Should You Try Fasting?

Wednesday, 06 Mar 2013 08:50 AM

By Chauncey Crandall, M.D.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Fasting, the practice of voluntarily going without food for a period of time, dates back centuries, and has often been performed as a religious or cultural ritual. However, it is also an excellent way to control your weight and promote heart health.

For many years I have practiced single-day fasts, as well as fasts lasting up to 14 days, as a way to benefit my health and the health of my patients. After my heart disease diagnosis, I
fasted every Monday. This helped me lose weight. My cholesterol dropped, and so did my weight.

Often, I fast for religious reasons, but, as a physician, I cannot help but notice the more practical benefits that accrue with fasting.

In terms of weight loss, fasting is obviously beneficial simply because going without food for a long period of time, even a day, reduces the amount of calories you take in over the longer term. So you’re already giving your diet a head start.

But there’s more to it than just saving calories. Being in a state of semi-starvation puts your body on alert; it starts using stored fat for energy. For example, the body begins drawing on fats stored in the blood. As a result, cholesterol and triglycerides begin to disappear.

Fasting also cleanses the body and gives your organs a break from constantly metabolizing food. As a result, immune response appears to improve, blood pressure goes down, and people report feeling more clearheaded when they are on a fast.

If you’re doing a multiple-day fast, you’ll get hungry for the first few days; I find the third day is the hardest. After that, your body becomes accustomed to it.

During a fast, I drink water or juice. Also, for fasts lasting longer than a few days, you’ll want to consult your doctor, of course, and this is also true if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.

© 2014 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Live Like a Caveman, Live to 100

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 09:50 AM

Throughout my life I've had two great interests: medicine and anthropology. I've traveled the world to study ancient and . . .

Exercising With Heart Valve Disease

Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 14:58 PM

Even if you have valvular heart disease, exercising within your limits is recommended for overall health. It has a posit . . .

Changing Views of Estrogen Therapy

Friday, 05 Dec 2014 11:50 AM

Estrogen is the hormone that regulates the sexual and reproductive development that occurs in women, most noticeably at  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved