Fasting carries so many possible benefits that it boggles the mind. Fasting of various kinds has been credited as beneficial for weight loss, disease prevention and treatment (especially cancer and Type 2 Diabetes), anti-aging, cellular cleansing and rejuvenation, cognitive improvement and spiritual enhancement.
How did we ever lose sight of such a powerful health strategy over the ages? A lot of theories center on the fact that no one makes money by telling folks not to eat. Not the food industry. Not the self-help books and videos industry. Not the medical establishment or pharmaceutical companies. Not the multi-billion dollar weight loss industry.
Fasting (intermittent and extended) has become very trendy lately, but the truth is it’s been around for as long as human beings have. As a survival mechanism, our bodies developed ways for starvation to actually become beneficial in moderation.
- To ensure we could endure hunger without eating up our own vital tissues…
- To ensure we could think clearly enough to problem solve our way to more food…
- To ensure that we could hunt, gather, run and fight without eating…
- And to ensure we could effectively commune with our spiritual source to sustain hope and connection…
…our bodies developed ways to both PRESERVE and IMPROVE our physical, mental and spiritual functioning during prolonged periods without food.
During fasting, hormones are released which protect muscle and vital tissues while the body burns stored fat. The metabolism becomes more efficient – lean and mean! Counterregulatory hormones heighten energy, mental clarity and attunement. The body takes the opportunity to ‘clean house,’ consuming junk proteins and cellular debris and making cell death and regeneration more efficient. To put it succinctly, we are girded for metabolic battle and ready to operate at peak efficiency to survive the crisis.
We can stimulate many of those benefits without the crisis with intentional fasting.
• Just want to burn fat while protecting muscle and boosting your metabolism?
• Need to attain better mental clarity for important tasks or activities such as writing a book or writing a business plan?
• Want to reverse Type 2 Diabetes or Insulin Resistance?
• Want to clear your mind and boost your attunement for spiritual reasons?
• Want to get rid of cellular debris and kill off unhealthy cells to prevent or treat cancer?
There’s a fast for that!
Each of these purposes can be achieved using a specific set of fasting criteria. Only ONE type of fast will work for ALL of these goals, but it’s overkill for most of them. There are thousands of fasts that will work for many of these goals, but only if they are calibrated correctly. Some fasts we’ve seen promoted online will work for NONE of these goals. It can feel overwhelming to know which fast is right for your purposes.
So the answer is that you need to know what your purpose is for fasting. Then you need to educate yourself on which criteria are necessary to achieve that goal. Then you can select from the fasts that meet your goal but which you’ll find easiest to stick to. Variables abound to make fasts more or less convenient, do-able and sustainable for your lifestyle. Just make sure you have the most important factors in mind when you make your choice.