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Navratri 2022: How Does Fasting Affect Your Body?

Fasting is a general approach to weight loss and is a feasible method for treating diseases such as type 2 diabetes. In addition to these, people also fast due to religious and spiritual reasons. Despite the differing reasons, how fasting impacts the human body remains the same at the end of the day.

Navratri fasting starts Tuesday, 27 September 2022, for the month of Ashwina. Navratri celebrates the victory of good over evil. The festival celebrates Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. Navratri is one of the Hindu religion's biggest festivals.

Those who observe a fast by consuming only one meal a day may break their fast only after sunset. In contrast, those who adhere to a fruit and milk diet can consume food at regular intervals.

Have you wondered how fasting can help your body and mind? Let's take a look.

How Does The Fasting Affect Your Body?

1. Improves metabolism

The practice of time-restricted eating can improve your metabolism and offer other health benefits, such as reducing your blood pressure and improving your sleep patterns.

People, including dieticians, believe that if you do not consume a steady amount of calories throughout the day, your metabolism slows, and your body enters a state of starvation. Not a lack of calories causes your metabolism to slow, but weight loss does [1].

Your metabolism will slow, but this will be because your body senses weight loss. So however you lose weight, your metabolism will slow.

2. Causes muscle loss

In the absence of food, the body begins to break down muscle tissue to extract protein. After fasting for 21 days, the body starts burning fat again and continues to burn lean muscle tissue. Once muscle tissue is lost, it is extremely difficult to replace it [2].

3. Increases autolysis rate

Self-destructive enzymes are embedded in every cell of the body. When the need arises, cells release these toxins and self-destruct. This process is known as autolysis. During fasting, the body breaks down non-essential materials, resulting in autolysis. The rapid breakdown of cells and tissues may interfere with normal body function [3].

Many advocates of fasting claim that autolysis aids in the body's cleansing process; others believe that it does not. Thus, it is vital to fuel your body wisely between fasting periods.

4. Improves immune system

During a fast, the body's white blood cells become stronger and can tackle viruses and bacteria much more effectively. Research has demonstrated that a person's white blood cells are stronger during a fast than when they are not fasting [4].

5. Breaks down cholesterol

When fasting, the body breaks down fat cells stored in the blood vessels. This broken-down fat is then made up into new cell membranes or excreted from the body, reducing heart disease risk [5].

6. Gives your organs a break

Through fasting, the body is given a break from its daily routine and is given the opportunity to rest and rebuild its strength [6].

7. Causes diuresis

Diuresis is when the kidneys expel salts and water from the body. During a fast, this process is enhanced and causes no damage to the body's tissues [7].

8. May help break addiction

Fasting during the holy time of Navratri does not only mean abstaining from alcohol and smoking for a short period of time, but it may also help people overcome addiction patterns [8].

On A Final Note...

Pregnant or breastfeeding women, those suffering from chronic diseases, the elderly, and children should not fast. The rest of you, fast, healthily and responsibly.

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