Why is it important to fast for 24 hours once a week?

Fasting is extremely popular and used by many people, due to its ability for fast weight loss success. The beauty of fasting is that you don’t have to practice it on a daily basis in order to gain the health and weight loss benefits. It’s ability to increase insulin sensitivity is very hard to ignore, considering this is why so many people have trouble with weight loss – especially when on the roller coaster of dieting for prolonged periods of time.

Fasting for 24 hours is commonly known as ceasing to eat for one full day, whilst consuming fluids is allowed – we must restrict them to under 50 calories. Sticking to water, coffee, herbal and mineral water is perfectly fine during this time. When you introduce food back into the diet, it’s important to do this slowly, as to not cause any gut irritations, bloating or diarrhoea.

Spacing out these longer duration fasts is a lot more beneficial than performing them consecutively. You can structure it for once per month, week or fortnight, performing longer fasts when you know you don’t have strenuous activity planned. The choice is entirely yours.

4 benefits of 24-hour fasts

  1. Cellular repair that helps prevent disease and also delaying tissue ageing. This also supports overall longevity and due to the timing, is far more beneficial than shorter duration fasting
  2. Reducing inflammation. As you know, chronic inflammation can lead to cancer, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Fasting for 24 hours or more can reduce oxidative stress on your body’s cells.
  3. Improvement of insulin sensitivity. During a fast of 24 or more hours, glycogen — the storage form of carbs — is depleted and insulin levels are reduced. This allows your body to burn mostly fat for energy, making stored body fat more available for use.
  4. Increases your metabolism. Fasting for 24 hours increases you metabolic rate by 3.6–14% (1) (2), which translates to an additional 100–275 calories burned daily. The only thing to keep in mind with this is not to overcompensate by eating more food. Make sure what you do eat is within your consumption range, and whole food sources.

Hopefully this gives you a good standing point when it comes to fasting, and you can try out any timing alternatives you like. Please be aware that 72 hours plus fasting time does diminish your metabolism slightly – and I wouldn’t recommend it, unless stated by your practitioner.


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