skip to Main Content
Fasting: How Consuming Less Can Add More To Your Health Cliff Syner, PA-C

Fasting: How Consuming Less Can Add More To Your Health

Are you ready to learn more about how fasting can improve your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

Are you interested in fasting but aren’t sure where to start?

Fasting can help reduce inflammation levels in your body and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In fact, fasting is an excellent option for helping you reach a new level of health. The problem is there is a lot of misinformation out there, and approaching fasting without a clinician guiding you along the way can be dangerous. So, join Cliff Syner, PA-C, for his upcoming Group Visit and learn more about the science and research behind this beneficial health practice.

Fasting has become a topic of controversy in the medical field, with differing opinions on its benefits and potential risks. While fasting should be approached with caution, it can have significant positive effects on our health when done correctly. In this article, we will delve into the foundations of fasting, its historical and generational adaptations, its impact on chronic diseases, the microbiome, and considerations for menstruating women. By understanding the potential benefits and implementing fasting in a mindful way, individuals can optimize their health and wellness.

Watch the video and learn more about the science and research behind fasting. 

Fasting can help reduce inflammation levels in your body and lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. In fact, fasting is an excellent option for helping you reach a new level of health. The problem is there is a lot of misinformation out there, and approaching fasting without a clinician guiding you along the way can be dangerous. 

If you struggle with hormone, weight, liver, or fatigue issues, you could benefit from the knowledge you learn in this webinar. Cliff has used fasting to help his patients see dramatic improvements to their health and he’s ready to share the science behind fasting with you! 

Historical and Generational Adaptations to Fasting

Throughout history, fasting has been practiced for various reasons, including spiritual, religious, and seasonal purposes. Our ancestors, living in different locations and facing distinct environmental conditions, developed adaptations to fasting. For instance, those living in regions with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, such as northern Europe, had to rely on stored glycogen and fats during long periods without food. This adaptation has implications for conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which predominantly affects women of northern European descent. Fasting can positively impact individuals with PCOS, mimicking the historical dietary patterns of their ancestors and promoting hormone balance.

Types of Fasting

There are different types of fasting, ranging from water fasting to intermittent fasting. Water fasting, the most extreme form, involves abstaining from food and consuming only water for a set period. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating within specific time frames. Both types of fasting have shown positive effects on chronic diseases and overall health.

Effects on Chronic Disease

Fasting has been found to have a profound impact on chronic diseases. One significant effect is its ability to reduce liver inflammation and improve fatty liver conditions. By depleting glycogen stores and burning fat for energy, fasting helps the liver function optimally and detoxify the body. Additionally, fasting promotes insulin sensitivity, making it an effective approach for managing diabetes, pre-diabetes, and insulin resistance. As insulin sensitivity improves, individuals may experience positive changes in their taste perception, leading to reduced cravings for sugary foods.

Fasting and the Microbiome

The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in overall health, and fasting can influence its composition. Fasting alters the microbial environment in the gastrointestinal tract, favoring the growth of beneficial bacteria. Studies have shown that fasting can reduce blood pressure and even decrease the infectious burden of certain pathogens. Moreover, fasting helps restore the integrity of the intestinal lining, reducing permeability and addressing issues like leaky gut syndrome.

Considerations for Menstruating Women

Women with menstrual cycles require special considerations when it comes to fasting. Hormonal fluctuations throughout the menstrual cycle necessitate a tailored approach. During the follicular phase (period), it is advisable to start with light fasting and gradually increase fasting periods. The ovulatory phase allows for longer fasts and more intense exercise. However, during the luteal phase (pre-menstruation), it is best to focus on restorative exercises and light fasting or no fasting at all. This individualized approach can help balance hormones and alleviate symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.


Fasting, when approached mindfully and with professional guidance, can be a powerful tool for optimizing health and wellness. Understanding the historical adaptations to fasting, its effects on chronic diseases, the microbiome, and the specific considerations for menstruating women empowers individuals to make informed decisions about incorporating fasting into their lifestyle. By harnessing the potential benefits of fasting, individuals can improve their metabolic health, reduce inflammation, and promote overall well-being. Remember, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance and support throughout your fasting journey.

