General Question

lapilofu's avatar

Is occasional fasting healthy?

Asked by lapilofu (4325points) July 24th, 2008

Or is it always dangerous/damaging? If it’s healthy, how often is good?

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6 Answers

mrjadkins's avatar

Different fasts have different effects. Depends on the time and what ingredients are removed from your diet I believe. I am not a scientist though.

I do know that when I quit smoking, I went on a three day water with lemon fast. I only drank that and ate nothing. After three days, I only ingested green vegetables with brown rice for 28 days. Part of a diet detox program I read about. It was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done but I have been smoke-free for over a year now. I gave up caffeine and nicotine at the same time.

The cure was hard to do and I think that had a lot to do with it. I don’t want to go through that again but every few months, I do the water with lemon for 3 days because it makes me feel better. Is it scientific? Nope. I just feel better and I believe it does something of added health benefit.

aaronou's avatar

I guess many Christian groups used to do it once to twice a week, but who knows if there were any ill effects in the long run. I’d say it’s probably ok, depending on what your motivation is, but you’d want to make sure you don’t have any blood sugar irregularities or any other health concerns of that nature. If you are wanting to do this to lose weight, however, I’d say it could quickly become dangerous, as it might lead to something much more serious like anorexia.

nikipedia's avatar

There’s some evidence that fasting lowers the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, but from what I can tell there hasn’t been a whole lot of legitimate, high-quality research done. Either way, it definitely doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

@aaronou: I don’t think you can just develop anorexia like that—mental illness tends not to work that way. I don’t know for sure, though.

marinelife's avatar

The trick is to fast for a short enough period not to kick the body’s protective mechanisms against starvation into effect.

Trance24's avatar

Well if you are fasting in order to lose weight it isn’t a very good idea. When you fast your body doesn’t drop the fat first. It burns all the muscles, leaving you with deteriorating muscles and flabby fat fat. Other types of fasting like religious forms are more regulated. In that they fast during the day and then eat a night. This will be more safer in my opinion because you are still getting nutrients in your body. Over all though I wouldn’t recommend it, just doesn’t seem like it would be healthy. But more research on the subject would give you a better idea.

beccalynnx's avatar

marina is right.
i have done a few “detox” fasts, though i always make sure to drink lots of water and juice during the time. i feel much beter afterwards, and only once did i experience negative impacts, but that was my first time, and i had pigged out the few days before and then ate and drank NOTHING. and that’s always a bad thing. i usually just go three days. any longer and i’d probably not do so well.

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