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Why do good things always get ruined by idiots?

为什么“好事”总是被不知情的人毁掉?

Fasting is booming. Google Trends shows us that interest in fasting has increased by over 400% since 2004. Both medical experts and self-proclaimed health gurus have jumped on the bandwagon and pretty much all of them praise the benefits of fasting.

禁食的趋势正在蓬勃发展。谷歌数据呈现的趋势显示,自2004年以来,人们对禁食的兴趣增加了400%以上。医学专家和自称为健康专家的人士都纷纷加入了这一潮流,几乎所有人都称赞禁食的好处。

If you fast regularly, you will grow older, your insulin response will dramatically improve, your skin and hair will become stronger, you will leverage the power of a metabolic process called autophagy, and, above all, you will lose weight.

如果你经常禁食,你会变老,你的胰岛素反应会显著改善,你的皮肤和头发会变得更强壮,你会利用一种叫做自噬的代谢过程的力量,最重要的是,你将减轻体重。

Now, fasting in itself is not new. Most notably, fasting has played an important role in many religions for millennia. But the acceptance of fasting as a main stream health hack is a relatively new development.

现在,禁食本身并不新鲜。最值得注意的是,几千年来斋戒在许多宗教中扮演着重要的角色。但是,接受禁食作为一种主流的健康手段是一个相对较新的发展。

This, in itself, is a great thing. Obesity plagues much of the western world as we are literally eating ourselves to death. Fasting helps to prevent this. In fact, there are no real health concerns with thoughtful fasting that I know of — apart from the obvious.

这本身就是一件伟大的事情。肥胖困扰着很多西方国家,因为我们真的是在把自己吃死。空腹有助于预防这种情况。事实上,据我所知,有计划的禁食并没不会导致真正的健康问题——除了一些显而易见的问题。

The real problem with fasting is in fact cultural.

禁食的真正问题实际上是文化所导致的。

More, more, more

更多,更多,更多

Much of the western world — the one plagued by obesity — revolves around the concept of more. More equals better. More money is better, more work is better, more cars are better and more Belgian waffles is better.

在深受肥胖困扰的西方世界,很多国家都奉行“越多越好”的理念。比如:钱越多越好,工作越多越好,汽车越多越好,比利时华夫饼越多越好。

This drive to always want more plays a key role in the current explosion of cardiovascular disease, cancers and other diet-related deaths. More Belgian waffles equals more fat and carbs, equals overweight. More availability equals around the clock eating, equals — again — overweight and obesity. Add to that bigger portions, all you can eat restaurants, discounts, and coupons, and… you get the picture.

这种想要更多的欲望在目前心血管疾病、癌症和其他与饮食有关的死亡激增中扮演了关键角色。更多的比利时华夫饼等于更多的脂肪和碳水化合物,等于超重。更多的可用性等于全天候进食,同样等于超重和肥胖。再加上更大的份量,你所能吃到的餐馆、折扣和优惠券...你就明白了。

We’ve created a world in which food is so abundant, that fasting is a very logical (and welcome) next step.

我们已经创造了一个食物如此丰富的世界,因此禁食将是一个非常合乎逻辑(而且受欢迎)的下一步。

But fasting does not address the underlying cause of our obesity problem: the never-ending yearning for more. And that’s why, from the corners of the internet, you can see a new epidemic arising: the epidemic of obsessive fasting.

但是禁食并不能解决我们肥胖问题的根本原因:对更多东西的无休止的渴望。这就是为什么,从互联网的各个角落,你可以看到一种新的流行病正在兴起——强迫性禁食的流行。

Photo by Kobu Agency on Unsplash 图片由Kobu机构在Unsplash

30-day fasts

30天禁食

A thirty-day water fast is pretty extreme. Yet, if you go online, you will find plenty of people doing 10, 20 and 30-day water fasts, if not longer. Surprisingly, hardly any of these people are obese. In fact, some would not even be considered overweight.

禁食30天是相当极端的。然而,如果你上网,你会发现很多人都在禁食10天、20天或30天,甚至更长时间。令人惊讶的是,这些人几乎没有一个是肥胖的。事实上,有些甚至不会被认为超重。

In general, prolonged water fasts are a last resort for morbidly obese people. Healthy people should only engage in fasts longer than 36 hours if they wish to fully leverage additional powers of fasting such as autophagy, T-cell production, and apoptosis. Apart from that, it should be done under medical supervision, and the individual should be very aware of what they are doing, and why.

