Fasting has become the latest trend in dietary options for general health if not for weight loss. I cannot comment as to the benefits as I am not a qualified nutritionist, physician or dietician. I can however discuss the psychological aspects of fasting and why it is a popular choice for many.
Firstly I am sure you appreciate there are many types of fast. The ever other day , the 5- 2 the intermittent fast of 16-8 etc and the longer fasts. The reasons people fast are for health ,spirituality and are often cultural. In this blog I would like to examine the uses of fasting and how it helps people mentally.
Fasting is an ancient activity that is practiced by most major religions across the world. Ancient faith groups have millennia of experience to justify their fasting regime From a health point of view it is much easier to accomplish than many prescribed diets. The problem with dieting is that when on a diet of any form you have to think about food all the time. There is much more mental effort required to focus on the right foods than when not dieting. When we fast we don’t need to think about food at all.
Fasting improves the mind in terms of clear thinking so it is used during meditation and prayer to help the individual focus. It also helps us to develop self discipline and a sense of self control. As with all activities it should not be taken to excess as it can lead to emotional and identity problems
As I suggested in my disclaimer there are many medical conditions and age factors where fasting is a bad idea so each individual should do their research and get medical advice before embarking on any fasting practice.
Unfortunately as with all styles of eating today there is more and more research leaving many people confused and demotivated. The best approach is to do what you feel comfortable with get advice and if you decide to fast monitor how it affects you. Never do anything to extreme.