Thoughtful Thursday…fat loss and cellular cleansing with autophagy
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
In the previous newsletter, I kicked off my series on longevity and provided reasons and my “why” for embarking on this endeavor and asked you, members of the GreenNote Fitness Community to join me on this journey. There are many aspects of longevity, one of which we will explore today - autophagy.
Autophagy (aw-TOFF-uh-gee) is the cellular cleansing process that removes those toxins (environmental) and repairs the damage left behind. It boosts your body’s innate ability to repair itself from within, allowing you to rid your cells of the damage that causes aging; improve cell turnover for more efficient and effective function; and regulate your immune system to fight future infections, reduce inflammation, and help lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. 2016 Nobel Prize - Autophagy It is considered one the most important breakthroughs in the science of aging. In 2016 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to a Japanese cell biologist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, for his research on autophagy. When autophagy is working properly, old and diseased cells are digested and then used to create energy and the building blocks for new cells. It’s essentially your body’s natural way of recycling. When it is not working properly, it is linked to all sorts of age-related problems, such as cancer, dementia, and diabetes. Autophagy in daily life I was quite intrigued by what properly working autophagy can do. Here is a list. Some of the benefits include: fat loss; brain health/cognitions; improved body composition; slowing markers of aging; cancer prevention. Obviously we want autophagy to be working properly. I recently listened to a couple of podcasts that discussed such a thing. The guest for these conversations was Naomi Whittlel, a leading nutritional expert. In her book, Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life, she outlines the ways in which to turn autophagy on and off. Her protocol includes (among many other things) intermittent fasting and protein cycling. Currently, I’m following her protocol she outlines in the book, beginning with intermittent fasting - not eating for 16 hours three times per week and protein cycling - eating a low amount of protein on days I’m intermittent fasting and normal to high amounts of protein on days I’m not fasting. Intermittent Fasting (IF) - IF is the practice of shifting between periods of unrestricted eating and restricted eating and is a key activator of autophagy. When you give your body food, insulin automatically rises and glucagon starts to decrease. But the opposite happens when you deny your body nutrients - insulin goes down and glucagon rises. An increase in glucagon triggers autophagy. This is why temporarily withholding nutrients, or intermittent fasting, is one of the best ways to boost the youth of your cells. Protein Cycling (PC) - PC is the practice of alternating between periods of low protein consumption and normal to high protein consumption. PC has an effect similar to fasting. Creating protein deficiency also lowers your insulin levels - and that, in turn, boosts your glucagon and activates autophagy. This means your body will not store the foods you eat as fat, but instead work to build muscle and burn fat. What this looks like when you put the two together On three non-consecutive days per week I don’t eat for 16 hours. For example, if I finish dinner at 8:00 PM, I won’t eat until noon. I will drink, tea, coffee (black), and water but won’t consume any food until the 16 hours have passed. Research has shown this is the optimal time for cell clean-up and to trigger autophagy. On these days of IF, I consume lower amounts of protein, roughly 25 grams (low days). On the other four days I will consume medium to higher amounts of protein, approximately 45 to 55 grams (high days). Also, I will eat when I want. These will also be days of strength training or high-intensity interval training. The days of IF are to be lower amounts activity, what I’m using for recovery days and an opportunity for yoga, foam rolling, and stretching. I’ve just begun this autophagy protocol. I’m hopeful that it will help with joint inflammation, fat loss, and general healthy cells for longevity. If I should doubt or struggle with this, all I have to do is go back and read the definition of autophagy… ...It boosts your body’s innate ability to repair itself from within, allowing you to rid your cells of the damage that causes aging; improve cell turnover for more efficient and effective function; and regulate your immune system to fight future infections, reduce inflammation, and help lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. Enjoy your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness You wouldn’t happen to know just one person that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them! Did you miss last week’s newsletter on Longevity…daring to live well…? P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for books, podcasts, and more on body, mind, and spirit. http://www.greennotefitness.com