Fasting has been around for centuries in many religions as a sign of showing self-discipline, gratitude, and a form of sacrifice but lately fasting particularly 24 hour fasting has been gaining popularity due to its good health benefits and also aiding in weight loss.
Disclaimer before you do 24 hour fasting consult with your doctor if you’re pregnant, ill, children, and people who are required to eat so they can take their medications.
24 hour fasting so it is obvious that this fasting will go as long as 24 hours some people prefer to drink zero calories drinks and while some take it up a notch and restrict themselves from even drinking water. If a person is doing such fasting he/she should also keep in mind that they may be chances of them getting dehydrated due to lack of water.
So one shouldn’t take such a risk on there health, losing weight shouldn’t be accompanied with health complications.
Everyone wants to lose some weight or get fit and they also don’t want to cut their favorite food or slash calorie intake so maybe 24 hour fasting can help you reach that goal also giving you the luxury to eat food that you want.
There are various types of duration some are of 12 hours and some are of long 48 hours, a longer period of fasting is not as common as a short period of fasting because it is hard to fast for a longer duration but long fast have better results to offer when compared to short fasts. While both have their merits and demerits it all falls down on a person doing it but now we will talk about the most preferred duration of fasting that is 24 hour fasting.
24 hour fasting can be done once a week or even twice a week and its a great way to reduce calories.
How does restricting calorie intake for 24 hour will help you?
Let say that your calories intake for a week is 15400 calories a week that means 2200 calories a day, now imagine if you were to fast for 24 hour you will directly reduce 2200 calories from your diet you will not see a tremendous loss in your weight but little by little you will start to notice some change in your weight.
You’re reducing your calories intake by 15 to 20% for every week.
What happens when you fast?
Whatever we eat is responsible to provide us energy and what will happen if we deprived our body of that energy? When you go without food the first obstacle that you should expect is hunger. You will experience this feeling right around the time when you usually eat that is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will happen due to a hormone named “Gherlin” which stimulates your appetite when it is released. If you give in you break your fast.
Just control your appetite whenever you feel this hunger for 2 hours your hunger will be gone you will be back to normal. as your body adapts to such a skipping meal routine you will feel less craving at those key times of the day.
The main source of energy for our body is glucose that comes from carbohydrates in our daily meals but after 6 hours of fasting, your body would have used all the glucose stored in your body. After that, you will enter the stage of gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is a process in which your liver will turn non-sugar compounds in your body like amino acid, glycerol, and lactate into sugar so that your body can use it as a source of energy.
In this process your body will start destroying old and damaged cells while you are always busy with eating your body doesn’t have the time to do this and the particular reason for that is that it is constantly building instead of breaking down. While breaking down is good because it allows dysfunctional and unnecessary components of your cells to be recycled so they can perform better.
It will help you fight a number of diseases and the other benefits of autophaghy will be slowing down age spots, wrinkles, and acne. It will also repair and produce white blood cells meaning a strong immune system.
3. Cholesterol and uric acid
While every other thing is taking its process in your body, a detoxification process will also happen. Your body will release cholesterol and uric acid in the bloodstream as part of the detoxification process you might experience headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and muscle pain but don’t worry as you reach the end of this process the pain will be numb and your blood pressure will also drop.
4. Digestive system
After a long time, since you won’t be eating anything your digestive system won’t have work to do and it will get a break. A lot of energy is required to digest food that you eat throughout the day but remember this only works with prolonged fast as digestion takes time and short duration fast doesn’t give enough rest to your digestive system as it was busy digesting food that was already in your body.
While insulin transports sugar from the bloodstream to your cell but insulin also does the work of blocking your fat cell from removing fat which makes it harder for someone who is trying to lose weight while their insulin level is high. Your insulin level drops when you haven’t eaten in few hours which makes it easy to burn fat.
There will be a rise in neurogenesis in the brain, the growth of new brain cells and nerve tissue is known as neurogenesis. Some studies have shown that a high number of neurogenesis leads to increase brain performance also improving your memory and focus. The stress of fasting shocks the brain in a good way like working out this stress leads to create new cell and fasting also promote the production of protein in the brain. It can also help you develop protective measures against stroke.
Benefits of 24 hour fasting
Apart from the weight loss, there are many other health and non-health-related benefits that have been incorporated with 24 hour fasting.
