David Macaulay, British born writer
Most of us believe that hard workers deserve periods of rest. Perhaps the same is true for our body’s digestive system. There is growing evidence that giving this vital interior food processing system a 24-hour break regularly will not only help it operate more efficiently, but it will benefit other parts of your body as well.
A day and night of ingesting only water was found to be beneficial to your body in a study reported in Science Daily. Researchers concluded that drinking only water for 24 hours not only gives your digestive system a break, but it also decreases your chances of getting coronary artery disease and diabetes. It can also make your blood cholesterol levels healthier.
There are two approaches to 24-hour fasting. The most extreme is to avoid all food and drink nothing but water. The second is to eat only one meal a day, at lunchtime, and to ensure you consume only soup or stew, which are easily digestible and low-calorie foods.
If you are going to try fasting as a goal to long-term health and short-term weight loss, aim for the water-only fast if you can do it. Your heart is the first benefactor of your hunger. When you don’t eat, your body releases cholesterol and does not gain weight, two factors that contribute to heart health.
It is reasonable as well that such a practice will help you lower your weight. That is because the body under conditions of fasting burns off stored fat not fuel from food you are ingesting.
Another study indicates that fasting may increase your metabolism. On the days that you eat, it will process the sugar and cholesterol you take in more efficiently and you will not gain weight.
Anecdotally there are also reports of feelings of great self-control that in turn lead to healthier lifestyles from those who are able to regularly fast for 24 hours.
Although the practice is generally favored as a reasonable health practice, there are certain people who should avoid fasting because it could be harmful to them. These include people who must ingest food with medication, and those who are diabetic or pregnant.
If you are considering incorporating 24-hour fasts regularly into your lifestyle, you should discuss it first with your doctor.
If you get a green light to proceed, make sure you drink sufficient water throughout the period to avoid dehydration. Monitor your own health closely when you embark on your first fast to ensure that your heartbeat does not change substantially, and that you do not become dizzy or faint.
For more straightforward and useful evidence-based health advice, visit www.theultimatebodymanual.com
1. Science Daily study. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/110403090259.htm
2. Effects of intermittent fasting on metabolism in men
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0104423013000213Give your digestive system a 24-hour rest