In this article, you’ll learn the benefits of long-term fasting. My name is Lori Ballen and I shed 43 pounds in just a few months on the Ketogenic Diet. I became passionate about the subject and helping people who suffered from being overweight and have since become a Ketogenic Lifestyle Coach.
He who eats until he is sick must fast until he is well. ~English Proverb
What is Long Term Fasting?
A long-term fast is any fasting period of 24 hours or longer. Anything shorter than 24 hours is known as intermittent fasting. Long-term fasting means you will be refraining from eating food and you may be restricted to simply drinking water for the fasting period.
Some fasting allows juice, coffee or tea, as well.
Fasting can also be done as a total abstention, which means no food or liquid enters the body for one or more days. Many health experts recommend a 24 to 72 hour fast every 2-3 months.
Health Benefits of Long-Term Fasting on the Ketogenic Diet
Combining long-term fasting with the ketogenic diet offers a number of great health benefits. The combination can be very beneficial for losing weight and fat, detoxifying the body, mental health and treatment of many health issues.
Many keto diet plans include intermittent fasting, which means you fast for 16 hours and eat all your meals for the day in one 8-hour period. However, combining the ketogenic diet with occasional long-term fasts provides even more health benefits.
I’ve done intermittent fasting with my ketogenic diet since the 2nd week on the plan. I simply moved breakfast back 30 minutes each day until I was eating my first meal after 12 noon. My focus is incredible and my energy is through the roof. I wake up with a flat stomach and the bloating is gone. Our body needs this time to rest and not spike insulin. ~ Keto Coach Lori Ballen
One of the main benefits of long-term fasting is autophagy. This natural process allows your cells to recycle themselves while the body removes toxins and heals. Autophagy happens in our bodies regularly, but it increases during a fast of 24 hours or more.
Autophagy is vital to brain health. Increasing autophagy is very neuroprotective, while any disruption to autophagy may cause neurodegeneration. In addition, increasing autophagy will help your liver use more fat.
Using long-term fasting to increase autophagy promotes longevity through better metabolic function and less inflammation in the body. It can also help fight diabetes, obesity and can inhibit cancer cell growth.
A long-term fast also has the ability to promote healing. There’s a reason why your body doesn’t crave food when you’re sick with the flu or another illness. It needs to fast in order to dedicate your energy to fight off the illness.
Often, we don’t get our digestive systems much of a break. Since we are always eating, our stomachs don’t have a chance to heal. With long-term fasting, your digestives system can heal and more energy can be used to heal other areas of your body.
Maybe one of the most important benefits of long-term fasting, detoxification happens when we fast. When we don’t consume food, our body will use fast deposits for energy. This allows the chemicals from those fat reserves to be released and the body can rid itself of the toxins.
Better Overall Immune Health
When long-term fasting is used regularly, it triggers the regeneration of stem cells in the body. This regeneration allows the immune system to become stronger.
During fasting, white blood cells are broken down, which forces stem cells to produce more white blood cells. These new cells are healthier and more effective than the old, damaged cells.
In addition, long-term fasting helps to reduce the enzyme PKA. This enzyme needs to be reduced to trigger the regeneration of stem cells in the body.
The very act of eating can be exhausting; it takes a lot of energy to digest food. When the body is freed from that chore, it naturally feels lighter and much more vibrant. ~Allan Cott
When combining long-term fasting with the ketogenic diet, weight loss becomes a huge benefit. The ketogenic diet has been shown to help with weight loss and adding in fasting will only increase the weight loss.
During the fasting period, your body is going into a state of ketosis. This means, your body is already using fat and ketones for energy. When you eat a ketogenic diet, it helps to control your hunger and keep you full for a longer amount of time.
The fasting element to the combination of the two pushes your body over the fast burning edge. It’s much like a one-two punch to knock out the fat.
In addition, long-term fasting and intermittent fasting will help to train your body to understand what eating a day’s worth of calories is like in a smaller window of time. This helps to promote healthier food intake.
Remain in Fasting Mode Longer
When you practice the ketogenic diet and you use long-term fasting, you’ll stay in fasting mode longer. Even when breaking your fast, the ketogenic diet will keep you in ketosis longer, which provides many nutritional benefits to the body.
A few additional benefits you may experience when using long-term fasting on the ketogenic diet include:
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- A decrease in oxidative stress and inflammation
- Potential treatment for epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes and other health issues
- Aids in increased secretion of growth hormones
- Protection for overall heart health
- And More!
The benefits of long-term fasting on its’ own are huge. When combined with a ketogenic diet, the benefits are magnified. If you want to lose weight and become a healthier version of yourself, combining the ketogenic diet with long-term fasting will get you there.