24-hour fast benefits and risks: Decode it all!
People have been observing fasting for centuries in many civilizations throughout the world. More than 3000 years ago, it was a regular practice in India. It is still widely practised today; fasting is a long-standing feature of many religious traditions, including the Jewish and Muslim observances of Yom Kippur and Ramadan.
Intermittent fasting is another type of fasting that has gained favour as a weight-loss technique. There are solid reasons for this as well, as fasting for 24 hours can benefit an individual in various ways.
Over the years, many studies have shown the benefits and hazards of fasting for a day, including how it affects weight loss.
The science behind 24 hour fasting
The body needs energy whether a person is fasting or not. Its principal energy source is glucose (stored in the liver and muscles and released whenever the body requires it). Glucose is a sugar derived from carbohydrates such as grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and even sweets. This mechanism, however, changes while fasting. The liver will deplete its glucose reserves after around 8 hours of fasting. The body enters a condition known as gluconeogenesis at this time, signalling the body’s transition into fasting mode.
According to research, gluconeogenesis increases the number of calories burned by the body. The body produces glucose or blood sugar when no carbs are available, primarily from fat.
The body eventually runs out of these energy sources as well. Fasting mode subsequently transitions into the more dangerous starvation condition. A person’s metabolism slows down at this stage, and their body begins to burn muscular tissue for energy. Although it is a well-known word in the dieting world, starvation mode develops only after several days or even weeks without eating. So, unless additional health concerns are present, folks who break their fast after 24 hours are generally safe to go without eating for a day.
24 hour fast benefits-
Losing weight (the most common)-
One of the primary 24 hour fast benefits is that it can help the body burn fat. In addition, the weekly caloric consumption will be lowered by one-seventh, causing one to lose weight. Fasting intervals of 12 or 16 hours or a 24-hour fast are popular diet programs. Some regimens require participants to restrain from drinking just water while fasting, while others allow any zero-calorie beverage.
Fasting isn’t always superior to other weight-loss methods, such as cutting daily calorie intake by a minimal amount. People with obesity who observe fast occasionally for 12 months lose somewhat more weight than those who dieted more traditionally. According to a new study, the difference was not statistically significant. Fasting seems less to do with its bodily effects and more with how it fits a particular lifestyle.
The same study discovered, for example, that persons who fasted were more likely to abandon their weight-loss efforts than those who dieted in a more typical method, such as calculating calories. The researchers found that fasting may become more difficult to continue over time. Another potential issue is post-fast bingeing.
Several fasting specialists believe feasting can easily impede weight-loss efforts after the fasting phase. Fasting days might also give people a false sense of security, prompting them to neglect healthy eating habits on non-fasting days.
Increases life span:
Numerous studies have found that people who fast tend to live longer lives. It could be due to the additional health benefits of fasting for 24 hours, which ensures good health for a long period. It is only practical to hope to achieve it by observing 24-hour fasts occasionally.
Induces muscle building:
Another advantage of fasting for 24 hours is that it stimulates the production of growth hormones in the body, which has a variety of functions, including aiding in muscle building.
Reduces chances of diabetes:
The health benefits of fasting for 24 hours is also that it can help one avoid diabetes by lowering calorie intake in the body.
Reduces the probability of cardiovascular diseases:
As previously said, fasting for 24 hours once a week converts fat into energy. It lowers the body’s cholesterol levels and reduces stress on the heart and blood vessels, making it easier to avoid cardiovascular diseases and difficulties.
Increases brain activity:
Another excellent benefit of fasting that some studies have suggested is that 24-hour fasting may increase brain activity. The reasons for this are unknown, although it has been seen that persons who practice this type of fasting are more attentive on average than others.
Risks of 24 hour fasting
A 24 hour fast might bring risks to people with diabetes or previous records of an eating disorder. Children, adolescents, pregnant ladies, and breastfeeding mothers must refrain from 24 hour fasting. People who have regular medications with food must not fast for 24 hours without consulting their doctors.
To minimize the risks, drinking lots of water is highly advisable during fasting. Whether a person is eating or not, drinking adequate water is vital for preserving daily health. Many health experts advocate consuming eight 8-ounce glasses of water (approximately 2 litres) every day.
Unless a religious practice prohibits it, a person can benefit from the fast by drinking enough of the water to assist in alleviating hunger pangs. During fasting for 24 hours, some people drink tea, black coffee, or zero-calorie sweetened liquids.
To avoid any negative repercussions, one should break their fast very carefully. Chelsey Amer, a registered dietitian nutritionist, has found drinking water or eating light meals for breakfast healthy. Besides, he has also advised consuming cooked foods so that it is easy to digest better. To break a 24 hour fast, one must avoid trying complicated food that increases the difficulty in digestion and instead chews their regular food efficiently.
Q1- Is 24-hour fasting for everyone?
Pregnant ladies, children and adolescents must stick out of 24 hour fasting.
Q2- How can 24-hour fasting affect health?
Long-term fasting deprives the body of the necessary nutrients and can lead to various issues. So drinking water to counter this problem is highly referred by doctors.