If you’re like me, you have never felt compelled to practice water fasting. Intuitively, I’ve felt like regularly restricting eating windows was not in alignment with my feminine flow. However, I will consider most health practices in the name of preparing my body and in creating an optimal environment for my future baby. It wasn’t until I learned about autophagy that it clicked for me.
What is Autophagy?
Autophagy is the process of recycling and cleaning out damaged, old and sick cells, while regenerating and producing healthy new ones. The body has an organic and intelligent ability to detox and it doesn’t require any juice cleanses or supplementation to be effective. Simply deciding to only consume water (for a set duration of time) gives your system a break and a chance to reset…
We have somewhere around 30-40 trillion cells in our body. Over time, our body’s inner workings become clogged with toxins.. This is where the process of autophagy comes into play. Autophagy is derived from Greek words translating to “eat the self” or “self eating” referring to our microscopic cells. Our body is aware of general wear and tear that occurs with time and is designed to locate damaged areas of infection and inflammation and break down the unsalvageable cells. Water fasting is the most effective and efficient way to enter into autophagy. When we stop taking in energy in the form of food, our body uses those damaged cells or non functioning cell components as an energy source. While it simultaneously rids and removes those harmful materials from our body.
Benefits of Autophagy?
The small sacrifice of removing food for a few days in service of building a healthier system for growing a child makes this an easy sell for me. Other benefits include:
Increased Longevity: The process of removing damaged organelles and proteins improves the cells, helping to extend one's life span.
Fights Disease: Autophagy targets bacteria and toxins that create disease and infections. Supports immunity all the while.
Protects Mental Health: By controlling inflammation and fighting disease we off-set the damage caused by neurodegeneration. Keeping the brain and memory sharp as we age.
More resilient to stress: Gene expression can change to help fat metabolism, shed excess fat, and protect DNA from damage… making our system more resilient to stressors.
Balanced hormones: The system has a way to bring everything into harmony, when given the ability to clear out what's no longer serving us and unifying what is.
Practicing Extended Fast Safely
No matter the duration of your fast, it’s important to stay hydrated and be aware of your electrolyte levels. A percentage of our daily intake of food has vital minerals and water in it. Accounting for the loss of food means increasing your water intake. It’s important to replenish with magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium, which are crucial electrolytes your body needs to stay healthy and function properly. Adding salt to your water can be helpful to maintain feeling good during this detoxification process. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded can be a sign that you’re dehydrated and mineral levels need attention.
From My Experience
I enjoyed hot salt baths, going for walks in Nature, and resting when needed. When ketosis kicks in, working and focusing comes naturally, it was really quite enjoyable. I would suggest minimizing your workload and life commitments during the fasting period. Sweating in the sauna can help to support the detoxification process. Be mindful of social media, movies, and music that you are consuming. All systems become particularly sensitive during this time. Listen to your body and allow yourself the time to release and let go.
Autophagy regularly occurs in our cells, but water fasting can support and speed up the mechanism for a plethora of gains. Mental health, resilience to stress, and overall well being can all be enhanced with the simple water fast. Remember that you can do hard things and also know that whatever duration you fast for is enough. Wishing you good tidings ahead!