week with a reasonable support rotation of meal timing, spacing, and varying eating windows before you roll into any more full day fasts or extended fasting.
Now you have been through a full fasting cycle and can look to plan out your Insulin Friendly Living calendar moving forward post fast.
If you are still with me now you are doing great, don’t stop here it’s just the beginning.
We can do better!