What is cyclical fasting?
Fasting is a voluntary abstinence from food for several days. When conducted several times with a certain time gap, fasting is called cyclical.
Whom do you advise to practice CF?
When a patient is overweight or has a chronic illness. When they aren't feeling well and their medication doesn't help, they should conduct a series of food pauses.
When a person is healthy, but would like to strengthen their organism.
Why is such a dietary regime, with pauses, important to us?
A person carries the genome of their species. But the genome is active selectively, only in those parts required by the current circumstances. Such selective activity, called epigenome, is the timely tuning of the cell to changing circumstances.
During the growth period, the development programme plays the main role for the genome. In adulthood, it's the programme of adaptation to the life environment.
Genome tuning is often hindered by the monotony of external and, therefore, internal factors. Under a sudden change in circumstances, it doesn't respond adequately and properly, but in the form of a non-specific stress reaction, like its enemy isn't identified.
If the problem is not quickly resolved, a disease unravels. A long stay in the "comfort zone" detrains the entire organism and its genetic programme, so that they respond poorly to a change in circumstances.
Regular nutrition creates a zone of energy comfort.
If your body is full, it has little reason to change. This often contributes to onset of excess weight, and then chronic diseases.
One of the ways to get rid of that problem is CF, with a subsequent restructuring of your diet and lifestyle.
Is it easy to master CF?
Anyone can conduct their first food pause, although it's not easy. They need to arm themselves with patience and learn the procedures, to correct the mistakes they make and listen carefully to their body as they go. That implies an adult attitude towards the body and our responsibility for our own health.
Even after a food pause the work doesn't end, that's only a half of it.
Choosing products, the way to cook them, and the daily consumption of "calories" all contribute to securing the achieved result.
If fasting is so useful, why don't we see it in nature?
We see it, we just don't notice. Hungry animals do not consciously refuse to eat, but they almost always have "problems" with food.
Territorial, seasonal, interspecific, and internal problems force animals to change their behaviour and location, and therefore to abstain from food. But all that is rewarded by the food they found.
That aside, we know about some animals being able to go into suspended animation or hibernation during a period of food scarceness.
However, only humans are capable of voluntarily refusing food when it's available. And that's worth taking advantage of.
In your opinion, how is CF different from other techniques?
Fasting itself is nothing new. But you need to be a doctor to understand what happens inside the body in the absence of food. What is an adequate response to the changed situation and what is a consequence of the alteration of the existing stereotype formed by regular nutrition.
There is no physiologically comfortable fasting if you haven't mastered the minimum necessary procedures and haven't conducted several successful food pauses.
An organism is used to regular nutrition and excretion.
Therefore, procedures that go with fasting are necessary.
For example, hunger and stomach dysfunction during fasting can be avoided by performing an exercise that suppresses those by increased pressure in the intestines — the Jasper Frog.
The activity of the gallbladder can be controlled by performing the Gallbladder Flush, thus avoiding frequent problems with its overflow.
The intestinal excretory function is also controllable during fasting if you perform the Primary Enema.
Only a doctor is able to understand the problems that arise during fasting and compensate for the temporary lack of food.
Moreover, we have learned a lot about the structure of our body that we didn't know before.
For one thing, that the digestive tract is not just a duct with bulges. That duct is divided into zones with different pressure, acidity, and microflora. The zones are separated from each other by valves or sphincters. By changing the pressure in a certain zone, you can open or close the needed valve and control the activity of this part of the gastrointestinal tract.
That knowledge is necessary because it allows making fasting comfortable and harmless.
We've learned something new about the life of cells in our body, about apoptosis, epigenetics, and the role of nutrition in those processes.
That our body is a world not only of our cells, but also of thousands of carriers of different genomes.
The microbiota is many times more numerous than the cells in our body, but it also feeds through our mouth.
All that significantly expands not only our worldview, but also our attitude towards fasting as a tool of post-evolution.
What problems can be eliminated by CF?
Many diseases arise halfway between the need to maintain "biological standards" and the real circumstances. If circumstances do not change, the standards give way and you get a chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension.
The accumulation of "hungry experience" by the organism can return the regulatory system to normal and gradually bring the organism back to the healthier league.
That also applies to the aging process.
As long as the structural changes are few in the body, fasting helps restore its normal state.
What changes in the body during fasting?
Living organisms have a long history. The continuous transfer of genetic material from one carrier to another, inclusion of fragments of foreign DNA for the last 3 billion years allow us to hope that despite changes in climate, atmosphere, and nutrition type living organisms have indeed learned how to remain living. There's probably a wide range of possibilities within the DNA that we have no clue about yet. We know little about our limits of adaptation and changeability. One of the ways of non-traumatic expansion of those limits is CF, which restarts the programme of adaptation to the external and internal environment, which doesn't happen with regular nutrition or medication. That is the main value of fasting.
So, if there already is an “experience” of solving a problem in genetic memory of our cells, then fasting allows to “turn it on”?
