What is to fast?
Fasting for a limited period of time can be one of the most effective cleansing diets as many studies showed over the course of time.
When it comes to choosing a diet to help us lose weight, it is essential to know which types of diets suit us and our goals.
During fasting, our daily intake is reduced to liquid food which can range from juices of all kinds to vegetable broths, tea and of course water. Thus, you can take off the unwanted pounds, eliminating toxins from within the body.
What is exactly fasting and why is it so beneficial to the human body?
Talking about fasting seems pretty simple. This period of time is known in all the cultures and all the traditions, and it refers to a set of binding rules: moral, spiritual and alimentary.
We can easily find the word “fasting” in almost all the denominations, having the same connotation : fasting as a sign of faith and penance for all the mistakes that were made.
History of fasting
In time, fasting had become a good and effective diet. Even though it is neither the most practical nor the easiest diet, there are people who use fasting in order to lose weight and detoxify their body.
Fasting is not a specific attribute to Christianity, and it is commonly found in Antiquity, especially among Greeks and the Israelites. Back then, this practice didn’t have an ethical dimension, and it was rather associated with mourning rituals.
In ancient Greece, fasting was seen as a powerful method of protection against demons which could enter the body through food and drink, being also a way of atonement and purification of the soul, thus facilitating communication with deities.
Regarding the Israelites, in the period between death and funeral, people in mourning had to stay away from meat and wine.
But, with the advent of monotheistic religions, fasting has acquired other dimensions. Fasting, in the Christian religion, is based on the lack of food of animal origin. This is also an effective diet for both reducing weight and detoxification if respecting some healthy eating principles.
There is also Ramadan, in the Muslim religion which means a month of daily fasting from sunrise to sunset – a quick meal before sunrise and a festive meal after sunset, and full absence from food during the day. We must admit that it doesn’t seem to be the healthiest way to lose weight but the body adapts to this behavior and thus creating a tendency in detoxification of food restrictions during the day.
So generally, fasting can be described as a daily nutrition of which meat and animal products are excluded. Also, there are fasts when a full absence of food during the day is required. Its main action is the purification of certain organs within the body, in this way reducing internal processes.
It is believed that by fasting one day per week, we can offer our bodies a minimum of regeneration and purification while fasting 3 days per week helps the body in getting rid of toxins and cleanses the blood. A 5 day fast initiates the healing process, thus recovering the immune system.
Throughout the fast, drinking water is compulsory. One should drink at least 1.5 liters per day, in order to avoid dehydration and kidney failure.
Fasting is also recommended in the acute phases of infectious diseases because the body’s energies, being no longer oriented to the process of digestion, are used in defending against microorganisms.
Many of those who fast or are thinking to start doing it, ask themselves why we should deprive ourselves of certain foods and why is fasting so good for our bodies.
Well, fasting gives clarity and concentration, and it can become a beneficial tool. The effectiveness of our daily activities increases significantly and also our intellectual performances are enhanced. It gives a sense of flexibility and more energy. Studies have shown that it stimulates stem cells to new white blood cells, which fight off infections.
More, it has been found that fasting has positive effects on our immune system. Scientists also proved that prolonged fasting reduces PKA enzyme which is associated with the aging process and with a hormone which increases the risk of cancer or tumors. This study examined people who had fasted for 2 or 4 consecutive days, over a period of 6 months.
What Fasting Means?
- preventing diseases
Therefore, we can say that what is good for our spiritual health, it is also useful for our physical appearance.
Health Benefits of the Fasting Diet :
1. Detoxifies the body
Normally the human body has the ability to detoxify itself but, a diet rich in meat and low in vegetables and fruit hampers its natural function. When there is such an imbalance in our organism, food waste accumulates within the body thus becoming the decay of many infectious diseases like cancer. This is why fasting, the equivalent of a diet based on vegetables, fruits, and seeds, is beneficial for the entire body, serving in its detox.
2. Helps with weight loss :
Fruits and vegetables have fewer calories, and their consumption for a long period of time, besides detox can help us in getting rid of the extra pounds.Also, because during fasting, calorie intake drops, the body is forced to consume the fat deposits in order to ensure life. Fat reserves are created by the body due to the excess glucose and carbohydrates which are normally used as an energy source.During fasting, these fat reserves become the energy source of the body.
3. Prevents heart diseases :
Recent studies have shown that the fasting period reduces cardiovascular diseases. Scientists have discovered that this type of diet helps in lowering triglycerides and blood sugar, keeping our body away from heart diseases.
4. Diabetes Prevention
Because during fasting the body channels its energy in a different direction than towards the digestive system, the metabolism is slowed down and the blood sugar level within the body decreases, thus, the deposits of glucose existing in the liver being used . Also, the release of hormones increases.
Due to the fact that when fasting, our body is cleaned of all kinds of waste, our skin gets brighter, being healthier and our body being full of energy. Our sleep quality increases, and we can easily get rid of the anxiety and tension.Also, our overall health improves, muscle pain and discomfort disappear. immediately.
As mentioned above, over the course of the time, fasting has been reinterpreted as a good and effective detox diet, nowadays more and more people taking it as a good opportunity to get rid of the extra pounds.
The 5:2 diet or as better known as the intermittent fasting is conquering more and more followers all over the world. Even though this diet faced a lot of criticism, it is said that there is a large body of evidence to support intermittent fasting.
This diet, characterized by fasting and starvation for 2 days a week, boosts longevity and help people not only to lose weight but also to protect their body against a range of serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer or Alzheimer.
Created by the nutritionist Michael Mosley, this diet consists of reducing calorie intake to just 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men, for two non-consecutive days each week. In the other 5 days, there are no food constraints and people who try to follow this diet eat as usual.
Michael Mosley claims that this diet is based on studies done by American and British researchers who have concluded that the intermittent fasting helps people lose more fat, increases insulin sensitivity and lowers cholesterol, which leads to a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The success of this diet is based on the fact that it is very attractive. Psychologically, people can fast easier for 2 days if they know that in the remaining days, they will come back to their usual menu.Intermittent fasting also leads to a gradual and steady weight loss – with a weekly average of 0.46 kg for women and slightly more for men.
What is your basal metabolic rate?
The BMR could be defined as a speculation of calories burned per day without doing anything and conserving the energy for just the basic systems needed to keep the body alive such as breathing or maintaining the heart active. It’s just like an MPG for cars just that the car never moves but only has its engine on.
In the end, we can say that practicing fasting and eating raw food should become something normal in our daily life. In order to work properly, our bodies need a periodical detox. In addition, raw vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, elements absolutely necessary for our health.