How to stimulate autophagy

What is autophagy, and why is it so significant for us. When does autophagy starts to work? And most of all, how can we stimulate autophagy? When you think about all the health, weight loss, and longevity benefits autophagy has, you have to know all the answers to these questions. In this article, I will do my best to give you all the information.

What is autophagy?

Autophagy has gained enormous popularity lately. For only a decade, only science, medical students, or doctors knew this phenomenon. Today we all can benefit from those research. Science found out autophagy has enormous health benefits. You don’t have to be a scientist to realize the many advantages of having your recycling system in your body.

Autophagy comes from the ancient Greek word autóphagos.

Auto = self & phagy ( phagos) = eating.

Translated, Autophagy = self-eating.

In other words, autophagy is the body’s recycling station. It cleansed up damaged, old, sick, and dead cells and recycled them into new cells or new energy.

Why is autophagy so significant for us?

Autophagy is the housekeeper of the cells. It cleansed up damaged, old, sick, and dead cells and recycled them into new cells or new energy. When autophagy would not work, our whole-cell system breaks down. The process of protein breakdown and organelle turnover is necessary for cells to survive. Interrupting this process can lead to various disease states(1). It can also lead to abnormal cell growth or even death.

When does autophagy starts to work?

Autophagy is working for everybody. It works 24/7 but only on a low scale.

The question of when exactly autophagy starts to work on a higher level is not easy to say. Scientists are not clear about this question. There are lots of articles and videos online telling you the exact hours. But unfortunately, nobody knows for sure. It probably comes because we are not all the same. Mostly it depends on your lifestyle, biological metabolism, health, nutrition, and of your activities.

When you have an office job where you sit the whole day, don’t sport, eat fast food and sit on the couch after work in front of the TV, your autophagy is probably as lazy as you are. When you have the same job, but you have a healthy lifestyle. You eat healthy food within 6 to 8 hours (Intermittent Fasting) and sports. Your autophagy had the chance to turn his autophagy booster on at least 4 to 6 hours a day. Your Autophagy is probably as healthy and flexible as you are. So it is like everything else. If you have a healthy balanced lifestyle, your autophagy has the chance to work correctly like everything else in your body.

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How can we stimulate autophagy?

There are a few different ways to stimulate your Autophagy. Here are 7 different ways for stimulating your Autophagy.

1. Healthy Food.

The healthier you eat, the better your body works. It’s as simple as it is genius. But nowadays, we make everything more complicated than it is, and there are temptations everywhere, which make thing complicated as well.

We can get food around the clock. We have Fast Food, pizza service, bakeries on every corner. Ice cream parlors, supermarkets, and evenings while watching TV commercials., You can see many temptations during a movie. Staying strong is difficult. It only can be achieved by changing the way you approach life. Change your mindset, and say yes to a life changer. Change your lifestyle to a healthy one.


2. Therapeutic Fasting.

Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years. You find it in all religions. People who had to make decisions fasted for 40 days. You can read it in all the religious books, Therapeutic fasting is as old as the Bible. People fasted before making a major decision. Fasting is practicing in all religions. Buddha, Moses, Christ, Mohamed.

  • Moses fasted for 40 days when he went up to the mountain to receive the commandments of God written on stone tablets (2)
  • Jesus, While Jesus faced the temptation of Satan, He fasted for 40 days. (3)
  • Mohamed did it in the seventh century. Prophet Muhammad declared, Islam is built upon five pillars, and fasting in Ramadan is one of them. (4)
  • Buddha fasted and performed penances for years. Which was not so healthy, therefore Buddha ends up recommending that monks not eat anything after noon. This practice could be considered a kind of Intermittent Fasting, which restricts eating to a specific period(5).

With Therapeutic Fasting, you fast for 3 to 21 days. The maximum calorie intake is only 500 k cal per day. You can achieve the highest levels of autophagy through therapeutic fasting. Of course, you can’t do this forever. Therapeutic Fasting is ideal for people who want to fast once or twice a year for health reasons, or to get used to a healthier lifestyle like Intermittent Fasting for Life. Nowadays you don’t have to go to a clinic anymore, you can do it also at home. There are several Therapeutic Fasting Programs you can choose from.

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3. Intermittent Fasting – Keto.

Combining Intermittent Fasting with Keto can turn out into a real Autophagy booster. Keto is a low-carb, higher-fat, and moderate protein diet.

This means you can eat on a daily basis,

  • 20 – 30 % Proteins, lean meat, and fish
  • 70 – 80 % Healthy Fats. Omega 3, Avocado, dairy products & Eggs.
  • 5 % Carbs, this is about 30 – 50 grams per day.

