Fasting is Rooted in Human Evolution
The practice of fasting is deeply rooted in the human experience and genetics. It is defined as an eating routine that switches between periods of fasting and periods of eating during the day. Throughout history, humans often went days without eating, until a food source could be found by either hunting or gathering.
Dr. Junger explains, “For millennia, humans experienced periods of feasting followed by periods of imposed fasting...but this proved to be key to health. The detoxification system could switch on with plenty of time and energy to do its essential cleanup work, liberating the body of a whole backload of waste products trapped inside, because it wasn’t competing with the digestive system for fuel” (Junger, 10).
In the modern age, the body has a consistent supply of food since we are eating all day long, often for even more than 12 hours in a day. This causes our digestive system to be in constant work, often in competition with the detox system for the energy needed to effectively biotransform and eliminate toxic molecules.
Learn more about the history of fasting in Dr. Junger’s book, Clean.
Health Benefits of Fasting
With regard to the health benefits of intermittent fasting, there are numerous. It is a key component of a healthy lifestyle in the fact that it has the power to reduce the load of the digestive system, allowing for increased cell renovation and repair, improve the quality of sleep, reduce inflammation in the body, and even help you reduce biological age. It is such a fantastic tool to assist the body in its natural detox processes and other key functions, and the multitude of health benefits that have been shown are quite encouraging.
Intermittent Fasting During a Cleanse
Dr. Junger has designed the Clean Program with the goal of helping restore the body’s natural ability to heal itself. With the Clean Program cleanses, Clean 7 and Clean 21, fasting windows are built into the programs, usually occurring overnight. As Dr. Junger goes on to explain, “...the twelve-hour ‘fast’ that your body will experience overnight is most effective after a liquid dinner, as this frees up the most energy and extends the window of time for detoxification,” (Junger, 167). Therefore, our programs incorporate both intermittent fasting as well as liquid meals, usually a shake for dinner prior to the beginning of the fasting window.
Clean 7 includes a weekly protocol in which you slowly work towards a 24 hour fast in the middle of the week. This fast works wonders for your body and energy levels.
While participating in the 21-day cleanse program, it is vital to remember the twelve-hour window: Detoxification and repair processes intensify approximately eight hours after your last meal, and requires at least four hours to function well. Keep this in mind when it comes to planning out meal times so that the body gets the most out of the fasting period. If you are already used to fasting, you can fast for 14-16 hours a day during Clean 21.
Learn more about the Clean 21 program today and take control of your health.
Connection to Ayurveda
As with many things in the holistic health industry, intermittent fasting has a meaningful connection to Ayurvedic medicine. By taking the time to mindfully fast, the digestive tract is given “time to relax and release built-up toxins.” In addition to this, fueling the body with nutrient-dense foods and supplements, which are provided on either Clean Program cleanse “aids in the self-healing process and natural detoxification.” The combination of these two practices, both periods of intermittent fasting and providing nutrients to the body, work together to detox and fully transform the body from the inside out.