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Intermittent Fasting, Weight Loss and Cancer.

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

How Intermittent Fasting Lowers Inflammation (16 Hour Fast Example)

Chronic Inflammation and Cancer

Long-term chronic inflammation can harm your body's tissues and organs, Smith says. This links to medical problems, including cancer. How so? Two ways:

  • It damages DNA, which can cause cancer.

  • It makes substances that rev up blood vessels that feed tumors. This allows cancer to grow. This is called angiogenesis.

  • Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels form, allowing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues. It is a vital function, required for growth and development as well as the healing of wounds.

  • Intermittent Fasting also plays an important role in the formation of cancer because, like any other body part, tumors need a blood supply to thrive and grow.

The exact role chronic inflammation has in breast cancer is still hazy. But the strongest link between breast cancer and inflammation has to do with your weight, says Raymond Palko, a registered dietitian and specialist in oncology nutrition at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Washington. “There is convincing evidence that overweight, obesity, and adult weight gain are risk factors for breast cancer. Excess body weight is a cause of chronic inflammation.”

While most nutritionists recommend eating 4 to 7 small meals per day, there is a new "buzz" on the internet that recommends compressing your “eating windows.”

You may have heard of Intermittent Fasting (or I.F.). This allows you to eat bigger meals with less food prep, and less worry.

Here’s how it works:

It’s a type of eating that restricts food intake to a small time period each day.

Usually a 4 to 8 hour window.

Studies show that you only need about 16 hours of being in a fasted state to reap the largest benefit of intermittent fasting: autophagy.

Autophagy is your body’s natural “cell-cleaning” process. Basically, it removes dead and damaged tissue, and replaces it with new healthy tissue.17

For pain and inflammation, this is a powerful weapon. By activating your body’s natural autophagy process, you suppress inflammation. You also slow down the aging process and boost natural energy hormones.

…So what does 16 hours of fasting look like?

If you have dinner at 7pm, then don’t eat again until 11am the following day… that’s a 16 hour fast. You could also eat your last meal (or snack) at 9pm, then fast until 1pm the following day (a popular setup with our clients).

16 hour fast example - What does a 16 hour fast look like?

16 Hour Fast Example: 9pm to 1pm the following day

Which means all you really need to do is skip breakfast in order to activate autophagy and reap the benefits of fasting. You’ll actually be less hungry on this regimen.

Even though most nutritionists say that skipping breakfast is bad for your metabolism, and that you should eat several small meals per day… the science behind that claim doesn’t hold up.

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