Fasting for Physical and Spiritual Health.. Seriously?
Does fasting help achieve health benefits, beyond just weight loss?
Date: 3/12/2010 11:55:16 PM ( 13 y ) ... viewed 1896 times
Hi everyone. Here's what's on my mind today, and I write about this with some hesitation I must admit...
Fasting. That's right, it's an age-old practice, participated in by human beings for centuries, but it's been written about much lately as a health benefit and spiritual renewal exercise. Before I even get into it, I need to mention that I'm not a doctor and I would not ever give anyone the kind of advice that would lead them to practice any kind of extreme dieting behavior. I don't know if fasting is right for everyone, and they say to you should consult with your doctor before practicing it. Don't do it because I told you to!
But here's what I've been reading, which has me intrigued... the act of fasting, meaning withholding food from your body for a particular period of time, can not only spur your body to burn fat, which would be the obvious benefit, but can also have numerous other physical and psychological benefits. When you deny your body food for a prolonged period of time, your body moves into a similar state that it does when you enter sleep. It uses the energy that you have not for digesting food, but instead for cleansing the body of toxins, and possibly also healing parts of the body that are ill. There is research to suggest that fasting can cause the body to rid itself of waste products in the blood, bacteria, and other unwanted substances.
For me, I'm interested in trying it just as an exercise to see how I feel after a 24 hour period of water fasting. This means I will go for a full day without eating, but during that time I will drink plenty of water which is vital to maintaining health during the fast.
The result should be similar to what you can achieve by engaging in a low-carb diet-that is the body shifts into ketosis, a state which makes it use the fat in your body as fuel instead of glucose. Normally it takes several days for this effect to occur, so I'm not expecting a serious amount of fat burning from a one-day fast. However, I've heard that getting into a regular habit of water fasting one day a week or so can change your overall metabolism, and reduce your craving for sugar. In addition, he can have mental effects that are quite positive, and help you stave off depression and other illnesses. I'm curious as to whether this works, and whether I'll even notice after the first time.
Sounds like it is at least worth a try, at least for the life experience of it all. I will let you know how it goes!
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