I’m currently in the middle of a 48 hour dry fast. Because dry fasting is especially tough, I’m doing them split into two 24 hour periods rather than 48 hours straight.
How that works is I dry fast 24 hours, then rehydrate for a couple of hours, then do another 24 hours. This does break the dry fast periodically, but it makes it much easier to handle.
Why dry fast?
The purpose of the fast is three fold, all of which are conducive to the NMT protocol:
- Remove water from the body
- Initiate the autophagy process
- Boost HGH (human growth hormone) production.
Removing water from the body
After being on NMT for almost a month now, I’ve seen why the water intake limit is important. Inflammation cannot happen without water, and when the body has too much water it flares much easier. On days where I don’t control my water intake, itchiness heightens and flares begin. On days when water intake is very low, there is less flaring, itchiness and ooze, and this allows the skin to heal.
By dry fasting, I don’t have to limit my water intake, because I’m not taking in any water at all. All I need to do is closely monitor the colour of my pee – if it starts to get too dark, I know it’s time to break the fast and start drinking.
Initiating the autophagy process
Autophagy is a bodily process whereby your cells start to cannibalise themselves. Healthy cells “eat” unhealthy cells as food and use that as fuel to regenerate. Autophagy was documented in science literature by Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, for which he won the Nobel prize in 2016.
He discovered that the autophagy process is started during times of stress, such as starvation or strenuous exercise. Fasting has been shown to be one of the most effective methods of inducing autophagy, usually within 12-24 hours. Dry fasting stresses the cells to a higher level and thereby accelerates the process. Some say one day of dry fasting is around the equivalent of three days of water fasting. Having experienced both, it does feel that way.
During TSW, the core goal of the body is regenerate new skin. As we shed damaged skin at faster-than-normal speed, fast regeneration of new skin cells is essential for our recovery. Autophagy is almost a perfect complement to this.
Increasing human growth hormone
Two aspects of the NMT protocol are daily exercise until you break a sweat, and sleeping between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Dr Sato actually states the reason for both of these is to stimulate production of human growth hormone.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is the hormone responsible for the regeneration of cells. By increasing human growth hormone, you increase the healing process in the body, whether it’s wound healing, infection, or even regenerating skin from TSW.
There have been many studies showing that fasting accelerates the production of HGH, some studies show that it can increase by as much as 2,000% after a 24 hour fast. For the purposes of TSW, that is incredible. Along with deeper sleep and increased exercise, a 2,000% jump in 24 hours is almost certain to accelerate your healing, probably more than you thought possible.
Caution with fasting
If you are planning on trying a fast, do understand that it is a very strenuous process on the body. I would highly recommend NOT dry fasting if you are not an experienced faster.
Instead, you can try some of these modified fasts which will be far easier to start with:
Liquids only fast: You can drink bone broth, tea, coffee, juice and water. Start with 24 hours and work your way up.
Juice fast: Drink only cold-pressed juices, preferably vegetable juices. That way you get all your nutrients while still removing all food from your digestive system. For the first few years that I incorporated fasting into my lifestyle, I always did juice fasts.
Water fast: Drink only water, preferably distilled, mineral or spring water. Water fasting is also quite difficult and I’d recommend not doing more than 48 hours at a time until you’re very comfortable in a fasted state.