Fasting Facts and Myths

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 28, 2011
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

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People fast for various reasons- some have religious reasons behind it while the others use it as weight loss technique. These days Anna Hazare is in news for his indefinite fast for a  Lokpal Bill. Whether you fast with Anna or for any other reason, it is important to know real facts about fasting.

Myth: Fasting is starving.

Fact: Many people think that fasting is equal to starving. However this is not true, when we fast our body takes energy from the reserves. On the contrary, starving starts only when all the reserves are depleted and the body starts taking energy from the essential tissues such as muscles.

Myth: Fasting can make people sick.

Fact:  While fasting, person’s body dramatically speed up its cleaning and healing processes. So you can expect to see some symptoms. It is natural and physiological process that works best when done on your body’s signal. Loss of appetite, chills, fatigue and fever are signals of your body that hint you to stop eating and take rest until you feel better. These are the times when you can secure greatest benefits from fasting and recapture from illness.

Myth: Fasting gives rest to body

Fact: People often believe that our body is at rest during fasting. Unfortunately this is not true, at any given time our body keeps performing its usual functions. The enzymes are working, hormones are been secreted and the mitochondria in our cells are storing energy. Fasting results in cessation of supply and can put additional stress on our body as it starts mobilising its stored energy.

Myth: Regular Fasting is Healthy

Fact:  Regularly water fasting without solid diet can even pose harmful on health. From biochemical point of view- during fasting, body uses fat, glycogen and protein reserves of body. In addition, when fast is broken there reserves are immediately replaced. After fast one must avoid overeating and do exercises or else you will end up accumulating fat.

Myth: Fasting increases cortisol

Fact: There is no scientific base for the belief that fasting increases cortisol level that can lead to problems such as muscle loss. However, some studies have shown that fasting can change cortisol rhythm.  


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