Well, a tonne of evidence indicates that timed periods of fasting are a good thing. Fasting for long periods has only recently become more popular, but it’s a practice that dates back centuries, and plays a central role in many cultures and religions.
In India, people mostly fast during the Shravan month or Ramadan month. Defined as the abstinence from all or some foods and drinks for a grouped period of your time, there are various ways of fasting. In general, most sorts of fasts are performed over 24-72 hours. There’s also Intermittent fasting that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting; could start from a couple of hours to a couple of days at a time.
Fasting has been shown to possess many health benefits, from increased weight loss to raised brain function, let’s look at some of those below: It aids weight loss & boosts metabolism: Fasting is said to be more effective than calorie restriction at increasing fat loss while simultaneously preserving muscle tissue.
Promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance: Decreasing insulin resistance can increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, allowing it to transport glucose from your bloodstream to your cells more efficiently. Promotes better health by fighting inflammation: Studies suggest that fasting can help decrease levels of chronic inflammation.
Boosts brain function: Studies have reported that fasting increases the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function. Improves hunger: Fasting helps to regulate the hormones in your body to experience what actual hunger is; think of this as a reset button so that your mind is able to receive the correct signals from your body.
The more you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones. Improves Immunity: Fasting reduces free radical damage and regulates inflammatory conditions in the body. It basically reduces stress on your internal system so your body is better able to fight off infections. Helps clear the skin and prevent acne:
Fasting helps the body clean up the toxins and regulate the functioning of other organs in the body like liver, and the kidney that are related to your skin health. Improves Eating Patterns: For those who binge-eat, or find it difficult to establish a correct eating pattern due to work and other priorities, fasting can help as it allows you to eat at a set time that fits your lifestyle.
There are several ways of fasting, making it easy for you to find a method that suits your lifestyle. Below are the most common ways: Water fasting: Involves drinking only water for a set amount of time. Juice fasting: Includes drinking only vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period. Intermittent fasting: Intake of food is partially or completely restricted for a few hours upto a few days at a time, and normal diet is resumed on other days.
Partial fasting: Certain food or drinks like processed foods, dairy or caffeine are eliminated from the diet for a set period. Calorie restriction: Calories are restricted for a few selected days every week. All in all, when coupled with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle consistently, incorporating fasting into your routine could benefit your health in multiple ways.
Always remember “It’s never just a diet, it’s always a lifestyle”.