Fasting is something which prohibits you not to take food for some period of time. Life is a long process and to survive in life, the body needs the required energy to keep all the essential activities. However, with time, the lifestyle of human beings based on consumerism changed the entire dining habits. The body is a sophisticated mechanism that functions excellently when the food intakes are in proper. Always habits of eating just like ‘living to eat’ has made the entire population sick and unhealthy. Fasting is a process that breaks this pattern of eating food either for intermittent or as long. Juice feasting, water fasting, or bare fasting could be other forms of it.
Intermittent fasting is a specific term that implies interrupted or broken kind of fasting in practice. Usually, some people used to do long for 24 hours or 48 hours or some days. There are several accounts of fasting in records where people fasted for long days. In contemporary days, intermittent fasting is a highly acclaimed lifestyle that is in practice. Under this style, the mechanism works on the concept of “fast-eat-fast“. The 24 hours of a day are divided into “food window” and “Non-food window“. The food window is opened for certain hours of the day and under this period you are allowed to take food. The non-food window prohibits you to eat food and you remain without food. However, during non-food window hours, you are allowed to take food suppressant items like tea, coffee, special water, lemon water, etc. depending upon your body requirement.
Types of intermittent fasting
The rule of 16/8
This is the most commonly and widely used style of intermittent fasting. The food window is open for 8 hours a day in which you are allowed to take the food. The time of 8 hours may be flexible and can be used as your body suits the best. You can take the lunch at 12 in the noon and dinner at 8 pm. This style is the most popular and practical while following.
The rule of alternate 3-2 or 2-2
Under this rule, you plan the seven days of the week for intermittent fasting. On Monday you take 3 meals, on Tuesday you take 2 meals on Wednesday 3 meals, on Thursday 2, on Friday 3 meals and Saturday 2 meals. The 3 meals are common while 2 meals imply that you can skip breakfast. This style is simpler and easily can be practiced to get some results like weight loss, insulin regulation, etc. If you find unable to get a weight loss or desired results by 3-2 rule you can move to 2-2 rule for all the days of the week.
Buddha’s way of fasting
Lord Buddha while was in the search of the ultimate truth used not to take any kind of food after the sunset. still, some spiritual communities of the world don’t take any kind of food before sunrise and after sunset. Under this style, you can take the food in moderate quantity in the day time as breakfast, lunch, and evening snacks. You can take the breakfast between 8-10 am, can take the lunch between 12-2 in the noon and evening snacks around 6 pm. After the sunset, they don’t eat any kind of food. However, you can take food suppressants like tea, lemon water, or ginger water in moderate quantity. The recipe for lemon water or ginger water is quite a simple one.
benefits of fasting
There are several exemplary accounts of fasting done by the great men and women in the world. There are several pieces of research made so far establishing the physical, mental, psychological, and spiritual importance of fasting. It has been proved on scientific grounds that it starts the detoxification process and boosts our immunity functions. It maintains blood pressure and controls diabetes. The fasting reduces inflammation, makes the body alkaline, and slows down the aging process. The alkaline nature of the body prevents you from many critical diseases. It also prevents anxiety and depression and enhances longevity.
benefits of fasting: the spiritual way
However, the spiritual importance of fasting makes it of paramount importance. The body, mind, and soul are integrally blended. The body merely needs food to survive however the soul needs to be connected with ‘the supreme soul’. The food addiction and worldly desire prevent us to feel connected with the supreme soul. The fasting and its spiritual importance find its place in almost all religions of the world i.e the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Quran, the Dhammapada. The soul exists beyond any binding or malignancy, however, the human being after birth has created numerous binding covering it. The soul finds bounded with multiple layers of impurities. The fasting is the process that paves the way for soul cleansing. It makes one concentrate on oneself rather on worldly craving. When you be with yourself, you understand in the most suitable way. You understand the thoughts, craving, aversion, fear, lust, anger, etc. If once you become able to understand these impurities of life, you start to be free from these.
Lord Buddha had gone a great level of fasting to attain the ultimate truth. He used to have even some grains and water to get the supreme Truth. There are several accounts of fasting associated with Lord Jesus in the Bible. Prophet Muhammad taught a great lesson of one month of intermittent fasting with the purification of mind and body. In the modern era, Mahatma Gandhi used to fast to get spiritual strength to fight for freedom. The fasting gives him the strength to enrich truth and non-violence to fight against the evils including untruth and violence.
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