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Fasting , Autophagy and You


I was introduced to the word Fasting in Childhood and to the word Autophagy in 2016 , when Japanese Scientist got a Nobel prize for it. I understood the meaning of both these phenomena when I did some self study  on them and I experienced both at a health retreat.  

So , What is Fasting and Autophagy ? This is what I have learned and experienced . 

1) Meaning of Fasting : 

Total abstention from taking any kind food is known as “fasting” . It is an essential not to take any solid or liquid food, cereals , fruits and sometimes even water during the fast. 

But, since childhood , I have observed many forms and practices  of fasting from people around me. I remained confused until I actually did a full day dry fast. I mean fast even with water. Likewise , I have seen keeping different connotations and levels of beliefs about the what the meaning of Fasting. Some of them confused it with starvation and hunger. They simply refused to allow their body and soul experience “fasting” just because they feel they cannot keep their hunger in control or they do not want to stave them. Some of them even believe that it is impossible to live without food if they abstain from food for a few days. To my surprise , religion has come to rescue me in this context. I'm a firm believer of the science and quantum biology of life. But , I found almost all the religions of this world , (I mean not on Jupiter) preaching to their disciples that one should keep fast for a few days.  

Starvation is clearly a destructive phenomena. It happens due to forceful abstention of   or happens due to ignorance of dietary requirements. Fast is voluntary and purposeful activity. Hunger is subjective , it depends from person to person. Hunger is craving for food and the craving may be natural or induced by some addictive food or response to some situmi such as smell , time or just because one is feeling bored in life. If you keep a long term fast , hunger just happens for the first three days of fast and later on its intensity is reduced until it is naturally aroused again.   
2) Purpose of Fasting :

The purpose of the Fasting is essentially healing your body , soul and mind. The healing is done through the process of rest which come along as we fast. The purpose of scientific fasting to detox your mind and body. The real purpose of fasting to eliminate all the toxins  and unwanted material from the body. It is a  time of  rethinking  and introspection. It is time to give rest to each and every part of your body. It is a way to give rest to your kidneys , liver and heart that never stop working in your life. Fasting is the time to thank each and every element of your body and soul . It is time to regain spiritual growth. Fasting’s main purpose is to rebuild your broken heart , arteries and veins and heal it . Its  main purpose is to make you feel higher levels of energy by liberating your body from chemicals and pesticides. Fasting speeds up the expunging of toxin and accumulated  rigid thoughts . It helps to improve the efficiency of  the liver.It stabilizes the blood pressure. It helps the person to learn to resist and handle the diseases with higher order of inner strength. It improves the capacity of mind to remain firm and confident in extraordinary conditions of life. Above all , it improves the metabolism of the body and your senses come back.

3) Types of Fasting :

From my childhood , I have observed many types of Fasting practices and initially , I was made to think that fasting is a kind of ritual. A ritual that you have to follow for some specific period or day. I never understood its real meaning initially.I have seen people eating sweets , fruits and many items specifically made for a specific fasting ritual. But , for those who take fasting seriously and want to take its medical and  spiritual benefits   following types of fasting can be practiced . 

Short and Long Fast : 

A fast taken for 3-7 days is considered as short and long fast is when you go beyond 7 days.  Long term fasts are also known as “Kalp” and a specific food is given in them e.g Mango. 

Weekly Fast :  In India , every religion has some kind of fast very week or so . If we follow such days for fasting, toxin will never accumulate in our bodies. 

Dry Fast

It is typically done without water and without eating any food item. It is not recommended for beginners and some level of practice is required for it. It accelerates the benefits of normal  water fasting.  

Water Fast : This is water only fast. 

Milk/Butter milk Fast : This is milk/better milk only fast and you do not eat or drink anything else other than milk. 

Fruit Fast :  This is one of the popular forms of fasting , where the person only eats fruit for his/her nourishment.

Juice Fast : This is one of the popular forms of fasting , where the person only eats fruit for his/her nourishment.

Evening Fast or Half day Fast or Intermediate fast 

Complete Fast : In the complete fast only water is taken. No solid or liquid is taken during this fast. During this fast many rules and precautions are taken into consideration. It is beneficial in many chronic diseases such asthma, high blood pressure , chronic constipation etc., 

 Half Day Fasting  or Intermediate Fasting : 

When you take your nourishment in a restricted manner then it is referred to as intermediate fasting.. The restrictions may be related to time or food e.g in buddhism people keep fast that starts from  noon to dawn the following day. Some other  popular forms of IF or intermediate Fasting are 
The twice-a-week method – 5:2. This approach to IF focuses on capping your calories at 500 for two days a week..
Alternate day fasting.
Time-restricted eating (example: 16/8 or 14/10 method) ...
The 24-hour fast (or eat: stop: eat method)
Janism , Hinduism ,Bhushism ,  Islam , Jews and many religions of this world consider fasting is essential duty of being what you are “religiously “. People who believe in scientific evidence theories now have a lot of research and data on which they can rely on. 

4) How to do Fasting ?

Depending on the type of fasting you want to and most importantly the purpose of the fasting will make your protocol for fasting.Hence, a general protocol of fasting is to abstain from eating for specific periods. It is life long practice and should be made part of our routines we follow. 

5) What  happens when you fast for a few days ? 

