When you stopped eating for a while, your Insulin levels are down, the catabolic hormone Glucagon will rise to optimize your body to burn fat. This is very important: You can’t burn your own fat while Insulin levels are high, it’s just not possible. Insulin is basically the hormone that open up your cells to get fuel, it’s the main fat creating hormone. Insulin needs to go down and Glucagon needs to be raised to burn your own fat. Insulin and Glucagon are effectively opposites of each other. One is used to add fat, and the other is to burn fat.
Once your body is in a fat burning state, you are in KETOSIS, it’s just what is this state called. The longer you can stay in the state of ketosis, the better your body will become at fat burning.
Using fats as fuel instead of carbs, doesn’t mean your body will completely stop using carbs. As carbohydrates are non-essential, you just start to produce them with a process called Gluconeogenesis. When your fat stored in your body, it is in a form of three fatty acids to a glycerol backbone. To get it released its needs to be acted upon this enzyme called Hormone Sensitive Lipase, what breaks it down to it’s parts. Once the glycerol backbone is freed, it will be used in Gluconeogenesis to create carbs inside your body.
Of course, you don’t need to be fasting to be in KETOSIS. But, fasting have proven to be super healthy and life extending if you do it right. There are thousands of studies proving that fasting can fix your insulin sensitivity without using any medication, it can make you younger with the help of survival genes and autophagosomes. It can literaly break down your older and weaker cells to be reused as parts in new much healthier cells. It can help your digestive system to heal by taking a break. And it can naturally raise your Human Growth Hormone levels so you can gain more muscles. It even raises your NAD+ levels what acts as a fuel at the cellular level, and it burns a crazy amounts of your own fat. It’s just super effective.
There are many ways to do it, but the most effective ways from a health perspective are these:
Short term or intermittent fasting is when you don’t eat for 16-20 hours (if it is hard for you, start with 12 hours). The best way to do this is to stop eating around 8 pm, and only start eating next day around 12. If you can push it a bit more the better, the best results come if you can wait till 4 pm. You can do this type of fasting up to three times a week, if you properly take care of your nutrition when you are not fasting.
Long term or prolonged fasting is when you don’t eat for 24 hours or more. There are people who do weeks of fasting, but more than 3 days of fasting will cause muscle loss for sure, and makes re-feeding very risky. You can literally die if you don’t eat for weeks and you do one big meal! Because your electrolytes are so out of whack, your cells will get a shock when the electrolytes start to get sucked inside. That’s why re-feeding after a prolonged fast always have to be a slow process. So, I don’t advise to do more than a 3-4 day fast. Also, If you do a long term fast, YOU NEED TO USE ELECTROLYTES, essential minerals used in cellular communication. You can find pre-packaged complex electrolytes at most sport shops. If you just go in to a long fast raw without electrolytes, you risk your health and you will feel terrible very shortly. You can do this type of fasting once a month, if it’s longer than 3 days, once every 3 months. Long term fasts are great to minimize inflammation in your body, it can help many disease symptoms, except if they came from a virus. If you know that you have a virus, try not to do a prolonged fast, because it can weaken your immune system, just do the short term fasts, those won’t affect your immune system negatively.
Doesn’t matter what type of fast you do, you can’t eat or drink anything that contains a calorie. Well, that’s not totally true, but it’s a very effective way of thinking. You can drink water with a hint of Apple Cider Vinegar all day long, dark coffee till noon, and green tea till late afternoon. You can use Stevia or Monk Fruit to sweeten your drinks, just don’t use any artificial sweeteners. If you don’t feel well, you can add electrolytes like Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium to your drinks. Also, if you need some extra brain power you can try Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplements too, this help you to get more energy from your own fat. Just remember, when you stop a fast your insulin sensitivity is super heightened, and you digestive system is under stimulated, so when you break your fast, try to eat something easy for the gut, like a bone broth soup or some protein. Do not rush into the heavy stuff, keep it slow, it’s a step by step process.
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