While fasting is an ancient practice and commonly associated with religious or spiritual practices, it is slowly gaining followers who are looking to kickstart a healthy diet. Modern science and research seems to suggest that intermittent fasting, (reducing food intake periodically) is good for you, and contrary to what doctors have claimed in the past, it might just do the body good!
FASTING DOES NOT EQUAL STARVING
Have no fear, dear, as fasting, (ie going without food for a prolonged period of time) is not the same as starvation! During fasting the body cleanses itself of everything but vital tissue, while during starvation the body actually consumes vital tissue in order to survive. See the difference?
HUM, YOU ALREADY FAST
Fasting might seem like a difficult practice, but you are in fact… already doing it! During sleep your body is experiencing a fast. It is using that time to cleanse, (goodbye crappy toxins) repair, and detox without worrying about your digestion. This is coincidentally the same reason breakfast is called “break fast.” Wink, wink!
FROM HERO TO SIZE ZERO?
Hum, not so much! Fasting isn’t intended for you to go from a certain size to a ridiculous size 0, (which is totally okay to have if you are naturally skinny) If Mother Nature doesn’t let you lose those last 5 pounds, there might be a reason. The obvious benefit of fasting is losing weight and research goes to show that during fasting your body is forced to source its energy from the fat that’s being stored on your body, instead of from the meals we tend to eat every 3 or 4 hours. But sometimes, your body needs a little fat in order to function. Know when to stop.
A wide variety of toxins seem to be stored in fat. During fasting your body turns to metabolizing fat for energy and in the process metabolizes and disposes of the toxins stored there. What a sweet deal!
RESTARTING YOUR DIGESTION
Regular fasting seems to not only reduce the size of your stomach, (making you less likely to overeat after fasting) but also gives your digestive system the rest it needs to cleanse and restart. Ready, set, detox!
One of the mayor “symptoms” of old age, besides those ugly frown lines, seems to be a slower digestion. Research shows that fasting can offer your digestive system a rest and therefore aid in keeping it in better condition for a longer period of time.
HEAL THE WORLD (OR JUST YOUR BODY)
Your digestive system takes a lot of energy to function. During a fast that energy can be diverted to other systems, mainly the metabolic and immune system. In fact, it has been suggested that during fasting the body strives to be more efficient and therefore starts recycling poorly functioning or damaged immune cells. Your body is smart enough to heal itself!
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
Fasting can be done in an infinite number of ways, adapting it to what works best for you. A common beginner level fasting reduces your “times allowed to eat” to 8 hours, usually between 11 am and 7 pm, skipping breakfast and eating 2 or 3 meals during that eating window. Are you ready to kick your own butt, inside-out?
HOLD YOUR HORSES
Beware that dehydration, lack of sleep, and heartburn can be common symptoms for those beginning to fast, so make sure you are prepared for side effects and always listen to your body. It is advised to consult your physician before adopting a fasting method, of course, and if you feel this lifestyle isn’t kickstarting anything for you, but rather simply kicking your butt, then quit it, or find a nutritionist that knows how to fast, the smart way.