Friday, August 08, 2008
The Benefits of Fasting
The two great fears that people have about fasting is losing muscle mass and slowing metabolism. People often also experience weakness and dizziness.
It seems to me that most people think it is essential to never feel hungry and that being hungry is a highly dangerous state for the body to be in. They are at risk of muscle wasting and scurvy or something. Mothers have always forced their children to eat and are greatly concerned when their children don’t eat their packed school lunches. It is ingrained from an early age that you need to stay well nourished.
Many of the world’s religions have promoted fasting and the decline in religious belief has probably had something to do with the decline in fasting too. It kind of seems nutty to go on a fast even for just a single day.
Yet could there be health benefits to be had from fasting? Check out this interesting link and have a read.
My thinking is this:
If you lose muscle due to not eating enough your body is probably smart enough to recycle bits of itself that are not in an optimal state. Cells that are old or damaged are likely to be recycled first and this, to my mind, must be a good thing.
Slowing metabolism is also a good thing as a slower metabolism will mean a longer life. It may not result in you winning an athletics competition but how many of us are doing that anyway?
Weakness and dizziness is a result of sugar addiction. If your body is trained to burn fat as a primary fuel source you will not experience this as you have plenty of stored fat to draw upon. Even a lean person has many weeks of stored fat.
Disease like scurvy and other vitamin deficiency ailments are as the result of severe malnutrition. Scurvy happens as a result of months at sea on a square-rigger eating nothing but dry biscuits. This is unlikely to happen to you!
Posted by AngloAmerikan at 6:32 AM