Fasting Discovered - Josh
Humans need food. But humans also need to not eat food. How profound...
Previously, I thought diet (that is food quality, quantity, ratios, supplements, etc.) was the most significant health factor and exercise the second most significant, barring extremes like: heavy smoking or alcohol use, home mold, toxic work environment (e.g. coal mine), physical damage (e.g. traumatic brain injury), or acute stress (e.g. death of family in car accident or other PTSD-inducing events).
This is not the case, fasting is supreme, at least for many modern ills, including my own. Fasting has unexpected benefits, lower than expected detriments, works rapidly, and costs nothing. Here is a summary of benefits and costs. These are summarized well in a book I just finished called The Complete Guide to Fasting. Fasting comes in several categories, corresponding to different time periods, which themselves correspond to different physiological states. These categories are, in brief: 5 hours after a meal, body releasing glycogen (hungry feeling); 12 to 48 hours body transitions to using fat storage and reduces protein burning (most unpleasant time/cold, hungry, irritable, etc.); 2 to 5 days body stabilizes on fat burning, body repair, and; beyond 5 days (fairly easy while feeling great). Max extended fast duration is 2 days per pound of extra fat (for 200 lb man targeting 10% body fat and at 13%, 10 days would probably do it).
The last few months, since relocating to Moscow, have been transformative. The months of summer compromised my health, both physical and mental, and returning to Moscow came with much change and a sense of failure. Kyra started working full-time, and I started home-school-at-home dad'ing. This was both a dream come true, and an opportunity to reflect on what went wrong; physical labor for several months in the sun, with family, should have been a health boom, not bust.
Research has come a long way in the last 10 years toward understanding chronic inflammatory and gut-related illness. This post is to share a little of what I've learned in the last few months, and also to expand the Blog from logging family and enterprise activities only to health research finds.
Josh: Founder, father