Everyone's heard the saying: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. And the concept of 3 meals a day seems like common sense nowadays, while the concept of fasting is largely taboo.
But this wasn’t the case up until very recently, around 150 years ago, when the Industrial Revolution began.
Workers started needing an early meal to sustain them all day at work, and the meals became arranged to suit the factory hours.
Even more so, the case for breakfast being the most important was actually just a marketing ploy from 1920s and 1930s.
U.S.-born John Harvey Kellogg one day accidentally left some boiled maize out and it went stale. He then passed it through some rollers and baked it, creating the world’s first cornflakes. This later sparked a multi-billion dollar industry, that still persists today.
But before the Industrial Revolution and the 20th century, people usually ate whenever they felt hungry.
For example, the Romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal per day. They were obsessed with digestion and eating more than one meal was considered a form of gluttony. This thinking impacted on the way people ate for a very long time.
But way before Romans, in prehistoric times, tribes used to not eat for days. Hunters would celebrate a quality catch by throwing a feast for the entire tribe, and all the food intake from that single feast was enough to keep them going for days.
Using this same fasting method today will actually grant your body a ton of benefits.
Fasting isn’t actually a forgotten practice. Even today, many religions do it in order to achieve enlightenment and show appreciation to god. But fasting for a couple days just once or twice per year will have tremendous benefits to your body.
But before you start thinking that purposely starving yourself for a few days at a time sounds completely bonkers, let me list you just SOME of the benefits:
1. The cells in your body become increasingly RESILIENT TO TOXINS.
The body goes into a “protective state”, because it thinks there may be an issue with you not taking in food, and this in turn makes it harder for any toxins to come through and hurt you.
2. You cleanse yourself of glycogen & other carbohydrates.
Glycogen is a carbohydrate stored in our muscles and liver. After 24 hours of not eating, the glycogen that’s harder for the body to reach, the one in muscles, starts breaking down. That’s when your body taps into alternate fuel sources such as free fatty acids or ketone bodies, and in turn, greatly improves your mood.
If you’ve heard of the ketosis diet, prolonged fasting will provide you with a similar benefit.
3. You’re more focused & energized.
It may sound more logical that when you’re hungry you would be less focused, but the opposite is actually true.
See, when you’re in this state, your body knows that it needs more focus & energy than usual in order to get new food so it doesn’t starve (a leftover trait from the prehistoric lifestyle).
But when you finally eat a meal, the feeling goes away completely, because the body got what it wanted and it’s no longer in this emergency high-focus state, so this should be something to keep in your mind going forward.
4. You reset your immune system.
If you fast for more than 3 days, your white blood cells will begin to die. It may sound bad, but here’s the kicker.
After these old cells die, your body begins producing brand new ones. Brand new, re-set white blood cells, meaning you get a whole new immune system, ready to tackle new tasks in your body.
5. You WILL lose weight.
When you fast, adiponectin increases in your body. Adiponectin is a type of protein which is involved in regulating glucose levels as well as fatty acid breakdown. What this means is that because adiponectin basically controls how your body uses its resources, higher levels of it will mean lower levels of body fat. And the best part? This effect will persist for a long time, even weeks after you stop fasting.
So if you’re not ready for that yet, here’s what you can start doing right away. This is a slightly different form of fasting, with slightly different benefits. Enter…
It refers to “fasting intermittently”, a typical example being: not eating for 16 hours per day, including sleep.
This means that if you were to have your last meal for the day at 7pm, you should have your first meal tomorrow at 11am.
You must be thinking, “This is even crazier! When do I have a breakfast?”
Well, most people doing this method only eat once or twice per day. It is really difficult for the first few weeks, especially if your meals are scheduled around your work day.
But the pay-off is incredible.
Besides the obvious decrease in the budget you allocate for food, skipping your lunch break or going the entire day without any calories is a weight loss recommendation, but could also be the trick to a longer life.
Skipping your lunch break or going the entire day without any calories could even be a trick to a longer life.
Reducing calorie consumption 30 to 40 percent can extend a person’s life span by a third or more, as many animal studies have shown, by making the brain resistant to toxins that cause cellular damage.
Constant eating doesn’t allow the body to experience starvation mode, or even hunger for that matter. European settlers changed the biological demands of eating and turned it into a forced food farce.
Ignore the man-made routine and follow your own appetite for a healthier life, just like all your ancestors did. There’s a good reason for why obesity has only recently become an epidemic. Think about that for a second.