Autophagy is a natural process within our bodies, and by learning how to activate autophagy, we can experience increased energy, weight management, and improved overall well-being.
In this blog post, I will share five ways to activate autophagy to help you unlock this anti-aging miracle in your body.
Autophagy, a term that may sound complex at first, is actually quite simple to understand. It refers to the process of self-eating, where the body’s cells eliminate and recycle unnecessary or damaged components.
Imagine a little Pacman going into your body and devouring all the junk and unwanted parts, leaving everything healthier and better.
When we sleep, our bodies work hard to activate the youth inside our cells.
Autophagy removes, recycles, and regenerates at a cellular level during this time.
Think of it as cleaning up after a meal in the kitchen. A good night’s sleep, with one and a half cycles of sleep rhythms, optimizes autophagy.
One way to improve sleep quality is by using blue light blocking glasses. Blue light from electronic devices can suppress melatonin and disrupt sleep.
Wearing blue light blocking glasses after sunset can help regulate the circadian rhythm and promote better sleep.
Autophagy thrives on fat and ketones, making a high fat, low carb ketogenic diet an excellent way to activate it.
By reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing healthy fats, you can mimic the benefits of fasting and increase autophagy.
The keto diet keeps insulin levels low, as it limits foods that have a significant insulin response.
Insulin suppresses glucagon, which triggers autophagy.
By reducing carb intake, insulin stays low, glucagon stays higher, and autophagy is activated more regularly.
Intermittent fasting involves fasting for a specific period, followed by an eating window. For example, you can fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window.
This fasting pattern stimulates autophagy, boosts energy levels, and enhances mental focus.
It is important to note that autophagy begins between 16 to 20 hours after the last meal.
Autophagy also responds positively to exercise, particularly acute good stress. Interval training, where you alternate between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods, is an effective way to activate autophagy.
Resistance training, such as yoga or using your body weight, can also stimulate autophagy. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise to maximize autophagy activation.
While intermittent fasting is effective, extended fasting can further boost autophagy. Extended fasting refers to fasting for more than 24 hours.
Autophagy reaches its peak between 48 to 72 hours of fasting. However, extended fasting should not be done regularly, as it can have negative effects.
A 48-hour fast every three months or a 72-hour fast every six months is sufficient to reap the benefits of extended fasting.
These five methods are just the beginning of understanding and utilizing autophagy in your own body. To learn more, I encourage you to explore the additional resources below.
Incorporating intermittent fasting, exercise, a ketogenic diet, quality sleep, and occasional extended fasting can all contribute to boosting autophagy.
Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
In her book, Glow 15, Naomi Whittel provides comprehensive information on autophagy, including specific foods to eat and exercise tips.
And, if you are an avid reader, you will also like my review of the best books on intermittent fasting for longevity.
Let’s embrace the tools our bodies naturally possess and unlock the power of autophagy for improved well-being.
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