Fasting One Day
Fasting One Day a Week Good for You?
By Dr. Ben
one day a week good for your health? To answer this question, let's
take a look at what happens in your body when you begin to eat and
drink nothing but water.
your cells use up the sugar that is in your bloodstream from your
last meal or beverage, your body has to find another source of energy
for your cells. And the first places that it turns to are your liver
and your muscles. Both your liver and your muscles store sugar in
the form of glycogen, and when needed, glycogen can be broken down
to glucose, which all of your cells can use to produce energy for
their ongoing activities.
a water-only fast, your glycogen stores are depleted within about
24 hours, give or take a few hours. After your glycogen stores are
used up, most of your cells begin burning fatty acids for energy -
these fatty acids come from your fat reserves, including fatty tissue
that surrounds your organs.
of cells - your red blood cells and your brain cells - cannot use
fatty acids to fuel their energy needs. Your red blood cells and brain
require glucose, and once glycogen/glucose from your muscles and liver
are used up, your brain and your red blood cells get their glucose
from two sources:
glycerol, which is a component of your fat tissues.
your muscles - some of your muscle tissues get broken down, and
the amino acids from your muscle tissues are used to produce glucose
for your brain and red blood cells.
it's not in your best interest to rapidly eat up your muscles to meet
the energy requirements of your brain and red blood cells during a
water-only fast. Your body knows this, and somewhere between the 2nd
and 3rd day of water-only fasting, your liver begins churning out
ketones, which during a water-only fast, come primarily from the breakdown
of fatty acids from your fat reserves.
your liver generates large numbers of ketones, your brain is able
to use ketones to fuel itself. At this point, only your red blood
cells require glucose that must still be derived from breakdown of
your muscles, but with your brain no longer dependent on breakdown
of your muscles for energy, the rate at which your muscles are catabolized
will be such that your muscles are spared as much as possible - this
state is called "protein sparing" - it's a survival mechanism that
is built into human physiology to deal with times of famine.
back to the big picture, it should be clear that from about the 2nd
or 3rd day of a water-only fast, your body meets it energy requirements
by burning through your fat reserves.
the bulk of the toxins in your body are stored in your fat reserves,
the longer you fast on water only, the more fat you'll burn and the
more toxins you'll eliminate from your system.
is why we see elimination of lipomas, atheromas (accumulated waste
in your blood vessels), and other conditions related to toxin accumulation
during a prolonged water fast.
another way, your body does not experience significant detoxification
during the first 12-24 hours of a water-only fast.
body begins to eliminate large quantities of toxins only after it
begins to burn your fat reserves at a rapid rate. And this doesn't
happen until you've used up the glycogen stores in your liver and
you fast one day a week, you deplete the stores of sugar in your liver
and muscles, and you begin to break down your muscles - these are
the main things you accomplish during the first day of water fasting.
Significant detoxification only begins to occur if you continue past
day one of fasting.
is not to say that there are no benefits to fasting one day a week,
or that you don't eliminate any toxins during a one-day fast.
eliminating toxins with every breath that you take. And your body
will always increase its rate of ongoing detoxification whenever you
get more rest and/or eat less food, because less digestive burden
and more physical rest always mean more available
resources for detoxification.
than fast one day a week on water only, I think it makes more sense
to do a juice fast one day a week, or even once a month. With a juice
fast, you can supply your body with enough nutrients that you don't
have to deplete the sugar stores in your liver and muscles, or break
down a lot of your muscle tissue. At the same time, because the nutrients
in freshly pressed juices are so easily digested, a one-day juice
fast can ease digestive burden and enhance ongoing detoxification
to some degree.
let's be clear: the main benefit of a one-day juice fast is not
significant detoxificiation; it's a concentrated period of rest for
your digestive organs, and an opportunity for the organs that are
responsible for ongoing detoxification (liver, kidneys, skin, and
lungs) to do a little extra health-promoting work.
things up, I would say that it's not good for long term health to
fast one day a week on water only. If you want to give your body a
period of rest and intense cleansing once in a while, it makes more
sense to spend a day eating all raw fruits and vegetables, or drinking
nothing but freshly pressed juices.
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