Fasting for the Productive Soul
Whether it’s resetting the metabolism, balancing hormones, or reprogramming the digestive system, fasting is a great way to kick your body into a new gear and bring about sudden improvements. Fasting is a tool to improve your body from the cell. Yes, you heard me correctly!
Your body while fasting
Your basal metabolic rate increases during fasting. On day 3, it increases by an average of 14%. Fasting forces your body into a fat-burning metabolism by temporarily depriving it of the sugars it would normally burn for fuel. This not only burns short-term fat while you’re fasting, but resets your body to burn more fat for fuel during normal eating. Of course, I must add here that what you eat AFTER breaking your fast is equally important to ensure you get the full benefit of the fast.
Increased HGH (Human Growth Hormone) leads to greater endurance with faster muscle repair and growth as well as slowing the aging process.
One study showed that interval training while fasting increased HGH by 1300% in women and 2000% in men.
If you’re new to fasting and haven’t exercised before, then take it easy. Your body is dehydrated at this time. This means your muscles and joints are more prone to injury. It is best to complete your short exercise routine after iftar.
Brain Gains: Clearing Up Your Mental Clutter
Fasting directly influences the stability of neural circuits, a type of wiring that dictates the flow of information in the brain and nervous system. Cellular stress and lack of nutrition, catalyzed by fasting, blocks the synaptic activity of neurons that normally occurs in the brain – which essentially means the brain slows down.
Overactive synaptic activity has been linked to diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other degenerative diseases. So in a way, when we slow down our brain activity, we may be protecting the organ by allowing it to recharge.
Goodbye mental clutter and hello to focusing on one task at a time!
During fasting, there is an increase in ketone bodies. Ketones are compounds known to be neuroprotective. Essentially, they protect brain cells from degeneration into disease.
The benefits of fasting on neuron-centric diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease are pretty amazing! As autophagy is increased during a fasting state, weak mitochondria and other cellular molecules are cleared from neurons.
Do you really want to cleanse your body from cell up? Fasting increases detoxification abilities and decreases the aging process. This is deep cleansing in its most authentic form.
Ketones for Energy
Ketones for energy are more long-lasting and long-lasting – rather than filling your body with sugar/carbs. If you’re looking to enter a deep cycle of work and productivity, fueling your brain with ketones has been clinically proven to be more effective.
Use fasting this month to practice deep work cycles. Your brain has a cycle of 90 minutes of work followed by 90 minutes of rest. You can modify your working hours accordingly and boost your performance.
Become a fat burning machine
When you fast, circulating insulin levels are decreased. This promotes lipolysis – ie the breakdown of fat – which then becomes a major source of energy. You definitely want your body to start burning its own fat. Mainly because fat has proven to be a superior form of energy storage, since more energy can be stored by weight and volume, and no additional water is needed to be stored with it. If you can follow your fasting days with proper meals in the evening, you can ensure that the fat burning process helps your body get stronger rather than feeling dizzy and weak after breaking the fast.
Increase PM productivity
Do you know a feeling of vertigo and exhaustion after iftar? Yes, this is the energy crash you can avoid to be truly productive. Having sugar causes insulin spikes followed by a sugar crash. The worst part of iftar is the starchy carbs combined with vegetable oils (trans fats). This deadly combo causes low energy, fat gain, and a sluggish feeling. Not to mention that cooking oil plays no role in your body. Your body cannot use it for energy and is forced to store it, causing toxins to build up. Instead of your usual deep-fried donuts, choose high-quality protein, healthy essential fats, and keep your carbs gluten-free.
Fasting is a tool to boost brain performance and build the skills you need to maintain good habits throughout the year. If productivity is your primary goal, fuel your body with raw materials that help your brain thrive.
Marina Farook, creator of marinafarook.com and The Health Food Co, is a health and fitness coach for women. She loves teaching women how to use scientific tools to get stronger and fitter.