This month is seeing several religious fasting traditions – Muslims with the Rammadan, and Jews with Yom Kippur. The latter is a 25 hour fast beginning this evening at sunset. Rammadan, which ended last week, lasted an entire month! Luckily, followers of Islam are allowed to eat before sunrise and after sunset each day during the fasting month.
Historically, fasting has been tied to spiritual healing, a cleansing of the soul, and prophetic visions. In modern times, some people have opted for occasional fasts as a quick weight loss solution.
What you need to know:
While fasting once in a while is not going to kill a normally healthy person, it does pose several risks:
Undernourishment and malnourishment – our body is an amazing machine that needs a host of nutrients to keep it running smoothly.
Muscle loss – When our body is undernourished and inactive – it tends to burn the pounds away in the form of muscle, not fat. Big bummer.
Going crazy – Perhaps the modern day interpretation of historical fasts leading to visions and prophecies is simply the fact that going too long without food leads to deteriorating mental capacities, sometimes inducing hallucinations and other psychological side effects.
Weight gain – Silly as it sounds, after the fast some people put more into their body than they would have given the opportunity to eat regular meals.
To summarize, a better way to lose weight is to eat right rather than not eat at all.
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