Pre-Holy Week Special: Here's what fasting really do to your body

Sherry Tadeja
PUBLISHED April 7, 2017 02:42 pm | UPDATED April 15, 2017 10:33 am

(Inside Manila) The Lenten Season in the Philippines, the longest and held tradition in the catholic faith is about to start by Sunday, April 4. From all the classic activities done in this season, the first on the list is fasting.


Fasting is the event where an individual chooses a day to not eat certain foods prescribed by his religion or even in medical recommendations. For Catholics, they avoid consuming high calorie food or anything that is pleasurable for their taste.


But when looked in a scientific sense, what does fasting really do in the body?


Calorie Reduction


According to an American doctor Dr. Denton D. Weiss, fasting is the way for the body to clean out heavy weight brought by the year. One specific thing fasting initially do is reducing calories. Dr. Denton reveals that food factory produces food that contains 3800 calorie per day. But a normal sized person only needs 2000 calories per day.


Calorie Restriction


Aside from reduction, fasting also brought in calorie restriction. Dr. Weiss revealed that studies showed human and animals restricted of their calorie intake had increased longevity of life.


But he cautioned that fasting is different from "extreme fasting" where the body is 'starving' rather than reducing. Weiss also shared that extreme starvation and fad diets lead the body to giving off certain odor or "toxins coming off your body" it can be called as "ketosis."


In shorter sense, the body on a regular calorie reduction breaks down fat and muscle stores. But in extreme starvation the body has no fat to burn, and instead burns the muscle.


Mind and body when fasting


Fasting gives the body the value of rest—to heal and grow. During fasting, the stomach and the bowel are rested and toxins brought by usual pleasurable food are lessened. Meaning, toxins already in the body will be decreased because fewer are being processed.


The calorie rest also clears the mind. The body does not spur into too much sugar brought by high-calorie food, it's not in competition with the stomach and the rest of what the body needs is from the fats stored.


In the end, Dr. Weiss advices to try fasting on Wednesday and Friday; start slowly with no meat and low carbohydrate food. Also drink water over coffee or any sugary drinks.

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