Fasting is a practice almost as old as time. Not only did our ancestors have to go through times of fasting due to lack of food but it is also noted in most religious texts as a way to gain self-control, gain perspective, and cleanse one’s body and spirit.
What are some real benefits of fasting and how should you approach the idea?
If you are hoping to use fasting for weight loss there are some things that you may want to consider but it is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to lose weight. You simply cut back on calories or just don’t eat all together for a period of time within one day or a few days or even longer for some.
How long should you fast for?
Start with what you are comfortable and as you gain mental strength take on more time if you wish. One popular fasting lifestyle is intermittent fasting. It’s having food only in a window of time during the day. So initially you skip a few meals and eat only between, say 2 pm and 8 pm. In turn, this helps reduce calorie intake overall. But if you think you can binge during those hours on high-calorie foods you will be defeating the purpose. The purpose of fasting is to decrease calorie intake and give your body a break.
Some prefer to fast for one day a week. This could be a Monday after over indulging on the weekend. This can give you a lifestyle where you can enjoy the extras at the party or if you are trying to master self-control this is a great practice. You may also notice a decreased appetite as your stomach will shrink from doing this.
Longer fasts are safe as well and well noted in history books. Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights while He was tempted in the desert and many other profits and people have gone for longer without food and have survived to talk about it. But as a weight loss and health benefit, you may want to consider how and why you would want to persist for.
After about 3 days of full fasting, your body may start to slow down your metabolism so to continually do long fasts may not be a good idea if you intend to go back to eating normal. You will likely gain all your weight back. Although you will lose weight you don’t want to make not eating for long periods of time a routine. Over time you may become vitamin deficient and suffer from the same effects of someone with anorexia dismorphia.
Main reasons you may want to fast:
- Gain control over your eating and become self-aware.
- Give your body a natural detox
- Loose holiday weight
- Kickstart your metabolism
- Increase growth hormone
- Save time and money
- Spiritual connection
- Allergy detection
In addition to lowering insulin and increasing growth hormone levels, it increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
- It can help you eat fewer calories in your overall calorie cutting ways
- It will save you money, just think, one day of eating a week could save you hundreds overs years time.
- It is ultimately the simplest way to lose weight, just eat less.
- You will be able to reduce the size of your stomach thus crave food less.
- Lowers insulin and increasing growth hormone levels
- Reduces inflammation
- Makes your life easier
Ways to get started on fast if you don’t think you could abstain completely from food for a whole day.
Typical food addictions that cause people to crave foods and overeat thus causing them to gain weight are the first place you may want to start fasting ( cutting out of your diet or not eating at all)
- Junk food- Including chips, pop, candy, fast food, deep fried foods, packaged food, anything with refined sugar
- Dairy- Including cheese, milk, cream, butter
Drink water when fasting and having a coffee may also help with your appetite suppression. If you can handle without, do that.
Reasons that you should not be fasting:
- Have diabetes.
- Have problems with blood sugar regulation.
- Have low blood pressure.
- Take medications.
- Are underweight.
- Have a history of eating disorders.
- You Are a woman who is trying to conceive.
- You are a woman with a history of amenorrhea.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Want to learn more about fasting? Here are some great sources.
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