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To fast or not to fast

**First let me just say that I am NOT a medical professional (nor have I played one on television) and if you are seeking any information medically regarding fasting then I would advise you to speak to a medical professional. This post is simply my opinion and nothing more.**

Okay now that we got that out the way let’s talk fasting. What is it? Why do people do it? Does it really help you loose weight? For over a millennia people have been fasting for various reasons whether they be for religious, spiritual or pagan traditions or to simply cleanse the body. Now understand that fasting doesn’t have to simply mean abstaining from food and/or drink. You can abstain from talking, having sex or even being around people. But for this post I’ll talk specially about eating and drinking since that is the form of fasting that people are more familiar with.

In the past fasting was more for religious/spiritual purposes. In the early days of religion fasting was a part of important ceremonies. Over time fasting was a way to practice self-control, to sacrifice for a greater good, and for penance. While there are many religions and spiritual groups who still practice this today, I would say that the modern view of fasting has changed a bit. People are more inclined to abstain from eating and drinking for diet purposes.

I strongly advise against fasting for any other reason outside of religious or spiritual practices. I have fasted a couple of times in my life for various rites of passage ceremonies and each time was rough. My energy was terribly low, I got sick each time I fasted because my immune system was weak and doing my everyday tasks was a challenge. These days rather than completely abstain from food I simply remove certain foods from my diet.

The very first time that I fasted I became a pescatarian immediately after.

pes•ca•tar•i•an: a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish

I kept that diet for well over seven years until my body started telling me that it needed a change. I went back to eating meat but only chicken and turkey and even then I ate it very sparingly. After my second fast I went full on vegan. This was very difficult for me initially cause I LOVED cheese. I loved cheese so much that I would often just eat the block as opposed to cutting off pieces. Yeah… But once I got over my love for cheese the transition to be a vegan was quite easy.

If you do decide to fast, for whatever reason, I would strongly recommend talking to your healthcare professional. Also inform family and/or friends of what you’re doing so that they can help you should you need it. The most important thing though is to

Listen to your body!

If your body is telling you that you need food then eat! You can always eat foods that are light like salads, grilled vegetables, fruit and lean meats. Being healthy is much more valuable than trying to attain a certain number on a scale.

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