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Fasting | What happens to body during fasting | Can fasting help in weight loss | #fasting


Fasting can be best described as the period we stay without food and drink, for example, during sleeping at night. Other than this fasting is a part of many religious and cultural practices, where food can be consumed only once a day, twice a day, after the sunset, just before sunrise. Fasting due to religious reasons can last for more than one to thirty days.

There can also be the medical reasons, where a person needs to fast for the betterment of health.

*Note- Fasting (only food is considered here) You should drink sufficient water while food fasting.

What happens to the body during Fasting?

The human body is a complex machine. While in general, we know how the body works, it is still debatable how a particular individual reacts to the changes made to his/her body. In general, fasting is a state where the Insulin is at baseline, and no digestion occurs, which is a period of 8 to 12 hours. When we stop eating for an extended period, naturally our body gets alert and starts working to compensate for things. It is essential to know when we lose weight in the first one, two days, it's just our water weight and not the fats. Let's look at how our body reacts during fasting.

Food - When we eat food rich in carbohydrates like rice, potato, bread, etc., the food travels down to our stomach. In the stomach, the digestive enzymes and acid break down the food into small pieces, and the glucose is released. Then the food travels to the intestine where the glucose is absorbed and passed into the bloodstream. Once the glucose is in the blood, the Insulin helps it to get into the cells. And these cells use the glucose as energy. After the required amount of energy is used the extra glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.

First few days - When you start fasting, our body undergoes a process called, Gluconeogenesis (Metabolic process, which occurs in the liver to release glucose.)  During Gluconeogenesis, our liver converts amino acids and fats into glucose, which travels to the blood to give us energy. During the process, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of our body becomes active and uses less energy. Due to this, the heart rate and blood pressure decrease.

The next few days - Towards the third day, our body undergoes ketosis (a metabolic process that burns fat instead of carbohydrate to provide energy). As glucose becomes limited, the body starts burning fat for energy and breaks down the fat into glycerol and fatty acids. Liver further undergoes synthesis to provide glucose to our brain.

Afterward, the healing process of the digestive system begins, and the body gets adjusted and used to the fasting.

When we fast beyond body healing time - Once the healing and cleansing process is over, slowly the body runs out of these sources as well, coming to a starvation mode. During this point, the metabolism of our body slows down and eventually, our body begins to burn muscle tissues for energy.

While dieting and fasting for few hours or for a day can be safe (unless any other health conditions are there), going on complete starvation, or out of calories for a long-term can affect our health.

Can Fasting cause Weight loss?

There are no known evidence or studies that show fasting can promote in significant weight loss. Fasting for a day can put our body to a rest mode, giving it some time to heal and use the stored energy, but strict fast for a long time can cause health issues. As food not only provides the energy to work but also necessary nutrients to support the immune system, keep the organs healthy, and maintain the regular cycles of our body. 

*Disclaimer- This article is written to provide only information and general idea.
This article should not be used, to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
Please consult your healthcare provider before any diagnosis, treatment or medication.
The statistical information given is taken from internet sources.


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