Have you ever felt like cleaning out for a few days and just not eating anything? I know I sure have and have actually done it! There have been many times where I just stopped eating for a few days. The real question here is, is fasting really good for you?
What is Fasting?
What exactly is fasting? How does this fit into your health plan and are there any benefits?
Fasting is when you do not eat any food for a period of time, usually a day or longer. You can drink water at this time, in fact, you should.
Fasting, aside from religious uses, is often used to clean out your intestinal system and in some cases, weight loss.
Is fasting safe?
The real question is, is fasting really good for you? Is it safe to fast?
Looking deeper into this, we need factual data to back this up and help us understand if we really should be implementing fasting in our lives.
BMC Complement Altern Med. did a study from 2006 – 2011 on if fasting is safe.
The participants were at least 21 years old and went on only water fast for two consecutive days. After those two days, a one-day period of refeeding would take place, and the process would repeat.
The evidence concluded that the participants remained in good health and that fasting is safe to implement in your health routine if no outstanding health restriction applies.
Should You Fast
So, we know that fasting is safe, but does it have any benefits?
We can look towards another study in which there was a study of the effects of small periods of fasting.
- Weight Loss
The study showed that fasting increases levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. This is shown to lead to increased weight loss opportunity.
- Muscle Strength
HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is the most important aspect in terms of muscle growth and a boosted metabolism. The study shows that after a 24-hour fast, the participants received higher levels of HGH.
- Boosted Brain functionality
One study shows the tests to improve brain wave functionality after 11-hour fasts. This study may have been tested on rats, but we can also assume these benefits would transfer to us as well.
- Heart benefits
Another study showed an eight-week study in which alternating fasting days resulted in lower levels of LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Lower levels of these lead to improved heart health.
- Blood sugar control
Yet again, another study proved to lower insulin resistance. This leads to more controlled blood sugar levels.
How to Fast
Now that we know that fasting is both safe and has many benefits. So, how do you fast and how do you fast safely?
Here are some options that you can do to fast safely.
- Intermediate Fasting: This option is where you fast for a period of the day. Most people choose to skip both breakfast and lunch and eat all of their daily caloric intake around dinner time. (stay hydrated)
- Water Fasting: This is where you fast for however many days, while only drinking water. This is the traditional fasting, make sure you stay hydrated.
- Juice Fasting: This is where you don’t eat solid foods, but can drink juices and other flavored drinks.
Fasting can have a lot of benefits, but we all need to practice this safely. Stay hydrated and don’t fast for a period of time that will be of danger to you. Overall, it is a great way to clean your body and reap some benefits!