Can fasting be a tool for healthy living?

December 15, 2019

If you have known me for a while, you know that I do talk about food a lot. Healthy food that is! Being married to a chef, it comes with the territory in our house. We love to cook and eat healthy, home-made dishes created with local, organic ingredients whenever possible. So what about fasting??

The research is clearly in at this time, and shows that fasting is an amazing technique to reset a lot of things in the human body. After all, fasting is part of every single culture around the globe, is some form or another. It also makes sense to think that out Paleolithic ancestors fasted too, probably because food was scarce for hunter-gatherers at times. So what is it that makes fasting so valuable for us?

According to Dr Valter Longo, director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California in LA, who is studying aging and molecular oncology, fasting studies in mice showed many benefits, such as increasing life span, sustained weight loss, a close to 50% reduction in tumors, rejuvenation of the immune system and better coordination and cognitive control. Enough to make your head spin… but what about humans?

The studies are ongoing in humans, but preliminary results are in. The studies center on a program called the Fasting Mimicking Diet, that can be done mostly without medical supervision. Water-only fasting has been remarkably difficult to achieve or sustain for any length of time, and Dr Longo and his team, with a major grant from the NIH, have come up with a plan that, while keeping the body in fasting mode, allows one to consume small quantities of very precisely measured ingredients, with proper ratios of macro and micro nutrients. The results of one randomized study of 100 participants carried out at the USC medical center have been quite impressive, after 3 cycles of 5 fasting days over 3 months.

Ever the sceptic, I decided to test it for myself. I got a full complement of blood tests before Thanksgiving and started my 5 days on December 2, 2019. Having done various kinds of fasts before, I expected it to be very difficult. Other than a very mild headache on day 1, probably due to my decision to abstain from caffeine altogether during these 5 days, (a small black coffee is actually allowed but I chose not to have any), I am happy to report that it was pretty easy to sail through the program. I felt no hunger pangs, no moodiness, and I had lots of energy after day 2. All in all, it was 100% better than I expected.

The food comes in a box, and that made the whole process so easy to deal with. There is no guessing or measuring, you just rehydrate and cook the soups, much on olives or kale crackers or eat a small nut bar for breakfast. It even contains delicious organic herbal teas. There are 2 different boxes to pick from, with different soup flavors. Easy.

I will do another 5 days at the beginning of the new year, and 5 more early February, then do all my blood tests again, so I have an apple-to-apple comparison, so stay tuned for black on white results sometime in February. But so far, I am happy with the results. The weight lost has not come back, as it is not water weight but abdominal fat and I have been more mindful about what I eat, when and how. I know that internally, my body has undergone a rejuvenative process and that makes me pretty happy.

Interested to try it for yourself? You can head over here to order the boxes, complete with all you need for 5 days. Satya Wellness is making them available with a discount over regular retail and the company is even offering $50 back on each box purchased until October 31, 2020. See details here . (Rebates need to be submitted only ONCE, so keep receipts if you plan on doing this more than once before October 2020. Rebate is valid for EACH box).

Interested in more details? Dr Longo’s book The Longevity Diet is a great place to start as well as some of his YouTube videos.

To your health!

As with everything health-related, fasting is not for everyone! It is not appropriate for anyone pregnant, very weak, with liver and kidney disease or diabetes type 1 and 2. Asking your doctor is always a good choice.

The information in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prescribe for any disease or condition.  Information presented by Christine Cronin, HHP, Ph.D. is not a replacement for qualified medical care.  Always consult your preferred healthcare provider when making wellness choices.