The other day, I was doing some research about fasting, and I came across the image that you can see above. The image claims to list the benefits of fasting.
Well, I am certainly not anti-fasting, I do it myself most of the time. However, from what I can see, I don’t believe that the list is accurate. That is both my opinion based on experience and also medical evidence that shows inaccuracy.
Let’s take a look at the list:
- Increased Energy. This is definitely true, based on my experience. My energy levels go through the roof while fasting. The first day or two may not give extra energy for those who are not used to fasting, or those who are not in Ketosis before they start fasting.
- Increased Immunity. Medical studies have shown that the body’s immune system can totally regenerate over the course of a 5 day fast. I have seen my own body experience less sickness during and after fasting. So, this really lines up with both medical evidence and my own experience.
- Enhanced Liver Function. I can’t really say how well the liver functions, it is not something that we can feel as far as I know. I do know that medical research shows that fasting will flush out sugars from the liver and other toxins. So, I would tend to believe this to be correct.
- Reduced Allergy Symptoms. I don’t have a lot of allergies that I am aware of, so I can’t really say about this. It has the ring of truth to me, though, and I believe that better immunity would also play into reduced allergies.
- Increased Metabolism. Ding Ding. This is very true. A lot of people who are anti-fasting argue that fasting damages and slows down your metabolism. However, Dr. Fung has a lot of evidence showing that fasting actually increases the metabolism. My experience is that my metabolism has definitely not been decreased, and there is a lot of indication that it has increased. So, I believe this to be true.
- Weight Loss. Without a doubt, this is completely true. I mean, if you don’t eat, how could you gain weight? Yes, weight does go up and down, primarily depending on the amount of water in your body, but the overall trend while fasting is weight decrease. This cannot be argued in my opinion.
- Improved Digestive Function. I believe this to be very true. I used to have problems with indigestion, acid reflux and such, but since I started fasting back in February, this has totally gone away.
- Reduced joint aches and pains. For me, this is not true. I have fairly significant arthritis. I find that when I fast, for at least 2 to 3 days my joint pain is significantly worse. This is one of the only downsides that I experience from fasting. It happens every time I do an extended fast – days 2, 3 and sometimes day 4 – my pain is very bad. I do think it is possible, though, that my arthritis is healing through fasting, and as I fast more this pain will decrease. But, at least at this time, this “benefit” is not something I have experienced.
- Improved Sleep. Absolutely false! Sorry to whoever put this graphic together, but this is just wrong. During fasting, my mind becomes very active, and that brain activity just makes it where I cannot sleep. I actually do polyphasic sleeping while fasting, because I am unable to sleep for extended periods. Others that I know who fast have told me this is the same experience that they have too. This, I believe to be completely incorrect.
- Heightened Mendel Clarity, Focus and Memory. I am happy to say that in my experience this is the Gospel truth! I experience this every time I fast. My work, writing and such, requires that I think clearly, and I never think as powerfully or as clearly as when I fast. To me, this is one of the things I love most about fasting.
- Improved Stability of Moods and Balance. Yes! This is absolutely my experience. Over the years some people have reported that I can be a moody person (who would have guessed?). When fasting, I find myself very happy, though, and easy to get along with. It is another thing I really enjoy while fasting. Also, as far as balance goes, in 2001 I had a stroke, and since then I do find that I sometimes lose my balance. That has greatly decreased since I began fasting.
- Feeling of Calmness and Peace. Yes, that plays right into what I said in #11. I am happy when fasting, I don’t lose my temper or become impatient. This goes right along with “calmness and peace”. This is certainly true for me.
- Reduced Food, Alcohol and Nicotine Craving. Well, I don’t drink or smoke, so I can’t speak to those things, but I certainly don’t have food cravings while fasting. Sometimes I think of food and think that I really would like to have some, but the kicker is I will think “I really want to have some of that when my fast is over”. Nothing wrong with that!
You know, there were only a couple things on the list with which I disagree. Overall, the list is very accurate. On the things that I disagree with, I think it is just very possible that things vary person to person.
The one thing I know for sure is that fasting has been good for me, and I have no complaints about it.