Have you ever fasted? For weight loss or health, religion, clarity of mind?
Fasting is more than a ‘fitness fad.’ Fasting has been around as a practice for centuries.
Fasting comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some folks abstain from all foods, others from only certain foods. Some tout the benefits of long-term fasts, others believe in intermittent fasting (IF) – which entails establishing rhythms for eating on specific hourly or daily cycles. Some fast purely for body fitness, others for purity of the soul.
Because I’m neither a doctor/health practitioner nor a saint, I’ll ‘fast’ from providing the details of HOW to fast, and simply share thoughts on how fasting might impact body, mind, and spirit.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. I’ve not been trained in any natural or alternative medicine theory. I share what I’ve read and what I know from experience. If you are thinking of undertaking any fasting regiment, please do your own research and consult a doctor or practitioner of your choosing to give the go-ahead.
Fasting may help:
- sync circadian rhythms and fight off metabolic diseases
- keep the weight off over the long term
- lose weight without following a traditional, calorie-restricted diet
- lower your risk for cardiovascular disease
- slow down the aging process
- autophagy, which removes and eliminates damaged molecules and cellular waste that could lead to neurological disease.
- BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), a protein that prevents the death of stressed neurons, which could lead to cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- neurogenesis, or new brain cell growth, which creates new connections in the brain and improves cognitive function.
- To focus on love of God and spiritual matters
- To free the mind and enhance concentration levels during meditation
- To aid yogic feats like generating inner heat
- To control fleshly desires, resistance to gluttony
- As penance or atonement for sin
- To purify one’s energy and raise vibration levels
- In solidarity with the poor
- To counterbalance modern consumerism
- To advance a political or social-justice agenda