What is Fasting?
When you willingly abstain from foods or drinks, it’s called fasting.
An absolute fast is an abstinence from ALL foods and liquids for a defined period. An absolute fast is usually for 24 hours or even a few days. There are other kinds of fasts which may involve partial restriction or limitation from consumption of some or certain foods. This can also include substances (eg Medications) as well.
When observing a general fast, water and black coffee can be taken.
When you look at it from the physiological aspect, this can refer to the metabolic status of an individual who has not had any meal overnight. It can also be referred to as the metabolic state of a person after complete digestion and absorption of food. There are a lot of metabolic changes that happen when we fast.
Medical Applications of Fasting
Diagnostic fasting is usually a prolonged fast which lasts for about 8 hours, and up to 72 hours. The period spent depends on the age of the person observing the fast. This kind of fasting is done under observation. This helps to improve the study of a particular health compilation. One of such problems is hypoglycemia.
Fasting can be a essential pre-op component of a medical procedure or a check-up routine. Fasting precedes procedures, that usually require anesthesia, such as colonoscopy or a more invasive surgery.
- Fasting before a procedure is required because, it reduces the odds of pulmonary aspiration of gastrointestinal contents after inducing anesthesia (or choking on your own gastric contents), which can lead to pneumonia.
- Also, tests such as cholesterol test (lipid panel), and others to measure blood glucose, demand that you fast for some hours to establish a baseline.
Treatment of Cancer
Fasting may have positive impacts in inhibiting the growth of cancer but is not widely used as a form of treatment.
The ACA (American Cancer Society) has provided evidence on the importance of a short-term fast during chemotherapy. For those suffering from cancer and are at the risk of weight loss, fasting is not recommended.
People experiencing depression are advised to fast. This can help them deal with some symptoms of depression. Nevertheless, the physiological effect of fasting may also include anxiety and depression.
The most likely cause of benefit, is from a decrease in non-localized inflammation, and an increase in seratonin along with other neuro-transmitters.
Weight Loss Program
Fasting for short periods, shorter than 24 hours, has some proven positive effect on weight loss. This is true for healthy and obese adults. Fasting can help you maintain a lean body mass. However, some researchers have argued that fasting for weight loss is not necessary.
Types of Fasting
Intermittent Fasting AKA “Time Restricted Fasting”
This is commonly called the “cycle fasting“. It is a phrase which that describes eating (and not eating) intermittently. The duration of this fast is usually between 14 to 18 hours. In some cases, this fast may require you to stay off food up to 36 hours.
When deciding to try the time-restricted fast, abstinence of food is generally between 12 to 16 hours. With this kind of fast, there is no restriction on what you eat during your feeding time. You are advised to eat as much of healthy diet as you want.
Time restrictions are easy to implement when deciding to fast. For example, if you eat dinner at 8 p.m. you wont eat again until at least 0800a.m. the following day. The period without eating can be extended or reduced based on personal needs.
Since this fasting lasts through the night, it is a good way of introducing fasting into your life without major changes.
The Biggest Loser Diet
This is a complete calorie fast. This involves six weeks of healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s a good start for weight-loss. The biggest loser diet is one of your best options when you want to shed some pounds. This diet has a strict calorie restriction coupled with regular exercises.
The Meal Replacement Diet
This diet replaces heavy food with low-calorie meals, shakes, nutrient bars, and hot cereal. Meal replacement is implemented in phases and lays emphasis on fruits and vegetables. This helps you to keep healthy and maintain prevents diseases outbreak.
The Atkins Diet
This kind of diet relies heavily on proteins and fatty foods while cutting down on carbohydrate. According to its company, it claims to help you lose up to 15 pounds in 2 weeks. Suitable for weight loss Programme and general health benefits.
The weight watchers diet
This plan dwells mostly on healthy filling foods. It emphasizes on balance diet and claims to help you shed up to 2 pounds a week. This diet provides the body with the needed amount of nutrients for healthy living.
This is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. About 31 percent of daily calories from this food comes from plant proteins, 43 percent comes from a plant and the remaining 26 percent from carbohydrates. This diet is suitable for weight loss. It is likely to cause a weight loss in the first year. This diet is beneficial in the area of chronic disease prevention.
The Jenny Craig Diet
When you’re fasting for a weight-loss Programme, the Jenny Craig Diet is prepacked to help you lose up to 2 pounds a week as it claims. This food suggests strong calories, fat, and portions. Food, when served in the right portion, is essential to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The Raw Food Diet
Unprocessed food is generally preferred when you’re fasting. This will enable you to enjoy all these products benefits. It helps to cut down your intake of calories by half. Eating raw food is good for people hoping to lose weight. It is also good for people cautious of their general well being. It helps to reduce the risk of heart diseases and problems associated with cholesterols.
South Beach Diet
This food is basically a combination of high proteins, vegetables, and low carbohydrates. This food uses three phases which are less restrictive. This meal is good for weight loss. This food helps your body repair damaged tissues and maintain a healthy skin.
Spark Solution Diet
This diet limits your calories intake to about 1500 per day. It also combines exercise to help you drop some pounds. Generally, this diet helps you to stay healthy by providing the needed amount of calories per day.
The Volumetric Diet
In this diet, your bulky foods are replaced with ones containing low calories. For example, you may decide to eat carrot sticks instead of cashews. This plan allows people to enjoy all foods moderately. When foods are taken moderately, their benefits are mostly enjoyed. It also guarantees a healthy living.