Boost The Immune System
A healthier immune system can ward off sickness so youre not sidetracked. One way you may be able to fortify your immune system is through water fasting. 2014 research from Cell Stem Cell reviewed the effects of fasting on the immune system. The data reports that through water fasting, its possible to decrease your white blood cell count.
This tells the immune system to make more white blood cells, also known as lymphocytes. These stronger cells make your immune system stronger as well, especially once you start putting food back into your system post-fast. That said, the researchers do suggest that you water fast for at least two days to reap the above benefits.
Thats because you must remove all glycogen stored in the body, forcing your body to spend this energy before new white blood cells can be born.
Who Shouldnt Do Extended Fasting
While for most healthy people prolonged fasting poses little health risks, you should consult with a doctor before starting any fasting, especially extended fast, if you.:
- Are underweight or struggling with weight gain. You wont be consuming calories for 24 or more hours which definitely wont be helpful for weight gain. Additionally, being underweight can heighten the side effects like dizziness, fatigue and others, as your body, is more sensitive to calorie restrictions.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding. Most likely, this wont be the time to try out most types of fasting, especially the more drastic ones like extended fast.
- Are under 18 years old. Effects of fasting during periods of rapid growth, such as for children and teenagers, are not studied enough therefore, you should be cautious with it. Moreover, insufficient nutrition during childhood and teenage years can cause growth retardation and hypogonadism.
- Have suffered from an eating disorder. Restricting times of eating can increase the risk of falling back into old habits during an eating disorder.
- Have type 1 diabetes. Fasting increases the risk for hypoglycemia and raises sensitivity to insulin, therefore it may affect how much insulin medication you need.
- Have gastrointestinal disorders incl. ulcers and gastritis.
Most importantly, remember the good old saying listen to your body. Dont push past your limits and know how to stop when it just doesnt feel right to keep going.
What Type Of Exercise Should They Do
Fitness instructor Zehra Allibhai says Ramadan is not a time to push your limits or set personal records.
You should treat it as a time to maintain, she explains.
That means continuing exercise routines, as long as theyre not too physically grueling.
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Those fasting should stick to strength training and non-rigorous cardio, she says. If they do want to do high-intensity cardio, it should be done after the fast is broken.
Allibhai says if people are not accustomed to working out, its better to engage in lighter physical activity such as walks and stretches.
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How To Honor God With Fasting
When you take a look at our culture, fast food places on almost every corner and countless opportunities to eat whatever you wish, even a committed Christian may never consider Fasting. Yet, one of the classic, Christian aspects of growing deeper in the faith is Fasting. Our minds are cleared to seek Christ without distractions and interruptions. Even though believers may feel distractions with their stomach aching and growling, they can more easily pour themselves out to the Lord.
God informs that Fasting is important, but Jesus sternly warns of abusing it by using it for a show and tell the game to draw attention to oneself, thus missing the real purpose, that of drawing close to God, and seeking His Will for your life and church. This passage is in the context of pleasing God, where Jesus places Fasting in the ranks of prayer, spiritual commitment, and trusting Him, making it a vital, if not a paramount component of spirituality, of growing deeper in Christian formation/spiritual growth.
Things To Do To Pass Time While Fasting
Its the second week of Ramadan and the days feel slower than ever! You wake up and stare at the time until its time to break your fast, but it only makes every hour feel like an eternity. Well, the saying is true: Time flies when youre having fun, and by sitting there awaiting Iftar, you simply just arent. Instead of scrolling through Instagram and laying around all day, do something productive that you enjoy, and days will fly by.
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How To Break The Prolonged Fast
While it might be tempting to binge on food right after the fast is over, it is crucial to reintroduce food slowly.
Yes, it might be even dangerous to follow your urge to eat a huge meal.
This is because you may be at risk of refeeding syndrome, a potentially lethal condition in which the body undergoes rapid changes in fluid and electrolyte levels as it digests and metabolizes food after a long period of not eating.
The best is to break your fast with a small meal, smoothie , light soup or salad. As you feel more comfortable, you can start introducing larger meals throughout the day. For longer fasts, it might even take a few days to feel completely comfortable eating a large meal.
Oh, and hope youre looking forward to another prolonged fasting benefit: you will have a completely different appreciation for food! Nothing compares to the flavor of food youve been craving for days.
Consider How It Will Affect Others
Fasting is no license to be unloving. It would be sad to lack concern and care for others around us because of this expression of heightened focus on God. Love for God and for neighbor go together. Good fasting mingles horizontal concern with the vertical. If anything, others should even feel more loved and cared for when were fasting.
