Fasting has been part of many religions since the beginning of time. Recently people have been gravitating towards fasting for weight loss.
Whether you are fasting for religious or health reasons, we will outline the top ten reasons to fast and the many benefits of the 24-hour fast.
Many shy away from fasting, while others consider it to be unsafe and believe it is just another lose-weight fast scheme.
No matter where you stand on the subject, fasting has become a common weight-loss method and one that can be very effective when followed correctly.
You may be wondering how the 24-hour fast works? Will I get positive results? Can I survive 24 hours without food? etc.
In this article, you will get to know more about how fasting works, and how often you should fast to gain the benefits.
How Does The 24-Hour Fast Work?
For those undertaking the 24 hours fast, you must understand how the fast works and the many reasons to fast that you may not have heard in the past.
The first step in the process is to consume a healthy meal and wait 8 hours for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients from the meal, after 8 hours pass, you are now considered to be in the “Fasting State”.
During the “fasting State,” your body will utilize its carbohydrates (Glycogen) storage to provide energy to your system.
After 24 hours, your body will rely on the glycogen in the muscle, up to approximately 50% which is considered to be a good thing.
If you are planning on a prolonged fast (beyond 24 hours) your body will start breaking down muscle to get the protein for energy.
The 24-hour fast ultimately helps your body reduce weight by using up the glycogen and fat in your body.
How Often is it Recommended to do The 24-Hour Fast?
The following 6 ways of fasting have been proven to be the most effective and popular amongst people who fast regularly.
- 5:2 Method – Fast two days of the week
- Eat-Stop-Eat – Perform a 24 hour fast once or twice a week
- 16/8 Method – 16 hours fast every day
- Fast On Alternate Days – Fast every other day
- Warrior Diet – Fast during the day and eat a heavy meal at night
- Spontaneous fasting – Skip meals when convenient
We prefer the eat-stop-eat method where you pick a day or two of the week and consistently fast on those same days every week.
To get the maximum result, it is crucial that you follow the same days religiously. Simply put, you should always stick to the day(s) you chose to fast on.
For instance, if you choose Mondays to be your fasting days, then you should always fast on Mondays.
If you do not keep the days consistent you may be causing damage to your digestive system. If you keep it consistent your body will adjust to the schedule and settle in.
Stay Consistent on Your Fast Days!
It is important also to note that after you’re done with the fast, you must continue on with a healthy diet to complement the fast for the next 5-6 days and beyond.
Like I said earlier, the Benefits of a 24-hour fast once a week can be very beneficial for your overall health, not only for weight loss but also for other health issues. Plus, fasting also helps you save $$$$’s as you will not be eating 15-30% of the week.
Top 10 Reasons to Fast
1. Weight Loss
One of the most popular reasons to fast is weight loss. When you fast, you’re not consuming your energy from food; you are running off of the reserve energy of the food you have eaten prior.
What happens when you fast is that the body is deprived of food; which means no energy, this triggers the body to take the glycogen from the liver and muscle.
2. Helps Boost Your Metabolism
Another reason why this method of fasting will help you lose weight is when you restrict food for the fast, followed by regular eating afterward, it helps in boosting and stimulating the metabolism process.
The difference between long-term fasting and short-term fasting is that long-term fasting will cause your metabolism process to slow down, while a short fast, done intermittently, promotes and increases the metabolism process, which is what you want. Studies show that the metabolism process can speed up to ~14% during a 24 hour fast.
This 24 hour fast is also safer and more effective than long-term fasting. Primarily when you restrict calories for an extended period of time, it can cause disruption and wreak havoc on the body’s metabolism process.
It should be noted that when you lose weight, you also lose muscle. What happens is the muscle tissue will burn through the calories, thus if you have fewer muscles, then you will have a problem metabolizing food.
What intermittent fasting does, in essence, is to efficiently run the metabolism process and maintain the muscle tissues as much as possible so your body can burn calories.
3. It Helps You to Increase Your Tolerance to Glucose
One of the beneficiaries of this 24-hour fast is the diabetic patient. They are the ones who should practice this kind of intermittent fasting more than anyone else.
What fasting does for people with diabetes – helps to normalize the glucose level and improve the glucose variability in the body.
Those who are looking for a natural solution to increase their insulin sensitivity levels should take on intermittent fasting; its effect can cause a considerable difference in the processing of glucose in your body.
For those with diabetes, probably should know that the major cause of insulin resistance is a result of the accumulation of insulin in the tissues that don’t have the capacity for fat storage.
So when the body burns the stored fat for fuel, the excess accumulation of glucose becomes smaller and smaller, so your liver and other tissues become more responsive to insulin.
