So this is an interesting little story which came up recently; but apparently the application for kidney disease and general anti-inflammatory effect have been known for quite some time.
Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University discovered that simple baking soda solution reduced symptoms of autoimmune disease within days. The systemic signal sent with the addition of sodium bicarbonate to the body is profound. The application to stress management, sleep improvement, food allergy/sensitivity reset, and exercise tolerance, therefore, is intriguing.
Let's face it: New Year's resolutions fail; business plans fail; goal-setting fails; 5-year plans fail; follow-through fails. Part of the reason for the ubiquity of failure is we like goals that sound good. "Sounds good" generally means it is the opposite of our automatic behaviors and even our behaviors we are willing to consider. That's strategic self-harm right there.
Don't state goals. Evaluate what you are willing to do and unwilling to do. Then you'll discover your goals. When someone says his goal is weight-loss, I question that. Is he willing to do what it takes to lose fat? If not, his goal is weight gain, not weight loss, regardless of the statement. When someone says her business goal is growth, I question that. Is she willing to do what it takes to grow? If not, then her goal is contraction and downsizing, regardless of the statement.
Honest self-assessment is the path to discover goals. Whether it's fitness or business, the new mode of improvement is going to have to come from outside somewhere. That is, you have to accept another paradigm of lifestyle than your current one within you. Find what you will do. That is your goal. All else is fantasy. Fantasy makes for good stories - no doubt. But your story must be rewritten in reality.
What if the fountain of youth is just eating less?
Being big and eating a lot is associated with reduced quality of life and reduced lifespan. There are around 1,000 people on earth legitimately 110 years old or older. They all eat once or twice a day, small meals, and tend to be pretty physically capable, healthy, and cognitively sharp.
It doesn't of necessity consequently follow that all people can improve their chances of better and longer life through food restriction. However, as we learn more about the role of fat as an endocrine organ (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648822/), it's becoming increasingly unscientific to think of body fat as merely some sort of inert energy storage mechanism. It plays with various hormonal cascades in a manner which raises risk factors for cancers and all cause mortality.
To boot, it's a very easily confirmed theory (i.e. - just get a glucometer) that frequent eating invokes frequent inflammation. In fact, I think it's a safe bet that all traditional cultures have a season of fasting because they figured out through trial-and-error that it has benefit. Our modern sensibilities are at odds with the idea of doing difficult behaviors; thus, the mere idea of fasting itself can be offensive. But scientific research just continues to confirm that strategic fasting improves all measurable health indices, and may even be able to reverse neurodegenerative diseases (https://www.researchgate.net/publication/44660575_Short-term_fasting_induces_profound_neuronal_autophagy).
We've studied life extension definitively with other creatures, to the point where genetic alterations in worms extended their lives to an equivalent of 500 human years (https://www.medicaldaily.com/life-span-mutant-worms-increased-500-human-years-what-does-mean-aging-therapies-264887). This isn't to say that worms or even other animals make for a good scientific model to reproduce an experiment in humans. Yet, it is really intriguing that, especially in the worm research, the scientists are always targeting insulin and TOR, which BOTH are the very mechanisms we affect when we fast (and exercise).
On the drive into work this morning I heard a piece on NPR about yet another study on longevity and food restriction. This time, the scientists turned their focus acutely toward humans. The study, conducted by Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and published in Cell Metabolism just last month, indicated that calorie restriction does increase ones chances of living longer (http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/business/article_d8b02938-2dd5-11e8-a0f7-fbaa9aada9a1.html). It's not conclusive, since that's just not how scientific inquiry works. But being that it was conducted over a two year period and participant risk markers decreased, its findings are sobering.
The outcome echoes what many other teams have been finding. Just last year, Scientific American showcased a great article on this very subject (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-hunger-gains-extreme-calorie-restriction-diet-shows-anti-aging-results/). In my opinion, the research is a bit of overkill, given that it is just plain evident that abundance can be a problem inherently. It's obvious that modern Western cultural dietary practices are not improving our lives. We are confronted with the stark reality that today, for the first time in about 1,000 years, we are raising a generation of children who on average will not outlive prior generations (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr043743).
Modern life has afforded us many brilliant freedoms and breakthroughs. Still, everything comes at a cost. The human animal was meant for an environment we no longer have. In the same way that we must artificially create activity in our modern sedentary existence, we must artificially create "famine" in our modern overabundant existence. Simply put, for us to live, we may have to starve.