Fasting is the willful abstaining from eating and drinking. It also refers to the metabolic state of a person who has not consumed food and/or liquid overnight; a few metabolic changes happen in a body over the course of a fast. There are different types of fasting, but today we will be specifically talking about fasting with water and its benefits. Keep reading!
What Is Water Fasting?
Water fasting is the kind of fasting in which the person fasting only consumes water or, in certain cases, other liquids. Most water fasts last for a period of 24 to 72 hours, and you should not water fast for more than this period without medical supervision.
People water fast for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to religious or medical reasons. Multiple studies and research have shown that water fasting has several medical benefits. I'll be listing a few of those here.
5 Benefits of Water Fasting
1. Religious or Spiritual Reasons
A lot of people follow water fasting for religious or spiritual reasons. For example, it's a part of Hinduism. Fasting is a major part of Hinduism, which goes from small restrictions to extreme restraint.
It's not thought of as an obligation but a moral and spiritual act where the purpose is to cleanse your body and soul. Hinduism has several periods of fasting, with the most famous and relevant being Ekadashi which is held twice a month on the eleventh day of an ascending or descending moon.
2. To Lose Weight
A lot of people are attracted to water fasting or any other kind of fasting due to this reason, they want to lose weight and fasting seems to be a good enough method for them to lose weight. It limits your calorie intake and also lets autophagy happen where in your body breaks down and recycles old cells.
If you want to practice water fasting for weight loss, then medical supervision is advised, and you should proceed with caution as extremity of anything is bad, and you might get yourself into more trouble than losing weight if you don't take care of your body. Research shows that you may be able to lose up to two pounds of weight in a single day of water fasting and three times over if you water fast for 72 hours.
3. For Health Reasons
There are other medical reasons due to which someone might practice or follow water fasting. People that are prone to certain diseases may benefit from short spurts and periods of water fasting.
It goes for diseases like cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, and being overweight. It can even help in mitigating the risks of cancer.
4. Preparing For Medical Procedures
Some medical procedures need the patient to be fasting before they can be acted upon. For example, you need to not eat anything a day before you get your sugar levels checked for diabetes, your blood is taken three times in three intervals, and you are not supposed to consume anything except water in those periods.
There are surgeries as well that requires a person to not eat anything solid, and therefore the patient has to practice water fasting before medical procedures like that.
5. To Detox
Detox diets are very common nowadays, and they claim to cleanse your blood and eliminate harmful toxins from your system. It is not entirely a fact that they work or how they work, but it's a very common belief that is practiced all around the world regardless.
They are supposed to rest your organs, stimulate your liver to eliminate toxins, help toxic elimination through bodily fluids and functions like feces, sweat, and urine, improve blood circulation, and provide your body with various nutrients at the end. These diets claim to help with digestion, autoimmune conditions, inflammation, bloating, to name a few. Popular diets like the "lemon detox" are specifically modeled after water fasting.
How Does One Water Fast?
There are no specific, set-in-stone guidelines to water fasting, but there are people that should not start water fasting before medical advice or without medical supervision. This includes people with gout, diabetes (type 1 and type 2), people that have eating disorders, the elderly, and pregnant women. If you have never fasted before, first, consult your doctor. After you have spoken with a medical professional who has given you approval, it is a good idea to start preparing your body 3-4 days before the intended day. This can be achieved by eating small portions at each meal of the day or fasting for a part of the day only leading up to that water fasting day.
Most people drink up to three liters of water during a water fast. Water fasting is usually followed for a time period of 24-72 hours, and any longer than that should only be done under medical supervision because of the health risks attached to it.
Some people may experience dizziness or weakness during a water fast and are advised to avoid operating heavy machinery, exercising, and driving so that they do not get into any accidents.
Fasting in Islam
Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam, and all Muslims follow it annually in the Holy Month of Ramadan. A Muslim is supposed to abstain from eating and several other activities during a fast to show that he or she can abstain themselves on the orders of Allah Almighty. Fasting can take quite a toll on one's body and mental health if they don't prepare for it and if one doesn't try to enjoy it, and what's a better way to enjoy it than looking good while doing it but also in a halal and acceptable way?
My idea is nail polish and halal nail polish that is supposed to help your hands achieve the desired look that maintains your confidence and sense of self. It's easy to put on and easy to take off as well, and there are no cons to using it in your day-to-day life. You can wear these nail polishes from 786 Cosmetics 24/7, even though the 5 prayers in a day because it's completely halal, and they have a wide variety of colors and shades! Check out their Instagram.
- Saba Khalil