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Fasting is abstaining from drinks or food for religious, health, ethical or ritualistic purposes. This act might be partial, complete, lengthy, of short time, or intermittent. Fasting has been enhanced and embraced from antiquity globally by physicians, followers, and founders of numerous religions through culturally specified people, and the practice is today embraced in many fields, particularlyfor medical purposes.

Fasting is an ancient part of various religious practices, including the Muslim and Jewish. A fasting model called intermittent has attained popularity being a weight-shed tool. Some doctors knew fasting instinct through patients having specific diseases, where naturally they experienced a loss of appetite. There are various methods of fasting depending on the body’s health. Everybody needs food to maintain good health. However, there are other cases where the doctor recommends abstinence from food, as in fasting, maybe a day depending on the issue being combated. Overeating is unhealthy, and therefore folks must know the details about fasting, for which this article is critical.

What takes place during fasting?

The human body requires energy regardless of fasting or feeding. Its initial energy wellspring is sugar classified as glucose, which originates from carbohydrates, including dairy products, certain vegetables, grains, fruits, and beans. The body muscles and liver store glucose and direct it into blood vessels whenever required by the body, which is altered when fasting. After eight hours of fasting, the liver utilizes the final glucose it stores. During this time, the body experiences gluconeogenesis, signaling the body to transit into fasting. Studies showed that gluconeogenesis hikes the number of body calories being burnt by the body. Deprived of carbohydrate intake, the body develops its inherent glucose using fat. Finally, the body consumes these energy wellsprings then fasting becomes a starvation mode. At this instance, the metabolism reduces, causing the body to start using muscle tissues to produce energy. Therefore, for the people who break their fast after 24 hours, it is good to stay without food consumption for a single day except for other health issues.

Can fasting enhance weight loss?

It seems that fasting may aid you with a show that weight shed. Nevertheless, studies show that it might not be the case for everybody. Popular diet schedules involve 12-16 hours or a full-day fast. Certain diets require individuals who take only water when fasting, while others permit any beverage void of calories. Fasting might not be better than other weight-shed methods, including lowering dairy calorie consumption by a minute quantity.  Recently, a study showed that obese people fasting intermittently for one year reduced weight more than those dieted traditionally, though the outcomes were statistically insignificant. The fasting restrictions seem to have less physical effects than their fitness into a certain lifestyle. Further, this study revealed that folks who fasted most would have been discouraged from losing weight than others who followed a traditional way, specifically determining calories. The researchers found that fasting may be challenging to sustain for a long. Certain fasting experts conclude that overeating after fasting duration can easily lower weight.

Health benefits of fasting

a)      Controls your body hormones

Fasting for a single day is similar to touching the reset button for energy balance and hunger hormones.  Hormones like Leptin (signals when the stomach is full) and ghrelin (regulates hunger) is largely affected by the consumed food.  Leptin amounts contained in obese people are higher, which shows its resistance. This means you might be overweight, but the brain cannot recognize it. Contrastingly, the ghrelin amounts are lower in such cases. Consequently, this might lead to poor food options and over-consumption. Research showed that fasting for 24 hours positively impacts leptin and ghrelin without altering hunger levels. Therefore, the hunger levels may be low while preserving satiety during fasting.

b)      Promotes fat loss

Fasting helps calories restriction—the weight increases due to consumption of excess calories. Drastic reduction of calories for one day leads to its deficiency which encourages fat loss. The body also needs energy for normal functioning, but fasting turns it into a primary wellspring for fuel instead of sugar. The reduction in insulin experienced during fasting might improve weight loss.

c)      Lowers blood pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is tied with cardiovascular problems, especially stroke and heart disease. A study found that fasting helps in lowering blood pressure. This fact of reduction in blood pressure emanates from the hiked insulin sensitivity. Further, norepinephrine excretion in kidneys causes your blood vessels to widen and release pressure.

d)     Enables you to live longer

Fasting for durations like 12 hours or more triggers autophagy. It is defined as a process that people pass through consistently as the age advances, generating and repairing. Toxins and old dead proteins that stay too long appear to block bodies and lower daily function. This also hastens the aging process leading to the accumulation of other age-associated illnesses, like dementia. Among the methods applied to facilitate cell renewal is fasting. It is the most effective way and de-escalates insulin levels, which hike the autophagy process.

 Risks and side effects of fasting

Consistent fasting for one day for a given time has some side effects and elevates the chances of specific complications, which might affect organs. Consult the doctor always before attempting a fast to lower the risks of future health consequences. This is especially essential whenever there are underlying health issues. It should be noted that people with Type 1 diabetes, if regaining from surgery, under 18 years, have feeding disorders, breastfeeding, or pregnant are advised to avoid fasting. Fasting beyond twice per week might increase the risk for hypoglycemia and arrhythmias. Therefore, more comprehensive research should be done to completely assess the possible risks and benefits. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are ways to live a healthier lifestyle and retain bodyweight.

According to nutritionists, there are various ways of breaking fast safely. They include:

  • Take little food- Consuming a large amount of food immediately after fasting strains the digestive system.
  • Consume cooked foods- Select simple to digest, like cooked vegetables rather than raw.
  • Drink water- It is especially essential if circumstances limit it during fasting.
  • Stop experimenting- Attempting strange foods after fasting makes digestion challenging and may cause sickness.
  • Chew food effectively-Chew every bite at least thirty times to take it slow on the stomach.


Fasting for a day is safe and has benefits in various ways, including fat loss. However, it does not assist weight loss better than other ordinary approaches and might be challenging when fasting for long. Prolonged fasting deprives the body of vital nutrients and can lead to several complications. Consult with the doctor concerning your body health before subscribing blindly to any form of fasting to know the associated benefits and risks of fasting. Following those instructions, including how to break a fast safely, will increase success rates, especially when you are fasting for medical purposes.

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Dietician MS, Lund University, Sweden Nutrition plays an important role in human life. Eating habits are one of the factors that affect our health. There is often a misconception among people that nutritionists force a very restrictive diet, but that is not true. In fact, I don't ban any products, but I point out dietary mistakes and help change them by giving tips and new recipes that I've tried myself. I advise my patients not to resist change and to be purposeful. Only with willpower and determination can a good result be achieved in any area of life, including changing eating habits. When I don't work, I love to go climbing. On a Friday evening, you are most likely to find me on my couch, cuddling with my dog and watching some Netflix.

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