Together with the long fasting breaks, 16 to 18 hours, with Intermittent Fasting means. We maximize the time we spend in ketosis, our blood sugar levels are constantly low, and we have fewer hunger attacks.

When we practice Intermittent Fasting – Keto, our Autophagy is starting to boost sooner.

4. Intermittent Fasting – Carb Cycling.

The great thing about Carb cycling is you can have a healthy diet that is high in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and unsaturated fats without cravings or gaining weight anymore.

Five days a week, you do low carbs, two days a week high carbs. That means you are five days a week in ketosis.

You can have two meals within six to eight hours, then you fast for 16 to 18 hours, That means, when you eat within 6 hours you fast 18 hours a day. When you eat within 8 hours you fast for 16 hours a day. Which sounds long, but luckily it mostly happens in the evening, while you are at sleep during the night, and in the early morning hours.

If you don’t eat for 16 to 18 hours, you body switch from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. That means you can boost your Autophagy by combining Intermittent Fasting – Carb Cycling.

With Intermittent – Carb Cycling, you can eat everything you used to. All you have to do is to change the amount of carbs intake on an almost daily basis

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5. Intermittent Fasting – Fit for Life.

With Intermittent Fasting – Fit for Life you can have a slender, fit, and healthy lifestyle your whole life long. This method is so clean when you follow the right food combination, your body does not need so much time to digest the food, which means your body is ready for starting to stimulate autophagy sooner.

At Fit for Life, the highest priority is never to eat protein and carbohydrates together.

That means, for example, potatoes with meat. Bread with ham and cheese. Pasta with Chicken.

Considering that meat takes around 6 to 8 hours to digest. Combining proteins and carbohydrates can cause digestive problems. The undigested food remains in the stomach for too long, and the possibility of fermentation is very high. That can cause health problems, weight gain, and slow autophagy.

We, therefore, need to make sure that digestion can proceed as quickly and efficiently as possible without any problems. That is, eat foods high in water, fruits and vegetables, and less meat.

The Fit for Life Principles

fit for life consists of five principles.

  • Principle 1: Food with a high water content
  • Principle 2: Correct food combination
  • Principle 3: Correct fruit consumption.
  • Principle 4: Avoid eating during the fasting period.

When you do the Intermittent Fasting – Fit for Life, your system becomes so clean that your autophagy can go into an autophagy boost way sooner.


6. Sleep.

When your body is tired, your autophagy slows down. Ensure you’ll get adequate sleep. Take a nice shower or bath and go to bed a little earlier, read a book, listen to relaxing music or meditation, along with a cup of hot, soothing tea.

During intermittent fasting, we do not eat anything at least 3 to 4 hours before going to sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps maintain your body’s natural daily rhythm. Because of its antioxidant properties, it plays an essential role in regulating your autophagy. Your body comes into autophagy sooner.

7. Sports.

Recent studies have found that exercise stimulates autophagy in both muscles and extra muscular tissues. So get up and move! You are here to have fun, so do something which makes you happy. Go for a walk, swim, do yoga, play soccer. Walk to your work, use the stairs instead of the elevator. Nobody ever said you have to sit down the whole day, stand up and walk when you are on the phone. It doesn’t matter what yo do, but start doing something!

Start today, do the 21-day cleanse, and see how your life will change. You conna feel so much better, your skin will shine again, you lose weight and you will get an enery boost. Click on the link, you are only one click away! Do it now!

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You can do so much to stimulate your autophagy every day. Life can be great when you are healthy. When you know, you are doing something good for the only human you can control, yourself. Be kind to yourself. Your body lasts your whole life long. It is all up to you how your future life will be. I hope you choose a healthy life, full of wonder and adventure. You can have a great, long and healthy life. Start today, do the 21-day cleanse fast. You will see how slender, Fit and Healthy you will be in only three weeks.

Love the life you life in.

Alt=Autophagy Monique Richie

Monique Richie.



12 thoughts on “How to stimulate autophagy”

  1. Hi Monique, thank you for sharing this article. I was eager to see and assimilate this word”autophagy”. Really really interesting. Wow, blow my mind!

    As I’m totally into this healthy habits and lifestyle by now I have not any ideea and know about this. Thank you. I use to eat as much as I can very healthy, and for dinner just fruits but it looks like should change this? How do you do? How I should teach this body to not ask me for food after 7pm?

    I really love your article I’ve read it with breathtake and I also press the links .ps. one link for 21 days diet didn not work.  

    many blessings from my heart ❤ & keep moving& ate healthy.

