Fasting diets have become popular in recent times. In fact, today fasting is more than just a cultural or religious thing. Studies show that, done the right way, it can be good for your brain and body. However, this does not mean that willful food deprivation is easy. The hunger pangs and food cravings can be difficult to deal with.
Health Benefits Of Fasting
There are a number of health benefits associated with fasting and practicing diets such as intermittent and fake fast diets. One of the main benefits is that it may be good for your waistline.
Now, this may run counter to certain wisdom that holds that fasting may actually cause weight gain. This school of thought asserts that when your body senses deprivation, it tends to hold on to fat stores in order to protect you. But this can be avoided if fasting is done in certain ways.
Another benefit associated with fasting is the cleansing of your system. Giving your body a break from food can help cleanse it of toxins that could build up lead to health problems eventually.
Fasting has also been linked to metabolic health, increased longevity, and cardiovascular health.
But, perhaps more interestingly, fasting may be good for your brain. A number of studies have shown that fasting can help improve cognitive function, improving memory and learning speed. It may also help give your nervous system a break.
One study showed that fasting lowers synapse activity at the junctions between neurons and muscle cells. This reduces neurotransmitter releases, allowing the brain a moment to recharge itself. This may help avoid oxidative damage and thus help to keep a healthier brain longer.
Different Forms Of Fasting
There are various techniques of practicing fasting. Diets such as intermittent fasting are said to not cause calorie deficit and therefore the body does not go into starvation mode.
Other forms of the practice such as juice and mono fasting may also forestall starvation. In intermittent fasting, you cycle periods of deprivation with periods of (healthy) eating. Juice fasting involves consuming fruits (and vegetables) for an extended period of time.
Mono fasting means eating only one type food during the fasting period. Water fasting – living only on water for a number of days – while keeping you hydrated, does not supply your body with nutrients.
Dealing With The Pangs
Hunger is a big issue when one is going through a fasting period. This is, almost certainly, accompanied by cravings of certain types of food, such as meat. Dealing with cravings will require some will power on your part. The aforementioned, non-total deprivation techniques may help take some of the edge off.
These fasting techniques (juice, intermittent etc.) may provide enough nutrients and fluids to keep you hydrated and avoid hunger headaches. Feeling hungry is part of the essence and goal of fasting and therefore should not be eliminated altogether (and it would not be a fast).
Total extended food deprivation is not recommended due to brain injury among and other health risks.