Benefits of Fasting
Health Benefits of Fasting and Detoxing
The online encyclopedia Wikipedia defines fasting as, "the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food and/or drink, for a period of time...Medical fasting can be a way to promote detoxification." Fasting is actually one of the oldest known medical practices used to treat all types of ailments. Even Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, acknowledged the power of fasting. He believed the practice allowed the body to heal itself. In almost every known religion, fasting is used as a way to medically and spiritually heals one's self. Since fasting is such a widespread practice, you may wonder how such a practice that denies the body of food can be good for it. Here's how.
It is believed that many of the health benefits of fasting come from giving your digestive system a break from its work of breaking down foods. Through the practice of fasting, the digestive system also gets a break from combating the toxins that enter the body in the form of the highly processed foods that made up the majority of our modern diets. Since the body is not expending energy in the digestive process, this energy can be used for other purposes such as allowing the body to heal itself. Also, since the body's immune system is not busy fighting of bacteria and other toxins that enter the body through the foods we eat, the immune system can concentrate on healing what diseases and sicknesses in the body.
One of the most obvious health benefits of fasting is the detoxification this practice brings. Some believe fasting can not only allow cells to rid themselves of harmful toxins, and dead or diseased tissue, but can also rejuvenate the internal organs, allowing them to work more efficiently. Some doctors also claim fasting can help cure diseases such as cancer, lupus, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure and allergies.
In addition to the detoxification benefits of fasting, this practice can also be used as a way to lose weight quickly. While it may seem fasting would be an ideal way to lose weight, be careful because the body had defense mechanisms which can cause this form of dieting to backfire. The first couple of days of your fast you will lose as much as 2 pounds per day, with most of the weight being water. After the initial fast weight loss, however, you will stop losing as quickly and your weight loss will slow to about ½ pound each day. The reason for this slowing down of the weight losing process is that after a few days of having no food, the body thinks there may be a chance it is starving. In an attempt for self preservation, the body will automatically readjust its metabolic rate to conserve energy and stored fats.
This is why staying on a fast too long just so you can lose weight is not a good idea. If you want to use fasting for weight loss it's best to follow a staggered plan of 1 or 2 days of fasting followed by 3 days of healthy eating.
Recorded since the beginning of time, fasting is a practice that has many benefits for the body. Not only does it give the body a chance to heal itself, it also cleans all the toxins and poisons from the body. The health benefits of fasting can leave you feeling more energized and more physically fit that ever before.