What is an Autophagy Diet?


How To Induce Autophagy? 

Over the millennia of evolution, our bodies learned to adapt to many different conditions. One of the challenges ancient humans had to adapt to was the intermittent availability of food. One of the processes that developed to deal with that is a process called autophagy, and recognizing the signs of autophagy fasting.

Simply put, the autophagy diet means “self-eating.” While it sounds rather intimidating, our body naturally does this when we don’t eat for a while and there is a way to promote it by eating an autophagy diet. The process of autophagy has been shown to extend healthspan and lifespan in many animals, including humans.

You can’t starve yourself to immortality, but by following a few simple guidelines, you can encourage your body to use up its stores to not only lose weight, that might happen though, but regenerate cells for a whole range of health benefits. The team at spermidineLife® has the information on autophagy you need to get started.

Fasting Promotes Cell Regeneration

There is a lot of talk about fasting as a way for the body to use up its fat cells and lose weight. But really, what is autophagy? It is autophagy is a lot more than just simply fasting and the benefits are pretty outstanding.

So, the question here is, is 16 hours enough for autophagy? It seems that the key to triggering autophagy is to create a “calorie restriction.”  Fasting is how most do this with their diets, but there are a lot of fasting programs.

Intermittent fasting.  This is where you time your eating with some form of fasting incorporated. Intermittent fasting includes time-restricted eating.  There are many variations to time-restricted eating plans.  16/8 means you don’t eat for 16 hours and can feed for 8.  18/6 is similar but a longer fast and shorter feed.  

Partial fasting is fasting longer than 24 hours but consuming 75% fewer calories than you would normally.  This is typically done for less than five days.  A form of partial fasting is called KetoFasting. This type of fasting was made famous by Dr. Joseph Mercolla.

Water fasting is just as it sounds, you consume only water during the fast. 

Fasting is one way to start since it will get rid of the old cellular junk that’s been hanging around in order to make way for fresh new cells.

How To Start One Meal a Day (OMAD)?

One meal a day (AKA OMAD) is a diet where people eat only one meal during a 24-hour period and the rest of the time is spent fasting. This supports an autophagy diet plan because the body is then using up its stores instead of being overloaded with additional calories throughout the day.

Typically the meal is eaten at the same time each day and usually after the most active part of the day. The OMAD diet doesn’t restrict the type of food a person eats or even how many calories they consume, but rather just limits mealtime to once a day. It’s important to stay hydrated on the OMAD diet so drinking water, coffee and tea are allowed, but other beverages should be avoided.

There are a couple of ways to ease into OMAD. First, a person could try going longer stretches of fasting between meals. Start with 10 hours, then 15, then 20. Another way is to try OMAD every other day. It’s important to see how your body responds and determine what works best for you since each person will be different.

What is an Autophagy Diet?

So after fasting and encouraging the body to utilize its stores, it’s important to ensure what you are putting into your body has healthy benefits whether or not you follow the OMAD plan. Some people eat an autophagy diet within an 8-hour timeframe during the day and spend the rest of the time fasting. Again, you have to listen to your body and determine what works best for you.

Since the basis for autophagy is to encourage the body to “self-eat,” it’s important to ensure what you are putting into your body has healthy benefits. Two ways to promote autophagy is through fasting and through ketosis, which involves a diet high in fat and low in carbs. This restricts carbs so the body stops relying on sugar for energy and uses fat for fuel, thus resulting in weight loss.

Foods That Promote Autophagy 

You’re probably wondering, “what can I eat during autophagy fasting?”. Following a strict ketogenic diet is not for everyone, but some of the main foods that make up a ketogenic diet are very important for an autophagy diet. They include:

  • Eggs
  • Green Vegetables
  • Fatty fish
  • Meat including chicken, turkey, red meat
  • Healthy oils (extra-virgin olive oil, coconut)
  • Cheese (unprocessed)
  • Nuts

These are the types of foods that should be consumed during a fast as well because they provide the body with essential nutrients. Notice how it is all whole foods too and not processed? This is an important part of the autophagy diet as well.

Foods that should be avoided include:

  • Beans
  • Sugary and starchy foods
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Most types of fruit (except berries)

Again, it’s a low-carb diet so there are some healthy low-carb options that can be considered.

An autophagy diet doesn’t have to be boring. It’s about being nutritious and making smart choices. Think scrambled eggs or an omelet with spinach for breakfast. Lunch can include an oversized salad with grilled chicken or turkey. Dinner can be grilled chicken with green beans.

What Can You Drink During Fasting To Promote Autophagy?

You don’t have to give up all of your favorite drinks on an autophagy diet. Even though alcohol should be avoided, there are low-carb wine options. While you should stick to certain types of drinks, it’s about making smarter choices. 

Let’s look at some common questions on what a person should drink on the autophagy diet.

What can you drink during intermittent fasting? 
Water is always a top option. It’s important to stay under 50 calories so tea and coffee are okay too.

Is coffee okay to drink during a fast? 
Coffee is okay and a splash of cream is also okay. Stevia is also fine. As long as you stay under 50 calories, your body will remain in a fasted state.

Can you drink lemon water? 
Lemon water actually benefits fasting by aiding digestion.

Can you drink diet soda while fasting?
Diet soda is OK for fasting, but really should be avoided for an autophagy diet because it’s about whole foods and nutrients.

Healthiness Starts With spermidineLife®

An autophagy meal plan works alongside spermidineLife® in promoting cell regeneration and increasing overall health. This leads to a longer and more youthful life. Get spermidineLife® today for a more healthy tomorrow.

Listen to this article: 


  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.