I began doing intermittent fasting and it has been a week now. I chose the 16/8 method, which is very popular in Japan at the moment. A book called Kufuku Koso Saikyo No Kusuri, Hunger is the Best Medicine, is a best seller now.
It is a simple method. You just don’t eat for 16 hours. To do that all you need to do is to skip breakfast. If you finish eating dinner at 8 pm and don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, you’ll have 16 hours of the fasting period. If you do it during the day, 16 hours feel a very long time but if you include the sleeping time, it becomes much easier.
Having 16 hours of fasting period you become hungry enough and it initiates the function of autophagy. Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells. It seems to enhance your lifespan.
Autophagy is known for Yoshinori Ohsumi’s research, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2016, and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2017.
David Sinclair says something similar in his book Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don’t Have To, that if you have a certain period of hunger, it can activate your vitality genes and it will stop aging.
Yes, intermittent fasting is one of the methods he recommends, as well.
I have been doing it for 7 days now, and it feels good. Skipping breakfast is doable. I would really like to incorporate 16-hour fasting in the Ikigai Diet. I did already say that occasional fasting is good in Chapter 11 The Secret of Japanese Longevity was not in What We Ate, but How We Ate, and I had been skipping lunch or breakfast once a week, but now, skipping breakfast every day seems to be better.
And yet, if it is too difficult for you, you can always do 16-hour fasting twice a week, for a start anyway. Sustainability is important, you want to be able to continue it for a long time. I am a lot more disciplined than most people, so doing it every day is a piece of cake for me, but twice a week is probably better for many people.
I am also thinking of taking a break on weekends. My son eats 3 meals a day and it may be good to have breakfast with him on weekends, you know, to have a hygge moment with homemade grain-rich pancakes, haha. By the way, I don’t know if this 16-hour fasting is good for children, so I am still letting my son eat 3 meals a day to cover all nutrients he needs.
So, I’ll be practicing 16-hour fasting from Monday to Friday and take a break on Saturday and Sunday.
To practice this no breakfast diet, what you eat for your lunch and dinner becomes even more crucial. I need to think of the nutritional balance. I’ll talk about it tomorrow.
The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity