Water fasting has been part of the human philosophy for thousands of years. Throughout time, people have chosen to fast for spiritual and religious reasons or to raise awareness for a cause. But recently people have been turning to fasting for medical reasons and even weight loss. So, what exactly does water fasting involve, and is it really healthy for the body? Let’s dig a little deeper into fasting and see what the experts have to say about this somewhat extreme weight loss practice.
Many cleansing diets are referred to as fasts. But with a water fast, you consume zero calories. Water fasting involves a complete abstinence from all foods and beverages for a period of time, except of course, for pure water. While there is no set limit as to how long you can fast, you can do it for as little as one day or as much as three days.
Here's an overview of what is water fasting & the incredible benefits of it.
Water fasting offers the quickest detox and strongest therapeutic effect. It is also the most challenging fast to perform in the first few days. Careful preparation in the days before a water fast can make all the difference in your level of comfort, but the emotional challenge will still be great.
A true water fast maintains a zero caloric intake. This means water only, nothing added to it. Some call water fasting the only "true" fast and believe that any food allowed into the bodily system prevents the complete resting state desired, compromising the level of cleansing and detox attained. While it is true that water fasting is the most intense path to detoxification and therapeutic benefit, other types of fasting, and even cleansing diets, detox and heal as well. What differs is the intensity and speed of the experience.
Benefits of Water Fasting:
1. Help In Weight Loss And Reduce Food Addiction
Are you addicted to sugar? Are processed foods your nemesis? Chemicals, oils, and sugar added to processed foods can artificially stimulate dopamine in the brain, turning you into a sugar or junk food addict. And food addiction leads to weight gain and obesity.
Water fasting may also be beneficial for reducing body fat. The reason: ketosis. Ketosis is the state in which your body turns to internal fat stores instead of food for energy. Water fasting also helps your body reach ketosis faster than simply dieting. Basically, when you stop eating calories, your body is forced to burn fat cells for energy.
2. Improved Cell Recycling
Autophagy is your body’s normal, natural process for recycling unnecessary or dysfunctional components. Water fasting forces your system into an autophagic state. With the severely reduced caloric intake, your body is forced to be more selective in which cells it protects.
3. It May Promote Autophagy
Autophagy is a process where old parts of your cells are broken down and recycled. Several studies have found that autophagy may help protect against diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. Research from animal studies consistently finds that water fasting helps promote autophagy. Animal studies also show that autophagy may help extend lifespan. That said, there are very few human studies on water fasting, autophagy and disease prevention. More research is needed before recommending it to promote autophagy.
4. Manage Diabetes
Studies have found that water fasting can make the body more sensitive to certain hormones in the body that trigger the release of glucose and insulin, thus helping to prevent or better manage diabetes.
5. Slows Aging
While we know of no force on earth that can halt or reverse the aging process, it is certainly true that some people age more gracefully than others. Animal studies have found that intermittent fasting can extend lifespan by up to 80% over control groups. In humans, fasting has been found to reduce oxidative damage and inflammation.
Water fasting is a popular method of fasting that may have some health benefits. It also comes with several risks, especially if you fast for longer than three days or have medical conditions like gout, chronic kidney disease or diabetes. In this post, I shared with you what is water fasting & the incredible benefits of it.
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