Fasting: An Ancient Practice Your Body Will Love…

Fasting: An Ancient Practice Your Body Will Love

Fasting: Less is More

Fasting has been part of the human diet for as long as we are aware of humans existing.

In fact, in many cultures around the world, fasting is practiced regularly as a way of maintaining health and youthful vigor.

Probably the most well known application of fasting lies in the cultures of India, China, Japan, and the mid east. There it has been a normal part of living for centuries.

It’s Natural!

Humans, as well as most animals, are used to fasting. We have adapted to it. This is because in the wild, food is hard to come by…and we have to be prepared to go without.

Without a modern convenience store, those living in the wild (indigenous cultures) can’t eat 3 meals a day; it just isn’t possible.

So our bodies have not just adapted to this form of intermittent deprivation…it actually thrives on it.

The Benefits

Contrary to popular belief, the goal of regular fasting is NOT to lose weight; this is an ill conceived idea. the goal of regular fasting is to give your body a chance to repair itself.

So what exactly are the benefits of regular fasting?

More Energy– Roughly 60% of your daily energy requirements go into digestion. Crazy, right?? Without that extra expenditure, there is a natural feeling of lightness and energy.

Stay Younger, Longer– IGF-1, also known as insulin-like growth factor,  has been found to have a strong connection to the rate at which the body ages. Intermittent fasting significantly reduces the production of this hormone, and is usually considered to be the cause of why so many regular “fasters” have healthier lives into their twilight years.



Regenerate the Immune System– This is a relatively newer discovery that is very exciting. Apparently, when we fast, the body breaks down a significant amount of damaged white blood cells…and when we eat again, they come back healthier.

Mental Clarity– Once again, without all that effort going into digestion, there’s an opportunity for increased energy levels…and that energy goes to the brain as well. Fasting can be a great way to find better concentration when you need it.

Spiritual Connection– Historically, fasting usually coincides with spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer. This is because the body is in a state of repair, and less attention is being given to the physical form. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and the Muslim traditions all practice fasting with spiritual events.

Conclusion

Of course, you should follow your doctor’s advice, but give it a try if you can!

Maybe just once a week for a month, keep your caloric intake to just around 500 calories…have some fruit in the morning or for lunch.

Notice how your body feels. It may be a little tough at first, but after a while, you’ll get used to it…you might even love it.

 

Have you had any experience with fasting? Let us know in the comments below!

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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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