It’s so easy! Rev cel­lu­lar de­tox with low-pro­tein days

First For Women - - Nutrition -

Ac­ti­vat­ing au­tophagy—the body’s cel­lu­lar detox­i­fi­ca­tion process— al­lows the body to more ef­fec­tively re­pair and re­new at the cel­lu­lar level to re­lease fat, re­vive dull skin and in­crease energy. “Many women feel frustrated, like they have to turn their lives around 180 de­grees to get re­sults,” says nat­u­ral-health ex­pert Naomi Whit­tel, au­thor of Glow15 (Houghton Miff lin Har­court,

2018; Hard­cover $26, Kin­dle $15, Nook $15). But, she as­serts, the beauty of au­tophagy is that get­ting the ben­e­fits doesn’t re­quire de­pri­va­tion or long sweat ses­sions.

The key to set­ting this process in mo­tion, Whit­tel says, is trig­ger­ing mi­nor phys­i­o­log­i­cal stress by cy­cling pro­tein in­take through­out the week. “Your body can’t cre­ate pro­tein. So when you de­prive it of pro­tein, it kicks your body’s re­cy­cling pro­gram—its au­tophagy—into over­drive,” she notes. “But be­ing in a con­stant state of low pro­tein can ac­tu­ally con­trib­ute to ag­ing in the form of mus­cle wast­ing, so you can’t re­strict your pro­tein all the time.” To strike the ideal health-boost­ing bal- ance, Whit­tel rec­om­mends eat­ing a low-pro­tein diet three non­con­sec­u­tive days each week and a higher-pro­tein diet the other four days. (See meal plans at right for de­tails.)

For best re­sults, Whit­tel rec­om­mends in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing on low­pro­tein days, so you’ll eat all the day’s meals within an 8-hour pe­riod (say, be­tween noon and 8 pm). This gives the cel­lu­lar de­tox sys­tem even more time to re­pair dam­age and flush tox­ins. “Briefly re­strict­ing eat­ing is a key ac­ti­va­tor of au­tophagy,” says Whit­tel. “In fact, this is the most nat­u­ral way to put your cel­lu­lar cleanup crew to work.”

To en­sure the pounds melt away dur­ing the cel­lu­lar de­tox, Whit­tel also rec­om­mends elim­i­nat­ing pro­cessed foods and re­fined sugar, which can im­pair au­tophagy. On Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day of each week, you’ll com­bine in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing with a low-pro­tein food for­mula. To do: Skip break­fast—this will al­low you to keep all the day’s meals within an 8-hour win­dow (say, be­tween noon to 8 pm). Then stick to 25 grams of pro­tein daily— that’s roughly the amount in 3 oz. of meat or poul­try, 4 oz. of fish, 4 eggs, 1 cup of Greek yo­gurt, 1 cup of lentils or 12 ⁄3 cups of beans. You can spread that 25 grams across all the day’s meals and snacks.

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