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Is Fasting For You?


Have you been feeling a bit run-down lately, or just a bit out of sorts? Maybe you haven’t been eating as healthfully as you should, or you’ve put on a few pounds and feel a little sluggish. Perhaps long days at the office or taking care of your family has left you tired and fatigued. If any of these scenarios sound familiar you may want to try a fast, a practice that has been done for centuries to address any number of problems (including those above). Let’s take a closer look . . .

Have you been feeling a bit run-down lately, or just a bit out of sorts? Can you put your finger on it? Maybe you haven’t been eating as healthfully as you should, or you’ve put on a few pounds and feel a little sluggish. Perhaps long days at the office or taking care of your family has left you tired and fatigued. Or maybe you’re looking to jumpstart a new fitness regimen, but can’t seem to find the energy to do so.

Do any of these scenarios sound like your life? If so, you might want to give fasting a try. The practice of fasting—which has been done for centuries in various parts of the world, but particularly in Indian cultures—involves eliminating the eating of solid food from your diet for as little as twenty-four hours or as long as several weeks. When you fast, you get the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need from teas, fruit juices, vegetables juices, natural herbs, and water.

How does a fast work?

During the fast, your body begins to burn stored fat for fuel, and when those fat cells are broken down to be used as energy, toxins are supposedly released and flushed out of your system.

What are the benefits of a fast?

Many people who fast claim that they feel healthier, shed excess weight, become more focused, have more energy, are able to think more clearly, and experience some sort of spiritual awakening both during and after the fasting process. Some people even claim to actually cure certain health conditions by fasting, such as stomach troubles (i.e. irritable bowel syndrome).

Despite the benefits seen by people who fast, some medical experts argue that it’s not fat that is lost during a fast, but muscle and other vital body tissues. And while many agree that a short-term fast is relatively harmless, some doubt that there is nothing a fast can do that can’t be accomplished with regular diet and exercise and the addition of natural supplements to a healthy lifestyle.

Want to try it?

Want to give fasting a try? Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to make sure that you are indeed healthy enough to do so. Be sure to have a fasting plan in place so that you get the nutrients you need through your day. And avoid fasting if you are anemic, pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or have cancer or another form of chronic illness.



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Comments

biofeedback
biofeedback
September 11, 2008
I have fasted for years and one of the things that always helped me was a little <a href="http://www.lifesystemsales.com&qu ot;>Biofeedback Stress Reduction</a>. This really helped me eliminate the headaches and hunger pains in the first 2 days
AHJEditor
AHJEditor
September 02, 2008
I fast twice a year for 5-7 days using The Master Cleanse by Stanley Burroughs and I think the benefits far outweigh the negative side effects. Like Bob said, I usually experience a headache the first couple of days and for some reason the third day is the hardest, but then it feels so good to cleanse myself and reset my food cravings. I think it's harder mentally to fast than it is physically. I also think it's tough to keep up a social calendar when fasting because food and drink are everywhere in our society and our social gatherings seem to revolve around it.
Bob Condor
Bob Condor
August 22, 2008
I follow a fasting program a few times per year for three/four days each time. On occasion, I have to endure a significant headache on the first day. Other times it is less of an issue. I haven't figured it out completely but it does seem that starting a fast after several consecutive high-stress days can lead to a rough first day or so into the fast.