One of the greatest nutritional teachers in the world, Professor Arnold Ehret, said, “Life is a tragedy of nutrition.” There is also an old saying, “Man digs his grave with his knife and fork!”

 

What is FASTING? Fasting refers to refraining from either food, drink, or both at your own will for a definite span of time. It could be done partially for some particular food or as total abstention, in which no food or liquid is consumed for one or more days.

The body enters into the fasting mode only after 7-8 hours of having the last meal, since that is when the body typically finishes utilizing the nutrients from the food.

 

Usually, the body draws its energy from the glucose that is present in the liver and muscles. When the body undergoes fasting, this stored glucose is the first thing to be utilized. If the fast continues long enough and the glucose runs out, the body depends on the accumulated fat for further energy requirements.

 

However, this type of energy release is only available to an extent, after which the body starts to attack the stored proteins. This is also known as starvation, which is not a healthy method of fasting. This can happen if the fasting continues for several days.

 

The most commonly observed types of fasts have been:

Intermittent Fasting: The most common types of intermittent fasting are 24-hour fasting (initiated after breakfast and maintained until the breakfast of the subsequent day or a 36-hour fast, which is continued for two days).

 

Calorie Restriction: Calorie restriction refers to a dietary system in which there is a constraint (restriction) on the amount of caloric intake by the subject.

Long-Term Fasting: Long-term fasting refers to prolonged fasting where the time period ranges from 48 hours to 30-40 days without food. This type of fasting is usually advised for patients suffering from chronic medical conditions and should be done only under strict medical guidance.

 

Religious Fasting: Religious fasting is a practice that involves fasting for a particular faith or spirituality. People from different creeds observe this type of fasting in different ways and for a wide range of reasons.

Other than the above-mentioned fasts, some people also try juice fasts, in which only fruit juices are consumed, as well as water fasts, which involves consuming nothing but water.

 

FASTING offers amazing health benefits if undertaken in a correct and a healthy manner. We’ll explore this in our next Article.

In Health
Dr. Dawit Mengistu