Are you ready to take charge of your health? Schedule your free 20-minute discovery call with our New Patient Coordinator to see how you can become a patient at MaxWell Clinic and start your healing journey today.

[Music] good evening i hope everyone has had a
wonderful day a wonderful start to your week so far i’m really enjoying all of these different
uh opportunities that we have to get together these group visits um i’d like to do
something a little bit different with this one i think we have a lot of information to cover so i’ll go through
a part of it and then if anybody has any questions then i would invite you to
ask those in the q a function and then i’ll kind of answer those questions
as we as we move through so each section i’ll stop to answer some questions
so tonight we’re going to be talking about fasting i think there’s a lot of controversy about medical fasting i do
think that it is something you have to be very careful with and i don’t say that lightly i think
it’s important to understand that whenever we are fasting that if we have
any type of metabolic disorder if we have very low body fat
even if we have emotional disturbances or or are going through a period of anxiety
or depression in our life or if we’ve had this dysregulated eating in the past
this is something i would want you to be very very careful of so fasting is not something that we should just
sort of do willy-nilly it’s something that should be very well thought out
and preferably done with with a clinician so hopefully i’ll answer some questions
tonight and give you a good understanding of the foundations of
fasting and then we’ll we’ll go from there
so our agenda tonight we’re going to talk about some historical and generational adaptations to fasting
which i think are really important understanding that our bodies have adapted to fasting
depending on where we’re located in the world and also seasonally
we’ll talk about different types of fasting we’ll also look at the effects of
fasting on chronic disease then we’ll talk about i mean we know that fasting can can be
great for helping with chronic disease but what about for those that are pretty
healthy like what role can fasting play for them to reach optimal health optimal
wellness uh their their maximum wellness so to speak
we’ll also look at the effects of fasting on the microbiome
and specifically on leaky gut which we know is a huge issue we we see that
rampant it’s in a significant amount of the patients that come to see us
so we’ll discuss that and then we’ll also talk about considerations for menstruating women
when you have a cycle of hormones that changes monthly like women do that’s a
very particular physiology that needs to be addressed um with the with the
individualized care that it deserves and then we’ll wrap it up and then we’ll
uh answer any questions that you have before finishing up for the night
so looking at uh the past and thinking about how people have thought about fasting in the past we have a quote here
from plato i fast for greater physical and mental efficiency
now this is a really interesting quote right because if you’ve ever done any
fasting you may think that maybe plato doesn’t know what he’s talking about after all
right because usually when we fast greater physical and mental efficiency
is the last thing that we think a lot of times we feel weak we feel tired
we feel um we feel foggy headed you know we can’t think clearly
and so we think that we need to eat right we think that we need sugar and sometimes you’ll even hear a lot of people say oh my blood sugar
is so low i need to eat now sometimes that’s truly the case especially for diabetics but for a lot
of people when they’ve done studies on individuals who feel that way who feel like they’re exhausted they’re tired
they’re foggy headed because they haven’t eaten in a while there actually aren’t any
biochemical testing that’s been done to show that it actually is a blood sugar problem
a lot of times it has more to do with our feedback mechanisms around craving
i was listening to a cardiologist last week i give a give a talk on this topic
and he was talking about how the desire for specific types of food specifically
um sugar highly processed salty or fatty foods they have a feedback mechanism that’s
actually very similar to drugs like cocaine or heroin and so a lot of times that foggy
headedness we feel or that weakness that we feel is actually withdrawal symptoms
from these heavily processed or sugary foods that are in our diet so
very much like someone who’s going with withdrawal the best way to correct that is to just keep moving forward
an author i heard a couple of years ago said that we slay the sugar dragon when
we fast and sometimes it feels like that right like we get angry we get frustrated
and so in order to slay that dragon you really just need to push forward
again that is to be done hopefully with medical oversight
then we take a look at this quote from saint augustine
which was in the third century he says fasting cleanse this cleans cleanses the
soul raises the mind and subjects one’s flesh to the spirit
it’s really interesting that fasting is a part of all of the large religious organizations
in the world um and specifically in christianity uh there is still a um
