Why we should all fast once a week

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Why we should all fast once a week

Of all the areas of diet and nutrition that have emerged in recent years, fasting would be one of the most topical, and potentially most effective we have seen in some time. While fasting is not a new invention – many religious and cultural groups have been fasting for thousands of years, the potential benefits it offers for weight loss is still being understood. One thing we do know is that various types of fasting offer a myriad of health benefits and as such embracing some form of regular fasting is most likely a good thing for all of us, even if we do not resort to the most restrictive regimes. So if you have been considering fasting, here are some reasons you should commit to a regular fast (or light day of eating).

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1. It resets our hormones

While weight loss is linked to some types of fasting, it is actually our inflammatory markers – cholesterol, blood glucose, insulin, blood pressure that all improve when we fast.  Long term controlled levels of all of these markers is linked to a reduce risk of developing a number of chronic disease including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

2. It reminds us what it is like to be hungry

Human beings rarely eat when they are hungry, rather they eat because they are tired, bored or because other people around them are eating. This means we are also often overeating. There is nothing like a brief period (16-24 hours) of a low calorie diet to remind us what it actually feels like to be hungry.

3. It helps us eat less

It is safe to say that most of us eat far too much each and every day – a regular fast is an easy way to remind us how much we are actually eating and how little we actually need to eat to maintain our weight.

4. It buffers our high calorie days

There will always be days when we eat far too much – celebratory meals, parties, elaborate restaurant meals. Having a day or two that helps to buffer these high calorie days via plenty of salads and soups is an easy way to balance your overall calorie intake without dieting. 

5. You may lose weight

One of the best outcomes of regular fasting – whether it is eating only in an 8 hour window or having a low calorie day or two each week is that you may even lose 1-2kg a month without dieting. And for many of us, this is the best outcome of all.