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Practical Reasons to Fast

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In my last two posts, we talked about what fasting is, the health benefits of fasting, and how to fast. If you have not yet read Fasting: Ancient Secret for Modern Health, and Wondering How to Fast? you can find them here and here. But there are also practical reasons to fast.

And just in case you’re still not entirely convinced you should try fasting, consider these seven practical benefits. (1)

#7 – Simplicity

Simple Solutions

Diets can often be confusing. This is especially true with all of the conflicting advice flying around out there.

Should you eat low-carb, or low-fat? What carbs are good carbs? How many carbs should you have a day?

Is fat really good for you? Which fats are the healthy and which ones are not? How much fat should you eat?

What about protein? How much protein do yo need? Should you eat animal products, or go vegan? How much protein does your body need? If you eat animal products, where do you find clean, humanely raised sources?

Should you buy organic?

Confused yet?

Fasting is simple. Incredibly simple. Don’t eat. Drink water, tea, coffee or bone broth. Done.

Practical Reasons to Fast

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Practical Reasons to Fast

#6 – Cheap

I love this one! If you’re on a budget, this may be the kicker for you.

I encourage everyone I care about to eat clean, whole foods. I preach and live by these basic guidelines:

  • Buy organic as much as possible.
  • Support local farmers.
  • Find grass-fed, grass-finished, humanely raised sources of beef and lamb.
  • Opt for wild-caught fish.
  • Eat pasture raised chicken and eggs.
  • Avoid processed foods.

Eating clean can cost more. It’s worth it, no doubt. Better to pay the farmer than the doctor, as they say.

The great thing about fasting is it’s FREE! Wait, it’s better than free because it actually saves you money because you’re not having to buy food.

Imagine what you could do with the extra savings. Alternatively, you can use the money you save to pay for higher quality food when you’re not fasting. That way, you get to eat higher-quality, tastier food without breaking the bank.

#5 – Convenience

Nothing beats enjoying a well-prepared, mouthwatering, home-cooked meal. Well, almost nothing.

Unfortunately, most people struggle to find the time to cook. People eat out now more than ever before. Even though it’s more convenient to eat out, it is also costlier in both dollars and health.

I get it, though. I LOVE to cook, but some days are so busy even I sometimes balk at the time it takes to prepare a meal.

On the other hand, fasting takes zero time. Wait. It actually saves time. No time spent shopping for food, preparing meals, eating, or cleaning up.

What will you do with all that extra time? Maybe you’ll even get that workout in you didn’t have time for.

So far, fasting is simplifying your life, and saving you both time and money? Need I continue?

#4 – Cheat Days

Everyone needs a cheat day from time-to-time. It would be entirely unrealistic of me to ask you never ever again to eat ice cream. Or heaven-forbid, bacon. If you’ve read my book, Fully Alive: Discovering God’s Heart and Design for Our Health, you’ll appreciate that play on words.

The point is, you may be just fine swearing off whatever for a few weeks or months, but for life? For most people, that’s just too extreme. No key lime pie ever again? What would Thanksgiving be without at least some of the traditional treats you grew up with?

We would probably all agree that we shouldn’t indulge every day, but fasting allows us to occasionally enjoy decadent treats. Because when you feast, you can balance the scales by fasting. That is actually, the normal cycle of life—feast and fast.

“Cheat days” are important because they build compliance for the other days. Allowing for indulgences makes any diet easier to follow and transforms it from a chore into a manageable lifestyle.

As Dr. Jason Fung observed:

Life is intermittent. There are good days and bad days. There are days to celebrate and days to dread. That’s life. Your diet also needs to be intermittent. There are times to eat a lot and celebrate. But there just as surely needs to be days where you fast, to make up for it.

The most important thing about fasting is just to fit it into your lifestyle.

Special Note: Cheat days are NOT recommended if addicted to sugar or other foods. Addiction is addiction. Cheat days aren’t recommended for alcoholics either.

#3 – Power

Strong confident woman!

Losing weight can be difficult. For some people, it seems next to impossible.

The number one question everybody has before he or she begins any dietary intervention is—will it work? We’ve all heard the mantra about eat fewer calories than you burn, but how’s that working for you. It seems like caloric restriction diets should work, but they don’t.

There is no one “diet” that works for everyone. Some diets work great for some people. Others will fail miserably on the exact same diet. Sometimes a diet works great for a while, but then suddenly you hit a plateau.

Fasting is the one dietary intervention that seems to be universally effective. Partly because it is the fastest and most efficient way to lower insulin.

Dr. Fung went so far as to say, “You can simply continue fasting until the weight you desire if lost. The world record for fasting is 382 days, so there is unlimited power.” However, I wouldn’t personally recommend fasting until you lose all of the weight you want, but he is technically correct. I suppose it depends what type of fasting you are doing and you would undoubtedly want supervision from a medical professional.

The power of fasting is unquestionable, so the only real question is, is it safe? The answer seems to be yes. In fact, studies have shown extraordinary benefits of fasting.

Practical Reasons to Fast

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Practical Reasons to Fast

#2 – Flexibility

You can fast anytime, anywhere. If you don’t feel well, you can stop.

There is no set duration. A fast can last for 16 hours or 16 days.

Depending on what’s going on in your life, you can choose when to fast and when not to fast to fit your schedule.

You don’t have to inconvenience others. There are no special food requests on a fast—you just don’t eat.

#1 – Add to any diet

This may just be the biggest advantage of fasting—it works with any diet. Because fasting is not something you do—it’s something you don’t do.

  • If you’re vegan—you can fast.
  • If you’re paleo—you can fast.
  • If you’re gluten-free—you can fast.
  • If you have food allergies—you can fast.
  • If you’re busy—you can fast.
  • If you don’t have money—you can fast.
  • If you’re traveling—you can fast.
  • If you don’t cook—you can fast.

I think you get the picture. Fasting is simple. It saves money. It saves time. It’s flexible. It’s powerful. You can do it anytime, anywhere. And it works with whatever diet plan you’re already on.

Above all, you can do it!

Practical Reasons to Fast

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