Fasting is a practice that dates back centuries ago and plays a central role in many cultures and religions for some very important health and spiritual reasons.
“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.”
Our bodies are made to fast. It’s the body’s natural way of removing junk from our body.
First off, Fasting boosts brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders and clears out old damaged cells, so that your body can repair and renew itself, which is probably why we’ve been programmed to eat 3 meals a day, and some people eat more than that.
When you go to sleep at night, your body goes on a Fast. When you wake up and have your first meal, you’re breaking the fast. That’s why they call it Breakfast.
There are many different ways of fasting. In general, most types of fasts are performed over 12 to 72 hours without eating or drinking anything, except for water and juicing in some cases.
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time.
Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from weight loss to better brain function, but more importantly, your body gets rid of unwanted impurities and boosts your metabolism.
It also helps us to feel much more energetic, more focused and slows down the aging process significantly, helping us look and feel younger for a longer period of time.
In fact, fasting supercharges your metabolism, making the body more efficient at breaking down nutrients and burning calories. It also slows down the degradation of DNA, which is what occurs as we age, and accelerates DNA repair, slowing down the aging process.
One review showed that whole-day fasting could reduce body weight by up to 9% and significantly decrease body fat in up to 12 to 24 weeks. Another review found that intermittent fasting was actually more effective in inducing weight loss compared to continuous calorie restriction. It also helps Increase growth hormone secretion, which is vital for growth, metabolism, weight loss, and muscle strength.
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a type of protein hormone that is central to many aspects of your health. Studies have found that fasting may improve blood sugar control, which could be especially useful for those at risk of diabetes.
Fasting could also help keep your blood sugar steady, preventing spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels as well as fighting inflammation. Research shows that inflammation may be involved in the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis and fasting will enhance heart health by improving blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels.
Heart disease is considered the leading cause of death around the world, accounting for an estimated 31.5% of deaths globally. Switching up your diet and lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Here are a few of the most common types of fasting:
Water fasting: Involves drinking only water for a set amount of time.
Juice fasting: Entails only drinking vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period.
Intermittent fasting: Intake is partially or completely restricted for a few hours up to a few days at a time and a normal diet is resumed on other days.
Partial fasting: Certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products, or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period.
Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few days every week.
Let’s talk about what happens on the inside of your body when you’re fasting on an hourly rate.
In 12 hours, blood sugar levels fall and all food has been completely digested, insulin is no longer produced and the digestive system goes to sleep.
14 hours later, the body has now converted all the used stored fat into energy, then the body begins the healing process. The Pituitary gland will boost the production of Human growth hormones and Glucagon is released into the bloodstream to help balance out blood sugar levels.
16 hours later, the body starts to ramp up fat burning.
18 hours later, human growth hormones start to increase dramatically.
24 hours later, you start to experience autophagy. Autophagy is when all the cells that no longer serve you begin shedding from your body and are replenished and replaced by lively, strong healthy cells and drains all glycogen stored in the body.
36 hours into it, autophagy increases by 300% and Ketones are now released into the bloodstream.
After 48 hours, your immune system has reset itself and is regenerated. By now, you have increased the reduction of inflammation response in the body.
72 hours into a fast and there is a plethora of benefits and this is when the body really starts to rejuvenate itself. As difficult as it is, the challenge of fasting for 72 hours is often outweighed by the massive health benefits.
72 hours of fasting allows your body to focus on regenerating new immune cells rather than spending energy elsewhere. Then, Autophagy breaks down damaged or dying immune cells and reuses them, like a natural form of recycling.
Extended fasting for this long can work great for people who are at risk of type 2 diabetes, due to the lowering of blood glucose levels.
The 72-hour fast has great benefits, from improving insulin levels to fat loss, whatever your reason for fasting, you’ll be sure to find it. An extended fast can help with cancer prevention, as well as reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Studies also show that extended fasting also helps you maintain muscle mass, as well as many other great health benefits that simply replenish the body naturally.
There are many different ways to practice fasting, which makes it easy to find a method that fits into just about any lifestyle.
To get started, try experimenting with different types of fasting to find what works best for you.
Fasting is our bodies way of replenishing itself and repairs what needs fixing. However, it’s important to stay vigilant. Water fasting can also cause issues if you’re not prepared. Dizziness, dehydration, and eating disorders are risks for people who choose to take on a fasting challenge, so please be cautious and start slowly before you take on long lasting fasting challenges.
Remember… knowledge is power and applied knowledge is freedom.