still a tradition of fasting i think it’s actually interesting i just looked this up right
before uh because i was a little bit curious but that the orthodox christians they actually tend to fast somewhere
between 180 and 200 days depending on what tradition you’re talking about per
year so i thought that was that was pretty significant that there was uh so much of
the year where one would actually be fasted
so let’s talk a little bit about this historical adaptation so when we think about um location
i want you to kind of look at this map that’s here in the background and you can see
right around the equator you know sort of like right and through here
uh you’re gonna get um most like the most average you can be
right the temperature doesn’t change a whole lot uh the the length of day doesn’t change
a whole lot things pretty much stay the same and there is almost always the
availability there of fruits and vegetables year-round
whereas if you go up north here like maybe in northern europe um
or you know over here in russia in these areas you’re going to have long
periods of night and you’re also going to have long periods of time that don’t have any
uh fruit so there would be no natural sugars that you would be able to have especially i’m thinking about you know
maybe a couple hundred years ago to thousands of years before that
when our ancestors would have been living in these areas and they would have been very localized right so they
would not have had the ability to move around the world like we do now
so they would have lived in that one small area their entire life and over generations there’s an adaptation to
your environment so one of the things that i think is uh is really interesting is like pcos
so pcos polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disorder that it mostly affects women
of northern european descent now it can affect it can affect anyone so i’m not saying that only women
from that area of the world have it but but there is a highlight a higher risk of women from that area
having pcos it’s interesting that women with those
sets of symptoms they do really well on a fasting diet and if you think about how their
ancestors would have lived for thousands of years then they would have had at
times during the during the seasons especially during the long cold winter
where they didn’t have as much access to food certainly not fresh fruits and vegetables so no sugar at all so they
would have ate more of a of a keto style diet also um women with pcos do really well
with with more intense exercise it’s really good for helping to balance their hormones and that makes sense if you
think of living in a really rugged environment where you’re where survival is going to demand a
a very rugged lifestyle so wherever our our ancestors have sort of adapted to
then that can kind of help us in determining how our bodies best work
now of course you know now we live all over the world um we’re no longer tribal
like we once were um and so there’s been a lot of you know there’s a lot of cross genetics which is good right i mean
diversity is good and it makes us stronger so it doesn’t it doesn’t work for
everybody this is one of the ideas of the blood type diet i’m not a huge fan of that but this is one of the reasons
why few people some people get a good benefit from that
is because the blood types tend to be somewhat regional as well so in a roundabout way by using a blood
type diet you’re sort of taking into consideration where the environment in which your
ancestors are adapted to um so we talked about location we talked
about seasons um and then spiritual and religious fasting and so a big part of spiritual
religious fasting not only what i mentioned earlier but also this idea of community
so doing things together makes it so much easier and you guys may remember i
talked about community we did one of these group visits on community a couple of months ago and being in a community
that is fasting with you is going to make this a lot easier so i would encourage you that if you want to learn
more about fasting after our time together i would encourage you to
to get to get in a community that’s doing that or maybe get with a few friends
and then you guys being directed by a clinician by somebody by a dietitian somebody who can really help guide you
that you guys do this together because it can be really impactful not only for your physical health but for your
spiritual health health and emotional and relational health as well
so before we go into the different types of fasting does anybody have any
questions about those spiritual aspects emotional aspects uh historical aspects
of fasting
okay great so let’s talk a little bit about different types of fasting
so one of the things i mentioned in christian tradition as fasting and
the earliest christians fasted in what would be called now a five and two
fasting routine um which would have been that they fasted on wednesdays and fridays
uh it’s so cool to see these connections between our faith tradition of the past
and the research that’s being done today and how those things correlate to physical health that’s a special
interest of mine so you’ve got five and two fasting which is where you eat five days completely
