Starving yourself....WHAT!?!?!? haha
Honestly, years ago if someone had of told me I would fast I would have laughed! I mean besides the fact I thought I would actually starve to death, the fitness industry pumped all this BS out that if you missed a meal your metabolism would slow down, and if you skipped meals you would literally shut down your metabolism LOL. It is so great that so many professionals have come out now to show research that dispels all these health and fitness 'myths'.
Now before we go any further please realise I do not fast to 'lose weight' or 'make up' for a bad day of eating. That is completely the wrong mindset around fasting, and having that as the sole reason you fast will lead you to more problems with your relationship to food. Marcus and I fast 1-2 days every month for health and wellness reasons. I had an amazing experience during my first fast and it really helped me physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has made a noticeable difference across many areas of our life, so we will continue to use fasting long term to support healthy ageing.
Some of the benefits of fasting include:
1. Fasting allows the digestion to rest from the constant onslaught of food stuff. It is estimated that 65% of the body's energy is directed to digesting, assimilating and metabolising foods. When we free up the energy required to digest food, we give the body the opportunity to repair, health and recuperate. It can detoxify and repair cells, tissues and organs, and eliminate foreign toxins as well as the natural metabolic wastes. It basically does some 'house-cleaning'. Often our body's systems are so over loaded and over worked due to our lifestyle choices that it is unable to keep up with all the toxins, so has been storing any excesses in the tissues where they can be dealt with later. This is one of the great health benefits of fasting in that it offers this opportunity to play "catch up".
2. One of the great experiences I found with fasting was the effects it has on our emotional states. You will likely feel more emotional during, and perhaps right after, a fast. But this isn't a negative; it's actually a positive thing, because it's an opportunity for an emotional cleanse. In a normal non-fasting state, when buried childhood fears and insecurities peek through into the consciousness, we have learned ways of escaping the unpleasant feelings. The easiest and most socially accepted way is food; of course there is alcohol, and for some, drugs. We are not even aware we are doing it; it’s an involuntary reaction, like jerking your hand away from a hot stove. That’s why so many people are perplexed at why they cannot lose weight. An insecure feeling arises, often at night before bed, and we snack the feeling away. But during fasting there is no escape, the crutches have been removed.
3. It is a great way to really clear your mind and reconnect with your thoughts. It really helps with you regain focus on a deeper level and promotes greater mental clarity.
4. It's important we be open to all the benefits of fasting, not just the physical. There is SO much energy that is an integral part of us, forming us, creating and supporting us every moment. All this energy is intertwined and integrated on so many levels, one with another with another.
5. It leads to a feeling of physical lightness, increasing energy level.
6. It promotes an inner stillness, enhancing spiritual connection. Fasting can be one step in the gradual race to achieve enlightenment or, more generally, happiness. By sheer nature of the added emotional component with which one takes on such a task, the act of fasting naturally entails a process of personal introspection and growth.
7. Physical improvements -Targets unhealthy visceral fat and shown to improve health markers such as insulin, blood cholesterol
(Information edited from: http://www.allaboutfasting.com/benefits-of-fasting.html)
I use some support items to make the fasting day more manageable. There are many different ways to fast and this is just the system that I find works best for me, and my clients overall give me the best feedback on. You do not have to use supplements to gain the benefits of fasting, however I find that it makes the day sooooo much easier and keeps my energy levels up.