Fasting: Healthy for Body, Mind, and Spirit?

I recently read an article on Men’s Health magazine about 36-hour fasting having great health benefits. The author of the article wrote from experience and indicated that his ritual fasting–not done for religious reasons–has allowed him to maintain a better relationship with food and a healthy weight. In my constant quest for weight-loss tips and tricks, I was, of course, fascinated with the article.

I found this paper on fasting that further explained the physiological processes that take place during a fast. It also further reinforced fasting’s positive ramifications toward one’s health. Yet another source believes fasting helps enhance mental acuity.

Perhaps the most instructive testimony as to the acuteness of mental powers during fasting comes from Dr. Herbert Shelton who supervised the fasting of more than 40,000 people over a period of fifty years. His message is that the freer the body is of toxic materials flowing through the blood and lymphatic system, the clearer is the ability to think. [Full article…]

I’m seriously thinking about doing this now. For one, I’m excited about its weight-management benefits. For another, I’m curious about its claim toward improving mental clarity. G-d knows my memory retention skills can use a major boost.

What do you think about fasting? Is it worth it? What are your fears?

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5 Responses to “Fasting: Healthy for Body, Mind, and Spirit?”


  1. 1 DAVE ID June 7, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I used to fast one day a week but if you are active during that day it’s pretty difficult. Hence why I stopped. I used to fast on Sundays and take the day off watching movies or reading. But if you become active, your hunger can take over. easy. You easily realize that you can ignore hunger pangs and like trolls, they will go away. I found it difficult. If you start to think about food… you will burn.

  2. 2 smysore June 9, 2008 at 7:17 am

    I don’t think I can last either. I feel faint when I don’t after 4 or 5 hours. And likely I’ll binge ta the end of the fasting period! But, I may try it in the future, who knows.

  3. 3 curlywurlygurly June 9, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    i know several religious people who fast several times a year for holidays. they only work 1/2 day on some of the fast days, and on other fasts they don’t work at all. they complain of thirst, cotton mouth, and hunger by the end of the day. some get lightheaded and dizzy.

    the only way i could fast if i was sleeping for the duration. 🙂

  4. 4 Tony June 10, 2008 at 12:31 am

    What are your fears?
    Getting too hungry….
    I’d rather the burger in the previous post than a fast…..

  5. 5 jonsquared June 10, 2008 at 3:40 am

    @ DAVE – You’re right. Minimize activity during the fast or I will definitely burn.

    @ smysore – That is definitely a concern. I’ve read a couple of articles so far that warn about ‘easing back into food’ after a fast or the stomach will go into shock.

    @ curly – I think fasting will put me to sleep. 🙂

    @ Tony – Hmm, you’ve got a point there. 🙂


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