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Health Benefits Of Periodic Fasting
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Health Benefits of Periodic Fasting

When we hear the word fasting, many people think of the spiritual act of fasting, but research is now proving the health benefits of periodic fasting as well.

What is fasting?

Fasting is willingly abstaining from all food and water, or limiting the amount of food or water, for a determined period of time, typically over 8-12 hours.

It can also be abstaining from a specific food or activity for a period of time.

Health benefits of fasting:

When practiced responsibly, studies are now showing that restricting caloric intake and participating in periodic fasting results in major health benefits.

Research has shown that controlled fasting can reduce risks associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, insulin resistance, and even slows down the aging process, potentially increasing a person's life span.

Health complications of fasting:

As with any health program, there can be risks, and fasting is no exception.

Prior to participating in any type of diet program, you should consult your physician. Fasting does change blood chemistry so it can have adverse affects with certain medications.

Excessive fasting can cause thinning of hair, electrolyte imbalances, cardiac arrhythmia and even death when fasting leads to starvation.

Psychological disorders can also result when participating in fasting for reducing weight. Anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders can result.

How often should I fast for optimal health benefits?

I have participated in monthly fasts for years. Complete abstinence from food and water for a 24 hour period, once a month, for spiritual and health benefits.

It has always been my belief that our bodies perform 24/7 without a break. Although we rest physically, our digestive system keeps going. Fasting once a month allows the entire body to rest from its designed function; allowing all the organs in the body to rest.

Studies are now showing that altered caloric intake throughout the week, using a modified fasting technique, is extremely beneficial, especially for diabetics, as it levels out blood sugar and regulates metabolism.

With this type of fasting, studies suggest following a 2 day fasting diet; eating approximately 650 calories two days a week, and eating approximately 1500 calories the other 5 days a week.

Alternating healthy meals, and caloric intake throughout the week, keeps your metabolism burning system active; resisting the body's tendency to store fat.

It is important to note that on the days of consuming only 650 calories, you still eat three meals a day, plus one snack.

Eating low calorie, low carbohydrate meals throughout the day keeps you from feeling hungry, uncomfortable, and experiencing the adverse affects of malnourishment, such as hair loss. It is just a matter of changing the types of foods you consume.

The entire food plan is focused on healthy eating throughout the week; limiting fried foods, excessive amounts of sweets, and processed foods.

The health benefits of periodic fasting are definitely worth the effort. Enjoying a life of fewer health risks alone is quite a motivation to eat right and keep fit.

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