Black Girl Fitness: What is Autophagy? The Benefits and the Science

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What in the world is autophagy? One of the hottest new buzzwords in health and nutrition is leaving a few of us sort of confused. Well, grab your electronic notepads because today we are going to set the record straight by giving a quick overview of what it is exactly and discuss a few of its benefits. That is if there are some to be had. You ready? Let’s get started!

Black Girl Fitness: What is Autophagy? The Benefits and the Science


To fast or not to fast? That is a major diet question that has been debated for a number of years; and is a key component of autophagy. Many women swear by it, not only for weight control, but claim it also helps to achieve greater physical as well as mental efficiency.

While eating absolutely nothing is very dangerous. Intermittent fasting is becoming more and more popular. Nevertheless, it is of note that fasting is NOT where you go all day without eating anything.

When it comes to intermittent fasting many women and men choose two days a week to eat only between 500-600 calories on those selected days. Therefore, it is more about a reduction of calorie intake on certain days of the week.

Furthermore, there’s also time restricted fasting. This is where all calories are eaten up until a certain time. For instance, eating may end at around 5 or 6 p.m. then once again resume the following morning at 7 a.m. These types of fastings help dieters to manage their cravings and put them on the road to long-term successful weight loss. Now that we have all of that information out the way let’s connect all the dots.

Black Girl Fitness: What is Autophagy?


Okay, so by now you may be thinking… I thought we were talking about the subject of autophagy? How does all of this information relate to each other? Autophagy has a direct connection to fasting.

Well, one of the major benefits of fasting is that it increases autophagy. If you look it up you will come to find that autophagy is the breakdown of old, junky cells in our body; to be be used as fuel since there is a lack of fuel (food) coming in. Get it now?

For illustrative purposes, think of it like having a bonfire. Next to that bonfire you have a pile of scrap wood pieces as well as old furniture. You now have two choices. You have the choice of cutting down a tree and chopping up the wood for the fire (eating). Or you can choose to use up some of this old wood/furniture lying around (body fat, junky protein and bad cells).

As one can see, most of us would rather use up the junky stuff because it’s better for the environment and still will help achieve the same end goal. The same is true with fasting and autophagy. Doing it can be beneficial and still help to achieve the lifestyle goal of weight control. Basically, you get to help take out the “trash” in your body while also having an avenue to maintain a trimmer physique.

Autophagy – Getting Real


While autophagy which is achieved through fasting comes with numerous benefits. This is not an avenue of dieting that works for everyone. While some techniques yield amazing results for some, in others it may not be a good thing at all.

As a result, fasting can pose an issue for those who are already dealing with other health problems. For example, pregnant or lactating mothers should not engage in fasting as a method for losing baby weight gains. Moreover, individuals who may suffer from malnutrition, are recovering from surgery or have Type 1 Diabetes should not fast. Doing so, would be very unsafe.

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