Fasting? What is it?
Fasting isn’t another word for a special kind of diet, it’s just a simple act of will, reducing the consumption of food and drinks (in general, or in specific). Fasting is a restrictive process, but it can also be recommended as a therapy for various health problems and diseases, or as a way to cleanse your body of toxins, etc.
Fasting is a deliberate and fast induced starvation, with several health consequences and complications. There are good health consequences, such as the potential to increase maximum life span, reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, even slowing the aging process.
Some people link fasting to efficient weightloss results but you need to know that excessive fasting, just for the sake of melting some fat, is a dangerous thing, especially if combined with certain weight loss pills or medication.
Advices on fasting
a) Fasting 1-on-1
When planning, decide what’s best and what lines up to your working/job schedule, your family activities.
If your entire family is fasting, don’t apply the same rules on them. Think about their needs (especially for kids) and plan accordingly. Youth under 18 shouldn’t ever fast, because the body is developing and growing.
b) Plan your fasting
There are obvious medical, religious, or other reasons to start fasting. Before fasting, choose what foods/drinks to avoid consuming. Forget about fat or hard to digest foods. Focus on liquids, soups, easy to digest foods.
c) Fasting isn’t weightloss
I mentioned this in the introduction. Never take a fasting period only for the sake of losing weight. It is unhealthy and your body will experience the consequences. You eat less or none during fasting, imagine what happens when you stop fasting and resume the normal nutrition routine.
d) Fasting period effectiveness
If you decide to try fasting for other reasons, you need to stick to a 1-3 days fasting period, not more. There are various examples of people who managed to keep fasting for 1-2 weeks, but they reduced the intake of certain foods and drinks, not all of them.
Your body enters a starvation mode, after a three day’s fasting period. That means whatever fat and protein your body stored, it starts to burn rapidly, in order to maintain the organs functions. There are also side effects, such as bad breath, dizziness, nausea, stomach pain, lowered blood sugar.
e) Fasting and physical effort
If you are an athletic or sport prone person, you need to know that fasting has various effects for your health. Reducing the regular protein and carb intake will lower your activity effectiveness and your muscles won’t recover from effort that rapidly.
f) Hydration when fasting
Remember this saying: human body functions up to three days without any type of food. Always stay hydrated, if you plan on avoiding eating food while fasting.
When fasting drastically (for a long period of time), staying hydrated won’t help you avoid the side effects described at point d).
Fasting is a personal decision after all. Do it for the right reasons, not pushed or coerced by others.
You can adjust your nutrition accordingly before fasting, by slowly reducing the foods and drinks you consume daily. This way, fasting won’t be a chore, and you avoid any eating excess afterwards.
Aggressive fasting, for the wrong reasons, can lead to major health issues, even organ failure. If your body can’t handle it (especially for medical reasons), don’t do it.