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FastingFasting is as old as religion. People have done it for thousands of years to clear the mind and feel closer to their gods. Today, fasting is best known because of fasting and the topic about how to detox your body diets, such as the Total Wellness Cleanse by Yuri Elkaim, the liver cleanse, vegan diet plans, vegetarian diet plans, and the infamous master cleanse, which was originally introduced to the public in the 1950’s as a cure-all for disease. Many alternative doctors still believe fasting is a great way to cure a whole litany of illnesses. There are many fasts on the market that celebrities have used while still looking great and appearing healthy. This begs the question: what kind of fasting diets are out there and are they healthy?


As mentioned earlier, the master cleanse is a very popular diet. It consists of going 10 days without any nutritional input other than the master cleanse recipe of water, maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. There are similar continuous fasts like this including:


  • juice cleanse (fasting by drinking nothing but organic juice for several days,) 
  • water fasts (exactly what it sounds like,) 
  • and partial fasts (eat a little bit of solid food while severely limiting calories, such as in the
  • cabbage soup diet and grapefruit diet.) These fasts are most popularly used to detoxify the body and lose weight.


Is fasting healthy?

Well, this largely depends on who you ask. Holistic doctors often encourage continuous fasting to give the digestive system a rest and get rid of toxins in the body. According to these professionals, fasting gives the body a break from the constant onslaught of toxins we take in every day in our food. They say it cleanses the liver and other organs. Most orthodox medical doctors, however, do not encourage fasting for any reason because of concerns of malnutrition. They believe that the toxin theory in fasting is unfounded and not based on any scientific evidence.


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Even doctors who encourage fasting often do not believe in doing so for weight loss reasons and say that fasting to lose weight can actually make the problem worse. If you are fasting to lose weight, then while the weight may come off during the fast, doctors warn that most of this is water. During this time the body goes into starvation mode and slows its metabolism. At the end of the diet, the weight will come back and you could possibly gain even more weight than when you started. There however, are some good alternatives that you can use that will have the positive effects of fasting and still healthy. One such program is the Total Wellness Cleanse.


While continuous fasting is often discouraged, some new scientific evidence indicated that intermittent fasting may lead to a healthier life. A study released in January 2013 by Scientific American shows that intermittent fasting extends the life span of animals such as fruit flies and rodents. While this is not the case in primates, a recently concluded long-term study on rhesus monkeys shows that, while it does not add to lifespan, intermittent fasting “does reduces the risks of diseases common in old age and lengthens the period of life spent in good health.


If you decide to fast, talk to your doctor first to make sure you know how to fast safely and that you are healthy enough to do so. Also remember that, even on a fast, it is important to take in at least some calories. Doctors recommend at least 500 a day. Most importantly, if you feel sick while fasting then stop immediately and eat something.


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