So as you plan your fast, consider how it will affect others. If you have regular lunches with colleagues or dinners with family or roommates, assess how your abstaining will affect them, and let them know ahead of time, instead of just being a no-show, or springing it on them in the moment that you will not be eating.
Also, consider this backdoor inspiration for fasting: If you make a daily or weekly practice of eating with a particular group of friends or family, and those plans are interrupted by someones travel or vacation or atypical circumstances, consider that as an opportunity to fast, rather than eating alone.
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Is 16/8 Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Its true that 16/8 intermittent fasting can be a sustainable, safe, and easy way to improve your health when paired with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.
However, it shouldnt be viewed as a substitute for a balanced diet rich in whole foods. Plus, you can still be perfectly healthy if you dont follow intermittent fasting.
Though 16/8 intermittent fasting is generally considered safe for healthy adults, you should talk with your doctor if you have any underlying health conditions. This is key if youre taking any medications or have diabetes, low blood pressure, or a history of disordered eating.
Intermittent fasting is likewise discouraged if youre trying to conceive, pregnant, or nursing.
If you have any concerns or experience any side effects while fasting, be sure to consult your doctor.
Stop Fasting If You Feel Unwell
During a fast, you may feel a little tired, hungry and irritable but you should never feel unwell.
To keep yourself safe, especially if you are new to fasting, consider limiting your fast periods to 24 hours or fewer and keeping a snack on hand in case you start to feel faint or ill.
If you do become ill or are concerned about your health, make sure you stop fasting straight away.
Some signs that you should stop your fast and seek medical help include tiredness or weakness that prevents you from carrying out daily tasks, as well as unexpected feelings of sickness and discomfort .
Summary You may feel a little tired or irritable during your fast, but if you start to feel unwell, you should stop fasting immediately.
The Benefits Of Bcaas While Fasting
Amongst bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts, theres this neurotic obsession with meal timing and protein synthesis. i.e. Skipping meals and fasting will lead to muscle loss and the only way to alleviate that is to take BCAAs or to not fast in the first place.
There are several shown benefits to BCAA supplementation around training:
- BCAAs can lower lactic acid after resistance training and promote the speed of recovery
- BCAAs can increase growth hormone circulation, which can promote anabolic muscle growth
- During exercise, BCAAs are burned for energy and they can increase uptake into muscle tissue
- BCAAs can decrease muscle damage and increase the speed of healing
BCAAs play the biggest role in supplying amino acids and energy with muscles specifically.
At any given time, the liver is releasing a constant supply of amino acids to skeletal muscle for maintaining blood sugar levels and supporting cellular protein homeostasis. This mechanism is supposed to keep your cells nourished with enough building blocks needed for survival.
Although insulin will help to shuttle amino acids into cells, the availability of leucine is shown to be far more important in regulating pathways of protein synthesis. Therefore, protein synthesis and building new muscle tissue depends more on how much leucine theres around.
The rationale is that while fasting, your leucine concentrations are going to be naturally lower and youd thus benefit from taking BCAAs as to protect against muscle loss.
Determine The Duration Of The Fast
Since youve never done a water fast before, we recommend keeping the first one to no more than 24 hours. Remember, this doesnt need to be consecutive, but it can be if you want.
Even though youll spend at least seven or eight of those hours sleeping , the 24 hours will pass by quite slowly when youre consuming nothing but water. Dont deter yourself from future fasts by scheduling one thats too long.
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What Food Should They Avoid
While Ramadan is a time for fasting, for many Muslims, its also a time for indulgence. Those breaking their fasts tend to give into cravings and overeat, but Allidina suggests eating something clean and light.
You dont want to negate your workout by eating unhealthy, she says.
Allibhai says the smartest way to avoid unhealthy food is to have a game plan.
Start off with one of the healthier options, she suggests. Save the fried and fatty foods as an end-of-meal treat.
Foods To Avoid During The Intermittent Fasting
You need to avoid some foods during intermittent fasting to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Processed foods such as burgers, fries, and nuggets are high in calories, and they can increase your food cravings. These foods contain fat, added sugar, and empty calories.
Here is the list of foods you need to avoid during your intermittent fasting
- Snacks such as fried chips
- Sugary drinks like carbonated drinks, coffee, cold coffee
- Processed, packed juices
- Processed foods such as cheese, meat, etc
Many studies suggest that processed foods and carbonated drinks lead to weight gain. You can replace carbonated drinks with fresh juices and fried foods with healthy salads. Be more mindful while choosing your food to make your intermittent fasting more powerful.
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How To Fast Safely: 10 Helpful Tips
There are many different ways to fast.
Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular eating pattern which involves not eating or sharply restricting your food intake for certain periods of time.
This fasting method has been linked to a range of potential health benefits, including short-term increases in human growth hormone and changes to gene expression .
Such effects are linked to longevity and a lower risk of disease. Thus, people who fast regularly often hope to lose weight or live a healthier, longer life.
However, fasting can be dangerous if not done properly.
Here are 10 tips to help you fast safely.
What You Can Do
If you want to keep lifting while fasting, then consider using lower weights and working at a lower intensity to put less strain on your body. Don’t try to focus on building muscle at this time. If your fasting plan allows you to consume juices, then drink them. If you can also add protein powder to one of your drinks, this may help avoid lean muscle mass but this could also defeat the purpose of your fast.
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Will I Look Any Different After My Fast
Yeah, youll look hungry.
But really, even though you wont burn that much fatas explained in the previous questionyou will notice some visual differences. Most notably, your stomach will deflate. It might even cave in like it did for me on my first three-day fast. But once you put some food back in you, itll reinflate.
Ive also noticed that my skin gets nice and clear as long as I stay hydrated.
What Is Prolonged Fasting And How Long Can You Safely Fast
Fasting is natural to us. Or at least it used to be
Fasting has been part of human nature since the beginning of time. Until relatively recently, food was not so readily available. To survive, early humans needed to store energy from food as body fat to survive the times when food was scarce. If the human body did not have an efficient storage and retrieval method of food energy, we wouldnt have survived until now.
When it comes to fasting length, if youre a healthy person , you shouldnt worry that a few days without food will starve you. The longest-lasting hunger strike in recorded history was undertaken by an Irish political prisoner, Terence MacSwiney. He went for 74 days with no food. Disclaimer it did not end well for him.
Nevertheless, an average person nowadays is accustomed to regular meals and our bodies are not used to no-food-days anymore. Therefore, we strongly suggest limiting your prolonged fast to a maximum of 72 hours and undergo longer fasts only under medical supervision.
Why would people even put themselves under this challenge of giving up one of the greatest pleasures in our lives food?
And do it voluntarily for hoursor even days?
Heres what science says about some of the benefits of prolonged fasting and the prolonged fasting results you could expect.
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What Is Water Fasting
First, lets delve into what water fasting is in more detail. As we explained in the intro, when you begin a water fast, all you will drink while fasting is water. There is no juice, milk, or other beverages consumed under this type of fast. You must also forego food until the fast is over. In simpler terms, you get no calories on a water fast.
This is a form of intermittent fasting, in which you spend certain hours or days on the fast and then others eating more regularly.
There are many reasons people may consider a water fast. For some, its necessary for medical or even religious reasons, something well discuss later in this guide. Others may want to lose weight or cleanse their system, resetting it so it may function more healthfully.
How Does Ramadan Affect The Body
Your body is designed to burn food for energy during daylight hours and to sleep and reset itself during the night. This is known as your circadian rhythm. During Ramadan, your body must transition away from this normal pattern and go longer amounts of time than usual between eating episodes. This can change how it stores and uses energy.
There are many processes in your body to keep it functioning properly while fasting. Hormones such as insulin and glucagon work to keep your blood sugar stable and the systems in your body working as they are supposed to. During long fasts, your body may transition from using carbohydrates as its main energy source to burning fat as fuel.
Because it takes time for your body to adapt to fasting, you may experience symptoms such as:
However, there are things you can do to minimize these symptoms. Read on to learn more.
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How Much Weight Can You Lose While Watering Fasting
Youve spoken to your doctor and youre approved for a water fast. Youre so ready to get started, but you just have one question. How soon do you see results from water fasting? Youre hoping to lose weight quickly, and youre wondering how likely that may be.
According to a long-standing report published in the Western Journal of Medicine, if your water fast lasts between 24 and 72 hours, for every day you fast, you could shed up to two pounds. Thats up to six pounds if you do a 72-hour water fast.
What weight are you losing exactly? Its a combination of muscle mass, carbohydrates, and water weight.
Okay, so you know you shouldnt do a consecutive water fast for more than three days, but what if you fasted several times in a week in shorter increments? How much weight could you lose in a week water fasting? Well, it would depend on how long youre fasting.
As an example, lets say you do a sort of alternate day fasting, where you drink only water one day and then eat the next. If you started on Sunday and fasted on alternating days, that would mean you fasted four times that week. You could multiply the four days by two pounds and expect about eight pounds of weight loss just from water fasting.
That said, unless youre eating less than the calories your body burns on those days youre not fasting, then the weight loss wont stick. Youre better off fasting for two-day periods then, taking a day or two off in between.