We all know that intermittent fasting, or as it is called or time-defined feeding, can be a useful tool to improve the quality of our diet, while in some cases it can also lead to weight loss. On the other hand, there are many people who cannot implement it, either because they cannot bear hunger, or for practical reasons. So I'm often asked in the doctor's office if there's a way to get the benefits of intermittent fasting without the hunger or practical problems that sometimes come with doing it. To begin with, we must explain that although intermittent fasting is related to a time frame, that is, it is recommended, researched and defined based on time, it is not actually time that counts, but the energy reserves inside the cells. And here we answer the following question: "at what time is autophagy activated?". Autophagy is a mechanism that delivers energy to the cell and is activated when energy stores are depleted. Activating autophagy is considered a good thing for health because the body breaks down less effective formations of the cell. It is something we want to happen. Autophagy is not about some clock inside the cells that says “Let me see. It's been 16 hours since the last meal. So, I can activate autophagy." No, this is not the case. The cell measures its energy reserves and when they are low enough, autophagy mechanisms are activated to provide energy and nutrients to continue functioning properly. This has also been seen in studies that show that the activation of anti-aging and autophagy mechanisms is achieved by reducing the daily available energy, whether this is achieved by restricting food, or by consuming the corresponding energy from exercise or by a combination of the two. It is enough to achieve a corresponding caloric deficit. Don't be intimidated by the terms. Actually what I'm saying is that what we want can be achieved either by eating 400 calories less food, or by exercising that burns 400 calories, or by eating 200 calories less and exercising that burns 200 calories. The result in all cases will be the same for anti-aging and autophagy mechanisms. So, here's what I suggest. If it is difficult for you to do 16 hours of fasting, then you can do 12 hours of fasting, which is very easy, and before breakfast do exercise where it burns calories equivalent to those burned in 5 hours of inactivity, for example, 40 minutes of running or one hour of cycling. In this way we compress the energy losses of 5 hours into one. So instead of eating the last meal at 7pm and having the next meal at 1pm, which can not be done due to hunger, or not practically possible because someone is at work and cannot eat at one o'clock, eat the last meal at 7 pm, exercise from 7 to 8 am and then eat your breakfast normally. In this way you will have managed to get the benefits of intermittent fasting without the hunger and without the practical problems that may arise. If it is difficult for you to do an hour of exercise every day, you can do a combination. That is, you can eat breakfast after the days you work out and not eat breakfast on the days you don't work out, and eat lunch straight away. And this can be done. If you understand how the anti-aging mechanisms start and how they are activated, then you will find a way to incorporate changes into your lifestyle to activate them. Thank you very much.

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