Facts About Fasting

Fasting is an act of abstaining from some or any form of nourishment for a certain period of time. Fasting is a practice that has been going on for centuries.

Many religions require spiritual fasting as an obligation. Fasting may also be required in certain medical conditions such as when some patients may be undergoing some tests or before surgery. There are also certain benefits that people can get from fasting, with losing weight as well as flushing out toxins from the body considered as some of them.

Medical Fasting

One of the reasons for fasting may be medical in nature. Certain situations may require patients to undergo fasting such as before surgery under anesthesia. The presence of food in the body may cause some complications when a patient goes under anesthesia. That is why doctors require fasting prior to surgery to prevent this from happening.

Health Benefits

Fasting may provide some benefits for people who have previously been considered healthy. But for people who are not, it can be quite dangerous. Fasting in this case should require medical supervision before being practiced.

The health benefits of a day or two of fasting can be seen by how the body reacts during such instances. Glucose is the primary source of energy in the body. During fasting for the first four to eight hours, the body would sense the depletion of glucose supply and them may try to look for other sources of energy stored in the body. First it will go to the liver for glycogen which is a stored form of glucose.

When glycogen is not sufficient, the body then turns to converting stored fat in the body as its source of energy by being formed into ketones, the alternative energy source of the body in absence of glucose. In the process of converting stored fat into ketones, toxins are also being released into the bloodstream and then eliminated from the system. This is where the toxin cleansing effect of fasting happens.

Fasting and Weight Loss

Fasting is used by many people in order to lose weight. But doctors think that it is not the most effective way to do it. Fasting may offer a quick way to lose weight, but the results are usually temporary. Some doctors believe that the most that people would lose during fasting would be water weight.

The weight lost can easily be regained after the fasting is over. It is not also a good means of losing weight because fasting does not encourage people to lose weight the healthy way- by following a well-balanced, low fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables.