My story of fasting.

I been fasting for a long time, and most people will immediately think is it a way to lose weight the short answer is yes and no. I personally do it for other health benefits, here is a little story, I been in a wheelchair for over 20 years, I love to eat, but I also love to work out, when I got shot in 1995 I was about 220 lbs. (100 kg) at the time I was a martial artist and a  very  active man full of energy. My life changed overnight that Friday night in February of 1995, I would become wheelchair bound, and my activity would go to zero.

So with my eating habits I would blow up like a blimp. I needed to do something about it, I read many books and asked every nutrition doctor, they all had the same idea, eat small portions 5 times a day etc.… I thought to myself Cheese Burger and french-fries is not a small meal and I am not giving that up, so I found out about fasting.

What do you think my weight is? Well now after 20 years in a chair, I am still 220 lbs.(100 kg) I eat like a champ, and my body is like a tank, it takes a beating every day and comes up the next day for more, how I started the fasting was simple, I would choose a day that I will not eat, just drink water,water-drinking no food of any kind, and I do this for 24 hours, usually on Sundays, my rest day so I can do it and not fall out or something. First few Sundays  was rather rough, I would have a headache and all kinds of little problems, but I kept at it, and in some months I started doing it for 36 hrs. that was not easy either, then eventually to 48 hrs. after about an year I wouldn’t even notice it, so let’s do a little math, 48 hrs. a week equals to 192 hrs. a month and that equals to 2304 hrs. a year, now divide that by 24 and you get 96 days, that’s 3 months of fasting a year, stop and think about that one minute please, long time right?fasting

Well I never felt better, so yes this works, it keeps your weight down it makes you stronger, your immune system is stronger, you sleep better, you feel better you are better. My fasting practice was disrupted last year but I am slowly getting back to it, and by my next birthday I would be fasting 48 hr.’s a week, think about it try it or just read the articles that prove that this is good for you.

I have been intermittent fasting for over one year.( says James Clear on his blog)

I skip breakfast each day and eat two meals, the first around 1 pm and the second around 8 pm. Then, I fast for 16 hours until I start eating again the next day at 1 pm.

Surprisingly, since I’ve started intermittent fasting I’ve increased muscle mass (up 10 pounds from 205 to 215), decreased body fat (down 3% from 14% to 11%), increased explosiveness (set a personal best with a clean and jerk of 253 pounds a few months back), and decreased the amount of time I’ve spent training (down from 7.5 hours per week to 2.5 hours per week).

In other words, I’m stronger, leaner, and more explosive even though I go to the gym less and eat less.

“Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.) Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function, Mattson and another researcher reported in January in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience

“Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people?” 

Fasting is a challenge to your brain, and your brain responds to that challenge by adapting stress response pathways which help your brain cope with stress and risk for disease. The same changes that occur in the brain during fasting mimic the changes that occur with regular exercise. They both increase the production of protein in the brain ( neurotrophic factors), which in turn promotes the growth of neurons, the connection between neurons, and the strength of synapses.

“Challenges to your brain, whether it’s intermittent fasting [or] vigorous exercise . . . is cognitive challenges. When this happens neuro-circuits are activated, levels of neurotrophic factors increase, that promotes the growth of neurons [and] the formation and strengthening of synapses. . .John Hopkins university magazine.

A study published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California showed that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and, moreover, induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. It triggers stem cell based regeneration of an organ or system.

We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system.

Valter Longo

Findings to date from both human and animal experiments indicate that ADF (alternate day fasting)  may effectively decrease the risk of CVD         ( Cardio Vascular disease ), whereas results from animal studies suggest a protective effect on cancer risk. In terms of diabetes prevention, animal data suggest a beneficial effect, but human data have been equivocal. However, it is important to note that the human studies examined in this review are limited; they all lacked control groups and used short trial lengths. Future studies with longer trials and including control groups are needed to answer these important questions. The effect of ADF regimens in insulin-resistant or diabetic populations also should be determined, because they could help to clarify the role of ADF as a treatment for preexisting diabetes rather than as a protection against diabetes.the American  Journal of Clinical Nutrition

1 thought on “My story of fasting.”

  1. Thanks for the excellent blog post, Ambroz! I wholeheartedly agree with you–there is too much profit being made off of us becoming sick. I also believe that we have ultimate control over our health. I just finished my 3 day mono-fast (I think it’s a good start to doing a more complete fast, as it kills cravings & banishes hunger), & am in awe at how much easier it was than I thought it would be. The first day was the real challenge, but it was more mental, than actual hunger.

    I’m amazed at the clarity of my thinking & my energy level has already improved. My sleep was sound & I awakened after 7 hours *I generally need 8-9 to feel good), alert, & without an alarm. This is HUGE for me, as I’ve been dealing with a sluggish thyroid that has gravely effected my energy.

    The information you shared relieved my concerns about energy & its effects on exercise & muscle mass. I work out too, & was worried it would interfere with my regimen. Instead, I realize it will enhance it.

    Going to make intermittent fasting a regular part of my life.

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