Fasting has been practiced for centuries. But can it really help you lose weight and get healthier?
It sounds so simple – no choices, no counting calories, no cooking. Just say ‘no’ to food, and start fasting for quick weight loss and other health benefits.
1)Is fasting an effective way to lose weight? 2)Can fasting really help with medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, arthritis and other auto-immune disorders? 3)Will fasting help you live longer? And finally, is fasting healthy? Although fasting has been practiced for thousands of years, the question is still a subject of intense medical debate.
Fasting and Weight Loss
If you weed through all the controversy, you’ll find that most medical experts agree on one thing: fasting is not a healthy weight loss tool.The appeal is that [fasting] is quick, but it is quick fluid loss, not substantial weight loss. If it’s easy off, it will come back quickly — as soon as you start eating normally again.Even some proponents of fasting for other medical purposes do not support fasting for weight loss. Some say it can actually make weight problems worse. Fasting is not a weight loss tool. Fasting slows your metabolic rate down so your diet from before the fast is even more fattening after you fast.
Fasting for weight loss carries other health risks as well.While fasting for a day or two is rarely a problem if you are healthy, “it can be quite dangerous if you are not already eating a healthy diet, or if you’ve got liver or kidney problems, any kind of compromised immune system functioning, or are on medication.
Does Fasting Detoxify the Body?
There is no scientific evidence it will detox the body. The issue of fasting to cleanse the body has no biological basis because the body is real good at that by itself.The liver is a natural detox center; the lungs, the colon, the kidneys, [the lymph glands] and the skin get rid of toxins.We know that the body is unable to rid itself of toxins when we eat a diet low in nutrients, and that applies to most Americans, even those who think they are healthy.Americans eat 51% of their diet from processed foods and foods low in phytochemicals and antioxidants, so you see a buildup of waste products in the cells — AGE, advanced glycation end products — that build up in cellular tissues and lead to atherosclerosis, aging, diabetes, nerve damage, and the deterioration of organs. This is basic science and physiology every doctor learns in medical school.Along with improving your overall diet, fasting is one solution to that buildup of AGE, Fasting allows the body to most effectively remove these waste products,The body is designed to fast; we do it every night.
How does fasting remove toxins from the body? When you go without eating for more than a day or two, the body enters into ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it burns fat, and the fat is where the body stores many of the toxins it absorbs from the environment.
Spiritual and Religious Fasting
Whether fasting can help rid the body of waste buildup is a matter of controversy. But fasting has been used for religious and spiritual purification for centuries.
Nearly every religious text you can name, from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to the Quran and the Upanishads, calls upon followers to fast periodically as a rite of spiritual purification, penitence, or preparation for union with God.Fasting advocates also claim that the practice can effectively treat serious health conditions, from arthritis and colitis to heart disease and depression.
Fasting followed by a vegetarian diet interferes with the immune system’s activities, especially if the immune system is overreacting, as it does with, and other auto-immune diseases.Studies published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and The Journal of Nutrition in 2003 showed that mice forced to fast every other day, while eating twice the normal amount of food on non-fasting days, had better insulin control, neuronal resistance to injury, and other health indicators than mice fed calorie-restricted diets.
Some doctors say there is no scientific evidence for the curative powers of fasting. But there is a reason every culture in every country has practiced some form of fasting for thousands of years.Fasting is not advisable for everyone. But for those whose medical conditions do not respond to other treatments,sometimes fasting four to five days a month can help them break to a next level of immune competency,it will only work if you frame the fast with good nutrition before and after. For most medical conditions, if you stick to a strict diet, you donât even need fasting.
Certain people should not fast, including: 1)Pregnant women. 2)People with wasting diseases or malnutrition. 3)Those with a history of cardiac arrhythmias. 4)People with hepatic or renal insufficiency.
And anyone who fasts for extended periods should do so only under close medical supervision.