We have been getting a lot of questions about what you should, and should not be doing regarding your fasting practice and general health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We worked with our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Peter Attia, to lay out a plan of action for Zero users. Here is what Dr. Attia suggests based on the best available information.
Two things you should and one thing you should not be doing.
1.Do continue your normal daily nutritional routine
Your normal time restricted feeding practice(for instance a 16:8 or 18:6 eating window) shouldn’t pose any risks with regards to COVID-19.
If you already have healthy routines, stick with what you are doing. While there isn’t sufficient evidence to say if shorter fasts will help with regards to COVID-19, maintaining routines is important during times of uncertainty.
2. Consider holding off on multi-day fasts for now
We’re being abundantly cautious here, but there’s some evidence that a longer fast (2+ days) can cause a cortisol spike which could temporarily dampen your immune system. In normal times, once the risk of contracting COVID-19 has abated, prolonged fasts can have profound health benefits, but now may not be the ideal time.
3. Do everything you can to buy time
Scientists and researchers need time to develop vaccines and/or antivirals. Buying time delays the spread of the disease, which avoids overwhelming the hospital system. This is what is referred to as “flattening the curve” (see figure, below). Buying time also allows for a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19, including any possible long term, unknown effects.
The best ways for you to buy time are to be maniacal about washing your hands (it is very important to lather with soap for at least 20 seconds prior to rinsing your hands with water) and practice social distancing.
A lot of people are talking about social distancing, but we think it’s important to get into the details of what this means.
The main objective is to keep your distance from other people and avoid large crowds. Practically, this has a big impact on your day-to-day life. This means avoiding public places where you don’t have control over your personal space like movie theaters, bars and restaurants. It also means working from home if possible, avoiding busy times at grocery stores, and considering solitary or at-home workouts vs going to a public gym.
Across the board, infectious disease experts agree distancing is the number one way to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Everyone has a unique circumstance, not everyone has the option to work from home or avoid social situations, but wherever you can, keep your distance. From a health perspective, the downside of isolating is minimable and knowable, while the upside is significant.
The Zero COVID-19 Resource
At Zero, our mission is to help people live a longer, healthier life. That includes uncertain times like these. As part of that commitment, we will be updating our COVID-19 page whenever there is new, relevant information.
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