Wed 15 Oct 2008
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I suppose all of us have at one time or another wondered does fasting work?
On the surface it appears to make sense, especially for the short term.
Less food, giving the body a chance to cleanse itself from unwanted toxins that have managed to take up residence, and allowing the body’s natural processes to work. This all seems to make sense. Then we head to the supermarket and are confronted by images of the latest starlet and her emaciated form clinging to life, and wonder what if any benefits are to be found in denying the body the basic building blocks of life? The answers, like in many areas, lies somewhere in between the emphatic abstinence from all fasting, and the fanatic abstinence from all food!
Fasting does have a beneficial effect on our bodies, but only if it’s not overdone. We’ve all seen and heard about famous fasts for political and spiritual reasons, and far be it from me to debate the spiritual benefits one may or may not receive from such an endeavor, (political fasting tends to end badly most of the time) fasting for a health benefit is both a good practice and long a staple of those seeking optimum health.
The key question here is how much and how often. I’ve become a fan of what is known as “intermittent fasting”, which is the practice, as the name implies, of doing a fast at intermittent periods. There is a lot of latitude here. Some people do as much as alternate day fasting, some one or two days per week. Most people opt for the once or twice per week regimen, in part because many who are employing these methods are on a fitness quest, and to deprive the body further would likely derail their efforts at optimum health.
Doing this type of fasting allows for individuals to still maintain a rigorous workout routine if they so desire, and in fact can benefit that aspect greatly, both by helping to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins by the use of the fasts, as well as by helping to keep additional weight from adding another element to the fitness equation.
Make sure you are healthy enough to employ a fast, without a heart condition, hypoglycemia or other serious medical issues. Start slowly and get used to the lifestyle and see what works for you and you’ll have a much greater shot at success. Programs started at light speed sometimes lose their traction as people get discouraged and lose interest. Start slow to ensure success!
You would do well to check out this kind of fasting as a method of not only improving your dietary and general fitness levels, but also for the many added benefits that fasting usually brings around, some of those being a sense of discipline, improved sense of well-being, a real chance for your body to rejuvenate, and an antidote to the fast paced lives we all live.
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