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This Is What Happens When You Don’t Eat For A Day

Indians love to fast.

Whether it's for Navratri or Ganesh Chaturthi, we all have fasted at least once in our life. In fact, some of us are known to fast once every week on a significant day in a ploy to fulfill our desires.

Setting aside the religious angle for now, did you know that fasting for an entire day is actually very good for your health?

So, let's find out what happens to your body when you don't eat for a day!


The First 8 Hours

The first 8 hours of a 24-hour fasting period is relatively easy. Your body is still digesting your last meal, so you have enough sugar in your blood to keep going as if it's any other day.

The true ordeal begins once the 8 hours are over.


8 Hours Till The End

If you have never fasted in your life, or do it infrequently, your body will alert you that you need food once the 8 hours are over. That means uncomfortable hunger pangs.

But, when you do not fulfill this urge to eat, your body then starts to burn your stored fats as fuel, which is why intermittent fasting is such a popular weight-loss tactic for those who do not like to control their diet every day!

Plus, doing this once or twice a week is a great way to boost your metabolism.


It Protects Your Heart And Body

Fasting for a whole day is known to affect the way your body catabolizes cholesterol and sugar. That's why fasting once or twice every week is said to be a great way to protect your body from diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

In fact, fasting regularly, once a week, is known to reduce the trimethylamine N-oxide levels in your blood, which reduces your risk of developing coronary artery disease.


It Protects Your Brain

Fasting detoxifies your body and reduces the level of circulating free radicals in your blood. That's why, fasting regularly for a full 24-hour period is known to prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.


Who Shouldn’t Fast?

Regardless of its health benefits, fasting is not meant for every body, like the following:

  • Those who have a frail frame and high metabolism
  • Those suffering from eating disorders
  • Those who have type 1 diabetes
  • People recovering from a surgery
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • And children under the age of 18

The Importance Of Drinking Water During A 24-Hour Fast

Since the aim of a full-day fast is to detoxify your body, the only beverage you should drink is water. Just make sure you drink more water on your fasting day than you'd normally drink because your body will not be reaping any water from the food you eat on that day.


How To Start And End A Full Day Fast

Eat a full meal before you start fasting. This will give your body enough energy to help you get through at least the first 8 hours. Failing to do so will make you "hangry" throughout the 24-hour period.

Wondering what you should eat? Just make it a full, balanced meal with proteins, vegetables, whole-grain products and healthy fats.

Once the 24-hour period is over, do not break your fast by consuming a full, rich meal. That will spell disaster for your body and can lead to stroke, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest!

Instead, break your fast by eating something light - a little khichdi without masala or some fruits. You can gradually eat bigger meals over the next 24-hour period.

Story first published: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 13:00 [IST]
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