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Bob Hope in “The Ghost Breakers” 1940

Thanks to you all for sending me your favorite funniest movies last week.  Wonderful reminder of how many truly hilarious films there are to bring laughter into our days.

I confined my list to a Top Ten, when there could have been so many more – like Princess Bride.  “Inconceivable!”  In any regard, check out the Forum for Keeping Your Sanity IV if you feel like adding other yourself.

So… after all this frivolity, this week we’ll talk about the healthiest way to lose weight.  It has a name: autophagy.

Pronounced aw-tah-fah-gee, it’s Greek for “self-eating.”  But eating what?  Garbage.  It’s the process your body uses to clear out cellular waste, like undigested proteins and broken bits of cells.  Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine for figuring out the mechanism of autophagy.

Amazingly, he discovered that the same autophagous process operates in yeast cells as in does in those of all mammals like us.  Now that’s evolutionary conservation!  Shows how critical it is to life.

The thing is, autophagy is automatic, clearing out cellular debris to keep our body healthy and young – when we’re young.  But the older we get, the less efficient it is, so we get a steady buildup of garbage clogging up our system – imagine what an unlivable disaster your home would be if you didn’t take out the trash often enough.

So if you’re past 40 – and especially if 40 is a distant memory – you’ll want to reignite your body’s trash collectors.  There’re two letters for that:  IF. Letters, not the word, which stand for Intermittent Fasting.

Now, I know that a number of TTPers are familiar with this  — so please share your knowledge and experience with it.  TTPer Dale, for instance, has lost 70 pounds in the last 12 months doing it.

Very simply, it’s going without eating for a regular period of time.  The most common is 16:8 – that is, you go 16 hours a day without eating, you eat all your meals within the remaining 8.  The easiest way to do this is what I do:  Dinner is over at 9 in the evening, I don’t eat again until 1pm the next day.

There is an immense amount of research showing that IF – intermittent fasting – promotes autophagy. Basically because it produces a biochemical stimulator of autophagy called AMPK and suppresses what blocks it called mTor.  We can get deep into the weds here, so do the research you want.

One bottom line is IF works to clear your body of garbage and youthen you.  But do it right.  You can take additional promoters of autophagy during IF such as metformin.  I take 500mg at bedtime and another early morning.

A great promoter of autophagy is serious exercise during IF.   That’s why I always workout first thing in early morning, in the middle of my IF period.

The flip side is what you eat and drink during those other 8 hours.  Many are advocates of a “keto” or Ketogenic Diet, which can work if you have the discipline, which I don’t.  I stick basically to a high protein, high fiber, low glycemic index (low sugar) diet, but have dessert or a second glass of wine if I like.

Plus I take ketone salts like beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and butyrate. Keto without the discipline!

Anyway – I can’t lose any more weight at 5’11”, 165, and buff for 77!

This IF-Autophagy program outlined here can be a major contribution to keeping you young, fit, and sane for what we’re enduring these days.  And whatever you do, keep laughing.