normal or how you would normally eat and then you have two days that would be five to six hundred calories per day
then you also have time feedings an example would be like what i have on the
screen here 16×8 which would be where you fast for 16 hours and then you have
a feeding window of 8 hours you could also do 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours
of feeding there are a lot of variations to this it’s really important when you’re
thinking about fasting that we’re considering the stress that we’re putting on our bodies
so just just like if i was going to go run a marathon i wouldn’t just step out tomorrow and go
run 26.2 miles that would not be a good idea i probably wouldn’t complete it i
would almost certainly injure myself and it’s a similar similar situation with fasting so i would encourage you to
let’s say right now that you do most of your eating in a 16-hour window you know which is pretty normal people you know
wake up fairly early they may have some breakfast maybe a snack before lunch they have lunch maybe a snack after
lunch sometime in the afternoon dinner and then a lot of times many of us we have a snack
or second dinner as we sometimes call it around eight or nine o’clock so it’s actually a fairly large eating window so
let’s say that you’re currently eating like that you wouldn’t want to just go down to something where you have a 20
hours of fast or 20 hours of fasting and four hours of eating that could be really hard on the body so that’s going
to disrupt your hormones it’s going to cause a lot of fatigue it’s going to cause you to feel
exhausted and it’s just going to throw your metabolism for a loop really affecting your reverse t3 which
is one of your thyroid hormones and causing you to feel almost hypothyroid so it’s a lot better to be in a program
or be working with somebody who can help guide you slowly and you can move into
longer and longer fasts just like we would with exercise
water fasting is a is another type of fasting so water fasting is where you
just will drink water and you’ll have nothing else and that could be for a 24 hour period or it may be for 72 hours or
five or there’s even a seven hour fast a seven day fast which i definitely would not recommend
you doing without some oversight and somebody checking in with you to make sure you’re okay
and definitely not something he would do starting out so the thing about water fasting is that
studies have shown that autophagy that is self-eating right
so i’ll explain that in just a second because that’s kind of a strange strange idea right certainly a strange word
that autophagy occurs um in about 48 to 72 hours is when it starts and then it
reaches its peak right about five days so let’s talk for a second about autophagy and why that that would even
matter something called self-eating which sounds like a horrible idea right so within our bodies each individual
cell sometimes um there’s an issue with the dna and you have a mutation
or there may be a misfolding of proteins that can occur in the brain
over time these cellular mutations can evolve
into cancer or into cells that replicate faster than they should
or with folded incorrectly folded cells in the brain it can lead to dementia
other types of cognitive decline so when we start to self eat or
autophagy as i said we actually begin to to clean those cells up so the body goes
from one of constant growth which we do when we’re well fed to one of more
conservation and repair so i think that if you are on a rhythm
of fasting then you’re going to be able to heal
better it’s going to um it’s going to have a lot of implications that we’re actually going to talk about a little further down the line and then something
else that you can do in this whole fasting in the fasting realm is called the fasting mimicking
diet so there’s some brands you can google that hat sell you a whole kit and you get five little
boxes and each box is for one day all the food comes pre-packaged in these
little um and these little envelopes and you get tea and and it really makes the whole process not that bad really you
know because you’re constantly making tea or making yourself this little bit of soup and so it sort of feels like
you’re doing a lot even if you’re only consuming about 800 to 1000 calories in those programs so fasting mimicking
is really about calorie restriction and most of the good studies we have
around intermittent fasting shows that the the um
the biggest reason why we see benefit there has to do with the calorie
restriction that occurs you know if i if i only if i eat five days normally and i
two days where i’m only eating 600 calories then the net the net response is that i eat less
calories right if i fast for 16 hours and only eat eight hours where i used to
eat 12 hours then the net effect is that i eat less
calories so there’s a lot to be said about calorie restriction within the intermittent fasting paradigm
so that’s probably the biggest way in which fasting mimicking diets are
helpful is that they is that they get a calorie restrict which calorie restricting over time
also helps with autophagy it takes a long time though because most
of us um you know we’re just by the by the fact that we are living in a western
