- Exercise & Fitness»
5 Benefits of Water Fasting
What is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is when a person only consumes water for a period of time. One can undertake a short 16 hour water fast, or a prolonged fast where no food is consumed for a period of 10, 20, 30 or even 40 days. Some have gone longer without food, the duration of time one chooses to undertake a water fast is purely dependent on personal preference, health and willingness to persevere without food.
Why do People Fast?
Some people fast because they are suffering from health issues. Such as cancer, obesity, depression, infection and a number of other reasons. There is a lack of significant scientific research to prove that water fasting can prevent, or cure cancer or other diseases. However, there are a number of real life cases where stage 4 cancer has been successfully cured with water fasting. In this article we will talk about some of the benefits of water fasting.
Some fast for spiritual reasons, in almost every religion there is a fasting protocol. Christians believe that fasting allows them to draw closer to God. Christians fast in times of crisis, and when they need to focus on prayer and improve their relationship with God. It is a highly personal undertaking and should not be advertised or broadcasted. Muslims fast during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadan. They do not consume food or water during this time as a means to protect them from evil, and promotes purification of the heart. Fasting for Muslims demonstrates vigilance and obedience. Abstaining from sexual acts, food and drink requires deligance and strength of character. Thus allowing one to draw closer to Allah.
Food addiction is a very common addiction, and it can be very difficult to break. Some deliberately fast in order to break the cycle of addiction and improve their relationship with food.
Top Benefits of Safe Water Fasting with Medical Doctors
Some say that after 3 days of water fasting they experience an intense mental clarity. Where brain fog disappears and decisions are easily made. One of the reasons why people might achieve heightened mental clarity when water fasting is, fasting improves neuronal autophagy. Autopagy occurs when the cells recycle waste products in the body. They recycle and regenerate and form new cells. A healthy brain depends heavily on this process, and studies have actually shown that fasting can actually boosts neuronal autophagy. Therefore, in order for the brain to function efficiently autophagy is vital. This might explain in some way why people who fast report an overall feeling of heightened mental clarity.
Detoxification for Weight Loss and Mental Clarity
When water fasting the body is not using energy to digest food. Therefore, that excess energy can be used in other ways. People often report overall heightened energy when water fasting. When all glycogen stores are depleted the body begins to burn fat for fuel. This process is called ketosis, when in ketosis people often report feeling extremely energetic.
When the body is no longer using energy to digest food. It can use that energy to digest any foreign invasions in the body. For example, tumours, sists, inflammation and excess toxins in the body. The extra energy can be used to begin to heal the body.
The scientific research to support the effectiveness of fasting for healing the body of diseases such as cancer has been minimal. However, there has been some research to suggest that water fasting could benefit people with cancer.
A study took place in 2009 where a group of ten cancer patients, 2 had prostate cancer, 4 had breast cancer, and the rest had ovarian, lung, uterine and esophageal cancer. The patients fasted before and after chemotherapy sessions. For a minimum of 48 and a maximum of 140 hours. All patients were found to have an improved reaction to chemotherapy. When measured after fasting total white blood cell counts improved, as well as platelet counts and neutrophil counts.
The majority of people who undergo a water fast, lose weight. Depending on how overweight the person is, and the overall duration of the fast. Most people will lose weight. Anyone who removes calories from their day to day regime will definitely lose some weight. However, water fasting can significantly reduce the metabolism. Therefore, it is important to make sure you do not return to eating junk food once the fast is over. Because the weight will no doubt pile back on as quickly as it came off.
When the water fast is over, it is vital that you break the fast with something light like a piece of a fruit or a smoothie. Rather than a huge rich meal, it is also vital that you exercise at least 3 times a week once you begin consuming solid food.
If you are significantly overweight, it is extremely vital that you consult your doctor before undergoing a water fast.
Reduction of Decision Fatigue
Another benefit of undergoing a water fast is the reduction of decision fatigue. When you are eating on a day to day basis, you have to decide what you are going to eat. Unless you plan your meals in advance, and this of course takes time and effort. If you know all you are going to be consuming is water, it greatly reduces the amount of decisions you have to make on any given day. Therefore, if you have a lot decisions to make or you need to gain perceptive clarity on something, fasting could help you with this.
Do not Fast If...
If you are in the following list, do not fast.
- Pregnant or nursing
- Type 1 diabetic
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic liver disease
- Malnourised and underweight
- Chronic cardiovascular disease
Always consult your doctor before undergoing any type restrictive fast.