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Funny, I just watched this documentary that features both Dr. Longo and Dr. Dorff. It's on Amazon prime if anyone wants to watch it for free. They come on in the last 15-20 minutes of the documentary. The beginning can feel a little budget at times.
I spent a few moments looking for a decent source on the Russian fasting clinics and their history but nothing seems great.
I think I got the idea from the documentary "The Science of Fasting" which I'm sure is riddled with bro-science fluff. It's on Amazon prime, if you'd like.
It's easier than you imagine now at this point in time.
Literally, just stop eating.
I know that sounds idiotic, condescending, and oversimplified, but I truly mean it.
If you look at modern society, it's all wrong w.r.t. food. Look at fasting - literally not eating.
All that means is that your body is in a state of ketosis and using fat and ketones for fuel frequently v.s. modern society which is constant eating and never being truly hungry.
Habits I've recently broken that I was chained to for a while:
Used to cave into getting mochas, caramel macchiatos, cinnamon dolces, vanilla lattes constantly. Now it's always a decaf latte. (Sue me - I stay under 50 carbs/day instead of 20, but never get keto flu anymore since I always add plenty of electrolytes to my diet)
Used to eat 3 meals a day a while ago. Then skipped breakfast for quite a while. Now it's almost always one meal a day. It's so much easier than you'd ever think, once you stick to it (it takes weeks to become fat adapted, and it takes weeks to form new habits)
The documentary I watched is The Science of Fasting (Amazon link). Cheers!
English without the Spanish subtitles for anyone with Amazon Prime.
This is a subject that's near and dear to my heart, as I had a long and fruitful background in fasting before surrendering to Christ. Orthodoxy's embrace of fasting was one of the things that initially opened my heart to the Church, and gave me a sense that the spiritual practices of Orthodoxy were sound, and not surrendered to modern science (which often turns out to be bad science).
Others have addressed advice from a spiritual perspective, in the thread. I'll focus more on the biology, nutrition, and science of fasting. I believe that at the end of the day, the fasting practiced by men of God in Scripture and among the Fathers will be shown to be the healthiest mode of being for our bodies...the science is just beginning to catch up to this spiritual truth, and remains somewhat outside the mainstream of nutrition (although that is changing).
Now, my experience: I've eaten all my food in daily 6 hour windows for years now. So, that's 18 hours fasted, 6 hours eating, every day. I've also done several multi-day fasts in that time, including multiple one-week water fasts, and one 23-day water fast. Now, you have to have enough body fat to do this (I used to be obese....a 23-day fast would not be possible or advisable, now), and if you're healthy that means feasting when you're not fasting, so that you have enough fuel to burn during your fast.
When you understand how the body processes energy, you'll learn that my fasting hasn't been some Herculean feet of will on my part, but rather the consequence of preparing my body to metabolize energy along a certain pathway. In so doing, I've reached a level of physical, mental, and spiritual acuity that I didn't know was possible, and I believe this clarity is one of the reasons we are instructed to fast. Some may be concerned that by introducing science to the spiritual practice of fasting, it somehow loses its value. But I've found exactly the opposite. The marriage of the material reality with the spiritual truth is mind-boggling. One example: fasting brings about autophagy (metabolism of the self), where the senescent cells in our bodies are broken down and metabolized for energy. The first cells the body targets in this process are dead cells, cells with corrupted DNA, and spare proteins lying around. As a consequence, studies of fasted v normal rats have shown the fasted creatures with marked reduction in incidence of cancer (caused by cells with corrupted DNA) and neuro-degenerative conditions like Alzheimer's (caused by a buildup of protein in the brain), and dramatically longer life span. The spiritual truth underpinning this is that a willingness to die precedes life, even at the cellular level. How profound is that?? That a willingness to sacrifice the self leads to salvation at so many layers of analysis, from Christ's sacrifice, to our surrendering our sinful natures, to fasting and killing off dead matter at the cellular level. Voluntarily sacrificing our existing life leads to rebirth. At EVERY level.
Anyway. I'll ramble on indefinitely if I don't shut up. Fasting is both doable and worth doing. People who follow traditional nutritional advice will be concerned for you, and tell you it's dangerous. They categorically do not know what they are talking about. It is wise to follow Christ's advice, and not tell others about your fasting, except maybe select mentors and spiritual leaders. But you can and should do your homework and understand what's necessary to make the calendar you've laid before yourself as possible and beneficial as it can be (and it is 100% possible).
As for understanding the biological processes at play, here's a broad introduction. If you integrate the information here into your meal planning, you will have no difficulty fasting and benefiting from it in your body, mind, and spirit.
Fuel: Glucose v Ketone Bodies (alternative pathways of energy in the body):
Netflix Documentary - "The Magic Pill" <- OUTSTANDING
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
JRE – Mark Sisson
JRE – Dom D-Agostino
When we eat (Intermittent Fasting/Long-term fasting):
Fasting Documentary - “The Science of Fasting” <- OUTSTANDING
Nerd Fitness - Intermittent Fasting
Lean Gains - Fasting Myths Debunked
Lean Gains - Fasting Guide
Dr. Rhonda Patrick: Time Restricted Eating
Dr. Jason Fung: Calorie Deception
Dr. Jason Fung: Intermittent Fasting
And some examples of what's possible, albeit with people who had significant body fat to start out with. Remember that you need to eat enough calories while eating to balance out the deficit while fasting, and you'll have to study up to make sure you're doing that.
77 day fast
78 day fast
These are the resources that got me started...if you have any questions, I'm happy to discuss it further with you.
All the best, brother.
hang in there -- Day 3 is famous for being difficult -- [link]
[link] ("Supporting Actors" include researchers)