Multi-Day Fasting: Why Is This Technique Becoming Increasingly Popular Among Silicon Valley Execs?
August 19, 2018 | 2,333 views
By Dr. Mercola
Not taking proper breaks between meals is becoming increasingly more common. Unfortunately, it’s also the primary reason why obesity and chronic disease rates are steadily rising today. It’s not the way we’re designed to thrive — in fact, our early ancestors, the cavemen, didn’t have access to food at all times.
The good news is that many people are now recognizing the health benefits of fasting. This technique, which is one of the oldest known dietary interventions, has been proven by modern science to have a profoundly beneficial influence on your well-being.
The results are so promising that even the smartest, busiest men in the tech world — Silicon Valley CEOs — are turning to it.
Silicon Valley CEOs Are Trying Out This Type of ‘Biohacking’
The health benefits of fasting are quickly becoming widespread and the CEOs at Silicon Valley are getting into it. Dubbing it “biohacking,” these people are experimenting with fasting for extended periods — and seeing rewards such as weight loss, improved productivity and fewer mood swings. According to an article in The Guardian:
“Over the last eight months [Phil Libin] the former CEO of Evernote and current CEO of AI studio All Turtles has shunned food for stretches of between two and eight days, interspersed with similar periods of eating. He's lost almost 90 lbs. and describes getting into fasting as 'transformative.'
There's a mild euphoria. I'm in a much better mood, my focus is better, and there's a constant supply of energy. I just feel a lot healthier. It's helping me be a better CEO.”
CEO Geoffrey Woo is another staunch advocate of multi-day water fasts. Head of the biohacking company HVMN, (pronounced "human") Woo claims that the benefits of fasting are thanks to the ketones. "Ketones are a super-fuel for the brain. So a lot of the subjective benefits to fasting, including mental clarity, are down to the rise in ketones in the system," he says.
Fasting Improves, and Not Drains, Your Energy Levels
For people who are physically active, fasting can seem dubious, as it may appear to lower your energy levels. However, if you’re lethargic and dealing with excess weight, fasting can actually help unlock energy that’s already in your body, but you just can’t access.
Fasting also influences your insulin levels. Insulin is the main hormone responsible for telling your body whether energy should be burned or stored. But when you eat, your high calorie intake causes your insulin levels to go up — signaling your body to store energy. When your levels dip though, your body then works to release energy to compensate — hence, releasing the energy stored in your fat cells. This is why being insulin resistant makes it hard to lose weight.
Another benefit of fasting is that it boosts your body’s other biochemical systems. When you fast, your hormonal systems like the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), AMPK, IGF-1 and leptin are all optimized. Fasting also boosts your mitochondrial function and promotes regeneration.
How to Ease Into Multi-Day Fasting
One of the best ways to ease into multi-day fasting without discomfort is to stick to and extend intermittent fasting first. Work your way into 24-, 48- and 72-hour or longer fasts. Afterward, do a water fast for four days, using only water and a multimineral supplement as sustenance.
After the fast comes the feast. When you break your fast, make sure to get at least 130 grams of net carbs with sweet potatoes and fruits, plus extra protein.
The increased sense of self-control and freedom is one of the benefits of fasting. When you finally understand that your body can easily go for days without food, you no longer fall victim to the temptations in your surroundings — you can eliminate the unhealthy junk food from your diet and realize that you can actually live (and thrive) without it.
Multi-Day Fasting Precautions
If done right, extended types of fasting can provide outstanding health gains to most people, especially those who are generally healthy. However, some individuals may not benefit as much. If you fall under these groups, it’s best not to do any type of extended fasting:
- Underweight, or having a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5 or less
- Malnourished (you need to load up on healthier, more nutritious food)
- Children should not fast for longer than 24 hours, since they need nutrients for continued growth. For overweight or obese kids, cutting out refined sugars and grains is a far safer and more appropriate approach.
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms. A steady supply of nutrients is essential to ensure their infant’s healthy growth and development.
For more useful information about water fasting and multi-day fasting, read the article “Multi-day Fasting Gaining Popularity as a Powerful Biohack for Health and Longevity.”