By fasting safely, you can definitely open up your body’s restorative and healing powers, create clarity in your thoughts and emotions, and reboot your body functioning.

Fasting has been in practice since time immemorial. Fasting isn’t the same as starving yourself, which is what many people believe when they hear the word ‘fasting’. Rather fasting is about eating mindfully and consciously choosing smaller portion sizes while avoiding specific food items. It’s about having fewer and lighter meals that include simple items like fruits, milk, etc.

Notably, you’ll also have specific timing when you’re allowed to eat during the day. Based on the particular fast, you might be eating during the early morning hours or after the sun sets. While certain fasts call for a single meal during the day. However, many fasts allow people to consume light snacks like fruits and milk at least.

But what exactly fasting stands for and why it is being practised even in the modern age? Well, the answer lies in the detoxifying nature of fast something that is championed by different religions. Teej, Navratri, Shivratri, Janmashtami, Ramadan are among the occasions on which fasting is widely undertaken by a large number of people. The underlying spiritual significance of fasting cannot be undermined.

At first glance, it seems the only decision to make is when to eat. But there’s much more to it. In case, you have decided to approach this practice you must follow it with extreme caution and acknowledge the ramifications it could have on your body. Fasting has its own share of benefits and adverse effects. Here we have discussed all that you need to know about fasting:

Pros of Fasting:

  • Fasting has been linked to making your body more sensitive to insulin. It’s the time when your body more efficiently uses the food you consume. Reducing such insulin resistance help lower blood sugar levels and risk of type2 diabetes.
  • Fasting completely changes your hormone levels while releasing fat-burning hormones at a higher rate while normalising levels of ghrelin (the hunger hormone). It can also boost metabolism up to fourteen per cent.
  • Fasting is a simple and flexible way to shed weight and promote health. It also advocates a more mindful way of eating which automatically helps you choose healthier foods and portion sizes even on regular days.
  • Fasting is significantly believed to lessen the levels of IGF-1 in your blood (a growth hormone which seems to fasten the ageing process and reduce cancer-inducing cell divisions).

Cons of fasting:

  • One of the major side effects of fasting is the loss of water and muscle tissue as your body doesn’t get enough hydration. The body begins to lose its water content, creating a false sense of weight loss. The significant cut in calories leads to a loss of muscle tissue as well.
  • Getting used to being in a state of fasting takes a little time. And by the time you adapt, you might experience some uncomfortable symptoms like lightheadedness. These aren’t typically dangerous, merely nuisances that keep bothering you for quite a long.
  • The desire to binge on tempting food after fasting is the biggest problem you will face every time. And your dedication to staying on an empty stomach during that period will be ruined with the extra calories you might end up taking at the end. To negate this disadvantage, try with shorter fasting and gradually extend as your body become more used to of it.
  • Long-term fasting leads to electrolyte imbalance and thinning of hair associated with eating disorders. Extended fasting also results in renal failure, cardiac arrhythmia, and starvation hampering your body functioning. Importantly, fasting during some medical conditions can possibly cause dangerous health complications.

Things to keep in mind while fasting:

Fruit and vegetables juices

Consume fresh fruits and juice during fasting that keep a balance in your body and keeps it nutritious. Because you’re limiting your intake, your food choices provide essential and important nutrients now more than ever.

  • Keep yourself replenished and drink enough water to avoid dehydration. Water you consume must depend on your requirement, activity level, and body size.
  • If you have any health conditions like you are pregnant, medically unfit or if you’re taking medications, you need to speak with your healthcare provider or nutritionist about how to fast without having an adverse effect on your health.
  • How you break a fast is also an important thing in itself. Break it with some fruits and vegetables, veggie soups but avoid breaking with a heavy meal as this can lead to stomach cramps and other digestive issues.

Words of wisdom:

By fasting safely, you can definitely open up your body’s restorative and healing powers, can create clarity in your thoughts and emotions and reboot your body functioning. Begin with fasting for shorter durations, schedule your meal plan, stay hydrated and don’t stop eating completely. Also, if you have any health or medical condition consult with your doctor first and then make a final decision.