When you hear the word fasting, what comes to mind? Really, I’m curious. Tell me the first thing that comes to mind? For me when I hear the word fasting, I think of Jesus fasting for 40 days. The majority of my perspective on fasting has religious ties, do you think God knew there would be more benefits to fasting? Well, of course! He knows everything! All of the laws, rules, rituals He gave us were for our good, protection and if followed would help us to live a longer, healthier, safer life. So why do some people fast? Fasting is a practice found throughout the Bible. A fast in the Bible is usually voluntary, total abstinence from food for a set time for the purpose of devoting oneself to seeking God. Fasting denies our flesh what it wants so that we can focus more clearly on strengthening our spirits. Jesus fasted for 40 days right after he was baptized. While Jesus fasted in the wilderness he was tempted by the devil. When Jesus was at his lowest, weakest point, the devil even tempted him with food, tempting him to turn stones into loaves of bread. There is no doubt in my mind Jesus could have done this, but it wasn’t about that. “It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” Matthew 4:4. Christians may fast for a few reasons including 1) To express repentance for their sins 2) To grieve difficult circumstances 3) To seek God’s favor. Fasting can draw us closer to God and reveal our complete dependence upon him (and not food).
So let’s talk about fasting as it not only relates to your spiritual wellbeing, but also your nutritional wellbeing. Fasting has been discovered as a solution to a host of diseases. I recently watched two documentaries on fasting called “The Science of Fasting” and “Fasting”. Again, if you are intrigued by this topic at all, I would highly recommend these two documentaries.
What happens when you fast? There are three things our body needs to function, Glucose, Fats & Proteins. Whether you fast or not, your body needs energy to function It’s primary energy source is a sugar called glucose, which usually comes from carbohydrates including grains, dairy products, fruits, certain vegetables, beans and even sweat treats. However, during fasting, when there is no longer glucose entering the body, your body will adapt. During this phase the body will switch over to using mainly fat to convert to energy. This is what is now commonly referred to as ketosis. During the Ketosis phase your body finds a new way to burn fuel to function and it may not like it. This is also one of the reason day 2-5 was the most difficult during your 30 Day Reset. As your body learns to adapt it can throw a tantrum telling you it doesn’t like what you are doing. It prefers the old way, your body is saying no to change. Just like trying to break a child of a bad habit. It becomes mind over matter until you overcome and break through.
In general, most types of fasts are performed over 24-72 hours. Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, ranging from a few hours to a few days at a time. Not only can freedom come from fasting, so can a host of other benefits:
Common Benefits from fasting according to Healthline:
1-Proote Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance
2-Promote Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
3-May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
4-May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders
5-Aids in Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism
6-Increase Growth Hormone Secretion, which is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength
7-Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
8-May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy
There are many different types of fasting:
· Water fasting involves drinking only water for a set amount of time
· Juice fasting involves only drinking vegetable or fruit juice for a certain period of time
· Intermittent fasting is when you restrict intake for a few hours up to a few days at a time and a normal diet
is resumed on other days.
· Partial fasting involves eliminating certain foods or drinks such as processed foods, animal products,
caffeine or alcohol from the diet for a set period like we did on the 30-Day Reset.
Fasting can be a great tool to add to your wellness tool box when used in conjunction with a well-balanced diet. Of course, there may be medical reasons that you should not fast. If you are considering fasting and have concerns, please consult your doctor.
How might you incorporate fasting into your wellness regime? What would it look like if you stopped eating at 7:00 PM and avoided eating food until the following day’s lunch? Maybe you are dealing with something in your life that you should consider fasting to repent, grieve or seek God’s favor?