Fasting for Life


Max Boland

I recently began my fasting journey to reach more of a heightened enlightenment, be more spiritually connected to the Earth and make good weight for sailing. Fasting for just 12 hours a day has done so much for my mental and physical health, and it’s been less than a week. Here are some scientific facts and conclusions I’ve come to since I begun fasting regularly.

Fasting for just 12 hours can make some serious improvements in your mood:

At 7pm I ate a lettuce wrap with tofu, tomatoes and hummus as my last meal for 12 hours. I went to yoga, drank a protein shake, drank 2 full glasses of water and went to bed. I woke up feeling revitalized and ready to take on the day, although I was starving. The clarity I received from the hunger my body was voicing proved to me that my primal being still exists. I worked up an appetite from my body’s healing while I slept, and that’s a huge deal to me. I ate a breakfast of 2 rice cakes with peanut butter and an apple, and then walked to school in record time with a smile on my face. I cannot make this up.

Giving your body a break from food allows clarity and higher brain function:

While fasting, the body boosts the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is just a fancy way of saying the cells that support nerve growth and development. Boosting the creation of these proteins by fasting has been said to provide spiritual clarity, sharpness mentally and a longer lasting temper. Although one might think that hunger makes us agitated, hunger on purpose can prove to bring meaning to our eating habits, lives and improve our brain function significantly.

Weight loss in a healthy way:

Fasting once or twice a week for 24 hours will not cause your body to go into starvation mode. As someone who previously struggled with an eating disorder, not eating for a couple days a week will not cause you to gain more weight–that myth has been pushed to encourage anorexic youth to eat regularly. While African children are seen to gain that “starving” weight, it’s usually bloating rather than storing up fat. Fasting can help you understand your eating habits, know when to stop or start eating and listen to your body more when dealing with food–especially in social settings. Socially, us as humans want to fit in and eat as much as everyone else or less, but what happens when our bodies need more or less than those around us? Bloating, fatigue and loss of cognitive function.

Improving cell recycling and overall body health:

When in a period of intermittent fasting, your body no longer has to focus on breaking down and processing food so it targets dead or rogue cells. The body focuses its attention on renewing the body rather than processing food or drink and therefore, metabolism is stabilized.

So, why fast? The above reasons and so many more. The studies on the benefits of fasting are endless. No matter if you fast for 12, 16, 18, 24 or 36 hours, your body will thank you and you’ll glow (I know I did!)