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Benefits of Fasting

Updated on July 10, 2017

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.

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    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 6 years ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      Only the body can heal itself and fasting gives it the best rest to be able to do this. I have fasted for 22 days om only water and I was already thin when I started the fast.

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      Katy 6 years ago

      im going to try and fast for 10 days, im concerned about what to eat after though? any suggestions?

    • profile image

      Meg 6 years ago

      I am trying to quiet my mind, and thought fasting would be a good start. I have so many negative thoughts and feelings...need a fresh start. I'm only on day 2, and thinking about going 10 days total. My only concern is being weak or unable to focus at work? Wish me luck!

    • profile image

      melanie 6 years ago

      Im so Blessed in my 3days Prayer in Fasting i cou

      ld not imagine that i can survived. because of the miracle of GOD i can survived even i have work,tnx GOD

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      sharon 6 years ago

      I fasted for 39 days ,and i never felt so good ,i had energy ,clarity of mind ,and was more spiritually aware ,also i lost 25 lbs ,and i kept it off !!!,only someone who is spiritually in tune can do such a fast .

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      eric bray 6 years ago

      I have been fasting one day a month for nearly 50 years,that is two main meals without food or drink ,not only does rid the body of nasty toxines but also helps me to be more focused and spiritually intune with my savior Jesus Christ, the money saved from not eating is donated to a fast offering fund which helps those who have fallen onto hard times L.D.S

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      Bill 6 years ago

      lol douge, so true.

      I'm going to do water fast to get rid of this cold and rejuvinate my skin to 100% flawless complexion. I have barely noticable scars and my complexion is a bit dull. But I have no acne. I'm going to do this for 5 days, see how I do and go for 25 days.

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      Douge 7 years ago

      Fasting at least for one month a year,keeps the doctor away.

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      Attick 7 years ago

      fasting expecially yhw month of Ramadan is full blessing from Allah almighty. Aside the health benefit, spiritually one is also healed and gets internal fulfilment.

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      Teena  7 years ago

      I started fasting since the last 10 years, i started when i found a Muslim Friend of mine fasting, and i was like "What you don't eat for those hours !!!" i felt like this person is a Hero jajaja, then i said lemme try why not,and here am i, healthy like never before, its a great religion to set fasting in its rules when no body knew how beneficial it is long ago.

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      Becky 7 years ago

      On day three and feeling more energized than ever.

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      delia 7 years ago

      im on my third day of fasting and im up for 5, ill see how it goes so far its not bad at all

    • profile image

      Pablo Rodriguez Laurta 7 years ago

      It has been 8 months. You probably have taken it too seriously.

    • TheProteinReview profile image

      TheProteinReview 8 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

      I'm currently experimenting with 24 hour fasting. I'll let you know how it goes.

    • profile image

      christie 8 years ago

      im on my first day of fasting

      and i think i can move on to the next day

    • profile image

      Peter Kimani 8 years ago

      It is amazing how I feel, relaxed and I can concentrate for a longer time besides the will power increasing 100%

    • profile image

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mazhar jamil 9 years ago

      Fasting is as important as sleep.

    • profile image

      bob 9 years ago

      fasting seems iike a great idea

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      Dr Leslie Moore 9 years ago

      thanks. this really does help. I am apart of hub how funny-lol I need to update my entries. You were listed on the first page search of The Benefits of Fasting. Good Job. Leslie

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      Rolf Harris 9 years ago

      Just eliminating suger and dont eat between meals leave the table so you are never full eating very moderately and drinking only water will lead to an astonishing result - Dehydration causes disease - Get plenty of fresh veg AND BUY MY PAINTINGS!!!

    • johnnysweat profile image

      johnnysweat 9 years ago

      Interesting, I never thought there would be any benefits at all for fasting

    • profile image

      dani 9 years ago

      fasting improved my sex drive, fitness and food apptite

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      mark  9 years ago

      I have fasted a few times. Each time a little longer. Just starting with one day can feel benificial. Not to mention the feeling of being able to will your mind over the will of your body teaches self disipline.

    • aprilkerr profile image

      aprilkerr 9 years ago from UK

      I know that fasting is probably very good for you but I simply I don't think I can give up food for more than a few hours! ;)

    • profile image

      soz 9 years ago

      willy.

    • profile image

      adrian 9 years ago

      i hate fasting!

      it has forced me to give up my beloved ham and cheese sandwiches!

    • profile image

      steve 9 years ago

      i've given up fasting already!

    • profile image

      steve 9 years ago

      i love fasting!

      i still buy food, but i just dont eat it... i drive through the high street in my car and throw it at fat people and chavs.

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      me 9 years ago

      when i fast i feel amazing! i could relly feel the benefits just one hour after fasting..............................................................................

      not!!!! ha ha !

    • profile image

      malaknezhad42@YAHOO,COM  9 years ago

      I M AN INTERNIST .I OFFER FASTING FOR ANY KIND OF GASTERITIS AND IN ALLOF MY PATIONTS THIS FORM OF TREATMENT IS BENIFIT.PLEASE TRY THIS FORM OF TRETMENTAND ENJOY FROM BENIFITS.

    • profile image

      malaknezhad42@YAHOO,COM 9 years ago

      im an internist ,i researth a bout islamic fasting and i think all kind of religious fasting are good for mental and body healthand every body can take this benifitsfree of charge.

    • profile image

      cb 10 years ago

      whenever I have fasted, I feel more energy than when I eat food! Amazing!