Why does fasting help some people?
There’s a reason for this: Eating food when gut health is poor means the microbiome poisons the body afterward.
While healthy microbiomes do this, too — to a very small extent — an unhealthy gut can overload the entire body with endotoxin after every single meal or snack — causing lethargy, brain fog, bloating, and bodily discomfort — when gut health is bad enough.
In response to these toxins, inflammation rises after meals — causing nutrients to absorb poorly. We’ll feel cold and tired.
Cold and inflammed is the opposite of how we should feel after eating:
warm and energized.
Any food you eat feeds the microbes residing in your gut — whichever types are present.
In dysbiosis, the GI tract is dominated by bad microbes — which means more and more foods eaten will feed those bad bugs.
In the dysbiotic gut, even healthy food can feed bad microbes — leading to intolerance of a growing list of food groups.
Over time, any disruption of the bad microbes causes flare-ups, bloating, and inflammation — and even the very gut supplements that can restore gut health may become intolerable.
When foods no longer help, and gut supplements don’t either — what’s left to try?
Enter: augmented gut fasting.
Fasting gives the gut a break, and therefore, temporarily relieves gut symptoms.
After about 24 hours, the body can ramp up autophagy, cleaning up the bloodstream and cells (though this process begins after only 6 hours of fasting).
This relief from endotoxin is a major component of why many feel better during temporary fasts or restrictive diets.
Bloating goes down, energy improves, the mind clears, and inflammation drops. Sleep may even improve.
If this describes you after a day without food, it’s likely a clear sign of problems in your gut microbiome — and a signal about how to address it.
Does Simple Fasting = Sustainable Results?
On the other hand, simple fasting — eating nothing — may lack the firepower needed to initiate a more permanent shift in one’s digestive health.