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| Home Organize Your Wellness The Organized Good Life Fasting is good for you, right?
Living the Good LifeFasting is good for you, right?
Breakfast actually signifies breaking the fast observed through the previous night. After dinner, a person doesn't have any food until the next morning. As that is considered a period of fasting, the next meal is in the morning and that's called a breakfast.
There are many reasons people fast, here are just a few responses to a survey on why people fast:
It’ll create a stronger opportunity for connecting with God on a deeper level
Achieve balance in all areas of my life.
You may have noticed diet is not on the list as a reason to fast. Fasting as a means to diet is a bad idea, fasting for religious reasons – well that depends on the individual although typically children, elderly and pregnant women are usually exempt from fasting. This article will focus on the benefits and drawbacks of fasting regardless of the reasons for which one might partake in a fast.
An interesting bit of trivia is how the word breakfast came to be. Breakfast actually signifies breaking the fast observed through the previous night. After dinner, a person doesn't have any food until the next morning. As that is considered a period of fasting, the next meal is in the morning and that's called a breakfast.
Benefits to Fasting
Fasting is certainly nothing new; it has been a part of religious rituals for as long as anyone can remember. Aesculapius of ancient Greece once said, “Instead of using medicine, fast”. Christ was said to have fasted for 40 days in meditation while Moslems all over the world are required to fast for 30 days each year during the holy month of Ramadan.
Science is now uncovering the benefits to fasting are not just for religious reasons but for health as well. Depriving the body of food may actually help the body. The old adage, starve a cold, feed a fever may be only half right. Studies have shown that by not eating when we are sick our bodies can use the energy that would have been spent on digesting for healing. Fasting frees up the energy from digesting and directs it towards the elimination of toxins in the body. Unfortunately only animals and babies retain their natural instinct when sick and refuse food.
Think about the last time you ate, I mean really ate a lot of food. Think Thanksgiving! Did you feel full over energy and vitality? Were you ready to go or did you feel sluggish, like a nap was your best friend? The reason is quite simple, digesting food requires a tremendous output of energy.
Dr. Ray Walford, a famous UCLA researcher said, “Under-nutrition is thus far the only method we know of that consistently retards the aging process and extends the maximum life span of warm blooded animals. These studies are undoubtedly applicable to human because it works in every species studied so far.” The studies have also concluded that restricting food to the body will improve the immune system and slow down the body’s physiological deterioration. Fasting principally is a method of giving the digestive system a day off so that the process of healing can take place.
The message is simple. Eat less. Live longer. Take care of your stomach and it will take care of you.
Drawbacks to Fasting
Fasting as defined above was not about weight loss, it was about religious tradition and longevity. Most medical experts agree fasting is not a healthy weight loss tool. Fasting may seem like a great idea, after all zero calories in must mean the weight will just roll off right? In essence, yes. The down side to fasting is what happens to your body when you eat again, and you will eventually eat again.
"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," says Joel Fuhrman MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Plan for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss and Fasting and Eating for Health.
Fasting or severely restricting what you eat and drink may carry health risks depending on your current state of health and wellness. Most people can handle a day, maybe two, of fasting but if you are on any medication, have immune system dysfunction or have existing liver or kidney problems a fast can complicate things.
Fasting as a tool for weight loss sends a bad message. It tells people if they can restrict what they take in they can achieve the look they want. This may sound like a familiar precursor to an alarming problem currently plaguing today’s young women, anorexia nervosa. In addition fasting does not address the healthy way to maintain weight which is by following a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and exercising.
You naturally fast every night and that’s all the body needs. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals, drink plenty of water, get 8 hours (on average) each night of sleep, and exercise 30 minutes on most days of the week and you should be fine. If you fast, please consult your physician beforehand to ensure you are healthy.
By Christina Leon, Staff Writer