 When you start practice of  fasting.It will bring a healing crisis in your life. This is a kind of reaction that occurs when the body tries to eliminate toxins at a faster rate than usual speed. The more toxins in the body , severe is the detoxification experience or the healing crisis. It is also characterised with temporary increase in the symptoms during the cleansing or detox process which may be mild or severe. When I did a five day fast, It was really hard on me. I was feeling nausea and at the same time some kind of yellow bile was coming in my stool for the first three days. I was urinating dark yellow liquid and on the first day frequency of urination was also high as compared to normal days. I had blackouts when I walked in the sun sometimes. Vomiting also came naturally. I understood at that time that  all this is part of the healing process , for some people it is a healing crisis that needs to be managed. So , how do we manage this healing crisis? Here important points to be noted : 

1) Remember it is a curative process . 
2) Remember it is not a destructive process but a healing process. 
3) Abdominal Colic : If the crisis comes out in the form of abdominal colic ,enema of lukewarm water should be given followed by a hip bath. 
4) Headache : Massage should be done along with the application of Mud Pack or forehead for at least 20-30 minutes should be done. 
5) Skin Diseases : In this , a full body mud bath for at least 15-20 minutes should be taken. 
6) Vomiting : Sometimes the unwanted/ foreign matter comes out of the body in the form of a vomit. In such cases Kunjal should be done.
7) Fever : Enema of Neem is recommended followed with the sponge bath or hot foot bath should be taken.
8) Sense of taste may deteriorates for some time , do  not worry 
9) The tongue becomes filthy 
 10) The colour of the urine becomes deep , do not worry . It is detoxification
 11) You many suffer from insomnia , remember your body is healing 
12)  Rapid beating of heart , remember your body is healing, if the problem persists , check if you are suffering from palpitation then consult a doctor.

6) What should you do before Fasting (Precautions ) 
The first thing one should do is to make up mind about the purpose of the fast. If it is clear, determination  and will power will help you more. One should get educated on the rules and benefits of the fasting , crisis during fasting and their management, For preparation of long term one should half their meals and should start increase the intake of fruits and water.On the second day  one should give up one meal and on the third day one should be totally on fruits or juices then one should go head with the long term/short time fast on the fifth day. Long term fasting should be done under the supervision of a physician. 

7) What precautions should you take during fasting ? 
  1. Intense physical labour should be avoided . 
  2. Remain hydrated only with water. 
  3. Enema should be taken after two -three day interval 
  4. One should also live in pollution free and airy room 
  5. A poultice of wet -clay should be put on the abdomen once a day.
  6. Mind should be free from anger , worry and fear. 
  7. If possible , try to stay alone  
  8. No Solid food to be taken,only water for best results . 
  9. Practice self control for the long run.
8)  How Fasting should be ended. : 

Breaking the fast  is a critical phase of fasting and healing .While the body is in resting mode , stomach shrinks and intestines become idle , so solid food must be re-introduced to the body . Care must be exercised in breaking the fast is in proportion to the length of fast and to the general condition of the fasting individual. The approved plan is to break the fast on liquid food, using for this purpose fruit juice : orange/ watermelon juice/ vegetable broths/tomato juice etc.A half a glass in the beginning and then later  (as the days progress) on increasing the quantity of the  liquid.  

9) Can Fasting be done in every disease ? 

No,it can be done in many cases. It is not recommended for those suffering irreversible diseases such as AIDs , tuberculosis and other intense infectious diseases. Fasting is contraindicated  for those who are severely weak and debilitated and porphyria ( a hereditary defect of blood pigment metabolism), bleeding disorders of the stomach and intestines. It is never recommended during pregnancy.  If a person is suffering from some kind of deficiency and it has profound impact on your as medical condition such as beri-beri, pellagra , night blindness , rickets , keratomalacia, marasmus , kwashiorkor syndrome etc ., When one is suffering from deficiency of secretions of internal glands in diseases such as thyrotoxicosis and hyper-adrenalism. A severe medical  condition  of kidney or liver disease. Other than these diseases following medical conditions should be noted .

  • Diabetes Mellitus 
  • Ulcers 
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Anaemia 

Remember , fasting is a way of removing toxins and a way of life so that accumulation of toxins does not happen. Keeping  a fast once in while  does not mean that it will keep you healthy forever. 

10) What can Fasting  cure ? 
  • Obesity 
  • Malaria 
  • Recovery from fever 
  • Stiff joints 
  • Relief from Cold 
  • Relief from Digestive Disorders. 
  • Diarrhoea 
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Freedom from Body Ache and Backache 
  • Irregular menstruation and infertility 
  • Burning micturition
11)  Why can Fasting   cure so many health problems ? 

The key reason is that the body gets rests and the internal organs get rests. Due to this the body has more  energy to fight diseases..

 Is fasting helpful in corona ? 

 Fasting helps to improve the efficiency of the respiratory organs by eliminating mucus etc from them. In this process the body also removes unwanted microorganism /pathogens  from the body. Fasting is known to help patients suffering from respiratory problems but no case study has been found as regards fo Covid-19 virus. Hence, it is not known to help in such medical conditions.   

12)  What is the difference between Autophagy and Fasting ? 

Autophagy means “self-eating “ . This means the body  eats its own waste. For invoking this phenomena in your body one has to practice a fast of at least three days. 
It is only after three days the autophagy will be initiated. 



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