Dr. Brad here. Many of you know, provided you’ve had any type of nutritional conversation with me, that I’m a huge fan of Time Restricted Eating (TRE). This is a more fancy term for fasting. There’s several research-backed reasons for that, most prominent of which is longevity or living longer. More importantly, living longer HEALTHY.
It’s very clear that the number one thing you can do to live longer is restrict calories. But not in the traditional sense. Most that calorically restrict tend to do so by lowering the amount of calories they eat throughout the day. While that’s okay, it tends to be unsustainable long term for several reasons, one being that it just isn’t fun. The better way, in my humble opinion, is restricting the time that you eat all your calories during the day. Hence, Time Restricted Eating, not necessarily calorically restricted.
By restricting the time that you eat all of your calories, you naturally tend to eat less. So let me give you 2 examples of fasting, one being more extreme than the other.
1. Intermittent Fasting: narrowing your “feeding window” during the day.
- Eat all your food in a 4-10 hour window.
- Example: eat between 12-8 PM. This gives you 16 hours of caloric restriction, telling the body to rely on stored forms of energy, say body fat, that your trying to get rid of.
2. Extended Fasting (more extreme): going 48 hours or longer without food. This is definitely more uncomfortable, but much more powerful regarding longevity. In fact I’m wrapping up a 5-day water fast as I write this article. Thomas Seyfried (PhD), internationally recognized cancer researcher, has said that one 5-7 day water fast a year reduces your risk of cancer by 90%. So, in other words, for just 5-7 short days of slight discomfort in the midst of a year you can reduce your risk of one of the most awful diseases known to man.
Why does this drastic risk reduction occur? During a prolonged period without eating, your body will actually start to recycle old, damaged cells and generate new stem cells which turn into new tissue. In other words your body gets younger at the cellular level. It’s called autophagy. Pretty amazing right?
So there you have it. If you do nothing with your diet, even if you are committed to eating Wendy’s or Burger King everyday, some form of fasting will do you great benefit.
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