It has a positive effect on the gut & skin
Shristi Sharma, 22, used to eat whatever she craved. She ordered food every alternate day. There was no control over the number of calories she consumed. Now, she eats between noon and 8 p.m. and fasts for the rest of the day. Fasting has helped her regulate her weight while keeping her stomach full.
“Fasting has been beneficial for me. I have obtained good results so far. I am not starving myself, but am still staying healthy,” Shristi informed The Observer.
Like Shristi, many people say fasting has helped them lead a healthier life. Nutritionists and dieticians also talk about the health benefits of fasting.
Shivani Kaul, 23, said she hates to exercise and has looked for ways to stay healthy without exercising. “Fasting has been the key for me. I fast on some days to maintain my weight and eat whatever I like on others,” she said.
Fasting helps heal the skin. According to an article on healthshots.com, fasting improves the health of the gut so that the systemic inflammation of the skin reduces. Lowered inflammation in the gut makes the skin look younger, healthier, and clearer.
Rhea Rawal, 22, shared: “My skin has been… so much better since the time I started fasting. My face acne has completely vanished. I have a new glow and radiance on my face. I no longer need to hide my acne with makeup. Most importantly, I feel healthy now. I used to feel sick in my stomach when I used to eat the entire day. Now I feel lighter.”
Dieticians and nutritionists agree eating less contributes to being healthy.
Somya Agarwal, a nutritionist, when asked if fasting can help one being healthy, said: “Definitely.”
She explained: “Fasting tends to cleanse the body by detoxifying the liver, the kidney and all other vital organs. This primarily happens because of the restrictions in the diet that are to be followed while fasting. In India, the most usual pattern of fasting is cutting wheat (gluten) and salt from the diet for 12 or 24 hours. This time window is enough to initiate the body’s cleansing and detoxification.
“I recommend intermittent fasting (an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting) to my clients. The reason is that research has proven to be the safest and most efficient form of fasting.”
According to Diet Den, an Instagram Page for nutrition and diet tips: “Fasting does have some benefits. It’s known to reduce weight as one consumes fewer calories on fasting days. However, it’s much more important to have a check on how one breaks the fast, as people tend to consume more calories the next day. This should definitely be avoided.”
However, dietician Ruchita Maheshwari doesn’t agree that fasting leads to a healthy life. “Eating less or going on low carbs or high protein does not mean staying healthy. It is just a myth which has been revolving around these days on social media and other places.
“Fasting for a longer run can lead to body damage and low metabolism. A person who is diabetic or suffering from any disorders should definitely not fast. In diabetic people, it can lead to fluctuations of the blood sugar level, which could mean severe trouble for the person,” she added.
Fasting is a big part of the Indian heritage, being prevalent in a range of cultures – from Ekadashi to Karwa Chauth among Hindus; the Yom Kippur for Jews; Paryushana among Jains; Ramzan among Muslims; and the Christian period of Lent.
Around the world
The practice of Hara Hachi Bu- no eating after being 80% full (Calorie restriction) led to an exceptional number of healthy centenarians in Okinawa island, Japan. Buddhist monks of certain sects eat their last meal at noon.
These strategies have been examined in studies on rodents and humans. When followed strictly, these practices have been shown to prevent obesity and protect against oxidative stress and hypertension. They also mitigate and postpone the onset of several age-related diseases.
However, careful monitoring and expert advice are essential for choosing suitable strategies based on individual circumstances such as age.