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My First Time: A 24-Hour Fast!!! (PART 1)

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“My first time”…hehe…I thought that would get your attention.  This was my first time trying a 24-hour fast.  A couple months ago, my buddy was telling me about how he tries to take one day, at the beginning of each month, and do a 24-hour fast.  Since we both already practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule, I thought it would be cool to try this out.  So I decided I would take the leap and plan a fast with my buddy.  We had planned to work together on Friday and Saturday of last week, so we thought it would be a great time to do a 24-hour fast together.  But, before I tell you about my experience, why would anyone purposely not eat for 24 hours???

Benefits Of A 24-Hour Fast

There are tons of benefits to fasting and there are all types of ways to fast.  Here are a few of the benefits to a 24-hour fast:

1.  Helps with weight loss

I don’t want to get into the science of what happens here, as I find it kinda boring, but needless to say, many people who fast and fast regularly experience weight loss.  It’s not to say that this is the best or only way to lose weight, but it can definitely help.  Any time you reduce your caloric intake or increase your bodies burning of calories, which a 24-hour fast does, you increase your chance of weight loss.  It can also help with appetite control and control over blood sugar levels.  I will tell you about Ghrelin next week.

2.  Can help improve cardiovascular health

Science is suggesting that occasionally fasting for 24 hours can help the cardiovascular system.  These occasional 24-hour fasts can decrease your bad cholesterol, and who doesn’t want to do that?  It can also reduce your risk of gaining weight, and reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes which are contributing factors to heart disease.  It can also help reduce blood pressure and risks for cancer.

3.  Removal of Dysfunctional Cells (Autophagy)

Autophagy is the scientific name for the cell turnover.  This is where the body gets rids of dysfunctional cells (like cancer cells) and creates brand new ones!!!  I like to think of this as giving my body a chance to get rid of some of the bad stuff and create more good stuff!!!  Bye bye bad cells and toxins!!!

It is also worth mentioning that fasting can reduce inflammation, boost brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders, and delay aging.  There are other benefits to this type of intermittent fasting, but I believe these to be the greatest.

Final Thoughts

With all of these great benefits in mind, and my experience already with intermittent fasting, I decided I wanted to try a 24-hour fast.  I wanted to see how difficult it would be and how it would make me feel.  I believe in these benefits as I have experienced quite a few benefits from my 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule I practice Monday – Friday (shameless 5and2Guy plug).  

It is STRONGLY recommended that before you consider starting any major diet change that you speak with your doctors.  There are a number of conditions that a person may have that could be exacerbated by intermittent fasting.  Just talk to your doctor and tell him/her your plans for fasting and see if they see any medical reason why you shouldn’t.  If you are given the green light by your doctor, I highly recommend giving intermittent fasting a try.

Next Fitness Friday, I will present Part 2 of this post where I take you through my 24-hour fasting experience including what I ate before I started the fast, how I felt during the fast, and what I ate after the fast.  I will share with you how the experience was and if I will make it a part of my normal routine.  Stay tuned!!!

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