Cutting to the chase: There are many different health benefits of fasting, either intermittently or through other approaches. These can include:
- Reduced lethargy and increased energy
- Better digestion
- Better quality of sleep
- Reduction of weight and stubborn fat
- Organ functions returning to optimal levels
- Clearing out of toxins from the body, and so much more
However, some might think that the jury is still out on the topic of fasting. But the number of people who are pro-fasting know very well about the health benefits of fasting. Numerous notaries have spoken about what fasting has done for them, and the changes they have seen in their health. Such individuals as:
- Dr. Nun Amen Ra
- Herschel Walker
- Ronda Rousey
- Dr. Sebi
- Tyler Tolman
- Don Tolman
What are the different types of fasting they use?
There are different types of fasting that can yield different results, depending on how well you stick to the plan. Not all of them are easy. In fact, some can be more than challenging with the detox stages that the body goes through being the toughest part. More on that later.
Dr. Nun Amen Ra follows an intermittent fasting routine where he eats one meal a day that is plant based. Having no animal flesh and consisting largely of beans, nuts, and whole grains.
Dr. Nun Amen Ra has a caloric intake of between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day. Add to this his exercise routine where he focuses on cardio after waking up while the body is still in a detox state.As you can see, it is quite clear where his results have come from. Even the most staunch of meat eaters would have to agree that that’s quite impressive for a Vegan, and quite the opposite of what many people believe is possible on a plant based diet.
Herschel Walker, previously a Pro Footballer with the NFL who then turned MMA Fighter at 47-years-old attributes much of his health and fitness to intermittent fasting. When he was asked ‘What are the health benefits of fasting?’ he provided some influential perspectives.
Walker is another machine of a man who, surprisingly for many, eats only one meal a day. That meal being a dinner of bread and salad, or soup. Herschel Walker gave up eating red meat over twenty years ago, but still has chicken on occasion. He explains that as a result of his fasting regime he feels like he has more energy.
He also said that the science behind intermittent fasting shows that the body moves into a state where it naturally produces human growth hormones as a result of the fast. Coming from a family who are not big eaters, he is a clear indication of physical fitness. According to Walker, many of his family have lived in to their 90’s and 100’s. This echoes what my Grandmother always said; ‘short belt, long life’.
When Ronda Rousey was interviewed about her approach to fitness, she said that her diet was a sort of hybrid of a Paleo diet and the Warrior diet. She eats between 4pm and 10pm, and doesn’t take supplements that have been cooked up in a laboratory.
Ronda Rousey had much to say about the health benefits of fasting. One thing that she shares which I agree with is that it is easier to get better sleep when fasting. Rousey said that she can get more out of her training on an empty stomach as she is not slowed down by her body working on digesting food.
Anyone who had watched her career in the UFC would agree that she was at her peak during this time.
Doctor Sebi, the much loved Honduran Herbalist, taught that fasting allows the body to stop processing what is slowing it’s healing down and reverse many conditions. Responsible for curing himself of diabetes, obesity, asthma and impotency, Dr. Sebi did this on a fast that lasted for just under 90 days.
Dr. Sebi teaches that after the body has fasted for more than 30 days it begins to be able to heal. This is the result of the body in the fasted state being capable of purging out mucus which has built up and manifested into disease.
A slight variation on Dr. Sebi’s methodology is found with both Don and Tyler Tolman. A father and son team, they both run their own race with a unified approach to healthy living which begins with fasting.
The main types of fasting you may know about typically include:
- Juice fasting
- Water fasting
- Intermittent fasting
- Religious fasting, and
- Cleanse fasting
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting is when you don’t eat after a set time, or before a set time. For example, I choose not to eat after 9pm and will not consume anything more than water the next day until 12 noon. The only exception to this is that I will have a colon cleanse mix after I wake up and drink one liter of water.
Intermittent fasting is undertaken by many as a way to allow the body to move through its natural cycles. Simply by limiting the times that you consume solid food you are undertaking an intermittent fast.
What are the health benefits of fasting intermittently?
As eluded to, the health benefits of fasting on an intermittent basis are that the body is able to move through its proper functions. This looks like a 24 hour period broken in to thirds.
12 noon to 8pm
This is the time when you are accumulating nutrients. We call this the ‘Acquisition Stage’. During this time you eat to satisfy what the body needs. It is advisable to only consume what you need in smaller amounts and not binge. If you are able to graze on wholefoods and keep the preservatives and animal products out of your diet, even for a short time, you’ll see some amazing results.
8pm to 4am
This is the time that your body is using all of the good food you’ve given it to do the healing work is it naturally programmed to do. This is what we call the ‘Assimilation Stage’. The vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we have taken in need to be carried to the blood, organs, muscles etc. to recover from the previous day.
As a part of this there is a lot of activity on a cellular level. With that activity there is the generation of waste in the form of acidic matter which is excreted by the cells. In keeping with what Doctor Sebi teaches, the body is healthy when it is in an alkaline state. This is why the next stage of intermittent fasting is so important.
4am to 12 noon
This is the time when your body is cleaning house. We call this the ‘Detox Stage’. During this time all of the intracellular waste that has been generated by your body is being carried out the back door, quite literally. This is done as a natural function along with other ways. The four main ways your body purges are:
- Perspiration, and
If you start eating during this stage your body drops out of the detox stage and moves into the acquisition stage prematurely, and detoxification stops. Basically, this is like trying to put more garbage in the trash can when the last collection left it half full. You need to give your body a chance to clean out properly before doing this.
This is a big part of why so many people feel flat and lethargic, along with developing other complications according to Dr. Sebi. Stop eating and give your body a chance to heal.
Why should I fast?
Your reason for fasting will most likely be different from the next person. If only for the opportunity you will afford your body to clean out effectively, fasting is a good idea.
If you don’t take the time to fast you are putting more and more stress on your digestive system, and according to Hippocrates, all disease begins in the gut. As we have explored the topic behind the question ‘What are the health benefits of fasting?’ this should be more apparent now if the concept of fasting is new to you.
If you choose to do a fast, Dr. Sebi and the Tolmans teach that when it comes to healing, fruit is fast, juice is faster, and water is the fastest.
What can I expect to see as the health benefits of fasting?
The process of fasting can be challenging. Your body is going to find that it faces changes that could trigger uncomfortable sensations though to painful feelings. Fasting is not for the faint-hearted.
You will notice that your body goes through changes and that you may experience initially less frequent bowel movements. Constipation is a real risk for some, and you need to stay very well hydrated. Drinking on average of 1 liter of water for every 22 kilograms you weigh is a good start.
As you get further in to your fasting regime, you will notice things being expelled through fecal matter that may shock you. All types of parasites can be pushed out of the body as you cleanse your system.
This is the beginning of the process of recovery and moving toward healing. Persistence is key, as you will feel like you want to quit early on with the normal temptations around you.
As you are here looking for an answer to ‘What are the health benefits of fasting?’ you also need to consider your current physical condition. It is advisable to seek medical advice before fasting. As stated in the opening of this article; fasting is not easy. You could face complications if you don’t do this under guidance and supervision. Remember; your health is your primary form of wealth.