civilization are over fed so it’s going to take a while to adjust that metabolism
to re-regulate the amount of glycogen which is stored sugar as well as adipose
tissue that is fat in our bodies before we can kind of get to a place where
eating a calorie restricted diet leads to autophagy
so let’s talk about the effects on chronic disease of fasting
and it really is all types of fasting that can help with these i mean i think water fasting of course is the most
extreme you’re going to see the quickest results and i do think that in a lot of ways when i’m setting these
up for patients we’ll start with the water fast whether it be for 24 hours or you know maybe 48 hours it just
really depends on the individual and once we’ve seen their labs we may start there and then work into a um
an intermittent fasting routine um but all of these things are going to have an impact on the chronic disease so
the first thing i want to talk about first chronic disease is let’s talk about liver inflammation
so if we think of the liver i want you to think of this liver picture this liver in your mind
make sure this liver is like a sponge and you’ve got this like cup of water
above the sponge now this cup of water represents all of the blood
that has absorbed all of the nutrients all of the toxins everything from your small intestine and now it’s being
guided and focused through through these vessels toward your liver
so that’s this cup of water that i have above the liver so i’m going to pour that through
this sponge and it’s going to be filtered now a real sponge i know a sponge
compared to the liver it doesn’t do all the work of the liver whereas the liver is not only going to filter but it’s also going to rearrange amino acids and
specific proteins that we need it’s going to help with detox and changing certain chemical structures so
that we can clear those in our kidneys or through our gi tract so it’s going to do a lot more than just
a sponge but for our example we’ll just say that it at least filters like a sponge wood
so we pour this water into the sponge and then out the other side comes this sort of
cleansed uh water or or cleansed or filtered blood that’s now going to go into the rest of the body carrying all
of the nutrients that we need for our survival and it’s going to go into the brain it’s going to go into the muscles
it’s going to go into the heart and it’s going to deliver what we need to thrive
now let’s take that same liver let’s take that same sponge that we’re talking about and let’s coat it with bacon
grease now if i do that with a real sponge it’s going to be much less effective
now we do a similar thing with our liver through something called glycogen so
glycogen is a storage form of sugar and it’s a little closer to a
triglyceride so it’s a little more like fat but not quite so we will actually store that in our
liver and then we can even change that like i mentioned into the lipids into fats themselves and we’re going to store
those in our liver we’re also going to store that glycogen we’re going to store that in our muscles
so that we are ready should our bodies go into a time of fasting or starvation
we are ready to utilize that glycogen to utilize those fats as a way to survive as a way to thrive
even in a fast environment remember this goes back to how we have adapted over generations to actually be able to
thrive in a fasted environment at least part of the year depending on your location
so whenever we fast we’re going to eat up all of the sugar that’s in our
blood so our blood sugar is going to drop and then the next thing that’s going to happen once the blood sugar has gotten
pretty low is we’re going to convert glycogen in to blood sugar so we’re
going to take that glycogen and then we’re going to turn it into blood sugar and then then we’re going to use that
blood sugar as energy so the sugar that’s now in the blood is energy once we’ve
emptied all of that we’re going to move into another type of metabolism where we’re actually burning fat or we call
that ketosis so all of those processes are going to work to lower
the amount of fat the amount of glycogen in the liver which is going to decrease
liver inflammation and it’s going to decrease fatty liver and by doing that
we’ve actually freed up the liver to now do its job of detoxifying so that’s one
of the ways that we can reverse chronic disease through fasting when we focus on what’s happening in the
liver so now let’s talk about a little bit about diabetes and blood sugar and what
happens when we fast it there so i want you to think about
think about your your body your metabolic structure think about
that as a warehouse and in this warehouse you have all of these little wood burning stoves now
this is similar to each individual cell in the body okay so each individual cell
is like its own wood burning stuff so now i want you to imagine that coming
into this warehouse are cardboard boxes but in our bodies that’s going to be
represented by or those cardboard boxes are going to represent sugar so let’s say that the sugar is coming into these
warehouses or into this warehouse that is our body through our mouth and then going down into our gi tract
