What is fasting? Is it worth the effort? Do I have to abstain from food and liquids the whole day? I understand these are the basic questions that cross everyone’s mind who want to lose weight or increase metabolism.
What most people don’t realize is that fasting does not mean “Not eating.” Fasting in simple words is abstaining from eating for a particular amount of time, like 16 hours or 24 hours.
There are many forms of fasting, including refraining from food and water entirely or intake of water is permitted and even fasting with fruits.
Currently, it has become the coolest method of losing a few pounds in the dieting industry and has multiple benefits.
Gone are the days, when eating six meals a day was considered the healthy way of living and shedding a few pounds. In fact, even I tried eating six small meals a day, which definitely reduces junk cravings, but quite frankly is difficult considering our erratic work schedule.
On the contrary, fasting gives a break to our system and removes toxins from the body. Portion control was considered a secret formula of igniting our body’s digestive fire and accelerating metabolism, but with fasting, you can not only achieve the above-mentioned benefits rather even more.
Let me share with you 13 proven Secret benefits of fasting that will change your life by transforming your mind, body and emotions:
1. Lose those extra pounds
Every woman wants to have an hour glass figure and eat whatever the heart desire. I understand that everyone dreams of being a weight burning machine with a fiery metabolism so that there is not a single pound of extra weight.
But, not every wish can come true, although, with fasting, you can finally lose those extra pounds and look gorgeous.
Fasting will help in calorie reduction and production of the fat burning hormone, thus helping in losing excess weight. It is especially recommended for morbidly obese people and people living a sedentary lifestyle.
Now you can ditch the yo-yo dieting and finally rely on an age-old remedy of intermittent fasting for weight loss which is completely natural.
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
Stress is considered a slow poison that can kill your personality and severely impact the quality of life.
Are you suffering from chronic fatigue? Are you over thinking all the time and imagining worst scenarios? Is your work becoming a burden?
The solution is simple, fast once a week and you will notice reduction in stress level and a calm mind. Fasting helps in building resistance to stress by fighting against free radicals in our body.
When the protective chemicals in our body are shielding our mind and body, it relaxes our nervous system and releases happy hormones.
So, rather than booking a session with psychiatrists or popping anti-depressants, go back to the basics.
3. Enhances concentration and analytical skills
Our nerves are the neurotransmitters sending messages from the brain to the body.
Our body, in fact, take messages from the brain and conducts daily functions. You don’t want a weak nervous system, I am sure.
Fasting will help in regenerating the nerve cells and produce new cells that will help in better coordination of the mind and body. It also helps in boosting memory and focus, thus increasing the retention rate of the mind and cognitive skills.
Also, some studies suggest that it strengthens the brain by enhancing the production of BDNF, the brain protein which protects from deadly diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
People suffering from epileptic seizures should also consider fasting once a week to reduce the frequency of seizures.
4. Strengthens the immune system
Our immune system is the shield that helps fight against harmful bacteria and viruses in and outside our body.
Do you often get sick? Is common cold common for you? It means your immunity is low, and you are prone to diseases and disorders.
Fasting can help you bid adieu to all the common and chronic diseases by increasing your immunity. Our body is constantly exposed to the pathogens and pollutants.
Also, erratic work schedule and bad eating habits result in weakening of immunity. Fasting gives a break to the body and limits the amount of toxin accumulation, thus strengthening the immunity and preventing the attack of many deadly diseases.
5. Gives a clear and glowing skin
Are you tired of acne and no treatment proved to be permanent? Who doesn’t want a radiant and velvety soft skin?
The thriving beauty industry is proof that everyone wants to look gorgeous and thus spend millions every year on beauty products. From skin lightening to Botox, millions are spent for flawless skin and ageless beauty.
What if fasting can give you glowing skin? Isn’t it worth the try? Yes, fasting clears the toxins from the system, enhances blood circulation and thus provides a glowing skin.
Additionally, it also helps in reducing acne and making your skin clear and soft. If you have been avoiding fasting, then here is another reason to try it.
Get a natural and younger looking skin without investing millions on beauty products by fasting.
6. Manages insulin insensitivity
Did you know that primary reason behind diabetes, thyroid, PCOD and other lifestyle disorders is insulin insensitivity?
Our lifestyle choices, whether sleeping late or skipping physical exercise or junk food hamper with insulin production in the body. It starts with feeling tired, irritation, change in appetite or reduced metabolism, but if not manage, can result in lifestyle disorders.
Fasting, on the other hand, reduces insulin level by 20-30%, thus converting insensitivity to insulin sensitivity. When the carbohydrate intake is limited or abstained for a day, it has a positive effect on our system as it helps in better absorption of nutrients.
It will indirectly help in managing lifetime disorders and will get you off the morning pill.
7. Balances hormones
Hormonal imbalance was considered normal among middle age women, especially during menopause.
