SUMMER WEATHER is trying to warm up Ireland and with those warmer temperatures I'm starting to notice animals acting more actively as they search our back garden for food. Perhaps some of these animals have come out of hibernation. I wonder if anything about their lower activity level could offer clues about how I might benefit from fasting.
The Science says hibernation promotes cellular changes. Multiple events happen to body cells during hibernation. From my high school biology classes, I learned about cells and Mitochondria producing ATP. We need ATP because it generates energy inside our cells.
"The consumption and utilization of oxygen in the formation of ATP results in Reactive Oxygen Species(ROS). The excess of ROS leads to oxidative stress( stress from the unstable atoms inside the Cell). The balance between ROS and Antioxidants is essential in nurturing the Cell. During fasting, one of the exciting things happens to be increased antioxidants and the balance of redox, which mitigates oxidative stress. Similar to animals, humans have the benefits of fasting." That's what the science says. 
Back when I was part of an Audioboo community, I listened to people talking about intermittent fasting. These people talked about restricting their calories by simply avoiding food for a day or two each week. I've done that for up to five days in a row while at university. I just needed to keep drinking a lot of water. And I've heard about monks fasting for more than a month at a time.
I also know there are scientifically proven benefits to fasting.
I actually feel tired after eating a big meal--especially a social meal like a meet-up during breakfast--because my body starts to process the glucose present in the food I eat. Once all that ingested glucose depletes, the liver glucose starts glycogenolysis, a mechanism to break down liver glucose. Nutritionists I trust tell me glucose normally stays at a baseline level in order to keep the brain and other vital organs working.
There are days when I'm cycling home at the end of a long day with only a small sandwich for lunch that I feel groggy and I read that as a glucose deficiency.
If I just don't eat, my metabolism changes and the fat stored in my body starts to melt to provide me energy. As long as my liver is healthy, my body will signal for fatty acids to be converted into ketones to be used for energy.
I've had a personal trainer evaluate my body mass and he suggested I need no more than 1800 Kcals a day to maintain my weight. So when I consume fewer calories or when I fast, my body's caloric needs are provided from the liver glycogen (stored glucose) or from fat stores.
Fortunately for me, I enjoy cold water. Unfortunately, my eyes seek out dark chocolate as a reward for every goal I accomplish. I'm carrying an extra 80 pounds (six stone) on my body.
I realise that if I take up a routine of intermittent fasting that I might be the first male in my family tree to live more than 80 years. Science says Intermittent Fasting turns on a metabolic switch at many cellular levels, including repair of cells and Autophagy (cellular cleansing or recycling). Intermittent Fasting will keep diabetes at bay too.
Trillions of cells make up our bodies. Old cells die and new cells form. When cells die, the debris or waste is cleaned up by Lysosomes (Scavenger cells) and they recycle itself as energy. The better my cellular recycling, the healthier I am. This is called Autophagy, which also means Cellular cleansing.
Although the research is incomplete, scientists believe excess harboring of cellular material can lead to various cancers, metabolic diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases (Dementia). Researchers have proven that short-term fasting induces profound neuronal Autophagy. 
So sign me up for intermittent fasting. And check back her in 2035 to see if I'm made it beyond my 80th birthday.
More about fasting and food
- Suman Manchireddy -- "Doctor's Heart Series Part 6 : Science of Fasting", May 5, 2022.
- Yoshinori Ohsumi -- Fasting for Health and Longevity, October 10, 2018.
- Previously -- "We need food for more than good taste", InsideView.ie, August 27, 2010.
It's More Than Good Taste
[Bernie Goldbach, an American in Ireland, really wants to live a healthy life.]