and out into our bloodstream so now all of these cardboard boxes are
supposed to be burnt in the wood stoves or in the stoves and the sugar is supposed to be burnt in
the individual cells so the workers what delivers that sugar or what
delivers those cardboard boxes to the to the wood-burning stoves is going to be insulin so insulin combines with glucose
and then it takes it into the cell where it’s used and burned as energy so now i want you to imagine these one
burning stoves are full they are just jam packed with cardboard they’ve got no
more room those cells or those wood stoves they begin to form kind of like a callous
it’s this protective mechanism that prevents more sugar and more insulin this insulin
sugar insulin glucose complex from going into the cell it’s trying to protect us right because
it doesn’t understand why the sugar just keeps coming so
that protective mechanism is called insulin resistance and you may have heard that of that before right because
insulin resistance is what leads to diabetes you know it’s so interesting how we can
sense this so i i can’t tell you how many times that i’ve had patients who
you know will change up their diet and they’ll be like oh i can’t eat anything sweet on here like there’s nothing
sugary or nothing sweet i say well we do have apples there are bananas that are included in the food plan when
we’re talking about a whole food style diet and i’ll say apples don’t taste sweet to me
and okay that’s you know it’s a good like take note of that and then the patients will go into their into their
life and they will take within the food plan all the information that we’ve given them
and they’re ready to make some changes and then they come back at that one month visit or at that three
month visit just depending on on their individual needs and we review their labs those patients
who have really stuck with it they are so excited and they’ll say
things like i finally taste an apple again see because as we lose that insulin
resistance and as our cells become more sensitive to sugar
our taste buds become more sensitive to sugar and we’re finally able to taste
fruit as we’ve always hoped we would as it’s been designed for us to taste
so whenever we fast then we create an insulin
sensitivity in our cells see because we burn up all of the sugar that’s in the cells just like all the cardboard that i
mentioned and then we burn up the glycogen that was there and we start to burn fat and our body now is very
sensitive to sugar knowing that if it gets any little bit of sugar it’s going to be ready to burn it so we can
effectively reverse diabetes um and pre-diabetes and and insulin resistance
and i think that this is amazing i mean this is something that a few years ago
in conventional medicine they would have thought you were crazy if you would say that you could reverse diabetes
the truth is that it is very difficult to do it’s hard to change these these
lifelong patterns of coping and reduced food for emotional support it is very very difficult and i’m not taking any of
that away and that’s why i think it’s so important that you do this in partnership on a
journey with a clinician who understands your individualized story but we can do it and it is really
exciting when we see a patient who’s been able to reverse their diabetes through nutrition
so let’s talk a little bit about cholesterol right so we talked about how when we fast right we burn through sugar
we burn through glycogen and then we start to burn fat cholesterol is a type
of fat so fasting can help us lower cholesterol it is interesting though that not all
fasting works the same when it comes to lowering cholesterol i’ve had quite a few patients who would
do intermittent fasting but they actually weren’t decreasing the amount of food that they would eat they’d still
eat the same amount of calories they would just eat them in eight hours instead of you know 16 hours
and they would lose weight and many of them would feel better but their cholesterol does not always go down so
it is important to think about the types of food that we’re eating and i don’t necessarily mean cutting out eggs or
cutting out you know red meat but i think we have to take an individualized approach when it comes to
cholesterol and think about how does your specific body how does it make cholesterol or how is it storing it from
the food you eat and then once we understand the answers to those questions then we’re able to tease out
the best plan the best individualized plan to help you lower your cholesterol and of course by lowering cholesterol by
lowering inflammation like we talked about in the liver then now we’re decreasing risk for cardiovascular
disease which means less heart attacks it’s really exciting to think that we
have control over our body’s health we can make
decisions we can set up rhythms of health in our life that are going to make a difference
in our long-term health and whether or not we have to deal with chronic disease so some chronic disease
in our community is very scary when we mention words like cancer or
dementia it automatically raises the emotional threshold right and i’m not saying that
if you fast you’ll never get cancer and i’m certainly not saying that if you have cancer that you should just fast
