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What Exactly Happens To Your Body During Intermittent Fasting?

Take a Look Into the Different Stages Your Body Enters (and Benefits From) The Longer You Fast

dofasting what happens fasting

When some people hear the term "intermittent fasting" (IF), the first thing they might think of is that you're depriving yourself of one of the greatest pleasures in life: food. At first glance, yes, you can look at it that way. The lesser-known point-of-view about IF is that it can unlock the bodily functions that can only be triggered when you let your body go into starvation mode and, as a result, live better.

That might sound counter-intuitive, but most people don't know that intermittent fasting - or short-term fasts - are a natural practice among humans. All thanks to hunter-gatherer ancestors who survived for long periods without food (at least until they found a worthy meal), short-term fasts are something your body is built for. It is neither a means of suffering or harming oneself, nor is it considered a diet. Rather, it's a way of retraining your body to become fully-functional and unlocked in all its processes. DoFasting exists to make this easier, providing a tailored framework for you to achieve your goals with intermittent fasting.

Read More: This App Tells You Everything You Need To Know About Fasting

4 Stages Of Intermittent Fasting

dofasting what happens fasting

With all the unlimited food choices today and the availability of snacks in your pantry, your body hasn't been conditioned to perform its survival repair and function because once hunger hits, the immediate reaction is to satiate by whatever means necessary. Assume for a moment that as soon as you wake up, you don't immediately have your first meal and decide to fast, according to your selected schedule on the DoFasting app.

Here's what happens to your body:

1. Anabolic State

0 to 4 hours of fasting

Following your last meal, your body goes into an anabolic state or growth period that includes ingesting and utilizing the nutrients you last ate. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats are broken down into glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids to be metabolized for energy or stored for later use. If your last meal mainly consisted of carbs, that results in a rise in blood glucose levels, and by association, insulin. Insulin enters the bloodstream to transport glucose into areas needing energy, protein synthesis, or into storage as glycogen or fat.

2. Catabolic State

4 to 12 hours of fasting

Once all the glucose has been used as fuel or sent to storage in the liver, blood sugar level drops. Simultaneously, insulin no longer plays a role in glucose storage; thus, it dissipates from your bloodstream. During this phase, stored nutrients compensate for energy when there's no food intake, known as the catabolic or breakdown state. This is when glycogen is broken down to become your body's primary source of energy to keep your blood sugar at normal levels.

3. Partial Ketosis

12 to 18 hours of fasting

Here's where fasting gets interesting. Once your glycogen stores are depleted, this makes way for a process called gluconeogenesis. This is the body's backup source of glucose when glycogen runs out in the body by converting non-carbohydrate nutrients into this energy source. Since there's limited access to glucose for energy, ketosis also sets in - it's the metabolic pathway that relies on stored fat to be used as the new main fuel for your body. Gluconeogenesis and ketosis are not interchangeable processes. Some organs only depend on glucose to survive (like red blood cells and kidneys), while other parts can be fueled by ketone bodies, like your brain.

4. Active Ketosis

18 to 36 hours of fasting

During active ketosis, your digestive system also gets a much-needed break and allows your body to detoxify. After about 24 hours of fasting, your body undergoes mild stress triggering its repair mode. Your cells respond to this stress by activating autophagy. Meaning "self-devouring" in Greek, this occurs when your cells conduct something like a self-audit to check if any of their internal parts are broken or damaged, then replaces the compromised parts with newer versions. Studies show that autophagy can help kill cancer cells, prevent Alzheimer's, and slow down age-related body decline. It is common for people starting out with intermittent fasting to have trouble achieving this state by themselves. DoFasting gives you tools and a plan to get here to achieve maximum results.

How To Monitor Your IF Progress

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Most novice fasters give up well before their body activates its survival mode because the transition is uncomfortable. Hunger pangs, food cravings, headaches, and fatigue are all symptoms that can be observed after eight hours of going without food. It's important to remember that there are several fasting methods that you can slowly transition into to reap the benefits of IF. Yes, the hunger, lightheadedness, and stomach-grumbling are inevitable, but give your body and brain time to adjust the eating pattern, and soon enough, you'll get used to the routine.

Like with any new habit, guidance is recommended to ensure consistency. DoFasting helps keep track of your IF progress by timing your fast and alerting you once it's time for your first meal. Aside from this, it also informs you at different times when your body is in different phases of fasting: anabolic, catabolic, partial ketosis, active ketosis, or deep ketosis. As hydration is essential in fasting, water intake is monitored according to your weight, and you can also document your daily steps and calories to make sure you achieve the daily goals and make your IF program more effective.

DoFasting has a free quiz, which helps to determine exactly what is right for you when considering intermittent fasting - to go about it in the most healthy way. What works for some might not work well for others, and it's important to follow your own plan, instead of copying what works for someone else.

Take the FREE quiz and get your personalized DoFasting intermittent fasting plan today.

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