Health Benefits of Fasting
The benefits of fasting are mainly spiritual and physical.
Let’s take a brief look at the different types of fasts and their health benefits.
Basic Benefits of Fasting
Spiritual benefits. When you are able to control your physical appetites, you are armed with a sense of self-confidence and security. This attitude spills positively into every area of your life.
Physical benefits of fasting include healing. When the body has no new sources of fuel (food), it must use excess sugar and carbohydrates stored as fat to produce the energy it needs, hence fat burning occurs. Digestion of food requires a lot of energy. Fasting benefits the body in a way like rest and sleep, redirecting energy away from the digestive process to the immune system, allowing the body to flush out toxic matter that has built up over the years through the function of organs like the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, and skin.
Weight loss benefits: Any kind of fasting will result in rapid however safe weight loss. In the early days of fasting, the weight reduces very quickly. Obese persons may lose up to about 6-8 pounds everyday. A normal lean person may also lose weight however less rapidly.
Is Fasting Safe?
Yes, it is. Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound. Each extra pound of fat will supply enough calories for one day of hard physical labour. Ten pounds of fat are equal to 35,000 calories! Most of us have sufficient reserves, capable of sustaining us for many weeks – provided that we are well hydrated and without emotional stress.
Types of Fast
Liquid fasts are the most common when a person consumes only water, broth or juices.
Water fast is simple and safe. Juice fast is even safer because the body gets nutrients while fruit and vegetable juices are easy to digest.
Duration and Frequency
It all depends on your objective. For healing, spiritual or rapid obesity weight loss, people generally tend to go on longer fasts. For a normal healthy but overweight person, short term periodic fasting is effective and easy to practice.
A short fast such as 24 hours can be done without supervision, no matter you are on water or juice fast. For prolong fasts, it is better to discuss with your doctor first.
I have pulled together the health benefits of fasting from three perspectives. Many of them agree with each other. Let’s look at them one by one.
Health Benefits of Fasting – From General Research
- Improved mental clarity
- Rapid and safe weight loss
- Rejuvenated digestive system
- Increased energy level and sensory perception
- Relief from a variety of health disorders
- Overcome addictions
- Lower cholesterol
- Balanced nervous system
- Retrains tasting sense
- Increased confidence and ability to have control over life
- Improved breathing
- Good skin
Health Benefits of Fasting – From A Doctor's Perspective
Dr. Alan Goldhamer has made use of fasting in helping his patients in many ways and found positive responses from the follow areas:
- Overcoming addictions – easy to quit smoking or drinking
- Uterine fibroid tumors - reduce the size and effect of these tumors result in avoiding hysterectomy
- Back and neck problems
- Cardiovascular disease – dropping of cholesterol levels
- Gastrointestinal disorders - including esophagitis, gastritis, colitis, constipation, bloating
- Diabetes – helps to maintain normal sugar levels without medications
Health Benefits of Fasting – From A Faster's Perspective
I have been fasting since 2006. My way of doing it is water/juice in a flexible periodic manner, including a minimum of two 24-hour fasting windows in a week. In fact, my way is a typical flexible intermittent fasting approach which absolutely does not require any medical supervision. There are two major health benefits I have experienced:
- Weight loss - from pear-shape to slim; fat belly to flat ab
- Bloating Relieve – feel free to eat and truly enjoy the taste of food
View my full list of fasting benefits
Comparing with the long list of fasting benefits produced by researchers and health professionals, I have only two major benefits to report: weight loss and bloating relieve. However it was these two benefits which had changed my life. Apart from improved appearance and feeling more energetic, I have rebuilt my self-confidence. Increased calmness and serenity and reduced anger had greatly improved my human relationship and life become happier.
Personally, I like to describe flexible intermittent fasting (IF) as kind of new wine in an old bottle. IF makes use of an old curative method as a new style of fasting for weight loss, and body fat burning!
Does Fasting Has Any Side Effect?
Some people experience side effects, I personally don’t. There are some fasting side effects which could be physically explained. However these do not seem to affect short term fasters, such as in my case.
In fact, I should not describe these as side effects. These symptoms are actually normal in the process of cleansing and they will soon disappear.
For example, people who are addicted to alcoholic drinks or smoking may feel much trouble in the early days of fasting. In the absence of such things which they have to skip, they feel nervous, angry, etc. and they vomit and do not sleep well and may suffer from severe headache. This painful situation does exist for some days and they will return to normal condition.
In other cases, some physical changes do occur at the beginning of the fasts, but the level of uneasiness depends on individual. Some times a coat in tongue is felt, bad smell may be given out from the mouth or breathing, teeth may be sticky. You will surely feel uneasy due to these changes, but it informs us that the inner cleansing of the body organs is going on. All harmful substances - all debris, excreta, urine, perspiration, etc. - slowly leave the body. Later, the tongue becomes clean, mouth fresh and breathing clean, after ejection of the unwanted, polluting substances.
During prolong fasts, usually you won’t feel hungry the 3rd day on and from the 10th day on, the uneasy feelings will also gone leaving you as a rejuvenated energetic body.
Fasting and Longevity
How long do you want to live? You may think that this is beyond our control. May be not. Though there is no scientific proof on human being between fasting and life expectancy, it is understandable that a healthy person can live longer. Fasting is responsible for rejuvenation and health.
Chinese celebrity Lady Soong Mei Ling (1898-2003) who lived to the age of 106 had her colon hydrotherapy everyday. In fact, the effect of colon hydrotherapy can actually be achieved through fasting.
Fasting induces more efficient protein production, an improved immune system, and the increased production of hormones contributes to long-term benefits. I don’t know your level of expectation towards longevity, but I’ve no doubt that you want to live healthy. From my personal experience, the single most important benefit of fasting is health.
Go fasting, don’t wait. It is only those who take action will enjoy the benefits of fasting!
The Benefits of Fasting
The Health Benefits of Fasting
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