6 Benefits of Fasting

You may have heard of religious or will-building reasons for fasting, but did you know that the health benefits and advantages from abstaining from food are numerous and include not only positive effects for the body but also the mind? Although abstaining from food may sound difficult or intimidating to a first time faster, there is no need to be afraid. Numerous types of fasting exist, including dry fasting, water fasting, juice fasting, and intermittent fasting. 5:2 fasting requires abstaining from food two days out of the week. Other fasters have only one meal a day. The Fast-5 diet allows consumption of food within a five-hour window, and some fasters prefer to fast every other day. For experienced fasters, other programs exist including Paul Bragg’s extended fast consisting of 7-10 days of abstaining from food four times a year. Despite these multiple options, the same rules remain the same. Ample consumption of water is a necessity, as well as salt and magnesium supplements to keep your electrolytes in balance. These numerous options allow you to choose the best method for your lifestyle as well as stick to the regimen in order to enjoy the physical and mental benefits that accompany abstaining from food, as listed below.

1. Lose Weight

When you consider the fact that 3,500 calories equal one pound and the average person should consume 2,000 calories a day, the obvious conclusion is that calorie restriction will naturally lead to weight loss. Consequently, fasting will increase the speed of weight loss precipitously In fact, Dr. Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago studied the benefits of intermittent fasting and her research produced promising results. Those who fasted for a day ate 10 to 15 percent less calories the following day. During fasting days, volunteers were also willing to exercise, further resulting in weight loss. Varady also observed that those who fasted lost up to 90 percent of body fat instead of the 75 percent that traditional dieters experienced. These results are not surprising. Bodies tap into food first for fuel and when that source is exhausted, the body will tap into fat reserves. Not only is fasting scientifically effective, it also takes away the stress of numerous diets, meal prep, calorie counting, and label reading.