4. Fasting Helps You to Understand Hunger
Your body gives signals to when it needs food or when it needs to rest; sometimes you may not know these signals.
What 24-hour fasting (intermittent) does, is help you to decipher accurately what signal your body is giving you and how to know the cycle of hunger in your body.
If your body is not fed properly, you’ll enter starvation mode, and in this stage, the hunger will consume you and your mind will interpret this as a psychological craving.
This emotional desire to eat is usually confused with hunger (and this happens all the time).
When you begin to fast, however, you will begin to experience real hunger pain, and may sometimes even have withdrawal, or detox symptoms, which are associated with the consumption of processed foods.
Also, if you’ve not eaten for a long while, you’ll appreciate it when you eat food, as you have tasted real hunger.
Each bite becomes more delicious than the last, and the sense of contentment and pleasure is what you’ll feel when eating. But be warned, do not binge eat, or all efforts would have been wasted.
5. Acts as a Natural Brain Stimulant
During a study discussion, at the society of neuroscience meeting held in 2015, it was revealed that the practice of intermittent fasting affects the brain in a good way, by offering enormous implications to the health of the brain.
The study was done on both humans and animals, and it showed that fast stimulates the brain in different ways.
For instance, it promotes the growth of neurons, aids in the recovery of strokes and other brain injuries, and also, enhances the performance of memory.
Intermittent fasting helps, by decreasing his/her chances of getting or developing neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Evidence has also pointed to the fact that intermittent fasting may also improve the cognitive functions of the brain.
Also, the fast has helped positively in both nail and hair growth, by helping grow and stay healthy and strong.
6. The Intermittent 24-Hour Fast Helps You Maintain a Routine
If you’re following the fast religiously, then you should start forming a habit that will culminate in a routine in no time.
Most people do this intermittent 24-hour fast, and may sometimes incorporate it into their lifestyle, which is good if they want to remain healthy.
You may not appreciate the relevance of routine if you’re doing a random fasting diet, but if you have a strict eating diet that you follow consistently and diligently, in the long run, you will end up cultivating a solid routine that you can work with even after you have stopped the fast.
You begin to understand your body and its hunger cycle, plus, your sleep will be more regular and sound.
7. Helps in The Boost of The Immune System
Scientists at the University of South California are of the opinion that the reasons intermittent fasting helps in regenerating the entire immune system of many people fasting, by naturally boosting and increasing the production of white blood cells in the body, which in turn helps your body fight off infections. This impact on the immune system makes this my favorite reason to fast.
When you fast in cycles, either on a daily or weekly basis will help and enable the body to purge the old and damaged cells, and sometimes even the ineffective part of the immune system is purged so that they can be replaced with new cells.
8. It Reduces Oxidative Stress
How does oxidative come about? Simple. When there is an imbalance in the body’s production of reactive oxygen, it may lead the body to put up an anti-oxidative defense, hence oxidative stress.
When this happens, you may be in danger of cancer or other similar chronic ailments.
Unstable molecules (as known as free or radical cells) which cause cancer then react with some of the essential molecules in the body, like the DNA or the protein cell, thereby damaging these molecules, thus creating the imbalance.
The effects of weight reduction as a result of intermittent fasting can help in relieving the body of oxidative stress, not entire, but reducing its level to the point where it does not affect any critical cell in the body.
Also, you get to enjoy a higher level of antioxidants when you do the intermittent fast, so you should not overlook the benefits of the intermittent fast.
9. Helps in Improving Heart Functionality
There are numerous benefits to lowering body fat, and its benefits are wide-reaching, extending the entire body.
But the organ of the body that benefits the most is the heart. Having a low body fat count helps cardiac function.
The intermittent fast helps in reducing your cholesterol level, especially triglycerides, which is what the body uses to create energy.
Other than just the heart, lesser body fat means a lesser amount of strain on the kidney.
It also lowers blood pressure and helps boost the production of growth hormones in the body.
10. May Reduce Risks of Cancer and Gives Speed Healing and Recovery
One of the top reasons to fast is to reduce your chances of getting cancer. The fast helps in the production of growth hormones.
What happens is that eating regularly makes cells grow faster, thereby increasing your chances of getting cancer.
But fasting, on the other hand, would give your body rest from the production of cells, reducing the number of new cells, which might become cancerous in the long run.
The 24-hour fast is recommended not just for those seeking to lose weight, but also for those who want to live a healthy life. The fast will help you to understand your body better and know the signs your body is giving you at any particular time.
The question at the end of the day is do you think that the 24 hour fast is for you?
Can you go 24 hours without food and continue to eat healthy afterward. Will you be happy, miserable, sick?
The only way you will know is to just do it! Do you agree with our top 10 reasons to fast?