Fasting is restraining one self from indulging in food, drink, or both, for a particular duration. In India, Fasting has a religious belief. It is also called “Vrat” in Hindi and “Upvaasa” in Sanskrit. If we further break down it then Up means “near” and Vaasa means “to stay” which indicates staying in proximity to the God spiritually. Fasting in India has rooted centuries ago, and is a considerable part in our tradition. Now this term has evolved in the fitness world. It has become a definite lifestyle practice today.
Fasting A Religious Belief
As we all know India is a country of diverse religions and cultures so fasting has a religious belief and is signified differently in all religion. According to Hinduism fasting is the act of giving up physical requirements of the body to attain spiritual power. There are lot of scriptures which state that on fasting we get accustomed to some values or principle and therefore, leading to a mutual harmonious frequency of body and the soul. Thus, it maintains body’s physical and spiritual requirements of the human being. Some people believe it calms the mind and teaches self-control, concentration. Today people uses this technique for meditation in Yoga. Fasting at some time is undertaken for longer days like in Muslim at the time of “Ramadan” month, and in Hindu at the time of “Navaratra” week. It becomes really tough for our body to generate energy because Eventually, the body runs out of all the remaining energy.
Fasting A Scientific Belief
In today’s world fasting has got a major come back in the fitness world which often called “Intermittent Fasting” it is one of the nutrition trends followed by people conscious about weight loss. Apart from its religious belief it has also evolved into Intermittent fasting. Intermittent Fasting is refer to eating for certain hours and fasting for remaining hours which is also called Time-Restricted Eating. There are different modes of following it like 16:8 where you fast for 16 hours, and eat for 8 hours a day. There is a lot of variations on this approach. Some people follow eating two meals a day within 8 hour window and fast for remaining 16 hours. Out of which 8 to 10 hours person sleeps and in remaining hours person actually fasts. This is a lot in practice as if we see the backstory, it is that digestion of food takes a long time depending on what kind of diet we take. So, we need to give time to digest, and that is why we should let our body do the job. This concept of fasting has really grown faster, and it has shown to have health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function and improved gut health.
What happens while fasting?
Whether a person is fasting or not, the body still needs energy. Its primary energy source is a sugar called glucose, which usually comes from the diet full of carbohydrates, including grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables. The glucose stored releases into blood whenever body needs it. During fasting process there comes a point when body uses last of it reserved glucose and enters into a state where the number of calories increases. With no food going in, the body creates its own glucose using mainly fat. This is the stage where body comes to starvation mode. Its metabolism slows down and body begins burning muscle tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known term in dieting culture but, true starvation only occurs after consecutive days of not eating. It is safe to go without eating for 24 hours a day unless other health conditions are present.
During fast, our cells switch from using glucose as their primary fuel source to using fat. So, fats burned up for energy which in turn leads to weight loss. So intermittent fasting, or Time — Restricted eating is good only if you take proper diet in the eating hours. While fasting for more than a day or two leads to increase in insulin resistance which is not good. If a person is fasting for health reasons, it is essential that they do it safely and for no longer than is necessary. Long-term fasting starves the body off essential nutrients and can cause complications.
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