What does conducting multiple food pauses show? At first the expanded "cellular" experience manifests itself only briefly and tentatively, in the form of a temporary well-being improvement, a symptom relief, an improvement in test results.
Then there's a more stable "remission". But the disease gradually returns if food pauses are no longer conducted.
When you adopt CF, you can count on a lasting recovery.
We have more than once observed the success of CF in cases where therapeutic programmes no longer worked. For example, in the treatment of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, disorders of cell differentiation, weakening of immune system, etc. There may be a lot of such nutritional "shut-offs" needed, so the requirements for CF are stricter than for any other abstinence from food.
Does that mean that every food pause makes us healthier?
Generally, yes, it does. However, a temporary food refusal is only half of the nutritional cycle programme. A cycle consists of a food pause and a controlled diet. Then it repeats. The depth and stability of changes in the organism depends on the number of cycles.
What requirements should CF satisfy?
A food pause is not a picnic, but it should take its course without noticeable ill-being. Its start should be simple, the run smooth, and the end easy to control. Most multiple-day fasting techniques cannot guarantee that, I'm afraid.
However, that is an unnatural nutrition regimen for people and not every person is ready for it. What do you think?
It is natural for any creature to survive until sexual maturity and have offspring. The cycle repeats, and after that nature cares little about the creature's destiny. Humans will never be ready for illness, suffering, and aging. They come anyway. Only a human is able to foresee their future and affect the fate of their body.
So you say, the mission of CF is disease prevention and anti-aging?
Yes, that's true. It often happens though that diseases are already there and the aging process is well underway. CF allows you to change your prognosis to a more favourable one.
And what do you think about the nutritional process?
Throughout the Universe, matter tends to even energy distribution. That is what the second law of thermodynamics says. But the existential principle of living matter is different. Any organism seeks to preserve itself unchanged in time, at least for the duration of its life. Contrary to the general drive towards chaos, a living organism retains the structure that ensures its life. For this reason, a significant part of the energy obtained from food is spent to counteract the entropy growth. That part of the energy is called basal metabolism; the body spends almost half of the energy it obtains from food on it. The other half is spent on external activity.
Could you give a few examples to make it clearer?
Most living things (all plants, microorganisms, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) have the same temperature as their habitat. Their energy consumption is 10 times less, but their possible areal is limited.
Some insects, snakes, and reptiles can stay in suspended animation for most of their lives and eat on rare occasions (up to once every two years). Some animals hibernate. That's also a food pause of sorts.
Let's discuss the CF technique itself. What's really new about it?
The CF technique is designed for multiple use. Therefore, each food pause should take its course without damaging vital tissues, organs, and the patient's well-being. Also, it shouldn't worsen the patient's life quality and behaviour during fasting.
Without food, some organs lose their ability to function, what about that?
Indeed, a transition to feeding from your own sources, although is often found in nature (hibernation, suspended animation), is not easy for a human. It cannot last too long and requires to be supported by procedures.
What procedures are required during fasting?
A person starting to master CF has only three ones to conduct (and several additional ones):
Sometimes it's necessary to make individual changes to the procedures (time and method of conducting), enhance the basic elements or modify them taking into account the patient's characteristics.
How do you manage doing it?
Stomach activity can be controlled by the Jasper Frog exercise, which moves the contents of the stomach into the intestines.
Gallbladder flush, the second of the necessary procedures, allows unloading the gallbladder and ensuring that the liver can work on removing waste.
Enemas are the third mandatory procedure, forcing the intestines to work as if them were full with food. This way, digestive system functions are not interrupted by fasting.
What criteria are important to assess the fasting quality?
Well-being, lasting work performance, clean tongue and fresh breath, absence of crises and intoxication, regular excretion in the form of waste in the water after enemas. And of course, a symptom relief if you fast correctly.
Can everyone master the food pauses?
Our experience shows that everyone is capable of conducting one food pause, 5 to 7 days long. It doesn't take much time for procedures, provides a tangible effect by improving one's well-being, and is accompanied by weight loss. However, that effect doesn't last long. For serious changes, it's necessary to introduce food pauses as a long-term factor.
To achieve that you must always keep a specific goal in mind when conducting food pauses.
For example, to improve your well-being, to strengthen your health, to get rid of an illness, or to lose weight.
When your body is already prone to a certain disease or your age is no longer middle, we advise you to take CF more seriously than a single attempt, and to conduct several cycles — if possible, under a doctor's supervision.
Few are inclined to conduct pauses monthly, for it requires self-discipline and a clear understanding of why we are doing this.
And how does fasting affect body weight?
Weight loss during fasting is natural and is one of the reasons people are interested in it. However, don't forget that weight loss during fasting is the price of food refusal, not a goal in itself. Well-being and sounder health are the goals.
This is how weight behaves during fasting and afterwards.
In the first week, weight loss is maximum and equals 1% of your initial weight per day of fasting. The next week affects the weight less and only 0.5% is lost. In the third week, you might lose 0.3% per day. As a result, prolonged fasting doesn't solve the problem of excess weight.
