The Scoop on Fasting
It’s January, the first month of the year and a popular time (as most would agree) to reset and refocus or make dietary and lifestyle changes. One of the changes that is frequently explored and applied during this time is fasting.
Fasting is defined as a voluntary practice in which an individual goes for structured or extended periods of time without eating or drinking. It is a practice that has been carried out since the beginning of time. In ancient times, fasting was used due to food scarcity, healing, and spiritual purposes. Similarly, fasting is used in modern times for healing and spiritual purposes as well. Although, it can still be used in modern times due to food scarcity it may not be as much of a driving force due to the current period of food abundance that we living in in today’s day and age.
Fasting can be done for many reasons including medical, spiritual, self-discipline, and the…ever popular…weight loss reasons. Whatever the reason maybe for someone choosing to fast, it is worth bringing attention to its many benefits:
-Takes stress off digestive system
-Enhances mental health
-Improves Insulin Sensitivity
-Improves energy levels
-Spiritual growth and fine tuned intuition
-Stimulates fat burning
-Stimulates the development of stem cells
-And the list goes on…
Even with all the great benefits of fasting, it is critical to point out that fasting is not suitable for everyone. There are some instances where fasting should be avoided such as pregnant and lactating women, some diabetics, newborns, etc. Likewise it is important to note that fasting is not a one size fits all process. Fasting methods and protocols vary widely and there are a selection of ways to conduct a fast depending on your needs and goals. Some examples include:
-Intermittent fasting- eating food within a certain restricted period of time on a daily basis
-Extended day fasting- usually 48 hours without eating, but can last up to a week or longer
-Liquid or Juice Fast- only drink fluids and avoid eating solid foods
-Alternate day fast- alternate days of fasting and eating (ex: 1 day on, 1 day off)
To learn more about fasting or to get a fasting regimen personalized to your needs and lifestyle, contact Balanced Healing of Jacksonville.
Elena Alisma, ND