Yes fasting is good for your health. Nevertheless, fasting is only good for your health if it is done correctly. The body takes 8-12 hours after your last meal to get into the fasted state. This is after all the food has been digested and absorbed by the body. The body stores glucose in the liver and muscle cells. Once in the fasted state this glucose is broken down to produce energy. After a while the glucose runs out then the body begins breaking down body fat. The body fat is also broken down to produce energy for the body. When fasting is prolonged for days or weeks the body goes into starvation. Starvation is when proteins in the body are broken down to produce energy. Starvation is not a god thing hence the fasting should be done correctly to avoid getting to this state.
Fasting has several health benefits. Some of them are:
- Weight loss and belly fat loss – this is its most preferred benefit. Most people get into fasting to lose weight. The results of fasting towards losing weight are amazing and this encourages people to go on with it.
- Boosts the immune system
- Aids in stimulating brain functions
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Improves heart functions
- Boosts the body’s metabolism
- Improved tolerance to glucose
- Rejuvenates the skin
- Improves spiritual well-being i.e. Ramadan for Muslims and Christians have occasional prayer fasts
- Aids in preventing cancer
- Helps you establish a routine
You should make sure that you eat healthy meals when you break your fast. Aim for a balanced diet during each meal. Types of food to eat are:
- Foods rich in fiber. High fiber foods aid in keeping our bowels healthy. They also add bulk to food making you fuller. Foods rich in fiber are like fruits and vegetables.
- Wholesome foods. These whole foods provide enough energy for more hours. These foods are meat, fish, vegetables and fruits.
Foods that should be avoided are deep fried foods, foods high in sugar, foods high in fat and high fat cooked foods. You should also ensure the foods are cooked in a healthy manner. The healthy cooking methods are:
- Shallow frying – this usually causes a slight change in the taste of the food.
- Grilling or baking – this is a healthier method of cooking. It ensure the original taste and flavor of the food is retained especially with meat, chicken and fish.
Fasting is only going to benefit you when conducted correctly. It gives a lot of health benefits that will not be achieved if you do not have discipline. You may fast but still gain weight instead of losing it of you do not do it in the right way. For beginners, you should start with the simple plans before embarking on the long hours of fasts. This gives your body more time to adjust and allow longer hours of fasts.