一般来说,长时间的禁食是病态肥胖者的最后一种手段。如果健康的人希望充分利用禁食的额外能量,如自噬、T细胞产生和细胞凋亡,那么他们应该禁食超过36小时。除此之外,它应该在医疗监督下进行,并且本人应该非常清楚他们在做什么,以及为什么这样做。

It is very likely that many of these healthy people fasting for days on end have aimed their more-arrows at just another target. They’re not fully aware of the metabolic reasoning behind the longer fasts. Instead, their logic is: “If a 24 hour fast is good for you, a 48 hour fast must be better.” Take that a few steps further, and suddenly you have healthy people water fasting for weeks on end with the only goal being to go longer.

很有可能,这些连续几天禁食的健康人群中的许多人只是把更多的方向瞄准了另一个目标。他们并没有完全意识到长时间禁食背后的代谢原因。相反,他们的逻辑是:“如果禁食24小时对你有好处,那么禁食48小时肯定更好。”再往前走几步,突然之间,健康的人就会连续几周空腹饮水,唯一的目标就是延长禁食时间。

This is a problem because sooner or later there will be cases where prolonged fasts go wrong. Someone will get malnourished or run into other health problems. We only need one case to go badly. And when that happens, every form of fasting will be vilified.

这是一个问题,因为长期禁食迟早会出错。有些人会营养不良或出现其他健康问题。我们遇到任何一种情况就会很糟糕。当这种情况发生时,任何形式的斋戒都将受到诋毁。

Suddenly, you will have to defend why you follow an intermittent fasting schedule of 16:8 hours, which is perfectly fine in pretty much any case.

突然之间,你不得不为自己为什么要遵循16:8小时的间歇性禁食计划而辩护,这在任何情况下都是完全没问题的。

Streaks & Records 条纹与记录

Another factor contributing to this problem is the rise of fasting apps: smartphone applications designed to help you fast. I, myself, am a happy user of Zero. It’s a great looking, simple app, and it does exactly what you need it to do.

导致这一问题的另一个因素是禁食应用程序的兴起:智能手机上设计的帮助你禁食的应用程序。我本人就是一个Zero的拥护者和使用者。这是一个漂亮且简单的应用程序,它可以完全满足您的需要。

But it does more. With its most recent update, it has incorporated some forms of gamification. You can now go on a streak if you fast for multiple days in a row, and your fasting history shows an “all-time record”.

而且它可以做的更多。在最近的更新中,它融入了某些形式的游戏化。如果你连续禁食好几天,你就可以连续禁食,而且你的禁食历史显示出“空前的记录”。

These are subtle but very powerful motivators to push people to go further. It challenges you to outdo yourself — fast more this month than last, push a little harder.

这些都是微妙但非常强大的激励因素,推动人们走得更远。挑战你超越自己——这个月比上个月更快,更努力一点。

With running, or lifting weights, that’s great. With fasting, to go further is not necessarily better. At some point, quite the opposite.

尽管这对于跑步或者举重都很好。但是,对于禁食而言,越快不一定越好。在某些时候,情况正好相反。

That is why we need experts in this field to address these issues, and we need the makers of applications and tools to be really careful about the messages they send.

这就是为什么我们需要这个领域的专家来解决这些问题,我们需要应用程序和工具的制造者对他们传递和引导的信息非常谨慎的对待。

Fasting is a fantastic tool for becoming a better, healthier version of yourself. But, just like eating more protein does not endlessly improve how quickly you build muscle, fasting more and longer does not endlessly improve your health.

“禁食(Fasting)”是让自己变得更好、更健康的很好的工具。但是,就像吃更多的蛋白质并不能无休止地提高你肌肉的增长速度一样,越来越长时间地禁食也不会无休止地改善你的健康。

At some point, more is simply pointless, apart from breaking your own record or adding yet another checkmark to your streak.

在某种程度上,除了打破你自己的记录或者在你的连胜上再加一个勾,更多的时候是毫无意义的,

Thanks to Carrie Gebb Maser and Mindy Zwanziger for pointing out the additional benefits of prolonged fasts over IF, such as autophagy, T-cell production, and apoptosis. I’ve added nuance to some of the statements in the article to better reflect these benefits.

感谢Carrie Gebb Maser和Mindy Zwanziger指出了与IF相比,延长禁食的额外好处(如自噬、t细胞的产生和细胞凋亡)。为了更好地反映这些优点,我在文章中的某些陈述中添加了一些细微差别。