Fasting Safely

Fasting is an important component of weight loss and overall health. Most people think it’s healthy to eat three square meals, but those who fast have been shown to have less risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. A lot of people are willing to fast but don’t know how to do it safely. That’s what this post is about.

What happens to your body when you fast?

Fasting removes toxins from your body and forces cells into alternate metabolic pathways. When fasting, the body does not have access to glucose, forcing the cells to resort to other options and chemicals to produce energy. The result is the body begins a process known as gluconeogenesis, a natural process that happens in your liver and produces sugar. The liver converts non-carbohydrate materials like lactate, amino acids, and fats into glucose energy. Because our bodies conserve energy while fasting, our basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy our bodies burn while resting) becomes more efficient, thereby lowering our heart rate and blood pressure.1

Ketosis is another process that occurs later into the fast. It happens when the body burns stored fat as its primary power source instead of sugar. This is the ideal mode for weight loss and balancing blood sugar levels. Fasting puts the body under mild stress, which makes our cells adapt by enhancing their ability to cope and become strong. 2

How can I fast safely

Long-term fasting is dangerous. Always check with your doctor before attempting a long-term fast. Intermittent fasting is a way to reap the benefits of fasting without the dangers of long-term fasting. This can be as simple as skipping a meal or 2. It’s all your body needs to enter into metabolic flexibility. In fact, fasting for 2 or 3 days straight will cause your body to thinks that it’s starving and it will start to hold on to fat reserves in order to conserve energy, the opposite of what we want. It’s best to alternate fasting so your body doesn’t start to expect a routine. Fast for breakfast one day. Then fast for lunch the next. Then eat brunch one day instead of breakfast and lunch. By fasting intermittently and tricking your body, it is forced to be sensitive to alternate ways to metabolize chemicals and make energy without the dangerous side-effects.

What are the benefits of fasting

  • Boost cognitive performance
  • Protect from obesity and associated chronic diseases
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve overall fitness
  • Support weight loss
  • Decrease the risk of metabolic diseases
  • Benefit cancer patients3

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Author: T Ross

I spent the first part of my life playing piano and composing music. I graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and cognitive science. Then I became a User Interface Engineer for four years. I moved home to Raleigh, NC to be closer to my family and began to freelance. On the side, I created a company called Elemental Nutrition & Wellness that uses interactive resource calculators to give people the tools they need to lose weight and boost nutrition. Now I have my own practice as a holistic nutritionist. I help people meet their weight loss goals by fostering self-motivation. You can reach me at

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