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Fasting - even Buddha did it

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posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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If you're like me, you might think fasting is only good for trying to lose weight, or to adhere to religious customs. But, it turns out there are so many health benefits to fasting too.

"Health benefits to skipping out on meals? Are you kidding me?"

Yes! I mean, no! No kidding. Normalize your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and even improve your mental clarity and "oneness" with the world around you. Read more about the benefits below if you like. At the end, I'll share what I did for my first quick fast of 48-72 hrs.


Most pictures we see of Buddha showcase the round, full cheeks. Here he is depicted in an emaciated state while fasting.



According to Dr. Mark P. Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the US National Institute on Aging, fasting every other day (intermittent fasting) shows beneficial effects in mice as strong as those of caloric-restriction diets,[4] and a small study conducted on humans at the University of Illinois indicates the same results [5]
Adherence to Greek Orthodox fasting periods contributes to an improvement in the blood lipid profile, including a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol, and a decrease in the LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio. A statistically insignificant reduction in HDL cholesterol was also observed.-source-


A study was performed on earthworms that demonstrated the extension of life due to fasting. The experiment was performed in the 1930s by isolating one worm and putting it on a cycle of fasting and feeding. The isolated worm outlasted its relatives by 19 generations, while still maintaining its youthful physiological traits. The worm was able to survive on its own tissue for months. Once the size of the worm began to decrease, the scientists would resume feeding it at which point it showed great vigor and energy. "The life-span extension of these worms was the equivalent of keeping a man alive for 600 to 700 years." (8)
-source-

So fasting is proven to balance out many of the problems people face with their heart as well as diabetes. We aren't earthworms, but many other studies on animals similar results.



The treatment has been found to be effective in more than 70 percent of cases of schizophrenia of many years' duration. Forty-seven percent of patients followed for a period of six years maintained their improvement. Those patients who resume eating a full diet and break the diet prescribed, relapse. The maximum effects of the treatment are seen two or three months after the recovery period is started and the diet followed closely.-source-

This is a study for schizophrenics, but first hands accounts of those who fast report feelings of improved mental clarity and focus, and even periods of increased energy, despite not eating! Notice that the study showed that patients relapse if they went back to eating the same junk as before, so try to stick to limiting yourself to healthy choices, and your great results will last much longer.



A second prescribed benefit of fasting is the healing process that begins in the body during a fast. During a fast energy is diverted away from the digestive system due to its lack of use and towards the metabolism and immune system. (6) The healing process during a fast is precipitated by the body's search for energy sources. Abnormal growths within the body, tumors and the like, do not have the full support of the body's supplies and therefore are more susceptible to autolysis. Furthermore, "production of protein for replacement of damaged cells (protein synthesis) occurs more efficiently because fewer 'mistakes' are made by the DNA/RNA genetic controls which govern this process." A higher efficiency in protein synthesis results in healthier cells, tissues and organs. (7) This is one reason that animals stop eating when they are wounded, and why humans lose hunger during influenza. Hunger has been proven absent in illnesses such as gastritis, tonsillitis and colds. (2) Therefore, when one is fasting, the person is consciously diverting energy from the digestive system to the immune system.

This helps explain how the body repairs itself. (A lot of people believe it's due to "toxins" being released, but there no evidence of that. A heart surgeon also said his patients lose substantial amounts of weight (fat), but none of them complain about "detox symptoms.") So while your body is getting a break, it doubles up so-to-speak on healing you and getting rid of nasty things that feed on some of the crap we eat on a regular basis. Fasting allows your body a chance to clear itself out and starve off those bad things while allowing healthy cells to be built more efficiently!


Quick Fast for 48-72 hrs

While a normal fast might last 7-10 days, there are clear benefits to fasting for shorter periods. You can really feel the difference much sooner. And, if you're already thin or in good shape, you may only have enough spare fat for 3 days. So, you'd definitely want to stop after that period of time.

For my fast, I took it easy, no hard exercise, minimal stress and extra meditation. I did allow myself to eat as much dark green vegetables as I wanted (baby spinach, etc), which because they are full of vitamins and are alkaline, they suppress appetite and make it easier. Some might think this defeats the purpose of a fast, but there are many types; try and do whatever works for you! I do not believe juices are healthy for fasts because they contain too much sugar, which acidifies the blood and causes and exacerbates any problems we have already. I made sure to allow myself enough rest and take naps as needed, but I found I needed less sleep than I normally do. I considered that a great sign. Some people recommend distilled water, but I drank plain water from the tap and felt just fine with that. Some recommend "easing out of" a fast, but that's only for longer fasts. I did find that when I began to start eating again, it didn't take much to fill me up, so my body gave me all the cues I needed to stop without eating too much too soon.

Sources:
serendip.brynmawr.edu...
en.wikipedia.org...
Image:
Fasting Buddha




posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:16 AM
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Valid post.

