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Fasting... Good/Bad !!

Fasting is a prevailing part of many religious traditions. A form of fasting known as intermittent fasting has also gained popularity as a weight-loss tool.

Many studies have examined the benefits and risks of giving up food for a day, including how it affects weight loss.

Effects of fasting

Whether a person is fasting or not, the body still needs energy. Its primary energy source is a sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans, and even sweets.
The liver and muscles store the glucose and release it into the bloodstream whenever the body needs it.
However, during fasting, this process changes. After about 8 hours of fasting, the liver will use the last of its glucose reserves. At this point, the body enters into a state called gluconeogenesis, marking the body’s transition into fasting mode.
Studies have shown that gluconeogenesis increases the number of calories the body burns. With no carbohydrates coming in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat.
Eventually, the body runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode then becomes the more serious starvation mode.
At this point, a person’s metabolism slows down, and their body begins burning muscle tissue for energy.
1. Fasting can help with weight loss. However, studies make it clear that this is not the case for everyone.
2. People with obesity who fasted intermittently for 12 months lost slightly more weight than those who dieted in a more traditional way, but the results were not statistically significant.
3. Another possible concern is post-fast binging. Some fasting experts agree that it is easy to derail weight-loss successes by overeating after the fasting period.
4. Fasting days can also offer a false sense of security, leading people to disregard positive eating habits on non-fasting days.
5. Not eating for a day can have other health benefits. Research suggests that occasional 24-hour fasting can improve cardiovascular health.
6. Some evidence from research on animals shows that fasting can help fight certain kinds of cancer or even help preserve memory.

Water intake

Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining everyday health. Many health authorities recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses (about 2 liters) of water every day.
Unless a religious observance forbids it, a person can take advantage of the fast by drinking plenty of water to help curb hunger pangs.
When fasting for 24 hours, some people consume other beverages such as tea, black coffee, or zero-calorie sweetened drinks.
Although it is generally safe, going a day without eating can be risky for some people, including:
  • people with diabetes
  • people with a history of eating disorders
  • people using medications that they must take with food
  • children and adolescents
  • those who are pregnant or breastfeeding

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