Fasting Benefits


Without going to extremes or making unconsidered moves, one can benefit from the rewarding efforts of fasting, both as a diet and a lifelong style. Here are some benefits of fasting you may want to consider, to know what you are missing if you don't fast yet.

Fasting gives physical, mental & social freedom as it relieves us of that extra pressure constantly put on our stomach, intestines, kidneys, bladder, liver and other glands, caused by food and food-related substances, and triggering the release of certain stress hormones negatively affecting our mood. One shouldn't be deceived by the immediate thrill they get from food, rather look at the overall effect it has on their well-being. There is no point in enjoying for a few minutes what you have to pay for later the rest of your day, in terms of slowness, drowsiness, thirst, upset stomach, heart-burn, etc.

Fasting frees much of the space occupied by these objects, to satisfy other needs and enjoy other pleasures. It's a freedom for the body as well as the mind. Whether alone or with others, those who fast are not pressured by their biological clock to follow their impulses and run to the nearest bathroom, cafeteria, or pharmacy, interrupting their daily life, and that of others.

In the long run, fasting transforms its observers, turning them lighter. They are not only relieved of the temporary burdens, but of the long-endured pounds they used to carry around, hampering their movement and slowing their overall life rhythm. Their stride, looks, clothes, self-image, impression on others … become no more the same.

It is not surprising that some ancients called the stomach the origin of all maladies, and gluttony the mother of vices. The more prudish ones named the stomach the brothel of the body. Poor stomach! we overloaded it with foods and sins, like we had no choice. It's a shame that humans blame the animal in them for not taking control of the human, when the latter is the one responsible for the former.

We eat, excrete, then eat again ... unable to think much meanwhile. No one better than a "scatologist" understands the paradoxical "yum-yuck" relationship between food and stool, ready to explain to us why our sophisticated gourmet food transforms into that final deplorable state. Of all people he alone can stop and go beyond the initial sensual repulsion, and delve deep into true scientific knowledge. (Together with the sexologist he is the least prudish of scientists). Yet, some mock him, if not ignorantly label him obsessive, rude and fetish.

Fasting sharpens our wits. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, naturally stimulates our brain. This chemical is the evolution result of our long desperate search for food to save us from starving to death. Thus, we can deceive Nature, to receive ghrelin while ignoring food temporarily—since we know we are not going to die, as the food is right there in the fridge to pick up and reheat whenever we want.

This is why it's not advised, even for children, to have a big meal before any mind-absorbing activity (at school, work, etc.). It will dull our brain, where all the blood flow will be going to the stomach instead. It only makes sense that animals in the wild didn't wake up in the morning to find their breakfast ready for them, made by their mamas or animal chefs. Instead, they diligently searched and fought, getting ever stronger, smarter, and leaner.

Fasting temporarily decreases one's libido. This can be useful when we want to resist a sexual temptation we cannot escape. It gives an emotional and mental freedom, especially when we are with those whose mere physical presence distracts us, interfering with our brain's "magnetic field," figuratively speaking. Gas, stool and urine (unsurprisingly, all food-related), along with food are unnecessary libido-stimulants that we can save ourselves their physical and social burden if we only fast. (Some "male humans" take pride in their short-lived steel-like morning erection, even when such illusion is soon discovered, while seeing their dream flushed down the abyss of reality, with the object that caused it!)

Fasting has endless health benefits you can read about elsewhere. However, just for example:

  • There's no need to explain how it lessens intestinal problems and those of our overloaded drainage systems. I won't go there; you can already see what I'm getting at.
  • It is good for teeth, as you devote less time to dental care, and pay less visits and money to the dentist. No need to brush, floss, pick, rinse ... each time you eat, because you will just fast. (You may still have to do some of those wearisome activities, once, when you eventually break your fast.) Fasting lets you have less fears of germs living in your mouth, that gradually move to and harm the rest of your body.

Obviously, fasting saves money, of individuals and countries, spent on food, food-related problems, cooking shows, etc. Such money can be used in better avenues of life. 

Like all forms of abstinence from things we love, we enjoy food more when we stay away from it for a while. It's the wisdom of life: we learn how we love things and people by keeping a distance from them. Our body becomes sensitive to the slightest taste, touch, smell … and our mind gets the opportunity to re-consider what we like/dislike, should do/do without ... what is useful and what is junk.


Extreme Fasting

Avoiding Food Temptation

Proper Eating Habits