As people become poorer and less food is available, those who are practiced in the art of fasting will
fare much better in the long term

We are lead to believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, when in fact it is the meal that messes up our body.

Juice also messes up the body.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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I think when its done properly it allows the body to process all the build up from intake that gets stuck in the circulartory system digestive system. Chemicals and undigested food parts and enzyms. With this the body kind of can reset itself so when new intake occures its like a system purge has occured.

good points



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:25 AM
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I usually restrict myself to 5 days at the most as I keep in reasonable shape and thereby not many fat reserves. Nor do I make any hard and fast rules so if I feel like breaking early I do so and I tend to up my fluid intake.
In my intuitive take on it I feel I get extra adrenalin from it and like you say an increase in mental clarity which I always put down to the hunter gatherer in me having a survival problem to deal with. Shifts a lot of the mental garbage and takes your thinking back to primordial levels, I feel this sometimes helps ones cognitive functions in throwing out the unneccassary.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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I've always have been interested in fasting, particularly when it came to spiritual and recuperating matters. Now that I have begun a modest exercise routine I'll look into it more. Thanks for the thread, S&F. Also is your avatar from the R.A. Salvatore book series? He's the barbarian right?
edit on 3-8-2011 by Chewingonmushrooms because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:39 AM
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Meh, i'd rather live and enjoy life for all it's worth than thinking about "oneness" and the world around me.
Fasting isn't fun, fasting doesn't taste good.
And fasting isn't that healthy or good for your body. People who say after fasting they're more active and have more energy just think they have more energy, fasting works like a placebo - at the same time you actually hurt your body. There are enough doctors and experts out there who will tell you how dangerous it can be.

All this pseudo-health propaganda, vegan propaganda and other crap here at ATS really gets boring. It's just stupid propaganda from people who want to see all people live like they do.


Besides. Using Wiki#ia as "source" defeats all credibility instantly.
edit on 3/8/2011 by ShadowAngel85 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:42 AM
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One downside to fasting I would like to point out:

Many people on the first time they do a fast actually become 'addicted' to it, the beginnings of anorexia nervosa. Fasting has different effects on different people and to some people it gives them all sorts of different benefits including improved concentration and focus, mental clarity and most importantly: weight loss.

An actual finding is that in schools that have a "World Hunger Day" (I think this is called something else but I can't remember), or a day that promotes awareness of the third world by encouraging fasting among students actually can cause people to have anorexia nervosa when they find out that fasting gives them all these benefits and positively reinforces them to do it again.

Although there can be benefits to fasting, please be very cautious and use it sparingly because it can become positively reinforced and become a destructive part of your lifestyle.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:42 AM
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(Gautama) Buddha eventually realized that self-destruction was not the answer, and instead chose the "middle path". Avoid both extremes... everything in moderation.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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Disgusting!

I can't believe you posted this!?
This is NOT the kind of place where this type of....OH!
Oh, I see, ...you wrote Fasting! My bad.

...
Carry on.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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Im a nightclub dj, I dj every night. I constantly eat drunken after hrs fast food. Which is really unhealthy. I gain weight extremely fast. My friend is a nutritionist and showed me a diet that I totally understand now. You contantly have to eat to kick your body into a metabolism speed that burns off fat quick. Plus it gives me tons of energy. Being that I usually wake up drained and sleep 3 hrs a night from drinking. I seriously weigh myself on a digital scale constantly and can tell when I stop using the diet and change my metob. back it makes me feel crappy again. You wake up eating like 2 boiled eggs, or a banana. snack on a can of tuna in between that and lunch. Then eat a fillet of fish or chicken with some type of green for lunch. then another can of tuna or a granola bar before dinner. And, then another same meal as lunch. Works crazy. Also, no sodium, no carbs. If you drink clear liqour and low carb beer like Ultra. (It has more alcohol in it then regular light beer anyways) Hope I didnt rant if that interested anyone.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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I don't think he is advocating fasting for long periods of time, nor on a continual basis. Fasting from time to time isn't unnatural or unhealthy, just like eating in excess isn't unnatural or unhealthy as long as it is done in moderation. The body uses up plenty of energy digesting food and does get clogged up with certain wastes. It would be beneficial to use the pause button for a short period of time (I wouldn't recommend any fast longer than 2 days personally) and allow your body to "realign" so to speak. We've evolved that way; during our pre-civilization period there were times when you couldn't go to the supermarket and pick a rack of ribs
. There were times when if you weren't successful in catching prey, you would involuntarily fast.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by Chewingonmushrooms
I don't think he is advocating fasting for long periods of time, nor on a continual basis....We've evolved that way; during our pre-civilization period there were times when you couldn't go to the supermarket and pick a rack of ribs
. There were times when if you weren't successful in catching prey, you would involuntarily fast.


Thanks for clarifying this. It's up to us to be responsible for fasting within healthy limits. If someone is seeking out better health, they will obviously be motivated to stay within those limits.