    • Hello Angel. Great you have chosen a healthy lifestyle. I know in the beginning, you have to get used not to eat after 7 pm. But try to shift your mindset, drink herb tea, enjoy your evening with activities, take a walk or do some sport. Meditate, or read a good book. Try not to sit in front of a computer or TV passively. Those habits scream for snacking. The summer is almost there, enjoy life outside the house, until winter you are used to this lifestyle, and you will never like to go back.
      Thank you for the warning about my 21-day diet. I will take a look at it.

  2. Thank you for this very interesting post on autophagy.

    I must admit that I have never heard of this before, but it certainly is very important for keeping your body fit and healthy.  I also like that you are very practical with ways to improve your autophagy and you are not suggesting any extreme measures.  There is therefore no reason why we shouldn’t all do this to improve our health and wellness.

    • Hello Geoff, Thank you so much for your feedback. The danger of extreme is that you overdo, lose track, and goes in the wrong direction. We have to eat for life, the best thing you do this is with a healthy diet. Fix hours, 16/8, 18/ 6, or OMAD become more and more popular. Healthy food, fresh air, fresh drinking water, and exercise, that all there is. It is not complicated at all. When you follow those simple rules you’ll be able to live 120 years a slender, fit, and healthy life. I wish you such great life.

  3. I’ve never heard of fasting as being a good-for-you thing, but this article totally made me want to try…Is that something you have tried personally?  Is it super hard to have only 500 calories a day for up to 21 days at a time?  So, it’s correct to say that the healthier you eat, the better your body functions, so the longer you eat healthily, the longer your body will stay more youthful looking?

    • Hello Renee, Living on 500 calories a day is only a matter of mindset. But only for 21 days, you cannot do this forever. When you start 21 days fasting, you have to switch your focus to health only. I always prepare myself for my fasting weeks and celebrate this as something special.

      I don’t have any parties those three weeks. I am focusing only on myself, lots of reading, meditations, sauna, sport.

      I fast three times a year. The 21 days of fasting cleanses my body and mind. You will see, your priorities start to change. Instead of just consuming, you go become more aware. You like to know what nutrition is more valuable for you. If you only can eat 500 calories, you start picking up the most filling and healthy nutrition, which you take with you after the fast. After 21 days, you can switch to Intermittent Fasting. You can go right away to the 16/8 or 18/6 fasting, which means 16 or 18 hours fasting, 8 or 6 hours eating. You don’t have to worry about weight gain anymore, and your body has enough time to digest all the food and relax for 10 hours. Intermittent – Fasting keeps you younger than constantly eating, which means 20 hours of digesting food. Your body never has the time to relax because of the constant digestion.

      And your second question. I turn 60 in July. I am slender, fit, and healthy. My skin is shining without expensive creams because of the healthy nutrition. Because of the long fasting hours, your body can relax and repair your body. You will stay young and healthy.

      To understand more about the benefits of fasting, look at this article. The benefits of Intermittent Fasting and Autophagy


  4. Autophagy may completely destroy damaged molecules, or recycle them into new components which can be used for cellular repair. This is the coolest way of regenerating our own body, in my book. In times of stress, when cells are deprived of nutrients or oxygen, autophagy can provide an alternate source of energy from the recycled cellular material to help them survive. It indeed is fascinating. Thank you for dealing with this topic.

    • Thank you so much Paolo, it is always a pleasure to hear your professional feedback.

      Have a great day, Monique.

  5. Hi Monique: I never heard the word autophagy before your article on How to Stimulate Autophagy; looked it up and voila! It’s fasting, which I do on a monthly basis. This is a great informative article that clarified exactly what goes on inside our bodies when we initiate autophagy. As you state, fasting is very beneficial not only to stimulating autophagy, but also to managing our emotional regulation, decision-making process and our overall well-being. It helps clear out the old cells and used proteins and stimulate hormone growth. Reminds me of spring-cleaning and making things look clean and new again. It’s like getting a complete makeover from the inside out.  

    I have found autophagy has the ability to remove toxic proteins from your cells that are connected to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It helps recycle proteins and provides the basic building blocks for cells that need to be repaired. I discovered fasting six years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and a good friend of mine who has a holistic approach to health care suggested.

    • Hi Terry, thank god you found a good friend who helped you through your difficult time. Go for it, and implement the annual fast. Fasting as a cure is a fountain of youth, a time to let your body relax and to refuse all toxic or diseased cells.
      I am happy you have found my article. That confirms that you are on the right track.
      Stay healthy. Monique

  6. Hi Monique. Thank you for very interesting article. To be fair I have not heard before about autophagy, but looking on your post it seems as a great way to improve health. Your advices how to stimulate this process are extremely useful, and I will try to implement them in my day to day routine. Hopefully I will see results soon, especially now in these difficult covid times we need good health more then ever


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