All living beings need food for survival and growth. But sometimes, abstinence from food is also beneficial as well as necessary. Fasting is just that, i.e., abstinence from having any food or drink.
It has many types and benefits. For some, it’s a religious ritual, while for others it might be a way to lose weight.
After my research and experience of this practice, I’ve come to the conclusion that fasting can be quite beneficial for our body and health. Let’s delve into the details to better understand its benefits.
What are the different Types of Fasting?
When it comes to food abstinence, there are several types and ways to do it. Good thing is that all types will provide you with the benefits, so choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and preference.
1. Time-Restricted Fasting
In this type of fasting, you will limit yourself from having anything to eat or drink for a certain amount of time. Usually, this time is anywhere between 8 and 12 hours per day.
2. Periodic or Intermittent Fasting
It has become quite popular nowadays so you might have heard about it already. Intermittent involves cycling between periods of fasting and eating. These periods can both be a number of hours or days. E.g. you can fast non-stop for 3 to 5 days in a week and then eat regular feed for the rest of the week.
Or you can fast for a few hours in a day and eat regular food otherwise.
3. Intermittent Calorie Abstinence
Is this type of fasting where you decide a specific number of calories, let’s say 800-1000 calories, and for at least 2 days a week you will restrict yourself from consuming more calories than this number.
4. Alternate Day Fasting
As the name indicated, in this type, you will have a normal eating day, and then a fasting or calorie restricted day.
While observing these different types, you can also choose to follow these different ways:
1. Dry Fasting
This means you won’t be consuming any food or liquid for short periods. Many religions around the world also follow this type.
2. Liquid Fasting
In this type, you will abstain from eating any solid food but liquid food or water intake is permitted. This is the quickest way to observe the results of detoxification of the body.
3. Partial Fasting
If you restrict certain food from your diet, like rice, and eat the rest of the foods like you normally would, then this method is called partial fasting.
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Benefits of Fasting
Whether you’re fasting for religious reasons or medical, or for losing weight, it can give you a lot of benefits. Some of the benefits are:
1. Fast for Detoxification
One of the benefits that personally appeal to me the most is detoxification. During fasting our glucose level inevitably falls down so the body starts burning fats for its energy requirements.
As a result, detoxification takes place since any toxins stored in the fats are used and removed from the body.
2. A great tool for Weight Loss
Apart from religion, one of the prime reasons you might opt for fasting is its weight loss benefit. While you’re on diet abstinence, you won’t be having any calorie intake which in itself can lead to weight loss.
But apart from that, the body will start burning fats as an alternate source of energy to glucose. This too leads to fat loss and ultimately weight loss.
3. Increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
One of the very important hormones in our body is human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone is linked to growth, muscle strength, weight loss, and metabolism.
Studies have shown that fasting increases the level of HGH in the body which can help to treat obesity.
4. Promotes Insulin Sensitivity
Over time, due to increased consumption of sugar and carbohydrate, our body becomes resistant to insulin. You can imagine how this can lead to many chronic diseases, including diabetes.
It has been found that fasting increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin and increases the efficiency of transferring glucose to the cells.
If you have a family history of diabetes, then the intermittent diet method can be a great way to promote insulin sensitivity in your body.
5. Improves Heart Health
Heart diseases are fast becoming the number one cause of death around the world. Triglyceride levels rise up when our diet is full of bad cholesterol.
A study showed that alternate day fasting decreased the levels of bad cholesterol i.e. LDL and triglyceride levels of the body.
It is a great way to protect and promote your heart health.
Fasting is a great way to change up your routine, detoxify your body, give a boost to your metabolism, and improve your heart health. It also shows remarkable benefits for people suffering from obesity and diabetes.
If you want to improve your health then you should definitely give fasting a go.
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