Is Fasting The New “Diet” Fad?

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I keep meals pretty simple and normal in size when breaking a fast.

“There is nothing new, except what has been forgotten” – Marie Antoinette

Well the New York Times’ Well blog has a nice piece on the growing trend in fasting that you should take a look at. However, unlike other  fly by night “diets” on the market, fasting isn’t a fad. It’s been around for ages. Heck most religions include some form of fasting.

Some of the benefits of fasting include:

  • Lowers insulin levels, moving your body into fat burning mode
  • Increases growth hormone for muscle building
  • Repairs your cells and helps eliminates damaged cells that can turn cancerous
  • Lowers blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance
  • Weight loss

There’s also very promising research on fasting and cancer treatment and possibly prevention.

Of course, the longer you fast, the more your body benefits.

I started intermittent fasting after reading Dr. Jason Fung’s blog series. Rarely do I eat 3 meals a day anymore. Typically I fast for 18 hours before eating my first meal (7:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m). For Lent I attempted a daily 24-hour fast and I did a pretty good job. I’m still going through a learning curve as I work up towards a 48 and 72-hour fast. The longest I’ve gone is 28 hours. Not too shabby.

My goal is to progress towards a 7-day fast twice a year. Seven days? How is that possible. Well the longest fast was 382 days and it was successful (and under medical supervision).

I can’t urge you strongly enough to read Dr. Fung’s series on fasting. While you may think fasting may not be your cup of tea, you’ll learn that it is one of the most healthy and ancient healing tools humans use…and it’s free!


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