Has everyone had a good week and made it to the gym at least once?
A question that’s been up for discussion in the gym has been fasting.
Fasting isn't a trend. It's one of the oldest therapies in medicine and its recorded practice dates back thousands of years. Many have recommended it as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
So anytime that you don't eat, you are fasting. Overnight when you’re sleeping is a perfect example. There are many different types of fasts but provided that you stay hydrated, the body can function without food for a good deal of time with little stress. Longer fasts should not be done often, but one-day fasts can be done regularly.
Common practice is to skip eating one day per week, which can be easily done without loss to fitness. So it's fairly easy to make fasting a regular part of your routine.
Here’s a few reasons why you might want to try a fast or make them part of your lifestyle.
1. To cleanse your system.
Most of us eat more than we should and take in more toxins than we'd like. Some of us carry around a lot of undigested food in our system that comes from eating more than we can process. A fast will, essentially, flush these things from your system. You may lose weight but your body will run better than it did before.
2. To change bad habits.
When you don't eat, your body craves sustenance and becomes more sensitive to toxins. Habits are based on cravings, but when you completely change how your system is running, those cravings change also.
3. To change your health.
Many chronic conditions have used fasting as an effective treatment, including allergies, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, depression, diabetes, headaches, heart disease, high cholesterol, low blood sugar, digestive disorders, mental illness, and obesity.
4. To bring your body into homeostasis.
This is the balance point your body prefers to be at but is rarely achieved with our hectic lives. When the intake of food is temporarily stopped, many systems of the body are given a break from the hard work of digestion. The extra energy gives the body the chance to heal and restore itself, plus burning stored calories gets rid of toxic substances stored in the body. You force your body to work efficiently and, thus, bring everything into balance.
5. For increased mental clarity.
Fasting is a great tactic for mental and spiritual rejuvenation because it forces focus on important thoughts and frees the mind from everyday clutter. When you are deprived of nutrients, your body—in a survival mode—begins to focus on things of true importance.
6. To make changing your diet easier.
When you fast you become more sensitive to what you put into your body. It's easier to understand how nutrients affect you and, hence, how bad foods make you feel worse. Exiting a fast is the easiest time to change your diet for the better. Your body will crave healthy foods.
7. Understand how exercise and diet make your body work.
When you take away nutrients your body may not function as well as it did in the gym (I however find I am still as strong in the gym during a fast). When you add nutrients back, you'll feel your energy increase and how exercise affects you and utilizes nutrients. Coming off a fast can make you understand the functions of carbohydrates, fats & protein a little more clearly.
Fasting isn’t for everyone and remaining hydrated is of key importance. As well as nourishing your body with wholesome foods when coming out of the fast.
The 5:2 diet is a popular take on fasting and one that many of my clients have followed with great success. I fast once a week for 24 hours and have done for nearly 2 years. It’s not nearly as bad as you expect it to be.
See you soon
“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.”