I agree with you. In the wild, for certain animals during certain times, it really is part of life to go without food for 2 or more days. It's easy for us to take easy access to low cost food for granted. I'll tell you there's nothing that will make you appreciate food more than going without it for a day or so!

And, remember, they say that the highest form of ignorance is condemnation before investigation. If we can't try something with an open mind, it can be hard to speak on it. I know I used to swear up and down that white bread was perfectly healthy, and now I treat it like a plague.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by daynight42

Originally posted by Chewingonmushrooms
I don't think he is advocating fasting for long periods of time, nor on a continual basis....We've evolved that way; during our pre-civilization period there were times when you couldn't go to the supermarket and pick a rack of ribs
. There were times when if you weren't successful in catching prey, you would involuntarily fast.


Thanks for clarifying this. It's up to us to be responsible for fasting within healthy limits. If someone is seeking out better health, they will obviously be motivated to stay within those limits.

I agree with you. In the wild, for certain animals during certain times, it really is part of life to go without food for 2 or more days. It's easy for us to take easy access to low cost food for granted. I'll tell you there's nothing that will make you appreciate food more than going without it for a day or so!

And, remember, they say that the highest form of ignorance is condemnation before investigation. If we can't try something with an open mind, it can be hard to speak on it. I know I used to swear up and down that white bread was perfectly healthy, and now I treat it like a plague.


I know you are probably referring mostly to some of the other posts but I would also like to clarify. If you are going to fast make sure you know all your information on it before you do it. Simply having motivation for a healthier life won't prevent some people from getting Anorexia Nervosa, because in all appearances fasting intensely can appear and feel healthy (weight loss and mental clarity), however being properly informed on all the effects of fasting increase the odds of fasting without any consequences apart from increased well being.

I would even consider consulting a health professional before you decide to fast, there are many factors involved here.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:51 AM
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however being properly informed on all the effects of fasting increase the odds of fasting without any consequences apart from increased well being.


I'm really sorry but I have to interject here. You almost sound like a rep from... well I'm not sure actually. The only effect is increased well being so beware?????



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:58 AM
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I would be interested to see what this site has to say about your vitamin and mineral intake for about after a week of eating just dark green vegetables. I hope you are taking some sort of a multi-vitamin.

www.mypyramidtracker.gov...



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Your body needs at least 200mg of sodium for the day with adequate water intake. Some also need vitamins daily. I'm personally against it as your mind is not receiving the energy it needs and your body is not receiving the nutrients it needs. It causes the body to go into alert mode, I personally believe but have no sources for, which causes stress on all your organs and depending on how long you go, your mind. Now if your just eating a meal a day with enough water and nutrients( My whole life) then it probably isn't so bad. 1-3 days just doesn't seem healthy or desirable for that matter.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 01:42 PM
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Yes, but Buddha only fasted in an attempt to achieve and altered state of consciousness and enlightenment, which he eventually did. After that, he became the fat and happy Buddha who recognized that life was full of so much pain that there was no sense in inflicting even more on yourself.

I prefer to view Buddha as an excellent example, and thank him for going down that road so that I don't have to. Please pass me the barbequed ribs. Mmmm... yummy.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by RCTD58
 


The body "needs" 200mg of sodium? And if it doesn't get it, then what? Source for your information? This immediately appears false because people have survived through much worse circumstances for longer periods.

Take what has been said as wrong if you want. It is widely known, though, that people can under most conditions go for at least a day without food and water.

The results of these studies speak of the many benefits. It would be a luxury to be under medical supervision, and I suggest anyone with a medical condition talk to their doctor if they have concerns. But, at the same time, there are doctors who are biased against fasting and don't know the difference between starvation mode and fasting and when one or the other begins.

There are two doctors, though, who supervised tens of thousands of people while they fasted. Each wrote a book that can be found for sale on amazon.
Here's one: Fasting and Eating for Health: A Medical Doctor's Program for Conquering Disease



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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The little known wonders of fasting. What's probably most interesting about IF besides the immediate health benefits, is the ability to improve longevity and slow down aging. Literally.

I noticed a few studies down on fasting indicating that fasting quite literally works just the same as calorie restriction in regards to longevity. If you aren't aware, calorie restriction has a huge impact on the aging process. It's been demonstrated in animals from flies to monkeys and it's quite clear that eating less makes you live longer.

What's now becoming clear is that you don't have to eat less per meal....just eat less meals per week. Apparently, the body doesn't care about when the calories are consumed. Even if you end up making up for that fasting in the following meals by eating more, the effects are still the same.

When you think about it...it's pretty clear that fasting happened routinely during our recent evolution. Hunter Gatherers would fast between large kills. And it makes sense to work out just before ending a fast with a huge meal. It has a profound effect on nutrient allocation, insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism.



posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 06:48 PM
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reply to post by RCTD58
 


Yeah...but it is. Medical journals over the last few years have been flooded with study after study showing benefits associated intermittent 24 hour fasting.



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