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Mindful Fasting

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Anders
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Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:15 am

Despite fasting having been used for thousands of years, it has been a largely ignored area of research until the recent decade or so. Now scientific studies have shown lots of health benefits with fasting, such as the 2016 Nobel Prize in medicine.

"Yoshinori Ohsumi, a cellular biologist from Japan, became a Nobel Prize winner in physiology and medicine “for discovering the mechanisms of autophagy.” The Japanese scientist has scientifically substantiated that fasting is good for one’s health, ... Autophagy is the process of utilizing and recycling unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components—the so-called cellular rubbish which accumulates in cells. The term “autophagy” originates from two Greek words which summarily mean “self-eating.”" -- http://orthochristian.com/97617.html

What happens when fasting is that the body starts munching on its own cells and it eats the damaged and dysfunctional cells first. And then when the fasting stops the body starts regenerating new healthy cells.

From what I have found so far about the scientific research is that water fasting several times in periods of 3 days during several months will significantly improve the health of the body. One obstacle is psychological. Experts have reported that the feeling of hunger gets worst around day 2 and 3. Therefore I came up with the idea to use mindfulness practice in combination with intermittent fasting to remove the psychological barrier and replace the feeling of hunger with a peaceful and pleasant feeling.

"Intermittent fasting (IF) is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting during a defined period." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting

Experts recommend and people use lots of different methods of fasting. And there is plenty of opportunity to try different variants. My plan is to experiment with water fasting 3 days a week for two months as a first step. Water fasting means drinking only water without any additives in it.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:29 pm

When looking at different intermittent fasting methods on the internet, it shows that my plan is more extreme than most of the popular intermittent fasting methods used today. The reason for this is that I want to be sure to match this kind of scientific research:

"periods of no food for two to four days at a time over the course of six months — kill older and damaged immune cells and generate new ones" -- https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-trig ... ne-system/

So I suspect the popular methods are too lame. :D And notice the no food part. This means only water without even salt or apple cider vinegar in it. The quote says over the course of six months. My plan is only two months, however it has 3 days fasting every week during those two months, which means a total of 8 cycles of fasting. Should be enough I reckon.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:04 pm

How much water to drink during the fasting periods? I heard in one video (don't remember which) that a man got seriously ill because he drank too much water, and it wasn't even in relation to fasting if I remember correctly. So I plan to drink water only when thirsty. In that way my body can automatically regulate the amount of water needed.

The fasting periods in time on the other hand I plan to schedule in a mechanical predictable pattern, such as fasting Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week. That allows the subconscious to have a predictable interval to rely on. Compare that to how the body-mind had to cope with uncertainty of having enough food in ancient times. That's a very stressful situation. By having a predictable schedule, that stress is removed.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:34 pm

What to eat during the week when not fasting? My plan is to allow any kind and any amount of food, including junk food sometimes. In this way the result of the fasting becomes easier to measure. If the fasting is combined with some super healthy diet, then it becomes more difficult to tell which health benefits are from the diet and which benefits are a result of the fasting. And also, for me it removes stress by being free to eat anything I want.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Christine » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:18 pm

Thank you for the share on fasting, this very vital health ritual is much on the airwaves right now. Many Facebook friends have fasted lately and we are about to initiate a 3 to 10 day master cleanse.

https://maplevalleysyrup.coop/how-to-do-the-master-cleanse-lemonade-diet/

I've done the master cleanse in the past and Laurie is sharing her experiences with it so time to buckle down and enter the field. There is an odd resistance to change and sometimes it arises from the most subtle levels. All it really takes is one step at a time.
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The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:32 pm

Christine wrote:Thank you for the share on fasting, this very vital health ritual is much on the airwaves right now.


I was blown away by how many health benefits there are with fasting, and increasingly backed up by scientific research. Interesting that fasting is becoming popular and the internet makes it easy to collect experiences from many people. I have sort of combined what I have found in mainstream science with what experts have said about the practical aspects of fasting.

