Fasting is an act of abstaining from eating or drinking during the day. During religious occasions, fasting is used as form of prayer to celebrate that particular occasion. In Islam, fasting is used by Muslims to honor the holy month of Ramadan. The reason behind this practice is that it is viewed as a method of worship and sometimes may also be followed to aid in weight loss.
But how does it affect the condition of the body? Fasting can be seen as depriving the body of valuable vitamins and nutrition. On the contrary, research finds that fasting is beneficial to the state of health. Fasting for spiritual reasons is very different from dieting.
First, fasting can decrease insulin levels. This is particularly important for diabetes sufferers who can emulate this lifestyle in order to maintain their blood sugar and stay healthy. The decrease of insulin levels meant that the liver was producing more stored insulin in the body. As a result, a person’s metabolic rate will likely increase.
Second, the use of stored energy also triggers the hormone norepinephrine, which is responsible for creating a weight-loss effect on the individual.
Third, the human growth hormone is also triggered due to fasting. Other than loss of fat, this hormone also helps maintain muscle mass.
The combination of all of these three hormonal reactions result in decrease of weight. As a result, many have reported weight-loss because of their fasting routine.
Despite the benefits of fasting, too much of a good thing is bad. Prolonged fasting period more than the recommended time could result in a lower calorie intake and slower metabolism. Therefore, it is recommended that people who fast should be very careful for the duration of the fasting and try to eat at the right time.