Rebooting the Body
Part I: Intermittent Fasting
Most people are interested in giving the body a reboot. It
could be your old fashioned cleanse, pay the piper with intense exercise after
too much booze and brats at the football game on Sunday, or strip some stored
body fat through the latest fad diet. There are many tactics, programs, and
clinics out there but gimmicks and opinions aside, rebooting the body really is
easy and free! In this first edition, I’ll quickly discuss IF or Intermittent
Fasting, one tool to regenerate, and cleanse the body. In three subsequent
Healthblasts I will discuss Calorie Restriction & Time-Released Eating,
Autophagy, and revisit Ketosis.
IF is pretty simple folks: don’t eat for a while. The
best and the easiest way to go about it is to have an early dinner and not eat
until the following lunchtime. Giving your body a rest has numerous benefits,
but mostly it allows critical functioning organs like your pancreas, liver,
kidneys, and intestines to repair themselves, regenerate tissue, flush out
dysfunctional cells, and improve function.
To put IF into Turbo-mode, try
long walks and Resistance Training on an empty stomach in the morning. Drinking
tea with different herbs and plants that target specific organs is also a great
idea. Ginger root, licorice root, mint, are always a good start. And as always,
ignore whacky supplements and eat real food!
Rebooting the Body
Part II: Time Restricted Eating T.R.E.
The theme of this 4 part series plays on the 4 ‘R’s as I
call them: Rest-Reboot-Repair-Regenerate.As you probably know by now, diets and calorie counting are absolutely
worthless weight loss and overall health tactics. They are impractical and
doomed to fail. Finding strategies to fuel the body efficiently, not get sick,
remain lean and strong is always the goal. The human body is a fantastic and
resilient organism, so much so that if you fuel it with the right foods,
exercise it, and rest it, it is capable of taking care of itself without pills
and potions. Do the opposite and you store fat, gain weight, and have the body
of a 70 year old by the time you are 55. Putting these strategies into practice
you are actually training the body to be a more efficient fat burning lean
Part II, Time Restricted Eating, is basically setting a
window of 6-9 hours to eat within; say Noon-6pm, and allowing the body to
digest, eliminate, and regenerate the other 16 hours or so. This does away with
snacking and instead trains your body to store what it needs for future energy,
eliminate the rest, and once depleted of stored glycogen, be ready switch to an
alternative energy source such as Ketosis and Gluconeogenesis. Yes, your body
can convert stored fat for energy, but of course the key is not to overeat and
store too much! At first, many people claim they feel starved, but really this
is the body ridding itself of Carbohydrate dependence and the need to eat,
instead switching on these alternative energy sources. This mechanism is
trainable and an essential part of our evolutionary past when food was not
always readily available.
Dr. Satchin Panda, professor at the Salk Institute on Aging
validates and stresses the importance of T.R.E. in THIS
PODCAST with Ben Greenfield.
Reboot the Body Part III: Autophagy (aw-toff-a-gee)
The human body is composed of some 37 trillion cells which continually regenerate; some faster, some slower. We have an amazing machine at the cellular level where there is a constant battle going on to ward off toxins, inflammation, and disease. It is essential that the removal of potentially harmful proteins, pathogens and foreign invaders take place effectively to protect the cells against diseases and infection.
Autophagy is one method and a normal mechanism inside cells where damaged proteins, toxins, and organelles are broken down, degraded, and recycled as a source of energy, provide necessary nutrients for more essential processes, or to make new cellular structures. The Big Key: it is activated when you restrict calories or intermittently fast. Cells sense lack of energy and let those hanging on by a thread go by the wayside. Not eating from dinner the night before and the first 4-6 hours upon waking up is a great way to initiate Autophagy.
Most importantly, the damaged cells being cleared can include, cancer cells, and ones with misfolded proteins that can form Amyloid Plaque which is the known cause of Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.
So, do yourself a favor and pass on breakfast once in a while.
Three parts shared in the reboot series: Intermittent Fasting, Time Restricted Eating, and Autophagy. One to go: Ketosis, which is your dietary source to tie all four parts together.
Remember, previous Healthblasts for review are on the website.
Reboot the Body Part IV: KetosisKetosis is a metabolic state in which the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies when the body’s preferred source of fuel: Glucose has run out. This last ‘Reboot the Body’ process binds well with the previous three: Intermittent Fasting, Time Restricted Eating, and Autophagy. OR: Eat later in the morning, don’t snack all of the time, and let your crummy cells die off instead of feeding them.
Ketone Bodies, often lumped as simply Ketones, refers to 3 very specific molecules: Acetone, Acetoacetate, and Beta-Hydroxybutyrate. βHB is by far the most abundant. Basically, the process is a very cool evolutionary trick. Under food deprivation situations, which was surely the case for our prior 200,000 year existence, and before the grocery store, our Livers can switch to ketones as an alternative source of fuel. No ability to produce ketone bodies = no human species.
It Gets Better!
• Ketones are better source and more effective source of fuel. (More ATP)
• Cancer cells can only live on glucose, not Ketones. (PI3K gets downregulated)
• Ketones spare protein and muscle, even during workouts. (Anti-Catabolic)
• You suppress Insulin, giving your Pancreas and Insulin receptors a break.
• Initiates Autophagy (death of weak and dysfunctional cells)
• Neuroprotective Benefits: less oxidative burden, cleaner burning fuel, restore and preserve damaged mitochondria. (where the biochemical processes of respiration and energy production occur) Research indicates protection from Neurodegenerative Diseases: Parkinson’s, ALS, Dementia, MS, etc
• Stronger cells to deal with free radicals, and reduction in oxidative stress.
• Reduces and regulates Inflammation
• Improves Gene expression
I’ll be honest, I am not a fan of long-term fasting and don’t like to be in starvation mode. Personally I prefer to go 15-20 hours without food a few times per week. It takes a little training just like anything else, but if you finish dinner at 6pm and don’t eat until lunchtime it really isn’t a big deal. Very Cool is when you can begin to feel your body switch over to Ketosis once the sugar in your bloodstream runs out. The other BIG key is to restrict carbohydrate intake to definitely less than 100 gm/day. Diehards typically strive for less than 50 gm/day with modest protein intake because protein is gluconeogenic- i.e., protein in excess will be converted to glycogen by the liver. To see if you are truly in Ketosis, buy a Blood Ketone Testing Kit.
Remember: Good Carbs are Vegetables and a little Fruit. For all of these Reboots to work you have to eliminate grains, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Nothing good comes from them and in fact if you go back up to the ‘It Gets Better’ section, you can flip the benefits to the opposite.
So, take care of that body outside of the gym folks and put these four reboots into action folks!