8 Benefits Of Fasting

Can fasting be the solution you have been searching for to finally end the struggle to lose weight? Fasting has been around for centuries, and as early as the 5th century was used in the treatment of certain diseases. There are many benefits to fasting; however, consider all the pros and cons before making a decision to try fasting.

i Accidentally fell into intermittent fasting

Fasting can benefit you spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially.  I have been using intermittent fasting (I stopped eating at 5:00pm) since 2005 and started doing so because I was suffering from GERD (commonly known as reflux).  I then progressed to fasting one day a week because I wanted to see how I would feel.  I noted that I felt invigorated after one day of fasting (I still do 24 hours of fasting once per week).

science agrees fasting may help with weight loss

What does science say about fasting?  Studies have shown that fasting can lead to improvements in obesity, diabetes, cancers, neurological disorders, and cardiovascular disease.  Yet, there is mixed results of the positive lifespan effects of fasting.  I am inclined to believe that it will prove beneficial in the long run.

SOME Positive benefits of fasting

  1. Improved spiritual, physical, emotional and financial health.  
  2. Fasting improves self-discipline.  When you have tried to lose weight, you can develop an unhealthy habit of constantly thinking about food.  When you fast, there are no thoughts about what to eat next, because you cannot eat.
  3. Helps with weight loss and maintenance.
  4. Frees the mind to focus on other things, thereby increasing creativity.
  5. Can enhance your mindfulness practice by forcing you to become aware of your thoughts and emotions, without the distraction of reaching for food.
  6. Builds confidence.
  7. Fasting helps with the anxious feeling that there is something else that needs to be accomplished, improving the quality of prayer and/or meditation.
  8. Of course, if you are not eating three meals a week, you will save money on groceries and snacks. 

The rejuvenation benefits of fasting lingers, and some may feel better physically and mentally over several days post fasting.  The key of course is to return to your normal eating habits on your non-fasting days and avoid the idea that you can eat as much or whatever you want; instead, continue to make healthy food choices (quantity and quality) to get the weight loss.

Types of fasting options

Before making any major changes that can impact your health, please discuss your plans with your primary physician. Fasting may not be for everyone; however, if you do plan to try fasting, there are many options.

There is intermittent fasting, weekly 1 day fast (24 hours), 5:2 fasting (2 days of fasting), you can do a total fast without any solid food or water (very drastic), you can do a liquid only fast, alternate day fasting, skip one meal during the day fast or you can do a low calorie fast (500-800 calories). The type of fast you choose ultimately will be determined by what you want to accomplish.

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Susan Regisford, MD is a faith-based holistic wellness coach who works with you to create a custom wellness plan. Through one-on-one sessions, she helps you define goals to achieve total health. Connect with Susan to schedule your first free 15-minute consultation today.
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