This is my 48-hour-fast strategy to boost autophagy. The day before you don’t eat anything have a very low amount of both carbohydrates and proteins (no more than 10 grams for each). Then comes the day without food. The following day, do the same thing with carbohydrates and proteins — no more than 10 grams each.
The average male needs 56 grams of protein for basic metabolic functions. Over the course of the above 3 days, you’ve have supplied only 20 grams of protein when the body has required 168 grams. So the body will have had to scavenge for 148 grams of protein — that’s what boosts autophagy.
That you have only digested 20 grams of carbohydrates means that you will stay in ketosis. Exiting ketosis would halt autophagy — the opposite of what you want to have happen.
Use cronometer.com to come up with what you can eat to reduce carbohydrates and proteins to this extent. As an “almost vegan”, I use avocado, walnuts, pecans, brazil nut, and olives.
Caveat: On that third day, given the fact that you have eaten so little carbohydrates and so your glycogen stores are now running very low, you will feel fatigue in your arms and legs. You won’t get to restore the glycogen until the fourth day, but that meal is something to really look forward to.
What this strategy does for you are multiple things. First, on the very first day, given the fact that you have had only 10 grams of carbohydrates and protein, you will get into ketosis and autophagy sooner on that very first day — not just the second, food-less day — and second, given the fact that you do the same thing on the third day, just 10 grams of carbohydrates and protein, there will be continued ketosis and autophagy into the fourth day.
New Fruit for Me
Completed my first 72 hour fast today. Hunger wasn’t the issue. It was fatigue. Felt fatigue in both my legs and arms. But I do Joel Fuhrman GBOMBS diet with high carbs from complex carbs and whole foods with lots of vegetables and fruit — 200 to 300 grams of carbs a day. So when glycogen/glucose go through the floor, I feel it. My goal is to be able to do two 5-day fasts per year, for the autophagy benefits. Getting there with these baby steps.
Keto or Not Keto?
I just googled the amount of protein an active man’s body actually uses each day, and it came in at 56 grams. So if I’m doing less than 20 grams of protein per day on this 5-day mimicking diet, then each day the body has to scavenge for at least 36 grams. Times 5, that’s 180 grams of protein that the body will have to break down from internal resources. At least, that logical.
If it were a water fast for 5 days, that would be 280 grams. So that would be the difference between the two — 100 grams of protein.
So while this mimicking diet hasn’t done much for weight loss for me, it may still do a not insignificant amount for autophagy, in my opinion.
The key is keeping that amount of protein per day extremely low…the lower the better. Next time I do this, I’m going to try for less than 15 grams per day. Not easy as even celery has some protein.
I’m on day 3 of the 5-day mimicking diet. 800 calories per day, except the first day I went without food entirely.
Focus on the mimicking diet is minimizing protein so to maximize the amount of autophagy. Less than 20 grams of protein per day, except that first day was 0. From Longo’s book The Longevity Diet.
Really want the body to have to scavenge for protein wherever it can find it — all those wayward (and cancerous?) cells.
Longo says a healthy person should do this 3 times per year. Someone with diabetes much more often.
I knew I could do this because I did one similar 800 calorie day before and it wasn’t difficult. I thought I could boost the benefit by not eating that first day, which I knew I could do because I’ve done 48-hour fasts before.
Those more strenuous fasts one has to work one’s way up to them imo. Not sure I want to do a 5-day water fast because I do notice with a 48-hour fast that my energy level goes down significantly. One must feel very depleted after 5 days with no nutrition — really don’t want to experience that level of fatigue.
Looks pretty clear that a 3-day water fast does a lot in terms of fighting cancer. Cancer cells grow using glucose, not ketones, but if you are fasting, there is no added glucose for cancer cells to use. Also, the lack of additional protein undermines tumor growth.
A long water fast stimulates autophagy, which may mean the actual destruction of cancer cells.
A long water fast also simulates the immune system, which may be a key player in fighting off cancer. There have been many authorities assert that long fasts are beneficial for those doing chemo, largely because of this effect of restoring the immune system, which otherwise gets whacked on chemo.
The Keto diet with low carbohydrates and moderate protein might be the best choice for a cancer patient. Again, low carbohydrates minimizes the amount of glucose available. so cancer cells “starve”.
There’s quite a bit of evidence that mushrooms have the effect of minimizing blood vessel growth. This can help with cancerous tumors as these tumors need blood vessels in order to continue growing.
The consensus among scientists seems to be that you have to go from 48 to 72 hours fasting to induce serious autophagy, and from there it just escalates the longer you go.
But here’s the issue. They know that eating protein is counterproductive for autophagy, which is logical since cell regeneration requires ammo acids, so if you provide ammo acids in your food, then the body doesn’t have to scalp for them in senescent cells.
But then one should consider the opposite. What if one severely restricts the grams of protein one eats in one’s diet? Would that severe restriction induce the start of serious autophagy sooner than the 48 hours commonly believed to be the earliest threshold?
I’ve read that the body needs approximately 300 grams of protein for its daily recycling of cells throughout the body. Assuming that one eats 100 grams of protein in one’s diet, that would mean that the body takes 200 grams from it ammo acid pool — makes up the difference that way.
But what if one restricts the daily protein from food to only 15 grams — 85 grams less that what one usually eats? Would that restriction induce a faster autophagy, as now the body needs to find 285 grams, not just 200 grams, within itself for the daily recycling? Would not the additional 85 grams required induce sooner autophagy? Seems logical.
And what if one were to continue to restrict to only 15 grams of protein in subsequent days. Would that continued severe restriction escalate the autophagy faster?
These all seem to be logical assumptions, but I’m not sure anyone has explored any of these ideas on humans in actual experiments to prove these possibilities with autophagy one way or the other.