The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fastingby Jason Fung,Jimmy Moore
‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’ will educate you on everything you need to know about fasting from its therapeutic benefits to the different types of fasts. Above all, it will help you implement this knowledge in your life to achieve your desired results.
You will also learn how fasting can help reverse and prevent diseases, including obesity and Type II diabetes. Do note that your safety must be ensured before and during fasting periods. Check whether it is safe for you to fast with your physician.
What is fasting and why is it good to fast?
“Fasting, on the other hand, is the voluntary abstention from eating for spiritual, health, or other reasons.”
Fasting is not a new phenomenon - this practice dates as far back as two thousand years ago. Despite being an ancient thing, it is still not well talked about in today’s modern society, largely because many people are skeptical about it. Some people even consider fasting to be ‘starvation’ and wonder how it could be beneficial to the body.
Well, research-based evidence has revealed the many benefits of fasting to our overall health. Fasting can help you lose weight and reverse type II diabetes and obesity. When you consume carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks down the digestible ones to sugars, which in turn enter the bloodstream and your blood sugar levels will naturally increase.
Those who suffer from Type II diabetes are not able to produce or properly use insulin to regulate these blood sugar levels. However, when diabetic patients fast, they consume little to no carbs, thereby restricting the quantity of sugar being absorbed in their bloodstream. This can then help in managing and even reversing Type II diabetes.
When it comes to obesity, the process is fairly straightforward. By consuming fewer calories during the fasting period, those who suffer from obesity can lose some weight.
As amazing as fasting can be, you need to understand the different ways of fasting and how to achieve your desired results with this powerful strategy. You need to practice the right type of fasting, in the right way, and at the right time in order to see improvements in your health and life. Moreso, it’s imperative for you to eat the right things in a bid to get your desired results.
The truth is that the process of fasting can be really challenging for beginners, but with discipline and the right mindset, you can easily get to the point of fasting effortlessly.
Actions to take
“Only certain fluids can be consumed during fasting periods: water, tea, coffee (hot or iced), and homemade broth.”
The idea of fasting is to restrict the intake of food for either religious, health, or other reasons. But the big question is, can you really survive without consuming anything for many days? The answer is certainly a NO. For example, if you go for several days without eating or drinking anything, you will likely suffer from malnutrition and dehydration.
Experts therefore recommend that you consume certain fluids, including water, tea, coffee, and broth while you are fasting. Different types of tea are indeed recommended for fasting. For example, green tea can suppress your appetite during fasting, whereas cinnamon tea, bitter melon tea, black tea, and oolong tea can help lower your blood sugar levels. Peppermint tea is good for alleviating gastrointestinal discomforts like gas and bloating.
Additionally, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are also recommended during fasting because they can boost your energy. Of course, vegetable and animal broths are also suitable choices for fasting as they can energize you and also help you go through a hunger wave.
The fact is that fluids will not only help you through your hunger waves, but they will give you energy and also keep you hydrated. That said, it can become really boring to drink some of these fluids in their original states. So, you may want to spice them up with food items that won’t affect the results of your fast. For example, adding Himalayan salt to your fasting broth is a good step as it contains potassium and magnesium, which are both beneficial in regulating blood pressure.
You also need to eat the right things and in the right quantities on your non-fasting days or periods. For example, consume more low-carb foods like leafy vegetables, olive oils, avocado, cauliflower, and fruits on your non-fasting days. These foods are healthy and you will easily balance them with periods of fasting.
Examples of items that can enrich and spice fasting fluids include limes, lemon, cinnamon, and coconut oil.
Actions to take
Best practices for various fasts
“It’s useful to categorize fasts by two features: what is allowed on the fast and how long or frequent the fast is.”
As amazing as fasting is, you need to understand how it works before indulging in it. It’s one thing to decide to fast and it’s another thing to discipline yourself and fast the right way. It is therefore imperative to have mastery of the different types of fasting methods and how to go about them.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern that circles between periods of fasting and periods of eating. There are many ways of practicing intermittent fasting, including the 5:2 method, overnight fasting, alternate-day fasting, or time-restricted fasting. Most people who indulge in intermittent fasting do so to reduce calories and lose weight.
Occasional fasting simply means that you decide to fast for a period to achieve a particular result. For example, you may decide to fast in anticipation of a sexy body at your upcoming pool party.
Lastly, longer period fasting is all about fasting consecutively for an extended period of time to achieve the desired result. Longer period fasts could be a 24-hour, 36-hour, 42-hour, 7-day, or 14-day fast. Longer period fasts have been proven to be effective in treating type II diabetes as it restricts your intake of calories. However, it is always advisable to do it under the supervision of your physician.
The importance of knowing the fasting method that works for you, how long you can fast, and how often you can do it to achieve your desired results can never be overemphasized. You should also be able to recognize when you need to stop fasting for your own safety.
Remember that the human body sometimes responds strangely, so you must always listen to your body even while you are in the process of fasting. The fact is, your fast will only be effective if you follow the right guidelines and principles.