The mindfulness part is still a work in progress. I will listen to this video to get some new insights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAPU1XM-Ehs

Edit: I found another video with useful practical information related to mindfulness and intermittent fasting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTmmjmXAyxk

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:04 pm

The feeling of hunger is caused by the hormone ghrelin.

"Ghrelin is the so-called hunger hormone. ... So what happens over multiple days of fasting? This study looked at the question specifically. 33 subjects had their ghrelin measured over 84 hours of fasting ... Over 3 days of fasting, ghrelin gradually DECREASED. This means that patients were far LESS hungry despite not having eaten for the past 3 days. This jives perfectly with our clinical experience with patients undergoing extended fasting. They all expect to be ravenously hungry, but actually find that their hunger completely disappears" -- https://idmprogram.com/fasting-ghrelin-fasting-29/

This means that the increased feeling of hunger reported during day 2 and 3 is a psychological response rather than a biological effect. That's good news since it means that mindfulness practice targeting the psychological habit of the mind is enough to cure the hunger feelings.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:16 am

A colony of bacteria can live for millions of years. This is achieved through something called asymmetric cell division which divides the cell into a rejuvenated and a damaged part.

Similarly, intermittent fasting can be seen as asymmetric cell division on a collective level of the whole body. Each fasting period removes damaged cells and during the period of eating the body builds up new healthy cells.

We can call the collective rate of cell maintenance in the body aging velocity A and intermittent fasting reduces the aging velocity. And mindfulness practice reduces the aging velocity further by removing stress.

Is it possible to reduce the aging velocity even further by using a healthy diet during the eating periods? For some people maybe but not in my case I think because having to follow some diet would increase my stress levels and actually have a detrimental effect causing the aging velocity to increase instead of being reduced further.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:44 am

Another problem with following a certain diet during intermittent fasting is that it's likely very tricky to know what kinds of nutrition and in what amounts the body needs during the eating periods. And that may vary over time both in terms of types and amounts of nutritions needed.

Instead a better approach I believe is to use mindfulness and learn how to feel the body's needs regarding nutrition. After each fasting period there is an opportunity to change old habits of eating by being mindful of new cravings for what kinds of food that the body needs. One task for the mindfulness practice is to learn to recognize healthy cravings.

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Re: Mindful Fasting

Postby Anders » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:15 am

The study I posted earlier about the hunger hormone showed that the hunger feelings during fasting are psychological instead of biological. The levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin go down. Therefore training the mind to remove the psychological hunger is feasable.

"High levels of the "hunger hormone" ghrelin have an antidepressant effect, US researchers claim. Blocking the body's response to ghrelin has been suggested as a weight loss treatment but it may also produce unintended effects on mood, they said." -- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7453516.stm

This suggests that the regulation of ghrelin levels during fasting causes depression. :( And it explains why people have reported feeling so bad during day 2 and 3 of the fasting. Fortunately even the depression effect is psychological. The ghrelin levels drop after having eating a big meal.

"When ghrelin levels in the stomach rise, the brain gets a signal that it is time for food. Ghrelin also slows our metabolism, just in case we cannot find any food. Then, after a big meal, ghrelin levels drop and metabolism speeds up to the burn calories we just ate." -- http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/0 ... ssion.html

To cure the hunger depression, mindfulness can be used to train the mind to recognize the fasting periods as having the same effect as when eating food. The depression comes from habitual worry about not finding enough food, such as in ancient times. With intermittent fasting the actual situation is the opposite of uncertainty of having enough food. With scheduled intermittent fasting we know precisely when we will start eating again. So instead of having the body and mind struggling with ghrelin levels, mindfulness is used as a means for calming down the mind's habitual tendency of causing ghrelin to be released in the body to make us try to find food.

It's not the lowering of hunger hormone levels that causes the depression during unmindful fasting. It's the mind's subconscious habit of triggering increase of hunger hormone levels in an attempt to make us try to find food that is the cause of the depression. With mindful fasting the mind is retrained to recognize the fasting periods as the time for starting to eat the damaged and dysfunctional cells in the body.


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