Cleaner cells result from regular fasting, scientists say.
In what is yet another clue that performing Isagenix-style Cleanse Days can be profoundly good for you, nutrition scientists are now encouraging the occasional fast or skipping of meals for better health.
Fasting periodically might also bring the added benefit of “cleansing” cells of junk and debris, according to researchers in a review paper published in the November issue of the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Cells possess dedicated mechanisms for the removal of damaged molecules and organelles,” the authors wrote.
Challenging the notion that a typical “three square meals a day” regimen should be considered a standard of healthy eating, the authors wrote that giving cells a steady supply of nutrients in this way keeps cells in “growth mode.”
While in continuous growth mode, cells have little chance of going into a cleansing mode that involves a couple of mechanisms:
The first is a sort of molecular “tagging” of proteins that targets them for recycling and re-using their amino acid building blocks by a protein degradation complex known as a proteasome.
The second is autophagy whereby damaged molecules and organelles are “cleansed” from cells by lysosomes, those membrane-enclosed organelles full of acids and digestive-like enzymes.
Among the authors of the paper were leading scientists from around the world in the field of intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding, and calorie restriction.
They included Krista Varady, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), who was the lead researcher of a study evaluating the use of the Isagenix system comprising of intermittent fasting (Cleanse Days) combined with calorie restriction (Shake Days).
The Isagenix study, in fact, was included as one of the references in the article as evidence that intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction could lead to weight loss, which resulted in suppressed inflammation in the body.
Additional studies from Dr. Varady’s lab and those of Mark Mattson, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, have shown that calorie restriction and, intermittent fasting especially, improved insulin sensitivity while boosting fat metabolism.
Furthermore, these dietary approaches could lead to the elevation of ketones in the body. Ketones are chemicals produced during the breakdown of fat and are known to provide some benefits against brain aging.
Moreover, intermittent fasting in animals has led to production of several brain-protective proteins, improved mitochondrial function, and stimulation of the activity of key antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.
To obtain the benefits of calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, the authors advocate an eating pattern modeled after our hunter-gatherer ancestors who ate less frequently. Historically, hunter-gatherers, both ancient and modern, rarely suffered from obesity and functioned at a high level physically and mentally.
According to the authors, the pattern of “three square meals a day” began only after the advent of agriculture 10,000 years ago as a result of a continual year-round food supply. “Our agrarian ancestors adopted a three meals a day eating pattern, presumably because it provided both social and practical benefits for the daily work and school schedules,” the authors wrote.
One of the contributing factors to obesity, they argued, was the adoption of sedentary lifestyles combined with multiple high-calorie meals daily.
Another cause of overeating may also be the advent of artificial light and how it affects our internal circadian clocks, which are intended to function on a daily light-dark cycle. The increase in hours awake leads to more opportunities to overeat while also interfering with the sleep/wake and fast/feed cycle that may be a key factor in regulating appetite and metabolism.
With the adoption of a dietary pattern that incorporates periods of fasting, calorie restriction, or both—such as an Isagenix system—along with exercise, healthy eating, and proper sleep, the authors suggest a number of health benefits including reduction of abdominal fat and improved metabolic and cardiovascular risk markers.
Mattson et al. Meal frequency and timing in health and disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 111 (47):16647–16653, doi: 10.1073/pnas.141396511
9 Tips To Prepare For A Successful Cleanse Day
Whether you want to lose weight or just do something good for your body, you put a lot of dedication and effort into your Cleanse Days. We get that. It’s why we want you to be as prepared as possible so nothing can hold you back from achieving your goals.
To help you on your way, we’ve put together a checklist of things that can help make Cleanse Days easy for you.
1.Start with at least two Shake Days before doing any Cleanse Days.
Doing at least two Shake Days can help prepare your body for a Cleanse Day. For example, Shake Days can help ease your body into the Isagenix System better than regular nutrition can.
You should never ever go into a Cleanse Day if you’re feeling unwell, run-down, or having digestive problems like constipation. Be sure to start out with as many Shake Days as you think appropriate before doing Cleanse Days. Shakes can assist with digestive regularity and supporting muscle growth and maintenance and are a great protein source before a Cleanse Day.
2. Designate your Cleanse Days in advance.
Planning ahead is key in successful Cleanse Days. Knowing in advance what days you’ll be cleansing can help you become mentally prepared for them. Be sure to jot them down on your calendar so you don’t accidentally schedule a lunch or dinner with friends on those days.
Before Cleanse Days, take the time to look over your Cleanse Day Schedule and customize it to fit your day, ensuring you will have access to all your cleansing tools throughout the day. Make sure that you are setting yourself up for success on your Cleanse Day. If you have plans for a family dinner at your favorite restaurant, or have a physically exhaustive workout planned, then a Shake Day might be more suitable.
3. Cleanse with a friend or as a team.
Having a cleansing buddy or buddies can help keep you accountable when temptation strikes. You might choose to cleanse with a colleague from work, a family member, or a friend you talk to on social media who lives across the globe. No matter who it is, having someone to turn to for encouragement when cravings hit will build morale and keep you motivated.
4. Plan your Cleanse Day snacks.
You have a variety of snack options available during Cleanse Days. They include up to six Isagenix Snacks™, one to two IsaDelight® chocolates, ¼ apple or pear, one to two servings of e+™, and one serving of Replenish™ (for use during moderate exercise). Be sure to have these on hand to curb cravings before they come.
To maximize the benefits of a Cleanse Day, you want to be wary of adding in too many extra calories. Always listen to your body, however; if you are feeling like a headache is coming on or your blood sugar is low, have an extra snack like an apple slice to help level you out.
5. Clean out the pantry and fridge of “junk food” before Cleanse Days.
One of the worst things that can happen to anyone on Cleanse Days is finding yourself opening the fridge only to spot that leftover chocolate cake sitting next to your bottle of Cleanse for Life®. Don’t let that happen to you! Clean out any junk food in advance.
6. Find ways to stay hydrated throughout Cleanse Days.
Staying properly hydrated is always a goal to aim for daily, but it’s particularly important during a Cleanse Day. Making sure that you are drinking enough fluids, which is about two liters for the average person, can prevent the onset of headaches and other troubles.
Your sources of hydration don’t need to be made up solely of plain water, but can also include diluted amounts of Ionix® Supreme or Replenish (during physical activity). During the colder months of the year, try drinking Isagenix Coffee or sipping herbal tea throughout the day. You can even try drinking Cleanse for Life warm, as an herbal tea, to stay a bit warmer.
7. Find ways to stay busy.
Don’t put yourself in the position where you might be tempted to quit your Cleanse Day. Keep yourself busy and the day will fly. That means getting your mind off of the fact that you’re abstaining from food and onto other things like your personal health and wellness goals.
8. Set reminders on your phone.
As busy as you’ll be on Cleanse Days, it might be to easy to forget to take your next allotted Cleanse for Life serving, snack, or glass of water. By setting an alarm or reminder on your phone, you can help be sure to make the most of your Cleanse Day.
9. Engage in light exercise.
You don’t need to schedule any grueling workout. But engaging in any form of light exercise can be a healthy distraction during Cleanse Days. Additionally, the physical activity can be useful for helping to maintain regular bowel habits, support metabolism, and may even help suppress appetite.
Don’t let anything hold you back! The last thing that you want on a Cleanse Day is to find yourself improperly prepared or overwhelmed. Planning ahead and leaning on the support of your team can make all of the difference and make every Cleanse Day a success.