instead of have that taken care of um i’m certainly not saying that you will absolutely prevent dementia with
fasting or that you can reverse it which we know is very very difficult but i am saying that the studies are clear that
can reduce our risk straight forward if you think about it so
if we consider that once we convert over into autophagy that is
self-eating remember eating those cells that are misshapen or that have mutated
dna once we’ve been able to to convert over into that type of metabolism then any cells that could
become cancer are going to be more likely destroyed by our body’s own
immune system any cells any neurons that may be misshapen in the brain
that could eventually lead to dementia once they reach a critical mass they are more likely going to be destroyed
when we convert over into autophagy so i think that more research needs to
be done but the studies that we have now are clear that
fasting can can certainly change the outcome of our health long
term in many different ways so let’s talk about the role of fasting
and optimal health so what [Music] have any chronic disease
well if we don’t have a
chronic disease and we’re doing well in the body if you remember a few slides ago i discussed
that fasting is a type of stressor on the body
it actually introduces inflammation into the body right anytime that we’re going to be changing the way that our body
metabolizes for energy within where we’re creating a stressor
as long as that stress is dosed appropriately then we’re gonna add resilience into the
body so there are a lot of different things that work on this principle um i mentioned running for a marathon
earlier so that’s one way i mean we can’t start out running a marathon but if i start out today running one mile
and then every other day you know i give myself plenty of rest to make sure that i’m eating drinking water and sleeping
well then i know that over time i will eventually be able to run a marathon
because my body has become more resilient against that type of stress we also see this in weightlifting right
so if i wanna if i want to deadlift 350 pounds i’m not going to go to the y tomorrow morning and just grab that
weight and pick it straight up i’m probably going to throw out my back and maybe even rip some joints apart
um so that’s not something i recommend but if i start out lifting light weight
and then gradually increasing then i’m building resiliency in strength in my muscles
fasting is a way to build resiliency and strength into our metabolic muscles it
is a way to stave off a lot of these chronic diseases that we’ve talked about
it’s a way to preserve our cognition there is a whole
fleet of people um you could almost call it a cult because they’re very very dedicated but caloric restriction and
longevity there’s been tons of studies that show that caloric restriction can
it can lead to longevity you’ve probably heard me talk about the blue zones before in some of these talks and it’s
very interesting to me that in these blue zones people tend to just naturally
as part of their culture they tend to have caloric restriction as part of the
way they eat and as a result at least part of the result is that they live
longer and they live healthier so it is going to increase our physical health um if we if we do fasting
correctly and we do it in a way that is helpful um one warning that i just comes
to mind considering fasting is when it’s time to refeed so when we’re going to be refeeding we
want to make sure that we are not we want to make sure that we’re just not eating a lot of sugar or eating a lot of
processed foods because those things are going to spike our sugar and they can start to cause metabolic damage right
away so you want to make sure that when it’s time to refeed that depending on the program depending on what you’ve
been doing that you’re doing that appropriately
so let’s talk for a second on changes to the microbiome so it makes sense right it makes sense
that if i change what the flora in my gi tract are eating then i’m going to
change them now what’s so cool is that these microorganisms that are down inside of
our small intestine they’re very very very small and that means that they are um they are
at risk for injury very quickly sometimes that’s a good thing sometimes that’s a bad thing
so the healthier gut bacteria that we have they tend to be more resilient to fasting
a lot of it has to do with the generational adaptation and the bacteria that have been cultured in us that we
receive from our parents and from our families and from our communities and that have been the same and have been
brought forward over generations so that healthy bacteria is more likely
to thrive during a fasting during a fasting event there was one study that showed that
with a little bit of fasting they were able to change the microbiome and they seen a drop in blood pressure associated
with that there was another study a very recent study that showed that you can reduce the infectious burden of
salmonella through fasting so now the next study that they’re going to be looking at
is going to be whether you can actually use it as a treatment which i think is is
pretty cool it’s pretty exciting then also leaky gut so fasting is going