But now, even teenage girls are suffering from hormonal imbalances resulting in irregular menses, painful menstrual cycle, facial hair, cysts and even results in infertility. Imbalance should not be ignored; in fact, it should be dealt naturally.
Fasting not only helps in managing hormones but also accelerates the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). Growth hormone production can increase up to five times, resulting in fat loss and gaining of lean muscles.
Isn’t better to try fasting rather than being on medication for the rest of your life?
8. Accelerates metabolic rate
We often surf on the internet, causes of sluggish metabolism, or how to increase the metabolic rate naturally, or reasons behind lack of energy in the body.
People even try green or red smoothies, various detoxification diets, but all in vain. What can be more natural than fasting?
Fasting helps in improving metabolic health, but it is important to keep in mind that fasting should be done in short intervals.
According to an experiment conducted on 11 men, intermittent fasting led to an increase in metabolism by 14% as it increases the growth of Nor-epinephrine hormone. So, with a combination of fasting and regular exercise, you can bring your metabolic rate back to normal.
9. Controls mood swings
It has been proven that fasting controls stress and calms the mind. It also helps in controlling mood swings, thus giving you a more neutral and balanced approach towards everything.
Fasting helps in the release of happy hormones and stress combating hormones in the body. It promotes a sense of security which leads to reduced reaction in unfavorable situations.
It is important to note that fasting, along with some mind relaxing techniques, will accelerate the process. An experiment was conducted where women were told to fast for 18hours; the results were astonishing as it helped them control their mind, felt a sense of achievement and a way of positive reinforcement for a healthy lifestyle.
Women should consider fasting as it is a natural behavioral therapy and helps them reduce aggression and temper issues.
It also helps in controlling mood swings, thus giving you a more neutral and balanced approach towards everything.
10. Treats binge eating by reducing cravings
Most of the youngsters today are binge eaters. Binging eating, which is often triggered by emotional turmoil or stress, can result in binge eating syndrome.
There are many case studies on obese people that suggest that they either do emotional / stress eating or it has simply become their habit.
If you are planning to lose weight, then the first and the foremost thing is to keep junk food at bay. Recurring patterns can be challenged and broken with the help of fasting.
It is a proven fact that fasting not only helps to reduce cravings but also controls appetite. Once the cravings are reduced and mindful eating is practiced along with fasting, then anyone can get over binge eating syndrome and lose extra pounds easily.
11. Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
It is said that if our body is alkaline, then no disease can exist. Free radicals grow in an acidic environment where antibodies fail to fight against them, thus leading to life-threatening diseases.
From high blood pressure to diabetes to obesity to cancer, many diseases take birth in a toxic environment.
Fasting helps in regulating the blood pressure, high cholesterol level and releases toxins from the body, thus making the body healthy. It even prevents heart diseases or cardiac arrest by controlling cholesterol and improving blood circulation.
So, by fasting you not only create a sustainable environment in the body but also prevent chronic diseases.
12. May helps in treating cancer
It is believed that the only cure for cancer is removing cancerous tumor and toxic cells with the help of chemotherapy sessions. The mere mention of chemotherapy sessions make people nervous and feel that it is the end of life.
There have been groundbreaking studies that suggest that fasting for forty-eight hours help in a smooth transition during chemotherapy sessions by reducing the side effects.
Most of the patients who practiced intermittent fasting claimed that it helped them in a positive manner and the only side effect was light headedness.
There are studies that also suggest that it increases the survival rate exponentially by reducing the size of the tumor. If you or your loved one is getting treated for cancer, then fasting can help physically and emotionally.
13. Increases the life span
Are you in love with life? Are you one of those who daydream of getting old and living in a farmhouse peacefully?
Well, then you might want to start fasting to increase the life span. People who want to increase the longevity of life should fast at the least once a week.
Experiments conducted on a group of mice concluded with an 83% increase in their life expectancy. Although, there have been no human experiments to support the claim, but it is believed that fasting does help in increasing the life expectancy, as one’s need to eat is limited, and immunity is strengthened, thus leading to fewer diseases and a strong digestive fire to support life.
Humans are no stranger to fasting. Since humanity came into existence, humans have been fasting like early men used to hunt for food for hours and eating one meal day at times.
With the proven benefits of fasting, it indeed is a sustainable way of living and promotes good health. If you don’t like to eat every hour, then eat when you really are hungry and fast once a week to detoxify your body.
It is especially beneficial for those who eat a lot of junk food or consume alcohol. Fasting for half or full day once in a week will help in reducing cravings, thus abstaining from unhealthy habits.
Remember, excess of everything is bad. So, if you are just a beginner, try 12-hour fasting, 18-hour fasting and then try 24 hours. Once you have got the hang of it, then you can fast twice a week. In a nutshell, adopt a healthy lifestyle for holistic healing.