After fasting, if you don't change your regimen and diet (which was clearly excessive), your weight will certainly increase.
With the same diet you had before the week-long fasting, your weight will come back at the rate of 0.8% per day. That is, in 10 days all the weight you've lost will return.
If you want to dispose of excess weight, have taken into account and eliminated your previous mistakes, only 1.5–2 kg will be back.
For lightweight people, the loss is unwelcome, but their weight will be restored even before the next pause and their health will be strengthened a bit.
How does fasting affect health?
When there's no food for several days already, the body becomes sparing with its expenses. The energy produced from its own "reserves" is insufficient to maintain everything. What does our organism do then? Having learned from the bitter experience of evolution, it stops "funding" the processes unrelated to survival during starvation. General metabolic activity slows down, which means that body temperature, pulse, and blood pressure decrease too, blood sugar drops, physical activity and emotional reactions decrease, allergic, autoimmune, and inflammatory reactions are suppressed. This behaviour of our body makes sense, for it helps to survive the fasting.
But that also means that the organism has simply stopped actively responding to damage, tending to ignore it.
Often symptom relief doesn't mean recovery, it's just a change of priorities for the body, because the risk of starving to death seems greater.
At the same time, the "economy mode" makes its operation more efficient.
Our behaviour is no longer strongly dependent on the play of neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin), and their production on the play of mind, as it did before. Former motives of behaviour weaken disappear if they weren't really important. That's why fasting is an excellent means to treat various neuroses and emotional dysfunction.
"Vascular storms" and diencephalic seizures also abate.
Synchronization of neuron activity and epileptic seizures occur less frequently, which is why the ketogenic diet has sprung into popularity.
Fasting has a calming effect on the immune system, leading to remission in autoimmune diseases.
What health benefits can one expect from fasting?
First of all, if a person is sick, they get a break. Many "costly" processes are slowed down. Inflammation, swelling, and pain recede. After that, you may reduce or completely refuse (but not immediately) taking "medicine" that regulates intercellular processes in the body, because it amplifies their disconnection anyway.
Secondly, systematic use of "food cycles" helps to restore the organism as a whole. It's easier to achieve when there's no food.
Restoring the bodily integrity is the purpose of fasting.
Thirdly, food between pauses is not only a source of energy, but also a training factor that unites the organism in its fight against diseases and aging.
Is there any data on the health effect of food pauses if conducted over several years?
Yes, there is such data. Many pathological processes in the organism run in the background first, gradually taking form of a tendency towards something and then the form of a chronic illness. For example, a predisposition to excess weight, colds, or high blood pressure.
CF allows countering them.
Moreover, whether we like it or not, our bodies have their own failure-free lifespans. We don't know the mechanisms of that, but it's real. CF allows prolonging that periods.
Can CF ever become an element of hygiene like mouth or body hygiene? And what changes in the procedures with its prolonged use?
Dietary hygiene with regular food pauses isn't likely to become commonplace for a long time. We give in to temptations too easily and believe in the existence of an easy way.
At the same time, we've often observed how CF managed to significantly improve a person's health, normalize their weight, and change their relationship with food.
Periodic abstinence from food requires a responsible attitude to your own body, and that doesn't easily fit into the minds of most people. Having received our bodies at birth, we are too confident that they would serve us forever. Not by a long shot. All living things have their own deadlines, but it's within our power to postpone them.
When food pauses are conducted a number of times, the organism first learns how to carry it out, and then how to get along with it unproblematically.
Over time, the need for some procedures disappears. For example, the Jasper Frog will become unnecessary, because in the fasting mode the stomach stops craving food on its own.
Activation and gallbladder flush will stop having an essential role, since the liver and gallbladder adjust their activity not to food, but as the need arises.
Only the primary enema remains. Without filling the intestines with water, their normal functioning is unfortunately impossible.
What effect does a food pause have on a person's well-being?
From the first days, fasting affects general metabolism. It slows down, the need for energy decreases, muscle tone gets low, blood sugar and pressure drop, breathing becomes less frequent, i.e. the background level of energy expenses recedes. Willingness to spend one's time and energy on nonsense disappears. Still, there's the possibility of mobilization, if necessary (household activities, work, training). In general, the person looks calm and focused. Their pain threshold becomes higher, they feel better. Distress caused by diseases is much less common.
What makes your understanding of the human organism different from that of the conventional medicine?
At first glance, medicinal efforts and CF have the same goal: health, well-being, and longevity.
There's also a big difference though. In medicine, a person perceives their body as a set of organs and functions and themselves as passive "treatment undergoer." In CF, a person is active like a responsible "tenant" in their body. Although everyone can master CF, not everyone's ready to take that responsibility.
What are the food pause's prospects for the future?
Intermittent abstinence from food can be viewed as an underinvestigated area of managing your well-being, weight, and health.
Interaction of our body with the world through food has a lot to be explored. Modern medicine zealously avoids studying the problems of the organism as a whole, dealing with its individual parts instead. I hope that in the future fasting can become part of a programme that combines medical achievements with nature's evolutionary contrivances.