- Weight loss
One of the reasons that 24 hour fasting gain popularity was weight loss. People find it hard to commit to a long term like reducing 200 to 400 calories and working out instead they are happier with going one day without food instead of giving up some of their favorite food.
You go into the calories deficit phase when your body consumes fewer calories than your body burns in a day that will eventually promote weight loss. 24 hour fasting does the same as you are cutting down your whole day’s calorie intake but your day-to-day task is still at hand and needs your attention that in turn will help your burn calories. All this will lead you to weight loss.
Don’t increase your calorie intake than usual for six days and fast for just one day and still hope that you will lose weight.
2. Prolonged life
A study was conducted on rats throughout the life, rats were divided into 2 groups. One of the groups was fed daily while the other group of rats was fed every alternative day. The rat group that was on a fasting diet aged much slower but they also lived 83% longer than the rats that were fed daily. There are also studies conducted on different animals that proved prolonged life.
3. Production of Growth hormones
Growth hormones have been said to promote weight loss, increase your metabolism, and increase overall growth too. So it can be said that it is one of the important hormones in our body with various functions.
Some studies were done to check the effects of prolonged fasting on your growth hormones. The duration of the fast was 24 hours and that study showed that there was an increase in growth hormones.
4. Brain performance
If you look at it from an evolution surviving perspective it makes sense because we want our brain to work better and optimally whenever we were deprived of food and that will help us solve the problem that arises in process of finding food. So it is said that fasting can improve your brain function, boost your memory and make you more adaptive to changes.
Fasting for 16 to 20 hours has also been shown to increase the level of BDNF in your brain. Increase in brain-derived neurophatic factor up to 50% to 100%. Having a low level of BDNF as we age has been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, and other brain diseases.
5. May lower risk of cardiovascular issues
One of the major causes of death is various cardiovascular disease and we all want to lower our chances of suffering from such diseases. One way to do that is including 24 hour fasting in your routine.
When insulin level in your body drops it also drops the risk of cardiovascular issues like heart failure. 24 hour fasting has also shown to decrease many risk factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar level, and bad cholesterol. These studies weren’t conducted on humans it was conducted on animals. more studies need to be conducted on this matter.
See there are so many other health benefit incorporated with fasting other than just weight loss.
Some concerns regarding 24 hour fasting
Will it have any effect on my metabolism – A number of studies have been conducted to check if prolonged fasting has any effect on your metabolism? No, it won’t have any effect on your metabolism as long as your fasting duration is within 72 hours.
Will I lose my muscles – Your body uses sugar stored in your body for energy after it is been depleted of that source it switches to fat stored in your body so technically you’re burning fat. So don’t worry your hard earned muscles are safe. But all weight loss processes can cause somewhat muscle loss so it’s important to keep your protein intake high and work out.
Rules for 24 hour fasting
Rules are as simple as breathing you just don’t have to consume any kind of calories for 24 hour, you can drink zero calories drinks and water. Try to keep your water intake more than usual because we do get some portion of water from our food but as it’s not an option you should increase your water intake.
After the 24 hour fast don’t increase your calorie intake for the six or five feeding days that way it won’t have any effect on weight loss. Eat whatever you like but within a limit.
You should not do 24 hour fasting more than twice a week, more doesn’t mean better.
Step to break your fast
I know you’re hungry after fasting for 24 hour but simply rushing to your kitchen and eating anything unhealthy would waste all of your efforts. So as you break your fast eat something healthy and good.
Eating high-calorie food right after you broke your fast will put stress on your digestive system. Remember your digestive system was resting and suddenly change will put a strain on it so take a small meal before having a large meal and chew it properly.
You should choose or prepare the meal that is rich in protein, have healthy carbs, and fat.
If you want to try 24 hour fasting, you should start slow like fasting for 8 hours than 12, and so on that way, it won’t be hard for you to go without eating for a day. As you have read the benefits of 24 hour fasting it isn’t easy at the start but as you try you get the hang of it.
With 24 hour fasting as your choice for weight loss, you should also switch to a healthy diet like eating filling food with low calories or homemade health drinks, or simple habits that can help you live a healthy life.
If the idea of 24 hour fasting is hard for you then you should choose from other weight loss practices whichever suits you better that way weight loss won’t be a drag for you. Try doing 24 hour fasting for a month or two and see the results for yourself.