to lower inflammation in the small intestine and the intestinal cells they have a two to seven day life cycle which
means that they can heal pretty quickly if we just give them a break if we just give them some time to heal and fasting
allows for that fasting also restores the integrity of that that connection between the cells
and it reduces the permeability so that you’ve got less leaky gut you’ve got less of those whole proteins and toxins
and infectious particles leaking over into our bloodstream so as you can see there’s quite a bit of
changes that occur down inside the small intestine when we fast so it’s not just about what’s happening to our muscles
what’s happening to our liver what’s happening to our brain our heart but it’s also about what’s happening in the
gi tract itself so one of the things that i want to mention before we wrap up is
considerations for menstruating women i think that women’s health is extremely
important and it’s much much different than the average man’s health or the
health of a post-menopausal woman so women who are still menstruating they
have a hormonal cycle right we all know that we know that there’s a rhythm to
their hormones and that means that there should also be a healthy rhythm to the way we fast the way we feed to the way
we exercise so during the follicular phase that is the part during your period
you want to take it easy at first and then start ramping it up after about day three back into fasting and exercise
during the ovulatory phase during that period that’s uh before or like while
you’re ovulating the release of the egg this is where you’re going to have higher energy this is where you’re going to have higher
levels of hormones you’re going to be able to do longer fasts here and more exercises okay
but you still have to be careful pushing yourself too hard introducing too much stress or inflammation into the
system at any point during this monthly rhythm is going to cause us to have a
decrease in resiliency not an increase which is the opposite of what we want
and then during the luteal phase which is just before menstruation this is about a week before your period starts
you want to be doing either light fasting or none at all you want your exercise to be more restorative this is
where you’d want to do more yoga you’d want to really make sure that you’re tending to your body well
and in doing that it’s going to help the your period the follicular phase that’s about to come back around it’s going to
make that be a lot usually a lot lighter women report back to me that they have lighter
periods they have less painful periods they have less cravings during their periods and they feel less bloating so
in the end it’s about what’s doing best for your body and that’s why individual care is so important so you will see a
lot of people out there who say women should never fast you also see people
out there saying everybody should fast what i’m encouraging you to do is be
considerate of your own body in your own story and enter into relationship with a
health care provider with a cl
who has your best interests at heart and and that brings us to an end
of our time this has been a lot of fun does anybody have any questions um before we wrap up our time together
well i don’t see any questions so this has been great and like i said before i would really encourage you to
get with your clinician here at maxwell clinic and walk this walk through this
with them and if you want to do fasting if you want to give this a shot but i would definitely encourage you to because fasting can play a pivotal role
in changing your longevity and your health in the future looks like i got one question let me
check it out so it says i am a 66 year old post-menopausal woman with hashimoto’s i
used to fast three days a month when i was younger administrating but i began to spot between periods due to fasting
may i fast now for three days so that is a wonderful question and i think it goes
right back to the point that we made about how you have to be so careful when you’re fasting especially premenopausal
so being a postmenopausal woman does mean that there’s more resiliency but at the same time you want to make
sure that that you’re having your labs looked at and you’re making that decision with your clinician
and oh yes so you’re you were saying it was a three-day water fast so yeah
absolutely i mean three day water fast is very hard on the body um
and yes you’re yeah so i have a just sort of a shout out about yoga yoga
is excellent for balancing our hormones and it definitely would be helpful to be
doing yoga when you first introduce when you first introduce fasting to your routine
all right i hope everybody has a wonderful evening and i look forward to seeing you in the clinic soon

This blog provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This blog does not constitute the practice of any medical, nursing or other professional health care advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or call for emergency medical help on the nearest telephone immediately.

Cliff Syner, PA-C

Cliff Syner, PA-C, has a passion for helping others heal. While serving in the U.S. Army, he cared for trauma patients around the world as a special operations flight medic.