Those of you who have followed me for a while will know that I am all for the important role nutritious food plays in our health and wellbeing. So today I would like to have a look at fasting and the role it may play in some people's lives.
Fasting has been around for thousands of years and is practiced by people for many different reasons. Some do it for religious reasons, some practice fasting as a form of peaceful protest whereas others do it for various health reasons.
There are times when fasting is required, for example many doctors will request you to fast for 12-24 hours before certain blood tests or surgery. You may even be advised to avoid food during a bad stomach bug, as your body is working hard to eliminate the cause of the illness from your body. Apart from these reasons, there is actually no scientific evidence that supports fasting as a means of detoxing or cleansing your body. In fact your gastrointestinal tract will work more efficiently when it has a constant source of nutrients flowing through it (that isn’t to say that you need to be eating constantly though!).
On the other hand, abstaining from something for a period of time, for example alcohol, sugar, caffeine and/or refined foods, is a great way of detoxing/cleansing your body and can also be considered as a form of ‘fasting’.
I am a very active person and I know that in order to have the energy needed to get through my day; I need to be feeding myself the fuel I require. I also actively work to build and maintain my lean muscle mass, so for this reason I avoid complete fasting unless I have health reasons that require me to.
If you are considering fasting, or if fasting is something you already participate in, make sure you adjust your exercise routines around these days. Your body needs fuel to move and build, and because of this exercising and fasting don't work well together.